|EuroChallenge second leading scorer Christopher Copeland waved goodbye to the competition with another great performance for Okapi Aalstar|
Elan Chalon closed their EuroChallenge Group J schedule with a hefty 84-64 loss to Generali Okapi Aalstar that does nothing to affect their progress to the quarter-finals, but has cost Telekom Baskets Bonn their place to Szolnoki Olaj.
Telekom were edged out 96-94 by Szolnoki earlier in the evening and Aalstar's win has left all four teams in the group tied up at 3-3.
While Elan Chalon were safe barring a thoroughly lop-sided loss, their defeat is enough to send Szolnoki through at Telekom's expense.
Chalon's performance tonight perhaps bore the hallmarks of a team already through as they fell behind early on and, while never letting the score get out of hand, almost turned off in the fourth quarter when they were outscored 24-10.
They had been close enough to launch a rally when they began the final stanza down six, 60-54, but it soon became apparent that would not happen as Ruben Luyten's jump-shot started a 9-0 run that gave Aalstar a commanding 69-54 advantage with 6:37 to go.
The visitors only fell further and further behind, with Aalstar getting the last four points from Luyten and Chris Young to earn a 20-point win.
Chris Copeland led Aalstar with 25 points while Young had 18, Stefan Jackson 12 and Luyten 10.
Blake Schib had 25 points for Chalon but he was the sole player to score in double figures.
Elan Chalon Head Coach Gregor Beugnot
"All the credit to Aalstar, they played a huge game. But my team knew at halftime that Bonn has lost against Szolnoki and that we were qualified for the quarterfinals. We continued the game without pressure. It was important to stay fresh and healthy for the next important game in the French competition against Dijon."
Okapi Aalstar Head Coach Brad Dean
"I'm very pleased how we played against Chalon, especially the second half. They took only one offensive rebound which means that our defense was pretty good. We haven't reached the quarterfinals due to our big loss in Hungary where we lost with 36 points."
Elan Chalon player Steed Tcicamboud
"This is not a huge lost game. Okay, we lost by 20 but at halftime we knew already we were qualified. That's also the reason why the coach kept Schilb on the bench in the last quarter. The coach rotated well with all the players and no one played more than 28 minutes."
Okapi Aalstar player Nate Fox
"This big win was a nice end of the tournament. Most of the countries haven't got respect for the Belgian teams, but Aalstar and Antwerp have shown that Belgian teams can also play basketball. We had a minor rotation today but Luyten took his chance and was a very important factor in this win."