BASKETBALL IN EUROPE
|18-year-old Sergey Karasev has emergedinto a real leader of his Triumph team|
An under strength BC Triumph prevailed in a battle of EuroChallenge sides in the Baltic League on Saturday.
Sergey Karasev, the hero of Triumph's narrow win at Okapi Aalstar on Tuesday after hitting a game-winning three-ball in the waning seconds, had 19 points to fire the Russian club to a 61-52 victory at BC Ventspils.
Valdemaras Chomicius, the coach of Triumph, also got a terrific all-round performance from Dmitry Kulagin.
A bronze-medal winning Russia player like Karasev this summer in Riga at the U19 FIBA World Championship, Kulagin had seven points, eight assists and five rebounds.
Making their performances even more important were that Jerry Jefferson and Twyain McKee were unavailable for the game.
Kyle Landry also sat out the contest.
With the victory, Triumph improved to 5-2 in the Baltic League and Ventspils slumped to 5-3.
All three sides in France competing in the EuroChallenge won their games in the domestic league this weekend.
Pau-Lacq-Orthez, who have no chance of progressing this season in the EuroChallenge after losing four consecutive games, won at home over Strasbourg.
Antoine Mendy poured in 27 points for Orthez and also had eight rebounds.
Roanne Basket, with three wins in their four EuroChallenge Group C games, claimed an 85-80 win over Poitiers.
John Holland had 29 points for Roanne.
The 23-year-old small forward is having a great season. He is averaging 21.3 points per contest in Europe.
Malcolm Delaney scored 28 points as Chalon clinched an 88-81 victory at Nanterre.
Chalon are 3-1 in EuroChallenge Group E.
Fuenlabrada are moving from strength to strength so far this season with Gescrap Bizkaia Bilbao Basket their latest victims.
Bilbao, who are playing in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague and coming off a win over SLUC Nancy, fell 82-73 at Fuenlabrada on Saturday.
Gustavo Ayon had 14 points, Kirk Penney 13 and Quino Colom 11 for Fuenlabrada as they improved to 6-4 in Spain.
They go into this week's EuroChallenge Group A home clash with EWE Baskets with three wins in four games.
Telekom Baskets Edged
Only one German side in the EuroChallenge was in action on Saturday with Telekom Baskets falling 74-72 at Walter Tigers Tübingen.
Jared Jordan had 18 points and six assists in defeat.
BK Prostejov were edged out at home by BC Kolin 82-81.
Prostejov, who lead EuroChallenge Group C with a 3-1 record, were outscored 24-17 in the last quarter in their upset defeat.
BK Pardubice are 1-3 in Group C. They won 73-47 over Plzen as Maurice Hampton poured in 22 points.
Armia Win Big
Rustavi had very little go right when they played at EuroChallenge Group B high-fliers Armia.
Zviad Babiashvili led the way with 17 points for Georgia's representatives in the European competition.
Besiktas Milangaz, getting used to life without star Deron Williams, won their battle of EuroChallenge sides in Turkey against Olin Edirne, 76-69.
Zoran Erceg had 27 points and David Hawkins 25 for Besiktas.
Goran Ikonic had 22 points and Jovo Stanojevic 19 to fire Pinar Karsiyaka to a 75-69 win over Mersin.
Türk Telekom crashed to a 78-59 defeat to Aliaga Petkim in their first game without Mehmet Okur.