FIBA Europe Cup: Numbers of Week 5
MUNICH (FIBA Europe Cup) – It was another truly eventful week in the FIBA Europe Cup, with six of the previously unbeaten teams finally getting their first taste of defeat.
Stellar individual and team performances fuelled unbelievable comebacks and impressive records, including Chase Fieler setting a new FIBA Europe Cup record in probably the most prized category.
Like every week, we bring you a round-up of the week's action through the lens of numbers and statistics.
Coming into the penultimate week of action in the Regular Season, there were still eight undefeated teams in the FIBA Europe Cup, but their perfect records dropped like flies this round.
There certainly is no lack of drama when Sigal Prishtina take the floor, with the defending Kosovar champions being involved in already three overtimes this season.
All three, however, did not end well for the Prishtina side, who suffered one more overtime defeat on Wednesday, falling short 100-98 to Rilski Sportist in Bulgaria. Interestingly enough, the first meeting between the teams also involved overtime drama.
Still winless in the competition, bottom of Group J and no longer in the race for the Second Round, Sigal could easily have had a 3-2 mark with some better fortunes.
No one in the FIBA Europe Cup has recorded more than four blocks this season, but the number of players sharing the season-best four swats has increased weekly. The logjam only grew this week with the trio of Chase Fieler, Djordje Gagic and Allen West joining the list.
Mathias Lessort of Nanterre stands out as the only player to accomplish this feat twice and has to be considered the prime candidate to set a new mark as the season continues.
There are still seven winless teams in the competition. The Second Round ship has already sailed away for Brussels Basketball, Limburg United, FC Porto, Tartu, Sigal Prishtina and BC Siauliai, but TLU/Kalev maintain small chances of qualifying as one of the best third-placed teams purely on the merits of playing in a three-team Group I.
Meanwhile, the 1-4 Sopron are the only team with at least one win that no longer has any mathematical chances of progressing.
After shooting only 33.8% from the field and making just 5-of-25 three-point attempts in Prienai just a couple of weeks ago, Mures showed what a difference friendly rims at home can make. The Romanian side went a blistering 17-of-28 from downtown in Targu Mures to set a new FIBA Europe Cup season high in three-pointers made.
Andrew Barham contributed the most to the new benchmark, punishing Vytautas for leaving him too open by going 8-of-9 from three-point range for a total of 31 points. With eight triples, Barham is now the co-author of the individual record for three-pointers made this season, matching Toni Bizaca's 8-of-10 shooting for Sodertalje Kings against Telekom Baskets set only a day earlier.
Sodertalje Kings demonstrated the highest level of resilience and determination in the most important game of the season, as Vedran Bosnic's side erased a 25-point deficit against Telekom Baskets to register a nail-biting 90-89 victory which in all likelihood should see them through to the next phase.
The visitors from Germany enjoyed a fantastic first half of the game and were up 54-29 at one point in the game, but a Toni Bizaca-led fightback effort quickly shifted the scales in the other direction.
The competition's leading scorer Bizaca recorded his second consecutive 32-point game. The 33-year-old Croatian big man went 11-of-16 from the field, including 8 triples, adding 3 rebounds and 2 steals.
By far the most impressive number of the week belongs to Donar Groningen big man Chase Fieler who set a new FIBA Europe Cup all-time high in efficiency with a rating of 46 in an excellent display of his versatility against Limburg United.
The 24-year-old American power forward scored 24 rebounds, grabbed 12 rebounds, dished out 8 assists and registered 4 steals and blocks apiece on the way to a new competition benchmark, as the Dutch side celebrated a 98-70 win at the Martini Plaza.