|27 January 2014|
|Ernest Bremer showed his veteran hand for Royal Hali Gaziantep, scoring 20 points|
EuroChallenge participants Royal Hali Gaziantep extended their winning streak across all competitions to six games at the weekend and have now stayed undefeated for an entire calendar month.
Gaziantep prevailed 74-64 over Uşak Sportif on the road on Sunday and climbed to 10th place in the Turkish BEKO TBL standings, tied at 6-10 with Olin Edirne.
Veteran point guard Ernest Bremer paved the way for the winners with 20 points and four assists while small forward Mutlu Akpinar and power forward Dejan Borovnjak contributed 13 points apiece.
Jure Zdovc's team have now emerged as serious candidates in the race for a Regular Season Top-8 finish and a spot in the play-offs as Besiktas, who occupy 8th place on the table, stand at 7-9.
Gaziantep's current position is a far cry from the predicament they were in as recently as 25th December, when following a 70-64 loss away at Pınar Karşıyaka they had dropped to 15th in the standings, with just one win more than bottom-of-the table Aliaga Petkim.
This reversal of fortunes is, at least up to some extent, the product of some radical changes in the space of the last two months which indicate the big ambitions of Gaziantep.
Surprisingly for a club of such short history in the Turkish top flight, Zdovc agreed at the end of November to take over the helms and the new coach immediately looked to reinforce the backcourt, adding Slovenian international Domen Lorbek and then Turkish international Baris Ermis.
BEARS BACK TO WINNING WAYS
|Nicolai Iversen and the Bakken Bears finally broke a 45-day losing dought|
Bakken Bears Aarhus have brought to an end a 45-day drought, as they finally registered their first win in well over a month at the weekend.
Following a largely perfect start to the season, Bakken entered a rough patch on 10 December by suffering six consecutive defeats, three in the EuroChallenge and three in the Danish BasketLigaen.
In the latter competition on Saturday, the Bears poured in 28 points in the first quarter and maintained a firm grip on proceedings until the final buzzer of their encounter on the road with Hoersholm 79ers, to clinch an 85-71 victory.
Small forward Brandon Penn was unstoppable for the winners and finished with 27 points, veteran Nicolai Iversen added 20 points and Kenny Barker chipped in with 15 points and seven rebounds.
DIJON MAINTAIN PACE
JDA Dijon were entertaining Chalon/Saone on Saturday in the derby of Burgundy in the French Pro A League and, in quite inhospitable fashion, they decided to come out guns blazing.
The hosts stormed to a 34-14 lead within just the first ten minutes and despite the fact Chalon fought back bravely and came within one basket in the third quarter, that initial cushion proved enough for Dijon to clinch an 86-80 win.
|Andre Harris and JDA Dijon remain atop the standings in France|
Andre Harris led the Dijon charge with a season-high 28 points, Zacherie Moss collected 18 points and eight rebounds and Antoine Mendy chipped in with 14 points.
Dijon continue sharing the top of the table with Orleans at 12-5 but the leading duo might return to be a quartet soon, since they both have a game in hand over Limoges and Le Mans, who stand at 11-5.
The other French team that competes in the EuroChallenge, Cholet Basket, found themselves on Saturday on the receiving end of a similar scenario to Dijon's opening outburst and never managed to recover from it.
Playing on the road, Cholet trailed Pau-Lacq-Orthez 26-13 at the end of the first quarter and the gap ballooned to 46-15 by half-time, for the visitors to eventually suffer a 75-58 loss.
John Cox finished with 16 points and Justin Burrell added 12 points in losing efforts.
On Sunday, Cholet confirmed they have penned a contract until the end of the season with point guard Anthony Goods.
The 26-year-old Goods arrives at his new club from Israeli side Ironi Nes-Ziona to replace Terrell Stoglin, who unexpectedly parted ways with Cholet last week.
ABA ADRIATIC LEAGUE
Szolnoki Olaj led Red Star Belgrade for three quarters but collapsed in the final frame, were outscored 26-11 in the period and slumped to a 77-72 loss at home. David Vojvoda had 18 points and Willie Warren finished with 13 points and eight assists in losing efforts.
Krka Novo Mesto lost 83-74 to Igokea Aleksandrovac on the road, despite the fact five of their players scored in double digits. Christopher Booker picked up 14 points, Edo Muric collected 13 points and eight boards and Jaka Klobucar with Jasmin Jukic also had 13 points each.
BALTIC BASKETBALL LEAGUE
|Valmo Kriisa and Tartu Rock consilidated their BBL playoff aspirations on the weekend|
Tartu University Rock cruised to a comfortable 87-57 win over Valga Maks&Moorits on the road as Valmo Kriisa paved the way with 19 points, six rebounds and five assists, Vincent Simpson finished with 15 points and five assists and Joosep Toome chipped in with 11 points.
Also playing on the road, Ventspils edged out Lietkabelis 64-59 on Saturday on the back of a 14-point and 9-rebound display by Jeray Grant, and 12 points from each of Davis Lejasmeiers and Ronalds Zakis.
BELGIAN ETHIAS LEAGUE
Port of Antwerp Giants fell 82-81 at Belfius Mons-Hainaut following a dramatic clash that went down to the wire. Roel Moors had 21 points and Barry Stewart finished with 16 points in losing efforts.
Team TEHO Sport Kotka fell behind during the third quarter and eventually lost 87-79 to Nilan Bisons on the road, despite an oustanding effort by Sharaud Curry. Kotka's point guard went 8-of-12 from the floor and collected 25 points, also dishing out a game-high nine assists. Chris Owens added 21 points and eight rebounds in defeat.
ITALIAN SERIE A
Grissin Bon Reggio Emilia built a double-digit first-half lead away at reigning champions Montepaschi Siena on Sunday, but managed to score only 20 points in the entire second half and were defeated 65-55. Rimantas Kaukenas had 15 points and Andrea Cinciarini picked up 14 points and four assists in losing efforts.
Gaz Metan Medias suffered an 81-75 loss at home to BC Mures, despite a near double-double by Kyle Shiloh, who finished with 22 points and nine rebounds, and 19 points from Willie Kemp.