BASKETBALL IN EUROPE
|Ivan Lilov had a team-high 17 points to lead Medias past Romanian LNB league leaders Oradea|
Gaz Metan Medias and Szolnoki Olaj KK earned morale-boosting victories at the weekend ahead of the decisive clashes for their future in the EuroChallenge on Tuesday, in groups I and J respectively.
Medias outlasted Romanian LNB leaders CS Municipal Oradea in an overtime thriller at home on Saturday, 71-64.
In a back-and-forth encounter in which the two opponents always stayed too close for comfort to each other and neither managed to find a satisfying rhythm on offence, the scores were tied at 58 at the end of regulation.
Everything changed in the extra period though, as Medias upped the tempo at the same moment that their guests were running out of fuel and outscored Oradea 13-6 to clinch victory.
Bulgarian international Ivan Lilov was once again the main weapon on offence and led all Medias scorers with 17 points, while he also had three steals.
Power forward Ivan Ivanovic meanwhile was not on his best shooting night but still collected 14 points, nine rebounds and three assists.
Medias are now back for good in the play-off spots on the table thanks to the Saturday victory, as one of six teams behind the duo of leaders, with 15 wins to their name each.
Also on Saturday, Szolnoki delivered one of their best performances this season and defeated Slovenian Euroleague side Union Olimpija Ljubljana, 89-72, in ABA Adriatic League action.
The Hungarian side took the visitors by storm and were already holding a 12-point lead at the interval, which they further extended in the third quarter and preserved in the fourth, despite a relentless Olimpija charge.
Montenegrin international Sead Sehovic paced Szolnoki with 19 points and added five rebounds and three assists, while Hungarian international Akos Horvath had 18 points on 7-for-8 shooting from the floor and Balazs Simon dished out a game-high 10 assists to go with his six points.
KRASNYE KRYLIA FLY TO THE TOP
Krasnye Krylia went top of Regular Season Group A in the VTB League at the weekend, thanks to a 75-70 victory at home in a direct clash for first place with fellow Russian side Spartak St Petersburg.
The hosts pulled away in the second quarter and built a 14-point lead by the end of the third quarter behind an enormous effort on the defensive end, as Spartak only managed to score 40 points during the first thirty minutes of the encounter.
Power forward Andre Smith led the way for the Samara team at the offensive end with 19 points and added six rebounds, while Chester Simmons was not far behind, with 17 points and five rebounds.
|William Thomas scored 19 points to help Karsiyaka end their two-game slump |
KARSIYAKA FIND CONSOLATION IN LEAGUE
Pinar Karsiyaka returned at the weekend to the competition that has brought them many joyful moments this season, the Turkish BEKO Ligi, and snapped a two-game losing streak, between the EuroChallenge and the domestic cup, with an 84-65 win away at TÜRK Telekom.
The EuroChallenge Group I leaders started visibly influenced by recent results and trailed their hosts 26-19 early on, but recovered swiftly based on their biggest strength, their hard-nosed defence.
Karsiyaka kept TÜRK Telekom to just 39 points in the final three quarters to reach the healing victory and maintain their position in the standings, just one win behind leaders Banvit.
William Thomas was 9-for-10 from the field and paced Karsiyaka with 19 points, Jon Diebler had 17, while young Turkish shooting guard Can Mutaf added 15 points and seven rebounds.
Meanwhile in Bursa, Tofas SC slumped to a 74-62 loss to last season's EuroChallenge champions Besiktas, following a catastrophic start which saw them falling behind by 14 points in the first 10 minutes of the encounter.
New recruit Austin Nichols, who made his EuroChallenge debut last week, had 14 points in defeat while Chinemelu Elonu led all Tofas scorers with 15 points and added seven rebounds.
NICE TRIPS FOR OLDENBURG, BONN
Both German clubs that compete in the EuroChallenge, EWE Baskets Oldenburg and Telekom Baskets Bonn, won on the road in the BEKO Bundesliga at the weekend.
Oldenburg came from four points down in the fourth quarter to defeat Mitteldeutscher BC, 75-67, and stay in fourth place in the German league standings, thanks to the productivity of their frontcourt players on the offensive end.
The winners were led by an almost infallible Adam Chubb, who shot 6-for-7 from the field and 4-for-4 from the charity stripe to finish with 16 points, while adding four rebounds and one block.
Power forward Ronald Burrell and small forward Rickey Paulding were the other two Oldenburg players to score in double digits, with 13 and 12 points respectively.
Bonn meanwhile led Neckar RIESEN Ludwigsburg 45-38 at the half-time interval, but their hosts came back to level the scores by the end of the third quarter.
A less experienced side could have fallen apart under the pressure of the local crowd at that point, but Bonn turned on the screws on defence in the clutch and only gave up nine points to the hosts in the final quarter, to escape with a valuable 75-68 victory.
A trio of players combined for 51 of Bonn's points, as Robert Vaden finished with 20 points, Benas Veikalas had 17 and David McCray 14, while point guard Jared Jordan dished out seven assists to go with his seven points.