Quarter-Final Play-Offs Game 2 Review

16.03.2012

EUROCHALLENGE

44. Pops Mensah-Bonsu (Besiktas Milangaz)
Pops Mensah-Bonsu must really hate air travel - the Besiktas forward did everything humanly possible to prevent Artland from forcing a third game in Germany

Besiktas Milangaz and Elan Chalon punched their tickets to the EuroChallenge Final Four but it remains to be seen who will join them.

Game 3 deciders in the other Quarter-Final series will be needed.

Szolnoki Olaj won again at home, beating BK Ventspils 82-76, to level that tie at 1-1 while Mad-Croc Fuenlabrada claimed a 78-68 victory at Triumph Lyubertsy to even their showdown as well.

Hosting Tuesday's do-or-die clashes will be Ventspils in Latvia and Fuenlabrada in Spain.

Besiktas fans had some nervous moments but celebrated at the end.

They saw Artland Dragons cut their team's 21-point lead to just three early in the fourth quarter but the Turkish club prevailed 77-63.

Chalon staged a dramatic fightback in the last 1:54 to shock hosts Chorale Roanne, 78-76.

MVP Pops Mensah-Bonsu dominated for Besiktas with 25 points and 17 rebounds.

The Great Britain international, who will play at the London Games this summer, is averaging 18.3 points and 10.8 rebounds.

Mensah-Bonsu was on top of the world after his performance, going on Twitter to speak to his fans.

He tweeted: "God Is Great!!!!! It is hard to fathom how blessed I feel right now."

Victory came at a cost for Besiktas, however.

Puerto Rico international playmaker Carlos Arroyo has been carrying some knocks this season and he had to leave the game after playing 20 minutes and scoring six points.

Artland fought bravely without Nathan Peavy.

The star forward returned to the United States after Tuesday's one-point defeat at home in Game 1 following a death in his family.

"Playing wıthout Nathan Peavy was very hard for us," Artland coach Stefan Koch said, before adding: "I think Besiktas is the favorite team at the Final Four."

5. Malcolm Delaney (Elan Chalon)
'I'll take it from here' - With 108 seconds left, the game seemed lost for Chalon but Malcolm Delaney scored  seven unanswered points to send them to the Final Four 

Besiktas will be if Mensah-Bonsu continues to rule the low post.

He was 10 of 12 from the field and in addition to his rebounding, the 2.06m center came up with two steals and swatted two shots.

Chalon fans will be liking their team's chances of going all the way.

While Besiktas have already captured the Turkish Cup, Chalon won the Semaine des As in France and are seeking their second title, too.

If ever a team thrived in late-game situations, it has been Chalon.

They won Game 1 on Tuesday with Blake Schilb scoring the winning points in the waning seconds.

On Thursday, they trailed 64-52 with 8:35 remaining and were still down by eight with 1:54 to go.

Bryant Smith started the comeback at the end with a three-point play after being fouled while scoring on a fast-break.

Malcolm Delaney then grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck, scoring the game's final seven points.

Chalon won, despite losing France international point guard Steed Tchicamboud to a sprained ankle with 12 minutes to go.

"Well, it is the Final 4 - guys did the job without me and I have to thank them," Tchicamboud tweeted.

The point guard added that he expects to be out of action for 10 days.

Abdul Aminou, who had three blocks and two steals to go with his eight points and seven rebounds, said: "We never doubted.

"Everyone thought the same at minus 12 points in the last quarter.

"This is our strength this season, we are never beaten."

Szolnoki proved yet again they are awesome when playing at home in Hungary when it comes to the EuroChallenge, where they have now won eight times this season.

In addition to Obie Trotter's 19 points, coach Peter Por got huge efforts from Brandon Gay and Marton Fodor.

Gay had 12 points and Fodor hit some big shots at the end.

Trailing 72-71 with 3:11 left, Trotter and Fodor drilled back-to-back three-pointers.

Steven Gray scored on a fast break for Ventspils to cut the deficit to three, but Fodor struck again with another three-ball for an 80-74 Szolnoki lead and they held on.

Ventspils coach Gundars Vetra said: "It was good game in a good atmosphere."

In Russia, Sergey Karasev returned to the Triumph line-up after missing Game 1 with a cold and had 12 points in the first half.

But Fuenlabrada, missing big man Adrian Laso because of a bruised knee, were too good.

Michael Hall picked up the slack inside with 21 points and 12 rebounds and Leonardo Mainoldi poured in a game-high 23 points as Fuenlabrada won, 78-68.

Laso will be out of action for about two weeks and will therefore also miss Tuesday's deciding encounter. 

Karasev finished with 16 points but was just two of 11 from three-point range.

"Good TEAM win!" Hall tweeted.

"1 more for the Final Four...Tuesday is going to be crazy! Vamossss."

 


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