|29 November 2012|
|Jason Clark picked up 25 points for Okapi Aalstar in the battle of the Belgians|
EWE Baskets Oldenburg extended their unbeaten run and celebrated by securing a spot in the EuroChallenge Last 16 during Week 4 action, while two teams abolished all hope of making it to the next round.
Belgian sides Okapi Aalstar and Belfius Mons-Hainaut know each other's strengths and weaknesses so well by now that they hardly surprise each other.
Still, Aalstar's Jason Clark scored almost double his season average on Tuesday night, 25 points, and led the very consistent hosts to a 97-84 win.
Aalstar now has the edge over their domestic rivals in case of a tie, as they have won both encounters.
BCMU Pitesti meanwhile did not travel to Paris on Tuesday to do sightseeing.
The Romanians, playing with their back to the wall after three consecutive losses, looked good for a first win in the Regular Season for most of the first half in their clash with Paris Levallois.
The hosts however stepped it up after the interval and took a six-point lead in the third quarter that they managed to protect until the final buzzer.
Center Sean May was dominant in the paint for Paris and led the way with a double-double of 22 points and 12 rebounds.
The Parisians are top of the group, tied with Okapi Aalstar, while Pitesti can no longer hope to qualify to the Last 16.
GROUP STANDINGS: Paris Levallois 3-1; Okapi Aalstar 3-1; Belfius Mons-Hainaut 2-2; BCMU Pitesti 0-
EWE Baskets Oldenburg are enjoying a great run of form lately and they are experienced enough to not allow their performance to drop when it mattered the most.
The Germans could seal their passage to the Last 16 with a win on the road against Szolnoki Olaj and showed they meant business right from the tip off.
Oldenburg established their dominance in Hungary from the beginning and led by 19 points at half-time.
The hosts attempted a comeback in the third quarter but the visitors were always in control and clinched a comfortable 85-67 win to secure qualification to the next phase.
Dru Joyce, with 15 points, and Ricky Paulding with 14 led the winning side.
Lami-Véd Körmend were facing a do-or-die battle against BC Timisoara at home on Tuesday, as only a win would keep them in the run for a place in the Last 16.
Luckily for the Hungarians, their frontcourt duo was fully conscious of the vital importance of the game.
Matthew Shaw, the Week 4 MVP, delivered an almost flawless performance and finished with 33 points and seven rebounds, while Croatian power forward Zvonko Buljan was not far behind, collecting a double-double of 29 points and 10 boards.
These two star displays were enough to keep the hosts in the game after a very difficult first thirty minutes and propel them to a 15-3 run in an excellent final frame that sealed a 97-86 victory.
GROUP STANDINGS: EWE Baskets Oldenburg 4-0; Szolnoki Olaj 2-2; Lami-Véd Körmend 1-3; BC Timisoara 1-3
|Yannick Bokolo had 14 points for BCM Gravelines in front of a hostile Georgian crowd|
Tsmoki Minsk and BCM Gravelines Dunkerque entered their Tuesday clash tied at 2-1, both knowing perfectly that the winner would take an important step closer to qualifying.
A 5,000-strong crowd in the Minsk Arena cheered on as the hosts fought hard and were always a step ahead of the French, if only by just a couple of points, for most of the first three quarters.
But in the final quarter came the collapse. BCM tightened up their defence and outscored the Belarusian side 26-8 in the deciding frame to ride out 83-67 winners and go top of the group.
Abdoulaye Mbaye finished with 16 points for the French team and Yannick Bokolo had 14.
SLUC Nancy cruised to an 87-69 win over Pizza Express Apollon but not everything was good news for the French team on Tuesday night.
Center Shawn King took a knock during the game and will be out with a herniated disc for several weeks, the club learned on Wednesday.
The encounter itself was a straightforward affair with Nancy establishing a 10-point lead after the first quarter and extending it to 23 points before the interval.
The Cypriot outfit balanced proceedings in the second half but never really threatened with a comeback.
Kenny Grant had 16 points and Bingo Merriex added 15 for the winners.
GROUP STANDINGS: BCM Gravelines Dunkerque 3-1; Tsmoki Minsk 2-2; SLUC Nancy 2-2; Pizza Express Apollon 1-3
The stage was set for a celebration in Bonn on Wednesday night as more than 4,000 fans in the stands prepared to cheer Telekom Baskets to their fourth win in a row, securing them a spot in the next phase of the competition.
The Germans had already beaten Port of Antwerp Giants in the reverse fixture in Belgium and started better on Wednesday.
But the Belgians were in a party-spoiling mood. They fought tooth and nail for 40 minutes, never allowing the hosts to take a considerable lead.
The visitors then tightened the screws on defence in the fourth, giving up only 13 points to Bonn in that period.
The end of regulation found the scores tied at 69 and the Belgians had enough fuel left in the tank to edge out the hosts 82-78 in overtime.
Gregory Thondique was a rock at both ends of the floor for the Giants, and collected a double-double of 16 points and 16 rebounds while Bryan Hopkins was the top scorer for the winners with 17 points.
Hapoel Unet Holon took advantage of Bonn's defeat to go level with the Germans on the table and eliminate one contestant from the race for a Last 16 spot.
But it was far from a walk in the park for the Israelis, as Armia, playing at home, came out guns blazing in their last-ditch attempt to stay alive in the group.
The Georgian side scored 28 points to Holon's 17 in the first frame, but their enthusiasm and output on offence gradually subsided at the same time that Holon were finding their rhythm.
A 16-4 run towards the end of the third quarter gave the lead to Holon but Armia still had some reserves in the tank.
The hosts fought back to tie the scores at 65 in the fourth, but ultimately Holon's experience allowed them to overcome Armia's brave resistance and claim a valuable victory, 79-72.
Holon's Jerome Dyson led all scorers with 32 points but a key all-round performance came from Franklin Hassell, who finished with a double-double of 19 points, 12 rebounds and two assists.
GROUP STANDINGS: Telekom Baskets Bonn 3-1; Hapoel Unet Holon 3-1; Port of Antwerp Giants 2-2; Armia 0-4.
For Groups A-D roundup click here