Gaziantep, Karhu secure dramatic First Leg triumphs on the road
MUNICH (Germany) - Gaziantep and Karhu Basket joined BC Budivelnyk Kyiv and BC Kalev/Cramo in taking narrow First Leg victories in the FIBA Europe Cup Quarter-Finals with road triumphs on Wednesday.
All four games were decided by 3 points or less to set up exciting reverse fixtures with the group winners from the Second Round earning home advantage for those encounters.
Cameron Jones dished an assist for a Jaye Crockett layup with 13 seconds remaining to give Karhu Basket an eventual 81-80 road win over FC Porto. Teyvon Myers' three-point attempt at the buzzer caught only glass, as his club fell by the narrowest of margins in the First Leg matchup.
Besides the clutch late layup, Crockett put together a strong effort as usual for Karhu, finishing with a 15-point, 10-rebound double-double, while Daniel Dolenc was the winning side's leading scorer with 16 points.
Porto's Max Landis led all scorers with 18 points, with big man Miguel Queiroz key inside; posting10 points and 6 rebounds in just under 16 minutes of play.
Gaziantep came through a thrilling First Leg by beating Anwil Wloclawek 85-84 on the road, on Wednesday.
Damyean Dotson's 27 points - including 7 three-pointers - was the standout performance on the night for Gaziantep in their one-point victory. However, it took a major team effort to down a tough Polish side that refused to fade in the second half.
Michal Nowakowski kept Anwil in the game with 19 points as the hosts also just missed getting a double-double from Malik Williams, who put up 19 points and 9 rebounds.
Anwil had erased a 13-point deficit to set up a tense finale before Gaziantep held it together down the stretch to keep their opponents at bay with a big and-1 dunk from John Egbunu. Meanwhile, Victor Sanders responded with an and-1 of his own to cut the gap before having a chance to snatch the win at the buzzer.
Budivelnyk Kyiv came from behind to produce a strong finish as they defeated Cholet Basket 73-72 in the opening game in Italy, on Tuesday.
Jerai Grant posted 15 points and 17 rebounds in the win with Bogan Bliznyuk adding 12 points, 11 rebounds and 5 assists to fill the statsheet, while Johnny Berhanemeskel top scored with 20 points.
Cholet made their move late in the second to build a double-digit cushion at half-time at 50-40. However, the hosts recovered with a 14-9 third before taking the lead inside the final four minutes. Justin Patton had the chance to salvage a draw, but could only split a pair of free throws late on.
The French club's top scorer was Dominic Artis with 15 points as Cholet return home for next week to overturn the small deficit.
Estonian side BC Kalev/Cramo escaped with a narrow 80-77 home win over Brose Bamberg in Monday's First Leg as they battled back from 12 points down.
Artur Konontsuk played a starring role in the win with a 22-point, 10-rebound double-double, with 10 of those points coming in the final quarter. He finished with 5-of-7 shooting from 3-point range.
The visitors scored the first 10 points of the game and led by as many as 12 shortly after, but Kalev/Cramo battled back in the second before a 20-10 third period gave them control. They established a double-digit cushion of their own at 72-61, but had to settle for a three-point victory in repelling a late fightback.
Alterique Gilbert was also fantastic for the hosts; scoring 18 points in 21 minutes of action off the bench. The guard closed the game out with a late layup, adding to the all important points differential for Kalev/Cramo to take to Germany for next week's Second Leg.
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Meanwhile, Christian Sengfelder was reliable as always for Bamberg with the German international coming up just short of a double-double with 13 points and 9 rebounds. Patrick Miller scored 6 of his 15 points in the fourth, while his side were +23 with him on the court.
The Quarter-Finals action continues next week, with a Tuesday matchup between Cholet Basket and BC Budivelnyk Kyiv before the Semi-Finals lineup is completed with the other three ties on Wednesday.