|Henry Domercant is in great form and added a 23-point night in Sofia to his 35-point domestic league perfomance in the weekend|
Spartak, Lukoil Remember The Victims
There were 16 teams in action in the EuroChallenge on Tuesday night and the players of one, Spartak Saint-Petersburg, ran onto the court in Bulgaria to face Lukoil Academic with heavy hearts.
A moment of silence was observed before the game as a show of respect to the victims of Monday's apparent suicide bombing at Moscow's Domodedovo airport.
Thirty-five people were killed and another 116 wounded.
"We passed through this airport on Friday when we went to Krasnodar," Spartak coach Zvi Sherf said after Tuesday's game.
"I'm from a country where we also have such terrible things but we are very, very sad now.
"We, Spartak, express condolences to all people, Russians and from other countries who suffered there and to their families."
Spartak Win Again
The Group I game was nevertheless played and Spartak won 71-63 at Lukoil in Sofia.
Henry Domercant followed up his Russian PBL Player of the Week performance at Lokomotiv Kuban with a 23-point night while Slovenia international Miha Zupan also came up big, pouring in 11 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.
In Israel, Sherf's homeland, Maccabi Haifa must have Barak Netanya's number because after beating them twice on the domestic front, they defeated them 80-73 in Group I on Tuesday.
Netanya, who had played so well at Spartak eight days ago, struggled at home and hit just one of 13 shots from long range.
Elton Brown must be thinking he can't do much more for Netanya.
He c second in the Player of the Week ranking after his 26-point effort.
|Elton Brown scored 26 points for Barak Netanya but Maccabi Haifa still won the all-Israeli battle|
There's plenty of excitement in Group J and especially in Turkey because that country's team, Pinar Karsiyaka, beat a very good KRKA Novo Mesto, 94-74.
While the youngsters of Karsiyaka like Furkan Aldemir have gotten a lot of attention this season, it was 33-year-old Serbian Jovo Stanojevic who was crucial in this encounter.
He had season-highs in points (23) and rebounds (12) as Karsiyaka, just like Spartak did in Sofia, took a giant step towards a place in the Quarter-Finals.
Karsiyaka got another great game from David Holston, too. The point guard had 22 points and a season-high five steals.
Missed free-throws and turnovers proved to be the undoing of Antwerp as they came up short in their upset bid at Dexia Mons-Hainaut.
Eddy Casteels' team turned it over 19 times and also hit just 12 of 20 free-throws in a 77-73 setback.
"I think 19 turnovers were the key of the game," bemoaned Timothy Black, whose season-high 34 points weren't enough for the Giants.
The closest games of the night were played in Group K, with Norrkoping Dolphins edging BK Ventspils 77-75 and BCM Gravelines Dunkerque scraping a 67-64 triumph at Sport Lisboa e Benfica.
Free-throw shooting is magnified in the close games.
Ventspils, 35-point winners in their first Last 16 game at home to Benfica, shot just 55.6% (10 of 18) against the Dolphins.
In the Gravelines victory, the play of Senegalese Mouhamed Saer Sene in just his third EuroChallenge game was one fans won't soon forget.
He had 15 points and 13 rebounds in 25 minutes.
After playing just 12 and 15 minutes, respectively, in games against Szolnoki and Norrkoping, he saw his time go up and made the most of the opportunity.
Another important stat in that game was the nine-of-13 effort at the charity stripe by Gravelines playmaker Ben Woodside.
In 2009, Cholet made it to Final Four and last year, Roanne did the same.
Could Gravelines make it a third French team in a row to reach the EuroChallenge showpiece event?
BK Prostejov now have their backs against the wall after falling 96-90 at BC Zadar.
Zadar should have been more convincing winners but made just 14 of their 25 attempts at the line.
For the second consecutive time, Prostejov did not capitalize on a great night by one of their players.
Kyle Landry was voted EuroChallenge Player of the Week after their eight-point home setback to BC Oostende.
The Player of the Week honor this time went to Eugene Lawrence.
The 24-year-old American point guard had a season-high 37 points in defeat.
BC Oostende are turning into quite a story.
Playing in the 275th game in Europe in club history, they made it a great occasion by defeating a Lokomotiv Kuban side that many believe to be on the way to the Final Four.
In the 80-71 win over the visitors from Russia, team got a huge performance from William Thomas.
His 26 points were a season high.
Also, the 11-of-11 effort at the free-throw line for Darrell Mitchell, who had 16 points, stands out.