BASKETBALL IN EUROPE
|Heading to Izmir for the EuroChallenge F4 on a high: Christopher Kramer and EWE Baskets|
EuroChallenge semi-finalists EWE Baskets Oldenburg received a huge morale boost before boarding their flight to Turkey on Wednesday for the Final Four of the competition.
Oldenburg enjoyed a 90-59 rout of the LTi Giessen 46ers on the road on Tuesday night, in their final game in the Regular Season of the German BEKO Bundesliga.
The direct consequence of this triumph is that Sebastian Machowski's side have clinched second place on the table and secured the home-court advantage up until the semi-finals of their domestic league's play-offs, should they advance to that stage.
Oldenburg finished the Regular Season with a 25-9 record and their position will not be influenced by the outcome of the final games of league leaders Brose Baskets Bamberg (currently at 25-7) or third-placed ratiopharm Ulm, who also won on Tuesday (74-55 away at Mitteldeutscher BC) and improved to 23-10.
On Tuesday, there was little sign during the first half that Oldenburg would eventually dominate the encounter with such ease, as the 46ers actually led early and the guests bounced back but only held a slim three-point advantage at the half-time interval.
But Oldenburg used a 12-2 run at the start of the third quarter to demoralise their hosts and grabbed a 13-point advantage already midway through that period.
Giessen called a time-out but their situation did not improve much when play resumed.
Oldenburg had found their rhythm on both ends of the floor and outscored their opponents 30-13 in the third frame to put the result beyond doubt already by the start of the fourth quarter.
The deep rotation of the EuroChallenge semi-finalists none the less enabled them to maintain the same level of intensity until the final buzzer.
They increased the gap to 31 points as they gave up only 10 points to their hosts in the entire final stanza, to sign off their Bundesliga regular season campaign with a powerful display.
No less than seven players scored in double digits for Oldenburg, with point guard Sean Abdul-Hamid leading the way with 15 points and six rebounds.
Ronald Burrell finished with 13 points and three boards, Rickey Paulding had 12 points and three assists while shooting guard Christopher Kramer chipped in with an all-round contribution of 11 points, five assists and five steals.