20 September, 2018
01 May, 2019
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Nine more teams from Qualification Round 2 complete Regular Season field

MUNICH (FIBA Europe Cup) – The last missing pieces in the FIBA Europe Cup Regular Season puzzle were filled with the arrival of nine more teams from Qualification Round 2 on Wednesday night.

Cherkaski Mavpy, Dinamo Sassari, Ironi Ness Ziona, Istanbul BBSK, Kataja Basket and ZZ Leiden all defended their first-leg leads and joined fellow winners Alba Fehervar and Balkan Botevgrad through to the Group Phase.

At the same time, three more teams – Rilski Sportist, Dnipro and New Heroes Den Bosch — also progressed to the Regular Season as the three best-ranked losing teams in the Qualifiers.

Ranking of all losing Qualification Round 2 teams:







Rilski Sportist (Q)





Dnipro (Q)





New Heroes Den Bosch (Q)



-8 (144-152)





-8 (128-136)


U-BT Cluj-Napoca





ece Kapfenberg Bulls










SL Benfica




Ranked third among the 'lucky losers', Den Bosch clipped the fourth-ranked Keravnos due to a higher number of points scored, with the teams tied in point differential.

A draw to determine the groups for the clubs qualified as the best-ranked losing sides will be held in the FIBA European office in Munich on Thursday morning.

Keravnos v Cherkaski Mavpy, 64-61 (128-136)

The double-digit deficit from the first leg in Ukraine proved too big for Keravnos to overturn on their home floor. Despite registering a 64-61 victory against Cherkaski Mavpy at the Costas Papaellinas Arena, the Cypriot side lost the tie by eight points on aggregate.

Darrlyn Willis paced the hosts with an 18-point and 11-rebound double-double, while LaMarcus Reed chipped in with 13 points and Josh Hagins added 8 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists.

Cherkaski Mavpy also had just two players in double figures, with Brandon Young and Igor Chumakov collecting 13 and 10 points, respectively. Dmytro Lypovtsev finished the game scoreless but notched down a game-high 13 rebounds.

The Ukrainian club joined Bakken Bears, Z Mobile Prishtina and Steaua Bucuresti in Group E of the Regular Season.

They said: "I would like to congratulate the opponent on advancing. Both teams were tough. They defended their home win. We did a great job today, we showed toughness and we kept an 85-point team to just 61." – Keravnos guard Simon Michael 

"The opponent came strong in the match. We knew we had a tough game ahead of us and a battle. We played the right way to come away with the qualification. It was a tough game. They battled overall and it was a good game." – Cherkaski Mavpy guard Brandon Young

U-BT Cluj Napoca v Ironi Ness Ziona, 89-88 (167-179)

A last-second three-pointer by Aleksandar Rasic gave U-BT Cluj-Napoca an 89-88 victory in the return leg, but it couldn't keep the Romanian club in the FIBA Europe Cup, with Ironi Ness Ziona advancing to the Group Phase after winning the tie by 12 points on aggregate.

Kyndall Dykes had 20 points and 7 assists in the home win for U-BT Cluj-Napoca, while Jason Washburn and Vlad Moldoveanu collected 18 and 15 points, respectively.

Ironi Ness Ziona sharpshooter Daequan Cook connected on 5-of-7 attempts from downtown for a team-high 19 points, Golan Gutt had 18 points, while Tal Dunne registered 12 points and 6 boards.

Having gone through both rounds of the Qualifiers, the Israeli side will merge into Group D, also featuring Avtodor Saratov and Pardubice. The fourth team in the group will be one of the best-ranked losing teams.

They said: "I am really proud of the way we fought, and the focus we had in this game. We corrected a lot of situations we played bad in Israel. Unfortunately for us, we played with a really good team. Of course [...] we could have played better, especially in the first game, but I am proud of the way we fought. It's hard to beat a team that scores 53% from the three-point line, making 14 shots. Unfortunately for us, we didn't qualify further... We have to focus on the Romanian Championship and Cup." – U-BT Cluj-Napoca head coach Mihai Silvasan

"Cluj is a very good team and we came prepared, we did everything we could today and we knew when to run and when to stop. I think that everybody saw that we are ready for the European Cup; we wanted this really much and we want to be prepared for the group stage." – Ironi Ness Ziona guard Golan Gutt

Rilski Sportist v Kataja Basket, 79-61 (163-167)

After cruising to a 22-point victory in Finland, Kataja Basket nearly squandered their first-leg advantage in Bulgaria. Paced by Jelen Jenkins and Arthur Edwards, Rilski Sportist came up with a 79-61 victory in Samokov that considerably boosted them in the 'lucky loser' rankings.

Jenkins posted a 15-point and 14-rebound double-double for the hosts, while Edwards chipped in with 16 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the field. Yordan Bozov added 10 points for Rilski Sportist.

Having trailed by as many as 24 points in the contest, Kataja Basket managed to save themselves from the painful blow by winning the fourth quarter 14-8.

Team-high 14-point efforts from Rahlir Jefferson and Vincent Simpson and an 11-point contribution from Daniel Mullings got the job done for the Finnish side, who ended up in Group G alongside with Levski Lukoil, Aris and one of the best-ranked losing teams.

They said: "We are happy to make it to the group stage. Rilski were really good today and really deserved their win. We were trying to win, not as a team, but as individuals." – Kataja Basket head coach Juha Sten

Lulea v Istanbul BBSK, 78-73 (128-160)

Lulea bowed out from the FIBA Europe Cup with grace, beating Istanbul BBSK 78-73 at home in Sweden after picking up a 37-point defeat in the first game on the road in Turkey.

Having gone 8-of-13 from the field and 5-of-9 from beyond the arc, Corban Collins finished the night with a game-high 26-point mark, while Denzel Andersson turned in a 19-point, 7-rebound and 3-block effort for the Peter Oqvist-coached side.

Istanbul BBSK progressed to the Group Phase despite losing the second leg with a dominant 32-point aggregate margin of victory. Damian Kulig and Shevon Thompson collected 18 points apiece for the visitors and Luka Babic added 10 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists.

They will join fellow Turkish side Pinar Karsiyaka, as well as Spirou Basket and Donar Groningen in an extremely tough Group C.

They said:  "It felt really good to bounce back and prove to ourselves and our home crowd that we're better than what we showed in Istanbul. Of course, we played a lot better both offensively and defensively today. We're really happy for this win, even though we understand that Istanbul had the result from the last game to rely on. Nevertheless, we're very proud that we were able to defend our home court." – Lulea head coach Peter Oqvist

"We came to Lulea with a 37-point advantage. That's why we played soft and comfortable. I want to congratulate Lulea, it was a good atmosphere. I wish them good luck for the rest of the season." – Istanbul BBSK head coach Hakan Yavuz

ZZ Leiden v ece Kapfenberg Bulls, 68-57 (147-119)

Darius Thompson had another big game for ZZ Leiden to lead the Dutch team to another double-digit win over ece Kapfenberg Bulls, stretching the aggregate margin of victory to 28 points with a 68-57 triumph in the Netherlands.

After collecting 30 points in Austria, the 23-year-old guard filled the boxscore with 18 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals in the home leg as well. Worthy De Jong and Maurice Watson Jr. chipped in with 13 and 12 points, respectively.

The visitors from Kapfenberg were led by point guard Bogic Vujosevic, who had a team-high 16 points. Darien Nelson-Henry added a double-double of 13 points and 11 rebounds.

Joining Group A of the Regular Season, ZZ Leiden will take on the likes of CSM Oradea, Sakarya BSB and s.Oliver Wurzburg in the next phase of the competition.

They said: "We were prepared for what was coming to us. The road game was more important. We were good defensively. It's defense first. On every aspect, we did what we wanted to do." – ZZ Leiden power forward Mohamed Kherrazi

"We wanted to give Leiden a good fight and tried to win the game. Our intensity last week was sub-par. We played better, but still not to our expectations. On the little things we didn't give 110%." – ece Kapfenberg Bulls guard Marck Coffin

SL Benfica v Dinamo Sassari 92-111 (158-211)

Dinamo Sassari were the only road team to inscribe a victory on Wednesday, cruising to a 111-92 win over SL Benfica in Portugal behind another well-rounded team performance.

Having won the first leg in Italy by 34 points, the Vincenzo Esposito-coached Sardinians increased the aggregate margin of victory to 53, the largest among all Qualification Round 2 ties.

Rashawn Thomas was the leading scorer for the visitors with 18 points and 10 rebounds, as Scott Bamforth also double-doubled with 16 points and 10 assists. Terran Petteway also added 16 points.

For SL Benfica, Micah Downs finished with 26 points and 12 assists, while Jose Silva had 21 points on efficient 7-of-11 shooting from the field.

Sassari will be placed in Group H, which also includes Szolnoki Olaj and Falco Szombathely from Hungary and Leicester Riders from Great Britain.

They said: "I think we made a step of an improvement from the first time that we played them, we played stronger tonight. That was our focus, come out and get better. They are a tough team, a bigger club than us, obviously. So, we just wanted to improve and play together as a team and try to work on things that we were not doing better the last game. I think we made a step tonight." – SL Benfica forward Micah Downs