Tenerife survive scare to stay perfect, five teams get statement wins - Gameday 5, Wednesday roundup
MIES (Switzerland) - Iberostar Tenerife came back from an 11-point deficit to deny Gaziantep in a thrilling finale and remain the only undefeated team after five weeks of action in the Regular Season.
Meanwhile ERA Nymburk, AEK, Turk Telekom, UNET Holon and Dinamo Sassari prevailed over theoretical direct competitors for a top-four finish in their respective groups.
Let’s have a closer look at all eight fascinating Wednesday night clashes:
Iberostar Tenerife 69-67 Gaziantep -- Group C
Tenerife trailed Gaziantep by as many as 11 points in the fourth quarter but outscored their visitors 9-0 in the final 70 seconds to deny the Turkish team a famous triumph on the Spanish island.
Gaziantep, led by Tenerife's former coach Nenad Markovic, put on a masterful defensive display to short-circuit the undefeated leaders of Group C and led during most of the encounter.
The visitors appeared to be tightening their grip on the game when they pushed ahead 58-47, their biggest lead of the night, early in the fourth frame.
With Gaziantep leading 67-60, Tenerife recovered possession after the visitors fluffed their lines and Sasu Salin drilled a triple to make it a four-point game 1:12 from the final buzzer.
Ivan Buva missed from close range for the Turkish team and, although three consecutive Tenerife players did likewise on the other end, the Spaniards somehow kept the ball alive after every miss, until Santi Yusta ended one of the most extraordinary sequences of the season by stepping into a three from the top of the key and reducing the deficit to 67-66 with 26 ticks on the clock.
Gaziantep called a time-out to draw their final play but failed to inbound the ball and committed a five-second violation. Before the visitors even had time to assess the situation, the masterful Marcelinho Huertas passed to Salin and the Finnish sharpshooter nailed the game-winning three from the corner.
Huertas paced the winners with a double-double of 20 points and 10 assists while Giorgi Shermadini had 13 points and 6 rebounds and Salin finished with 9 points. Buva had 16 points and 8 boards in a losing effort.
Nizhny Novgorod 73-82 ERA Nymburk -- Group C
Nymburk led Nizhny by as many as 20 points and held off a late charge by the hosts to secure an 82-73 win in Russia in a battle between two teams that had entered the contest tied at 3-1 in the standings.
The Czech champions performed like a well-oiled machine in the first half while Nizhny delivered their worst display so far this season, so Nymburk led 45-28 at the half-time break and the gap would have been wider were it not for 12 points by Chavaughn Lewis, who cut a lonely figure for the hosts.
The visitors went into the fourth stanza leading 68-48 but Nizhny's half-court press produced results and the hosts reduced the deficit to 76-69 going into the final two minutes. Numburk turned the ball over and the Russian side called a timeout 1:46 from the end.
When action resumed, Nizhny managed to get Ivan Strebkov a decent look from beyond the three-point arc but his shot rimmed out. The hosts promptly fouled Ivan Almeida but the Nymburk forward sunk both of his free-throws to restore a 9-point cushion for the visitors.
Almeida led the winners with 19 points and 5 rebounds, Zach Hankins had a near double-double of 12 points and 9 boards while Jaromir Bohacik chipped in with 16 points. Lewis finished with a game-high 20 points in a losing effort.
Turk Telekom 72-66 Filou Oostende -- Group A
Kyle Wiltjer posted a double-double of 33 points and 10 rebounds as Turk Telekom came back from a 10-point deficit to edge out a feisty Oostende 72-66.
The Belgian side were in complete control of proceedings during the first half, but the hosts clawed their way back after the interval and pushed ahead 52-49 on a Egemen Guven free-throw 22 seconds from the end of the third quarter.
Oostende stayed within striking distance but T.J. Campbell drilled a triple 2:14 from the final buzzer to give the hosts some breathing space, 65-59, and Turk Telekom fouled Shevon Thompson.
The visiting side's big man spit his free-throws and on the ensuing possession Nick Johnson drove to the Belgian basket and stretched the hosts' lead to 7 points, 67-60.
Turk Telekom won the battle on the glass 47 to 38 and this difference proved important on a night when both teams shot poorly both from inside and outside the arc.
In addition to Wiltjer's, Turk Telekom also got a big contribution from Johnson who finished with 21 points, 8 boards and 4 assists. Oostende's Loic Schwartz had 15 points and Braian Angola finished with 14 points, and they brought down 5 rebounds apiece.
AEK 74-66 San Pablo Burgos -- Group B
Keith Langford poured in 30 points and AEK survived a late scare to prevail 74-66 over Burgos and remain unbeaten at their homecourt.
AEK used a burst bridging the first two quarters to open up an 11-point gap and still led by double digits midway through the third frame, but the Spanish team tightened the screws on defense with the start of the final stanza.
Burgos held the hosts to just 4 points during the first 6 minutes of the period and a Jean-Pierre Tokoto lay-up 3:43 from the final buzzer put the visitors in the driver's seat, 64-62.
Nikos Gkikas however knocked down a corner triple with 2:20 on the clock and, after Burgos missed on the other end, Langford drilled another three, this time from 8 meters out, to lift AEK to a 70-66 lead with 1:21 remaining to play.
Langford collected his 30 points on 11 of 18 shooting from the field and added 4 rebounds and 4 assists, while Howard Sant-Roos chipped in with 12 points and 8 boards. Bruno Fitipaldo finished with 12 points to lead four Burgos players in double digits.
UNET Holon 90-88 BAXI Manresa -- Group A
Holon stormed back from a 16-point second-quarter deficit and edged out Manresa 88-86 in the thrilling finale of the most entertaining game of the night.
The Spanish team raced to a 40-24 lead midway through the second frame, but Holon run in the open floor, scored easy points in transition and went on a 26-9 run bridging the two middle quarters.
Holon claim their first lead, 50-49, with 7 minutes left to the third buzzer and stretched the gap to as many as 8 points early in the fourth stanza, but Manresa was never going to go away quietly.
Veteran sharp-shooter Ryan Toolson nailed a jumper 1:22 from the end to put Manresa ahead for the last time, 84-83 and Marcus Foster missed a lay-up on the other end, but Latavious Williams emerged with the offensive board, got the put-back basket and drew a foul.
The Holon big man converted the three-point play to put his team ahead 86-84 with 59 seconds on the clock and, after Manresa wasted a possession, Troy Caupain drove all the way to the Spanish basket and finished with a lay-up to make it 88-84.
The Israeli side missed 12 of their 26 free-throws but their lack of accuracy from the line didn't prove fatal because they poured in 20 points on the fast break and scored 20 easy points off Manresa turnovers. The visitors by comparison scored only 9 points in transition and 7 points off turnovers.
Foster finished with 23 points and 6 assists, while Williams collected a double-double of 16 points and 12 rebounds. For Manresa, Toolons finished with a game-high 26 points on 9 of 17 shooting from the field.
Dinamo Sassari 90-67 SIG Strasbourg -- Group A
Sassari jumped in the driver's seat shortly after tip-off, built a double-digit lead in the opening quarter and cruised to a 90-67 triumph over Strasbourg.
The Italian team, which led 25-10 already after the first ten minutes, stretched the lead to as many as 30 points in the third frame.
The hosts dished out a collective 21 assists scored 46 of their points in the paint, while their bench contributed 39 points. Strasbourg's second unit on the other hand had only 18 points.
Curtis Jerrells finished with 14 points while Dyshawn Pierre and Michele Vitali had 13 points each as five Sassari players scored in double digits. Strasbourg's Gabe York finished with a game-high 21 points in defeat.
Sassari have now improved to 4-1 in the standings and are tied with Turk Telekom at the top, while Strasbourg fell to 2-3.
VEF Riga 55-76 Brose Bamberg -- Group C
Bamberg delivered an excellent defensive display in the first half and then poured in 30 points in the final frame to pull away for an ultimately comfy 76-55 win over Riga on the road.
The visitors held their hosts to just 52 points during the first 36 minutes of play and decided to shift to top gear in the final stretch, as a Tre McLean triple triggered a 12-3 run to end the game.
Bamberg held their hosts to just 4 of 19 (21 percent) shooting from beyond the arc but perhaps the crucial difference was the German side's bench contribution.
The winners got a 41-point contribution from their second unit, while Riga's bench players scored only 9 points. Bamberg also punished severely the hosts' 15 turnovers, scoring 21 points off them, while Riga only had 8 points off Bamberg's turnovers.
McLean, who came off the bench, paced Bamberg with 23 points on 5 of 6 from downtown and added 5 rebounds, while Assem Marei had 12 points and 7 boards. Lester Medford was the only Riga player to score in double digits and he finished with 17 points and 6 assists.
Anwil Wloclawek 80-71 Telenet Giants Antwerp -- Group B
Anwil made up for their shortcomings on the glass by taking extremely good care of the ball to erase a monster double-double performance by Dave Dudzinski and reach an 80-71 victory over Antwerp, the Polish side's second success in as many home games.
The Giants out-rebounded their hosts 56 to 35 but Anwil committed an incredibly low 4 turnovers, while it came up with 7 steals and forced the Belgian side to turn the ball over on 15 occasions, scoring 19 points off those mistakes.
Antwerp reduced the gap to just 63-61 at the start of the final frame but Luka Rupnik missed a three-point attempt that would have put them ahead, and Tony Wroten sunk a triple of his own to stretch Anwil's lead to 66-61, 6:56 from the final buzzer.
The visitors stayed within striking distance but Szymon Szewczyk came up with a rare offensive rebound for Anwil off a Wroten miss 1:09 from the end, scored and drew the foul. The big man completed the three-point play by hitting his free-throw and lifted the Polish team to a 76-69 lead.
Wroten, Chase Simon and Ricky Ledo finished with 17 points apiece for Anwil, while Dudzinski had a game-high 21 points and 22 rebounds in defeat.