Zaragoza survive tough opening test, Landis on fire for Porto
MUNICH (Germany) - Casademont Zaragoza survived a tough first test in the FIBA Europe Cup Qualifying Tournaments, while Max Landis was in top form to lead FC Porto to an important win on Tuesday.
The star-studded Zaragoza team needed to come back from 11 points down in the third quarter to defeat BK KVIS Pardubice 94-88 in Group G in Ostersund, Sweden.
Zaragoza saw the Czechia side Pardubice use a 16-2 run to go ahead 63-52, but the Spanish club roared back with an 18-3 answer to take the lead and never surrendered it; pushing the advantage to as many as eight points in the closing quarter.
Mark Smith scored 22 points to lead Zaragoza with Tomasz Gielo hitting for 17 points and Jahlil Okafor contributing 9 points. Bryce Alford had a game-high 25 points - including seven triples - and Joseph Brunk collected 20 points and 10 rebounds in a losing effort.
Group B had the biggest scoring output of the night with Landis draining 6 three-pointers as he scored 31 points in Porto's 100-84 win over Nevezis-Optibet in Manisa, Turkiye. Cleveland Melvin chipped in 21 points in the win.
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Egis Kormend survived a back-and-forth battle with a 91-87 win over Anorthosis Famagusta on home soil in Group D. Anton Cook finished with 30 points in the win, Malik Morgan scored 21 points to go with 7 rebounds and 6 assists and Anderson Tolbert pitched in 12 points and 11 rebounds for the winners.
Meanwhile, Icelandic side Tindastoll used an 11-3 surge over the final 105 seconds in grabbing a 69-62 victory over Estonian host team Parnu Sadam in Group C.
Adomas Drungilas and Sigtryggur Bjornsson both hit three-pointers down the stretch and led Tindastoll with 18 and 14 points, respectively. Isaiah Hart flirted with a triple-double in the loss with 15 points, 8 rebounds and 9 assists.
Group D hosts Kataja also were knocked off as Boras Basket closed the game with the final seven points in a 78-71 victory. Jarred Godfrey led the way with 29 points, including five in the deciding run, while Kataja wasted Nike Sibande's 24-point showing.
CS Rapid Bucuresti collected their second win after fending off Donar Groningen 69-65, while Sabah BC also moved to 2-0, but had to overturn a double-digit half-time deficit to see off hosts Rabotnicki Skopje 83-81 in a thriller. Kyvon Davenport had 25 points including the game-winner along with 12 rebounds to help his side set up a Group A decider with Rapid on Thursday.
Shavar Reynolds collected 17 points and 10 assists to pace seven players in double figures in Keravnos BC's 107-60 win over Feniks 2010 to signal their intentions in Group E.
The first tickets from the Qualifiers to the Regular Season could be claimed tomorrow with six more games taking place.