BASKETBALL IN EUROPE
|Willie Deane led Khimik to their fourth consecutive win in the Ukrainian Superleague |
Tuesday's EuroChallenge quarter-final clash with EWE Baskets Oldenburg will be the last stop on a quite long, but so far very fruitful road trip for Khimik Yuzhne.
Khimik improved to 21-13 and climbed to third place in the Ukrainian Superleague standings on Saturday, after registering a fourth league victory in a row and their second in the space of just 48 hours in the city of Dnipropetrovsk.
Having defeated Dnipro 81-72 on Thursday, Khimik stayed in town and took on the city's other team, Dnipro Azot, two days later.
The EuroChallenge quarter-finalists trailed by four points at half-time but nine consecutive points by guard Willie Dean within two minutes levelled the scores at 58 at the beginning of the fourth quarter.
Khimik pulled away midway through the final stanza and held on to clinch a precious 75-72 success.
Deane led all scorers with 18 points and added three assists while Montenegrin international Suad Sehovic finished with 14 points and a team-high seven rebounds.
Meanwhile, in VTB League action, Krasnye Krylia returned to winning ways with a more stressful than expected 83-73 success over Estonian side Kalev Tallinn at home.
Following a balanced first quarter, Kalev surprised the hosts with an excellent display on the offensive end to build a nine-point lead by the half-time interval.
Krasnye Krylia though came back from the locker rooms determined to not allow the encounter to develop into an unpleasant surprise.
The hosts balanced proceedings behind a strong third quarter and then gave up only eight points to their guests in the final period, to win 83-73.
Chester Simmons and Andre Smith were the two players to score in double digits for the winners with 17 and 16 points respectively, while Simmons also added five assists and Smith five rebounds.
WINS FOR BCM, PARIS, KATAJA
Both French sides that have reached the quarter-finals of the EuroChallenge delivered solid performances at the weekend to secure uneventful, but no less important for that reason, home victories.
BCM Gravelines Dunkerque stayed at the top of the Pro A standings, tied with Strasbourg, thanks to a 73-60 success over Poitiers.
The French league co-leaders laid the groundwork with a strong first quarter which afforded them a comfortable cushion over their guests they held on to until the end, despite the fact they never looked particularly impressive in the remainder of the encounter.
Once again, sharp shooter Dwight Buycks led all BCM scorers with 20 points while center Sarra Camara collected a double-double of 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Paris Levallois meanwhile followed a similar recipe against Cholet and won 84-70 to stay in the race for a play-off spot finish.
Sean May proved he is back to his usual best and led all scorers with 26 points on 12-for-17 shooting from the floor and also collected a team-high seven boards.
Another big man, 21-year-old Frenchman Louis Labeyrie, went a perfect 6-for-6 from the field and contributed 13 points and five rebounds.
The team that BCM will face in the EuroChallenge quarter-finals, Joensuun Kataja, came from behind to claim a 79-78 victory in a neck-to-neck Finnish Korisliiga clash with Kauhajoen Karhu on the road on Saturday.
Petri Virtanen and Daniel Coleman led the way for the victors with 17 points each, while the Finnish shooting guard also dished out six assists.
Kataja improved to 26-7 in the standings thanks to this win, which was their third in the four games they played in the space of eight days.
|Bonn's Jamel McLean recorded a double-double against Trier before injuring his knee in the fourth quarter|
KARSIYAKA, BONN TASTE DEFEAT
Pinar Karsiyaka's chances for a top-four finish in the Turkish BEKO Ligi were decreased dramatically on Saturday, after they suffered a shock defeat at home, 66-57, to eleventh-placed Royal Hali Gaziantep BSB.
The hosts paid the price for a below-par performance in the first half of the clash, when they scored only 19 points and fell behind by 14.
The visitors further increased the gap to 19 points in the third quarter and by the shell-shocked Izmir side decided to react in the final stanza, it was too little, too late.
Big man William Thomas led Karsiyaka in both scoring and rebounds, contributing 19 points and eight rebounds in a losing effort.
Meanwhile in German BEKO Bundesliga action, Telekom Baskets Bonn suffered a similar fate to Karsiyaka as they managed to score only 29 points in the entire first half of their away game at TBB Trier and a last-ditch comeback attempt in the final stanza fell short.
Bonn eventually lost 70-68 and, to make things worse, had to watch shooting guard Benas Veikalas and forward Jamel McLean leave the court with injuries.
McLean picked up a double-double of 16 points and 10 rebounds for Bonn while Jared Jordan and Kyle Weems finished with 11 points apiece in defeat.
Despite the Saturday night setback, Bonn remain in seventh place on the Bundesliga table, with a 13-12 record.