23/01/2019
Review
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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.

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.

FIBA