Valencia celebrate Quarter-Finals feeling for the first time, Praha also advance
MUNICH (Germany) - The fiesta is underway for Valencia Basket Club who wrote a new page of club history on Wednesday night by snapping up a maiden ticket to the Quarter-Finals.
While there were celebrations on the final buzzer, the Group A side were in trouble after a slow start against BC Polkowice. But even the absence of Alba Torrens couldn't stop them taking a 69-64 comeback and what has proven to be a landmark victory. They made it 5 wins in 6 games despite trailing by as many as 12 points.
A 27-12 third period flipped the game on its head and changed the momentum, with Queralt Casas largely unstoppable and finishing with 27 points, 7 rebounds and 3 steals. While Valencia celebrate being 8-4, Polkowice are sweating on their possible place in the post-season at 7-5, despite 23 points from Artemis Spanou.
The victory for Valencia was also met by celebrations in the Czech capital as it means that ZVVZ USK Praha who are also 8-4 are now in the Quarter-Finals.
In Group B, Perfumerias Avenida boosted their hopes hugely as they registered a fine 74-61 victory against the defending champions Sopron Basket to catapult themselves back into the top four with a 7-5 record.
Having won by a big margin in the first meeting, Avenida have got their rivals' number this season and benefitted from some spectacular three-point shooting. They went a jaw-dropping 14 of 23 from downtown and with Mariella Fasoula barely missing in the paint with 16 points, they were worthy winners.
There was a rare victory for Kangoeroes Mechelen and also a historic one as the Belgian side doubled their win tally for the season in Group B by beating Basket Landes 78-68 in their first ever road success in the competition.
Both teams are now 2-10 for the season, with the Kangoeroes holding their nerve and delivering when it mattered with an 11-2 run during crunch time. Lisa Berkani and Ziomara Morrison combined for 40 points with 19 and 21 points respectively, while Marine Fauthoux dropped a season-high 25 points for Landes.
Finally, Virtus Segafredo Bologna took a fourth win of the campaign by beating Olympiacos SFP 92-69, with Croatian ace Ivana Dojkic standing out with 19 points.