19 September, 2017
02 May, 2018
6 DeVaughn Washington | Photo: Costantinos Kyprianou
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Pride remains on the line for eliminated teams

MUNICH (FIBA Europe Cup) - There are still two weeks of action remaining in the Regular Season of the FIBA Europe Cup, but six of the teams are no longer in contention for the Second Round.

After getting off to slow starts, Bosna, Basic-Fit Brussels, Balkan Botevrad, Dinamo Tbilisi, Khimik and Karposh Sokoli have all spun out of the race early and will have to find secondary motivations for the remaining games.

The exit was particularly painful for the Botevgrad club, who suffered yet another heart-breaking defeat in Group D and could have well been championing a 3-1 record in the standings instead of 0-4 with a little bit more luck.

"I will repeat what I said in the locker room: we can be proud of ourselves."Balkan Botevgrad head coach Nebojsa VidicBalkan Botevgrad head coach Nebojsa Vidic

Having let double-digit leads slip away against Egis Kormend and Basic-Fit Brussels, Balkan could not hold on to a fourth-quarter lead, once again against Kormend in Hungary and fell short 90-86 in overtime.

"In my country, we used to say you have to go through this kind of illness to get stronger. We lost three tough games exactly like this, so we have to work on execution in the end," voiced Nebojsa Vidic, the club's 44-year-old head coach from Serbia.

"We played without our best player and had two starting five players missing. We were handicapped because of this, but we played with heart. My team showed character. I will repeat what I said in the locker room: we can be proud of ourselves."

The result in Hungary also eliminated the other bottom-half Group D side Basic-Fit Brussels, who had lost to Keravnos 90-77 on Tuesday.

"We are now out of the FIBA Europe Cup, which maybe is for the best since we need to focus on the domestic championship and integrate our new players," the Belgian side's chief strategist, Laurent Monier, said.

Having been forced out of contention in Group G already last week, Khimik showed they are no walk-overs by putting forward their best game yet in the Regular Season, as they pushed Demir Insaat on the brink of upset in an 80-76 thriller in Istanbul.

"Obviously, we have lost our chances to go to the next round, but we will continue fighting. We are a young team and we will try the best we can," head coach Vitaly Stepanovski promised, while taking in the positives. "Tonight was a good game, a close one. It was a one-mistake game."

"Our goal now is to gain experience for the future and this will be a good lesson for us."Dinamo Tbilisi head coach Irakli Khoshtaria Dinamo Tbilisi head coach Irakli Khoshtaria

Fighting to stay alive in Group H, Karposh Sokoli had good moments against group leaders Szolnoki Olaj, but could not keep up when their opponents picked up the pace in the second half.

"We fought as hard as we could in this moment. We really gave our best shot," shared the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia international Stojan Gjuroski after collecting 8 points and 4 rebounds in a 91-73 defeat.

After being on the receiving end of a couple of blowouts in earlier games in Group A, Bosna stayed relatively competitive against Telenet Giants Antwerp and lost just 84-77 away from home at the Lotto Arena in Belgium.

Dinamo Tbilisi were close to keeping theoretical chances of advancing in Group E when they took the lead against Lukoil Academic in the fourth quarter, but the Bulgarian champions closed out the contest with a 12-2 run to win 72-63.

"I want to thank our fans for coming and supporting us in such difficult games," Dinamo Tbilisi head coach Irakli Khoshtaria said after their fourth loss in a row. "This game was like the previous one in Bulgaria – we had the lead, but we made some mistakes."

"Our goal now is to gain experience for the future and this will be a good lesson for us, but unfortunately we could not win this time. We will try to improve in the remaining games."