20 September, 2018
01 May, 2019
55 Allerik Freeman (ALBA), 17 Joao Soares (PORT), Photo: Erika Simon
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Alba Fehervar clinch early bird ticket to Second Round; Belfius Mons-Hainaut ward off elimination

MUNICH (FIBA Europe Cup) – Alba Fehervar became the first team to secure a Second Round berth in the FIBA Europe Cup after claiming another dramatic victory over FC Porto in Group F action on Tuesday.

Having turned around a 16-point deficit, the Branislav Dzunic-coached side inscribed a 72-70 triumph to climb to a 4-0 record in the standings with a last-second game-winning attempt by William Sheehey clanging off the rim.

A 19-4 stretch by Porto in the second stanza had opened up a 40-24 gap, but Alba managed to turn the tide around after intermission. The hosts mounted a 16-2 run in the opposite direction to jump ahead 59-58 on a ferocious put-back dunk by Ivan Keller.

Allerik Freeman paced the winners with 16 points, while Jordan Heath delivered 15 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 blocks in an impressive all-around game. Peter Lorant and Marko Filipovity added 12 points apiece.

"We played soft defense to begin the game. We weren't aggressive enough. But we were able to get better [in those aspects of the game] in the second half," said the team's head coach Branislav Dzunic. "I would like to say a special thank you to our fans, they cheered the players up and helped us get the win."

The battle between Jordan Heath and Sasa Borovnjak was relentless

On the opposite end of the floor, William Sheehey headlined the top scorers for Porto with 16 points, while Pedro Pinto and Joao Soares collected 13 and 11 points, respectively.

There was more FIBA Europe Cup basketball in Hungary on Tuesday, with Szolnoki Olaj easing to an 83-66 win over Falco Vulcano in Group H to inch closer to the next phase of the competition at 3-1.

Led by the one-two punch of Strahinja Milosevic and David Vojvoda, the Hungarian title-holders pulled away early and never allowed their domestic rivals back into the contest.

Szolnoki Olaj beat Falco Vulcano for the second time in the FIBA Europe Cup this season

Milosevic finished the game with a game-high 18 points, as Vojvoda connected on 7-of-8 attempts from the field for 15 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists. Before fouling out in 28 minutes of action, Juvonte Reddic scored a team-high 16 points for Falco Vulcano, while Stefan Balmazovic added 15 points.

Dropping them to 1-3, the result complicated the Szombathely club's chances of advancing to the Second Round. In fact, they could be eliminated as soon as Wednesday if Dinamo Sassari defeat Leicester Riders in the week's other Group H fixture.

In the last game of the day, Belfius Mons-Hainaut warded off early elimination in Group B by taking a 86-79 victory against the visiting Tsmoki-Minsk in Belgium.

Idris Lasisi, Uros Nikolic and Andrew Chrabascz put the team on their back with 18 points each to get the Belgian side on the board in the Regular Season, with Chris Jones adding 12 points and 6 assists.

Having scored 21 points, Devon Saddler was the leading scorer for Tsmoki-Minsk. Stefan Moody collected 20 points and 3 steals, as the Belarusian side dropped to a 2-2 mark in the standings.