|Bobby Brown and EWE Baskets stayed unbeaten, closing out Nitra|
EWE Baskets Oldenburg won for the fourth consecutive game on Wednesday to go top of Group A in the EuroChallenge.
Taking on Bemaco SPU Nitra, a team they beat in Slovakia back on November 8, the German club prevailed 88-79 and booked a place in the Last 16 of the competition.
The result also knocked Nitra (0-4) out of contention for a spot in the next round.
Ricky Paulding's three-ball with 6:52 to go in the first quarter gave the Oldenburg side an 8-7 lead and they stayed in front the rest of the game, although Predrag Krunic's side wasn't able to pull away until the fourth quarter.
Two minutes into the second quarter and the hosts were in front 27-25 when Milan Majstorovic scored on a fast-break and then Robert Brown dunked to push the lead to six.
Jannik Freese was next to score and he also dunked for a 33-25 advantage.
Mamadi Diane had a lay-up to cap a run for Nitra and pull the club to within 37-34 with 2:25 to play in the second quarter.
EWE Baskets then hit the visitors from Slovakia with three-point dangers from Dominik Bahiense de Mello and Brown to close the half for a 45-34 lead.
After going in front by 17 in the third quarter, EWE Baskets opened up a 20-point advantage in the fourth before settling for a triumph of nine.
Adam Chubb and Ronald Burrell each had 17 points for EWE Baskets while Nitra were led by Denis Clemente's 22.
We had several goals we wanted to accomplish in this game. First, we wanted to limit Oldenburg's effectiveness and we did that. Then we wanted to control the boards and we did that, too. Then, we wanted to win the game and we obviously did not do that. This was a tough game for us, since it is very difficult to win in Oldenburg. Plus, we had absolutely no contribution from our bench. I am, however, satisfied with the way we played this game tonight. We played hard and consistent for 40 minutes and we can take it from there."
EWE Baskets head coach Predrag Krunic:
"I want to congratulate my team for the way we played tonight. With this win, we advanced to the second round, which is what we set out to do in this competition. We played well for the most part of the game, but two times we had the chance to put more than 20 points between us and them but we couldn't do that and let Nitra back in the game. But, in the end, we prevailed. I also have to thank the fans for the support and the, again, great atmosphere in the arena."
EWE Baskets guard Dominik Bahiense de Mello:
"We weren't surprised that Nitra made this a close game. We knew that winning tonight wouldn't be easy, as Nitra were out to prove that they belong in the EuroChallenge, which they really did tonight. Of course we are happy to having qualified for the Top16 with two games still to go in the competition because now we can concentrate on the important tasks ahead in the Bundesliga. When I entered the game, I wanted to bring some defensive pressure but my team-mates kept finding me for wide open shots."
Nitra player Denis Clemente:
"We didn't come here to lose and I think we showed that we wanted to fight for a victory to the finish. Oldenburg tried to take away my penetration, but that freed some of my team-mates for easy baskets and we kept attacking the zone very effectively. I think in the end we were just one scoring run away from making this a very close game, maybe creating an upset."