Tsmoki-Minsk, Bakken Bears set Quarter-Final showdown; Cluj also advance
MUNICH (Germany) - U-BT Cluj Napoca, Tsmoki-Minsk and Bakken Bears took the final three spots for the Play-Offs as the Second Round came to a close on Wednesday.
Cluj secured their place with an 82-71 home win against Ironi Ness Ziona to avoid any possibility of a four-way tie with Donatas Tarolis and Darko Planinic scoring 15 points apiece.
Tsmoki-Minsk soon followed suit with a dramatic 68-62 triumph over CSM CSU Oradea sealing top spot. The visiting Romanians took the lead late in regulation as Nikola Markovic drained a three, only for Maksim Salash to respond in kind at the buzzer before his side went on to take the victory in overtime.
Salash put up 16 points and 13 rebounds in his 40-minute effort with Rob Lowery top scoring with 21 points along with 8 assists.
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Bakken Bears also took care of business on their home floor as they defeated SL Benfica 88-75 in a deciding matchup in Group I. The Danish side stormed clear in the second period to establish a commanding 20-point advantage and never looked back, to advance.
Ventspils claimed top spot in Group K as they overcame BC Kyiv Basket to win 88-80 on the road, inflicting a second successive defeat on the Ukrainian side. TJ Shorts starred with 22 points, 6 assists and 5 steals for his side’s fifth victory as they continue their strong record in the competition this season.
Pinar Karsiyaka completed a perfect Second Round in brushing aside Bahcesehir College 96-65. Jordan Morgan came up with another double-double of 23 points and 12 rebounds in helping his team to six wins from six.
Meanwhile, Enisey Krasnoyarsk saw their own campaign end on a high with a 96-84 success against ZZ Leiden, despite Nuni Omot and Reigvarius Williams combining for 59 points. Egis Kormend completed a turnaround to deny Landstede Hammers Zwolle a first win as they came through 87-80.
On Tuesday, Group I winners medi Bayreuth finished with a 5-1 record as they saw off Spirou Basket 100-89 to leave them winless, as Reid Travis posted 18 points and 10 rebounds.
The Quarter-Final matchups are scheduled to take place in the first week of March.