Eight left in the race: Cabezas-led Alba eliminate Bonn; Karsiyaka survive Ventspils scare
MUNICH (Germany) - There are only eight names in the FIBA Europe Cup title race after the Round of 16 trimmed the field of contenders in half, with seven countries represented.
Alba Fehervar, Bakken Bears, Dinamo Sassari, Filou Oostende, Pallacanestro Varese, Pinar Karsiyaka and s.Oliver Wurzburg all confirmed their berths in the next round of the Play-Offs on Wednesday.
The second-leg action did not go without upsets, with Alba Fehervar knocking out Telekom Baskets Bonn in Hungary with a dominant 81-69 display as they overturned a one-point deficit from the first leg behind an electrifying display from Carlos Cabezas to win by 11 points on aggregate.
The 38-year-old point guard from Spain turned back time, knocking down 5-of-7 from three-point range for a game-high 19 points and 5 assists, while Marko Filipovity chipped in with an 18-point and 7-rebound effort of his own.
"I think a lot of people underestimated us, but we were able to show we are a great team. We wanted to win by minimum two, but we were able to make it 12 in the end," Filipovity said after the game.
The Hungarian club will take on UNET Holon in the Quarter-Finals, who beat Balkan Botevgrad on Tuesday to become the first team to advance to the next round of the Play-Offs.
AUF NACH DÄNEMARK | Unsere Besten heute beim 94:90-Comeback-Sieg gegen @AvtodorSaratov:— #PureEmotion (@soliver_wue) March 13, 2019
Joe Richter 16 Punkte@The_Underdog5 14/2 Dreier@xaviercooks9 13/1 (8ass)@skylerbowlin12 12/3@GivMeSome_Mo 11 (10reb)
Spielbericht 📄 https://t.co/Rp4Q5QFyTb
Foto 📷 Viktor Meshko#SOWSAR pic.twitter.com/1GjKdNgF3s
Even with Bonn going out, Germany will have a team advancing in the competition, as s.Oliver Wurzburg withstood a fierce challenge by Avtodor Saratov to inscribe an 94-90 win over the Russian club they defeated by three points on the road.
Fighting for a chance to win their second FIBA Europe Cup title, Johannes Richter and Mike Morrison kept their campaign on track with double-digit outputs, Richter collecting a team-high 16 points and Morrison adding a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds.
"It was a tough game for us. Saratov is a very good opponent with a very talented team. So it was a tough fight, especially because we struggled in the first quarter but we were able to get back in the game and win it in the end," Richter offered after a stand-out performance.
A 24-point performance by Trae Golden and a 20-point contribution from David Kravish were not enough for Avtodor to come away with a win in Wurzburg, though they did have the upper hand for an extended period of time at the start of the game.
Meanwhile, Bakken Bears wrapped up their tie against Ironi Ness Ziona by registering an 81-76 road victory in Israel to add on top of their 17-point lead from the first-leg win in Denmark.
Ryan Evans had 13 points, 7 rebounds and 3 blocks for the winners, while Michel Diouf posted 10 points and 11 boards. Daequan Cook finished with a game-high of 19 points for the home side.
Elsewhere, Pinar Karsiyaka had their fantastic home crowd to thank after squeaking out a 70-65 victory over Ventspils in Izmir, with Assem Marei doing his part as well with 23 points and 17 rebounds next to his name on the boxscore.
🤳 Çeyrek final selfiesi! 😍 pic.twitter.com/WJPkMYihpC— Pınar Karşıyaka (@KSKBasket) March 13, 2019
Sek Henry and Erving Walker were the two other players in double figures for the home side with 16 and 10 points, respectively, while Aaron Johnson finished with a team-high of 16 points for the visitors from Latvia but came up empty in two big trips to the stripe down the stretch.
It was all about Rashawn Thomas and his record-breaking night in Sardinia, as Dinamo Sassari handled their business against ZZ Leiden with a 94-68 success to book a date with Karsiyaka in the next round. In a performance that put him in multiple record books, the 24-year-old big man set new competition all-time highs in scoring and efficiency with a 40-point and 16-rebound double-double that added up to an efficiency of 54.
The other Italian side, Pallacanestro Varese also sailed to the Quarter-Finals with a double-digit win, beating Z Mobile Prishtina 100-84 at home after a disappointing display on the road in Kosovo in the first leg.
An efficient 7-of-14 line from the field saw Aleksa Avramovic top the scorers' list for the home side with 18 points and 7 assists, while Dardan Berisha did his best to keep the visitors alive with 24 points in a losing effort.
Having drawn the first leg against Donar Groningen on the road in the Netherlands, Filou Oostende earned the right to face Varese in the next round after defeating the Dutch title-holders 88-80 in Belgium with the trio of T.J. Williams, Elias Lasisi and Vincent Kesteloot sharing a team-high 15-point mark.