EuroChallenge Round Up Groups A-D

08 November 2012
6. William Thomas (Pinar Karsiyaka)
Big man William Thomas was prominent in Pinar Karsiyakass win over Tofas Bursa, scoring 10 points alongside 8 boards

Home teams dominated proceedings in Groups A-through-D in week 1 of the EuroChallenge Regular Season.

Seven of the eight games were won by the home team with Pinar Karsiyaka the only gate-crashers with an away win in Group A.

It was also in Group A where the biggest and smallest scores were recorded with KRKA Novo Mesto knocking back 100 points on ETHA, whilst in the second encounter of the group, Karsiyaka only conceded 63 points against hosts Tofas Bursa.



Three days after losing 95-94 at Tofas Bursa in a Turkish BEKO Ligi overtime drama, Pinar Karsiyaka gave their opponents a taste of their own medicine on the same court on Tuesday.

The hosts built a nine-point lead in the first quarter but Karsiyaka turned the game around with a 15-0 run in the third period and delivered the fatal blow by riding out to win 64-63 on a Caner Topaloglu lay-up at the final buzzer.

Karsiyaka's Robert Dixon led all scorers with 17 points and had plenty of support from big man William Thomas who finished with 10 points, eight rebounds and two assists.

"We won the game in the Turkish League with the last shot and this time Karsiyaka did the same thing," said Tofas's 17-year-old guard Kenan Sipahi who missed a crucial free-throw with eight seconds left on the clock.

In the other Group A game, 2011 EuroChallenge champions KRKA made easy work of their season opener in Novo Mesto defeating Cypriot side ETHA Engomi 100-73

Edo Muric led all scorers with 20 points and Domen Lorbek had 19 for the Slovenians.



Playing in front of approximately 2,000 home fans, Joensuun Kataja led CSU Asesoft Ploiesti from start to finish, registering a comfortable 91-67 victory.

The Finns had five players scoring in double digits, led by Petri Virtanen who had 23 points on eight-of-11 shooting from the floor. 

Keravnos gave Krasnye Krylia a scare by taking a 43-40 lead at half-time in Samara but the Russian side outscored the visitors 23-11 in the third quarter and, despite a late surge by the Cypriots, managed to hold on for a 79-74 home win.

Krasnye Krylia's Chester Simmons led all scorers with 24 points and 21-year-old Russia international Nikita Balashov contributed 15 points and six rebounds.



12. Donald Sims (BK Ventspils)
Donald Sims led Ventspils to an opening night win with 16 points

Södertälje Kings felt the visiting Tampereen Pyrintö breathing down their necks throughout the entire Scandinavian derby until two consecutive three-pointers by Sweden international Dino Pita gave them a slim lead with just over two minutes left in the game.

The Swedes then held on for a 74-68 win over the Finns thanks in no small part to a 23-point, eight-rebound display by forward Toni Bizaca.

Meanwhile in Latvia, another Swedish side was trailing BK Ventspils by 10 points at the interval.
Norrköping Dolphins reduced the gap repeatedly in the second half only for their Latvian hosts to come up with a reply time-and-time again to finally edge them out 72-68 behind 16 points from Donald Sims.



Slobodan Dundjerski of Gaz Metan Medias made two free throws in the dying seconds of regulation to tie the scores at 79 and send his team's game against JDA Dijon into overtime.

The Romanian league leaders then scored on every possession in the final three minutes of the extra period to clinch a hard-fought, to say the least, 92-89 victory over the French outfit. 

Dundjerski finished with 22 points and Deven Mitchell had 19 and nine rebounds for the winners.
The other game in the group, in Ukraine, did not go into overtime but it was no less dramatic for it.

The Estonians of Tartu Rock took a 44-38 lead at half-time in Yuzhne and were still up by three at the end of the third quarter. 

A 10-4 run by Khimik at the beginning of the fourth allowed the hosts to take control of the game only momentarily as the two teams were tied back up at 73 with 40 seconds left.

Montenegro international Suad Sehovic nailed a three-pointer and Sava Lesic made a free throw to give the hosts just enough breathing space and a 77-76 win after Tartu's Justin Ingram hit a three at the buzzer.


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