|The late midweek heroics from Baris Ermis and Ernest Bremer could not help keep Royal Hali Gaziantep in the Turkish Beko League playoff race|
EuroChallenge champions Grissin Bon Reggio Emilia and Royal Hali Gaziantep, who finished third in the competition, have both suffered a harsh landing upon their return to domestic league action.
The teams had won the two Sunday encounters in the EuroChallenge Final Four in Bologna but lost crucial, or potentially crucial, battles in their respective national leagues midweek, proving once again the extreme difficulty, especially on mental level, of this swift transition.
For Gaziantep the loss was more painful, as after falling 73-68 to Trabzonspor Medical Park at home, they were knocked out of the race for the last play-off berth in the Turkish BEKO League.
The hosts jumped to a 10-3 lead after the opening five minutes but Trabzonspor, making the most of an effective inside game, quickly balanced proceedings and pushed ahead 33-30 just before the half-time buzzer.
Trabzonspor extended their lead to 58-50 early in the final frame and despite late heroics by Ernest Bremer and Baris Ermis who tried to spark a comeback, they held on to claim the win on the road.
Gaziantep resorted excessively to the three-pointer option and attempted a whopping 33 shots from beyond the arc, knocking down just seven of them, while Trabzonspor on the other hand went 21-of-37 from two-point range.
For the hosts, Oliver Stevic collected a double-double of 17 points and 10 rebounds, Sertac Sanli followed suit with 10 points and 10 boards while Bremmer finished with 11 points and five assists in losing efforts.
Togas Bursa, who improved to 15-14 midweek in the TBL standings, have secured eighth spot while Gaziantep dropped to 12-16 and can no longer finish above ninth place, even if they win both their remaining games.
Reggio Emilia on the other hand did not suffer from consequences quite as catastrophic as Gaziantep, but a loss on Thursday has definitely put a premature end to the euphoria that followed the conquest of the EuroChallenge title.
The EuroChallenge champions travelled to Venice and were out-gunned 100-92 by hosts Umana Reyer Venezia in Italian Serie A game day 28 action, as they gave up 83 points in the last three quarters of the encounter.
Reggio Emilia, visibly struggling to adapt to their first domestic game following the EuroChallenge Final Four looked somewhat stunned initially, had no intensity on defence and trailed 49-38 at the half-time buzzer.
Venezia extended their lead to 16 points, 66-50, midway through the third frame and a colossal effort by James White, who erupted for a game-high 30 points, was not enough for the guests to overcome the deficit in the closing minutes.
In addition to White, Reggio Emilia got good contributions in defeat from Rimantas Kaukenas, who had 20 points and Andrea Cinciarini who finished with 18 points and five assists.
The EuroChallenge champions are currently tied with Caserta in seventh place in the Serie A standings with a 14-14 record, while Pistoia and Varese are right behind them, at 13-15, with two rounds of games remaining to the end of the regular season.