Bamberg first team to earn Play-Offs spot - Week 8 Wednesday roundup
MIES (Switzerland) - Brose Bamberg became on Wednesday the first team to book a ticket to the Play-Offs after defeating Pinar Karsiyaka in Turkey in Group F action.
Also victorious on the road were Turk Telekom, as they prevailed at Limoges in Group G and took a huge step towards the next stage, as did Nizhny, VEF Riga and RETAbet Bilbao, who won their respective games at home.
Pinar Karsiyaka 70-76 Brose Bamberg -- Group F
Brose Bamberg's defense stifled Pinar Karsiyaka down the stretch for the German side to ride out victorious 76-70 from Turkey and celebrate becoming the first team to secure a spot in the 2020-21 BCL Play-Offs.
The victors picked up their fourth win in as many games in Group F, while Karsiyaka, who have played three games so far, dropped to 1-2 in the standings.
Karsiyaka's offense looked spry early on and led by as many as 8 points, but Bamberg gradually tightened the screws on defense and started chipping away at the gap.
Chase Fieler scored with a layup right at the five-minute mark of the third frame and gave the visitors their first lead, 45-43.
Bamberg held the hosts scoreless through the first four minutes of the final stanza and 6:32 from the final buzzer Fieler knocked down a three-pointer at the end of the 24-second shot clock to stretch the gap to 63-55.
With both teams struggling to score, Karsiyaka managed to slowly inch closer to 65-63 but Bennet Hundt sunk a jumper and, after the Turkish side missed on the other end, Michele Vitali drilled a trey and got fouled on the attempt.
The Italian converted the four-point play to put Bamberg ahead 71-63 with just two minutes left on the clock and the visitors held their nerve in the dying seconds to secure the big win.
David Kravish led four Bamberg players in double digits with his 14 points and also collected 10 rebounds and 2 blocks, while Christian Sengfelder finished with 13 points, 6 boards and 2 steals.
Karsiyaka's Amath M'Baye finished with a game-high 19 points and added 3 rebounds and 3 steals in a losing effort.
Limoges CSP 70-75 Turk Telekom -- Group G
Turk Telekom had the final word in a cagey affair that never saw either team lead by more than eight points and prevailed 75-70 over Limoges on the road to strengthen their bid for a place in the Play-Offs.
The visitors scored 40 of their points in the paint and had a significant over the hosts, who scored only 22 points in the paint, in an encounter where both sides struggled from beyond the arc.
The lead changed hands 12 times in the first 23 minutes of the game but Micheal Eric scored with a layup 6:57 from the end of the third quarter to put Turk Telekom ahead 41-40 and the Turkish team never trailed again, albeit they had to fight tooth and nail for it.
Nick Johnson drove to the French basket and finished at the rim to make it 71-67 for the visitors and, after Limoges missed on the other end, Muhammed Baygül drew a foul and split his free-throws to extend the gap to five points with just 21 seconds left on the clock.
Phil Scrubb replied swiftly by knocking down a three-pointer 13 seconds from time to give Limoges a last hope, but Baygül drew another foul and this time made the most of his trip to the stipe, extending the gap to 74-70.
Johnson had his best game since returning to Turk Telekom earlier this season and finished with a double-double of 18 points and 13 assists, also adding 8 rebounds. Kyle Wiltjer chipped in with 16 points and 8 boards, while for Limoges Scrubb finished with 18 points and 6 boards.
The Turkish team have now improved to 3-1 in the Group G standings while BCL debutants Limoges dropped to 1-3 and need to win their next game, against Igokea, to maintain hopes of advancing to the next stage.
VEF Riga 84-60 Rytas Vilnius -- Group E
VEF Riga pulled away from Rytas Vilnius late in the second period and cruised to an 84-60 win that boosts their chances of booking a spot in the BCL Play-Offs and dampens the hopes of their Baltic neighbors.
The Latvian team, who have now swept Rytas in their Regular Season series, have improved to 3-1 on the Group E table while the Lithuanian club slide to 1-3 and need to win both their remaining games to have a shot at qualifying.
With VEF leading 22-20 and 7:12 remaining to the halftime buzzer, Kyle Allman drilled a triple to instigate a 15-4 burst by the hosts as Artis Ate knocked down a jumper shortly before the three-minute mark to extend the lead to 37-24.
The hosts kept their visitors at arm's length the rest of the way with relative ease, as Rytas shot a very poor 38 percent from the floor, including 5 of 21 from three-point range.
Allman paced VEF with a near double-double of 23 points and 9 assists and added 5 rebounds, 1 block and 1 steal. Kristers Zoriks chipped in with 20 points and Michale Kyser posted a double-double of 16 points and 11 boards, also dishing 6 assists.
For Rytas, Martynas Echodas finished with 17 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists and Andrew Goudelock had 13 points in losing efforts.
Nizhny Novgorod 78-65 Pszczólka Start Lublin -- Group D
Nizhny Novgorod went on an 11-0 run either side of the final two quarters to secure a 78-65 win over Pszczólka Start Lublin in their home debut this BCL season and eliminate in the process the Polish team's last hope of staying alive in the Play-Offs race.
The Russian team have now improved to 3-1 in the Group D standings and play the final two games of the Regular Season at home, while Lublin have dropped to 0-4 and can only to hope to at least taste victory before concluding their maiden BCL campaign.
Nizhny jumped in the driver's seat for good late in the opening quarter and led by double digits for big stretches of the second frame but Lublin, who were playing their last card, attempted to get back in contention after the break.
The Polish team reduced the gap to just one point in the third stanza but Luke Petrasek drilled a triple almost at the end of the period to spark the 11-0 run which Artem Komolov capped off with a layup 7:95 from the end of the fourth quarter, stretching Nizhny's lead to 66-52 .
Lublin, who required 16 minutes of play to hit their first three-pointer and shot only 18 percent from beyond the arc, were simply unable to cover that 14-point distance in the remaining time.
Kasey Shepherd led the way for Nizhny with 22 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists and Petrasek finished with 14 points while Martins Laksa was the only Lublin player to hit the target from three-point range and finished with 16 points in defeat.
RETAbet Bilbao 82-54 Fortitudo Bologna -- Group F
RETAbet Bilbao used a 20-2 burst in the second quarter to break away from Fortitudo Bologna and enjoyed a comfy 82-54 victory at home to improve to 2-2 in the Group F standings and sweep their Regular Season series with the Italian team.
The two opponents traded blows early on but with Bilbao leading 21-20 and 7:48 remaining to the halftime buzzer, Jaylon Brown sunk a pull-up jumper and suddenly the Spanish team shifted gears.
By the time Jonathan Rousselle drilled a triple to stretch the gap to 41-22, the visitors appeared too shell-shocked to mount a comeback attempt, even though there were still 3:04 left to the end of the first half.
Brown paced the winners with 17 points and 4 assists while Arnoldas Kulboka and Goran Huskic finished with 11 points apiece and combined for 13 rebounds. Bologna's Leonardo Tote had a double-double of 14 points and 11 rebounds in a losing effort.