|14 April 2014|
BASKETBALL IN EUROPE
|Peter Lorant led a balanced Szolnok offence with a game-high 13 points|
Szolnoki Olaj bounced back at the weekend from their first defeat in this Hungarian league campaign and did so in style, enjoying a 20-point rout of KTE-Duna Aszfalt at home.
The EuroChallenge semi-finalists suffocated their guests with an excellent defensive display throughout the encounter, gave playing time to all 12 players on their squad and won 67-47.
"It was very important for us to make a stand after the midweek loss to Kaposvar," Szolnok head coach Dragan Aleksic said afterwards.
"We did it based on our defence, which makes me even more happy."
No less than 10 Szolnok players wrote their name on the scoreboard, led by Peter Lorant, who finshed with a game-high 13 points and seven rebounds and Tamas Ivosev, who picked up 10 points.
Strahinja Milosevic returned from his suspension and finished with four points, while Justin Holiday and David Vojvoda, who had carried an increased load in recent games, stayed on the floor for only 15 and 13 minutes, respectively.
"I tried to rest Justin and David, because there are a lot of games coming up and it is important to maintain the players' energy," Aleksic said.
Szolnok have now improved to 5-1 and are tied with Atomeromu in first place in the Hungarian 1st Division's second stage standings.
The Hungarian team will take on Triumph Lyubertsy in the first EuroChallenge semi-final on 25 April.
In the second semi-final clash, Royal Hali Gaziantep are facing Final Four hosts Grissin Bon Reggio Emilia, who were not in action this weekend, due to the Italian All-Star Game.
On the other hand, Gaziantep travelled to Istanbul for a difficult away fixture with Besiktas in the Turkish BEKO TBL and succumbed to a third consecutive domestic loss.
Gaziantep's trademark solid defence failed in the weekend game and the guests trailed Besiktas 47-39 at half-time.
The Istanbul side increased the gap to double-digit levels early in the third and dominated the boards with characteristic ease, out-rebounding Gaziantep 37-19.
The rugged guest side attempted a comeback late in the final frame but it fell short, as Besiktas clinched a 94-91 victory.
Dejan Borovnjak came up with a game-high 26 points for Gaziantep while Baris Ermis also put in an outstanding effort in defeat and finished with 21 points and eight assists.
Gaziantep have now dropped to 11-15 and are tied with TED Ankara in ninth place in the standings, while Tofas Bursa are occupying eighth place and the last play-off berth, with a 13-11 record.