Dinamo Sassari, Pallacanestro Varese and s.Oliver Wurzburg clinch Play-Off berths
MUNICH (FIBA Europe Cup) - The trio of Dinamo Sassari, Pallacanestro Varese and s.Oliver Wurzburg became the first teams to secure spots in the Round of 16, delivering qualification-clinching wins in style on Wednesday.
The Italian sides divvied up the Play-Off tickets in Group K, with Varese overcoming a tough Petrolina AEK challenge and their countrymen from Sassari blowing out the visiting Donar Groningen in Sardinia.
Having battled back and forth for 30 minutes, the Dominique Archie-led Varese finished the job with a 20-8 run in the fourth quarter to claim a 74-59 victory and move to a 4-0 record, as the forward posted 17 points and 8 rebounds.
Jean Salumu chipped in with 14 points and Tyler Cain filled the boxscore with 9 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks in a winning effort, while Barry Stewart top-scored for Petrolina AEK with 13 points.
Meanwhile, Dinamo cruised to a 97-74 triumph over Donar to improve to 3-1, as Jack Cooley, Rashawn Thomas, Stefano Gentile, Tyrus McGee and Marco Spissu all shared a team-high mark of 13 points.
For the visitors from Groningen, Drago Pasalic and Lance Jeter collected 18 and 17 points, respectively.
There was no stopping @soliver_wue, as they soared right out of the gates and straight into the #FIBAEuropeCup Play-offs. 💸— FIBA Europe Cup (@FIBAEuropeCup) January 23, 2019
📝 https://t.co/9egBUCHRJv pic.twitter.com/0iYUn25ON6
s.Oliver Wurzburg were the only other team to clinch Play-Off berth with a couple of weeks to spare, beating Group I rivals Z Mobile Prishtina 91-78 on the road in Kosovo to stay undefeated in the Second Round despite significant absences in the squad.
The Denis Wucherer-coached German side had six players in double figures with Skyler Bowlin leading the way with 14 points and 9 assists, while Gabe Olaseni also had 14 points and 5 rebounds.
The other Group I game saw Pinar Karsiyaka get into a fine position to follow Wurzburg's footsteps next week, outdueling Szolnoki Olaj in an offensive-minded 102-95 contest in Izmir, as Erving Walker went off for 21 points on 5-of-11 shooting from three-point range.
There were two more tickets that could have gone off the table, but Group L leaders Avtodor Saratov picked up an 80-88 upset against Kataja Basket in Joensuu, while second-placed Bakken Bears were dealt an unexpected 85-89 defeat by ZZ Leiden in the Netherlands.
In the only other Wednesday fixture, Ironi Ness Ziona rode the hot hand of Daequan Cook, who finished with a game-high 28 points, to beat the winless Lukoil Levski in Group J. The 109-96 win put the Israeli side on even ground with the group leaders Alba Fehervar, who also have just a lone loss to their name.