|Soner Sentürk and Pinar Karsiyaka have one competition less to care about after the loss to Fenerbahce|
Pinar Karsiyaka entered their Spor Toto Turkish Cup quarter-final clash with Fenerbahce Ulker on Wednesday night on the back of an eight-game winning streak between the domestic BEKO Ligi and EuroChallenge.
Fenerbahce and Italy head coach Simone Pianigiani was absent from the game, as he had been rushed to hospital just hours before tip-off with high fever, and his players seemed a bit out of place too during the first quarter.
Karsiyaka though were nervous and did not make the most of it, taking only a two-point lead at the end of the first quarter.
When Turkish international guard Omer Onan started hitting shots from outside, Karsiyaka lost their customary composure on the defensive end and gave up a hard to believe, by their standards, 26 points to their opponents in the second quarter.
Fenerbahce then further pulled away in the third frame, as Croatian international Bojan Bogdanovic also got the hot hand and Karsiyaka never really challenged with conviction until the final buzzer, which found them losing the clash 77-69.
"Of course we wanted to continue winning and play in the cup final but I cannot say we played well enough to deserve it," Karsiyaka head coach Ufuk Sarica admitted after the game.
"Congratulations to Fenerbahce, we will forget this and a new day will start for us tomorrow."
Onan led all scorers with 18 points and Bogdanovic finished with 16 for the winners.
In the other Wednesday quarter-final, EuroChallenge 2012 champions Besiktas prevailed 86-77 over TED Ankara, behind a 17-point, 7-rebound display by Cevher Ozer.
On Thursday, Hacettepe University take on league leaders Banvit in the third quarter-final while later the big game between Galatasaray Medical Park and Anadolu Efes will decide the fourth team to earn a place in Friday's semi-finals.
OLDENBURG WILL NOT GO TO BERLIN
|Rickey Paulding's 22 points against Artland were not enough for EWE Baskets|
German EuroChallenge side EWE Baskets Oldenburg arrived at neighbours Artland Dragons on Wednesday with every intention to be a very ungrateful visitor and prevail in the northern derby.
The prize on offer was a trip to Berlin in late March, to play in the BBL Top Four alongside hosts Alba, ratiopharm Ulm, and the winner of the big game between Brose Baskets Bamberg and Bayern Munich, which takes place on Thursday.
In a sold-out Artland Arena, Oldenburg's Rickey Paulding came with a game-high 22 points but it did not prevent the hosts from edging out the visitors 78-77, after a very close finish, worthy of the derby character of the clash.
Oldenburg had started well, taking a 20-15 early lead but the hosts had an excellent second quarter to take a 40-35 lead at the interval.
The Dragons never replicated that performance in the second half, but they did do just enough in the final frame to hold on to a slim lead, even if it all came down to the last possession.
"I wish of course it was us who had won the game by one point, but unfortunately it was too late," Oldenburg head coach Sebastian Machowski said.
"We started well, but then we let the dangerous Dragons' shooters open too often and also committed some bad turnovers.
Paulding added four rebounds and two assists to his 22 points, while Adam Chubb had 18 points and eight rebounds in a losing effort.
BUSINESS AS USUAL FOR KRASNYE KRYLIA
The third team, alongside Karsiyaka and Oldenburg, to be at the top of a EuroChallenge Last 16 group with a perfect 3-0 record at the moment is Krasnye Krylia, and they were also in domestic action on Wednesday night.
The Samara outfit added another success to its impressive string of results since the start of 2013, this time a very comfortable 83-52 victory over Spartak-Primorye in the Russian PBL league.
Sergey Bazarevich's side made their intentions clear from the start, leading their visitors 26-13 already after the first ten minutes and effectively killed off the game in the third quarter, when they extended the gap to 30 points for the firs time.