The week's big numbers: Stipanovic nearing triple-double zone; Pardubice's record-breaking exit
MUNICH (FIBA Europe Cup) - There were a number of unexpected twists and turns in the final gameday of the Second Round, with the second cut-off point in the FIBA Europe Cup providing us not only with late drama, but also a new batch of big numbers.
For the most part, the joy and heartbreak was associated with teams either progressing to the Round of 16 or not, but some already-eliminated teams found solace in finishing their campaigns on a positive note.
Like at the end of every week, we take a closer look at what happened across FIBA Europe Cup arenas through the lens of numbers.
After beginning the Second Round with five consecutive losses, Mures escaped finishing Group K play with a naught in the win column by taking care of Sodertalje Kings 84-77 in Targu Mures on Wednesday.
The Romanian club's victory left SL Benfica as the only winless team in the Second Round, as the Portuguese team suffered another heavy blow at the hands of Enisey Krasnoyarsk, who had a cakewalk of a game in Lisbon, picking up an 89-58 win.
19-year-old French rising star Elie-Franck Okobo might have hit the biggest shot of his young professional career, making the game-winning basket against Alba Fehervar in Hungary to send Pau-Lacq-Orthez through to the next round.
Eric Barthecky will be proud of his youngster, who stepped up in a big way after the team's starting point guard D.J. Cooper got ejected for two technical fouls in the fourth quarter. Okobo, who finished the game with 10 points, scored 8 of them in the final minutes of the game.
There wasn't much help around for APOEL starters in the side's last FIBA Europe Cup game, with five starting unit players accounting for all 75 of the team's points.
Robert Brown, Brandon Mobley, Theron Bussey, Akeem Wright and Murphy Burnatowski got the majority of coach Dimitris Koustenis' trust, as Grigoris Pantouris and Michalis Mythillou were the only two players to come off the bench.
The team's lack of depth resulted in yet another defeat for the Cypriot side, who were outplayed 79-75 by Redwell-Gunners Oberwart, their second victory against APOEL this season.
Donar Groningen knew full well that a number of things had to fall into place for the Dutch side to advance to the Round of 16, but that did not knock off their concentration levels.
Although they did not end up qualifying for the Play-Offs, Donar did what was in their control and took care of business against Lukoil Academic 95-89, turning the ball a FIBA Europe Cup season-low 5 times.
Although we didn't advance, I can't thank our crowd enough! What an experience, what an environment! Glad we won and so grateful for you all— Chase Fieler (@fieler20) January 25, 2017
We have got used to seeing the same clubs week in and week out in the FIBA Europe Cup this season, but that is the case no more, as eight Basketball Champions League clubs joined the competition for the Round of 16: CSM CSU Oradea, Cibona, Ironi Nahariya, Kataja Basket, Muratbey Usak Sportif, Spirou Charleroi, Stelmet Zielona Gora and Telenet Oostende.
There still hasn't been a triple-double in the FIBA Europe Cup this season, but Demir Insaat center Andrija Stipanovic has been flirting with the thought of reaching the landmark statistical achievement for the second week in a row.
The 30-year-old veteran from Bosnia and Herzegovina posted a monster double-double of 16 points and 14 rebounds against Elan Chalon, but ultimately couldn't reach double digits in assists with 7 dimes to his name.
A week ago, Stipanovic had registered a 21-point, 9-rebound and 7-assist performance against Prievidza.
Cameron Clark of Elan Chalon enjoyed a dominant Second Round and was the competition's top scorer over the last six games, averaging 20.0 points and 6.3 assists per game in Group K.
In spite of his 25-point performance against Gaziantep in the final game of the stage, the French side were handed a 92-80 defeat by Gaziantep. However, Chalon advanced to the Play-Offs as group winners nevertheless, holding on to their head-to-head advantage.
There was no panic in the Nanterre 92 camp when the side slumped to an unexpected loss in Minsk. Despite being overtaken by Kormend in the Group N table, the French side progressed to the Round of 16 as one of the best-ranked second-placed teams.
After an 88-82 defeat by Tsmoki, Nanterre dropped to a 4-2 record, but had a sterling point differential of +52, which was enough to easily see them through to the next stage.
Turkish side Gaziantep qualified as the best-ranked second-placed team due to their superior 5-1 mark, while the Antwerp Giants (4-2;+32) were the first team after the cut-off point.
Although Pardubice couldn't climb out of the bottom of Group O, the Czech side had a number of things to smile about in the last week of Second Round action.
The team from Pardubice got the better of U-BT Cluj-Napoca 74-65 in front of their own fans and broke two old-standing FIBA Europe Cup rebounding records.
Having gathered up a total of 57 rebounds, the Czech club broke the 54-board mark set by Tajfun last season. Along the way, Pardubice also set a new all-time competition-best in offensive rebounds with 26 boards. The previous high of 23 belonged to the Antwerp Giants.
Not a sad exit whatsoever!