VEF Riga, Igokea book maiden trips to Play-Offs - Week 12 Tuesday roundup
MIES (Switzerland) - VEF Riga and BCL debutants Igokea secured on Tuesday their first-ever participation in the Play-Offs, as they clinched the last tickets that were up for grabs in Group E and Group G, respectively.
By contrast, Peristeri, who lost to VEF in a low-scoring thriller and Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem, who failed to beat Limoges in France, have missed out on the Play-Offs.
For the Israeli team, this will be the first time they fail to progress to the Quarter-Finals in the three seasons they have been competing in the BCL.
VEF Riga 60-57 Peristeri -- Group E
VEF Riga abolished an 18-point lead but Kristers Zoriks drilled a triple 1.1 second from time to lift the Latvian team to a 60-57 win over Peristeri that earns them a first-ever trip to the BCL Play-Offs.
The hosts jumped in the driver's seat immediately after the starting tip-off and, fueled by Kyle Allman who poured in 13 points in the opening quarter, they raced to a 31-13 lead midway through the second frame.
Peristeri however came back from the interval with renewed focus and veteran Yiannis Bourousis scored 7 points in quick succession to instigate a 10-0 run by the visitors.
With VEF struggling offensively, Peristeri continued their ascend and Jaye Crockett tied the scores at 52-52 with a layup right before the four-minute mark in the fourth stanza to set up a dramatic final stretch.
Bourousis tied the scores at 57-57 with five seconds left to the final buzzer but Zoriks caught in the corner an Alexander Madsen cross-court inbound pass and sunk the three-pointer over the extended arms of Terran Petteway to win it for the hosts.
Allman finished with 17 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists, Artis Ate chipped in with 11 points while game hero Zoriks had 10 points. For Peristeri, Bourousis finished with 19 points in a losing effort.
Turk Telekom 94-86 Igokea -- Group G
Igokea fell 94-86 at Turk Telekom but had cause for celebration after the final buzzer as they clinched a spot in the Play-Offs in their maiden BCL campaign, following Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem's defeat at Limoges in the other game in Group G.
The two teams traded blows for most of the opening quarter but Turk Telekom appeared to be finding their rhythm led by Micheal Eric's 15 first-half points on 7 of 8 shooting from the field, and went into halftime holding a 9-point cushion, 55-46.
Turk Telekom stretched the lead to as many as 14 points after the interval but Igokea tightened the screws on defense and started chipping away at the gap.
Darko Talic knocked down a three-pointer with 2:19 left on the clock to give Igokea their first lead since the opening quarter, 83-82.
Nick Johnson though replied with a triple of his own on the other end and Kyle Wiltjer followed up with a layup to bring Turk Telekom back in front, 87-83 with just over a minute remaining.
Eric finished with a double-double of 21 points and 12 rebounds to lead five Turk Telekom players in double digits and Johnson had a near double-double of 18 points and 9 assists.
Jackie Carmichael finished with a team-high 18 points for Igokea and Edin Atic finished with 16 points and 8 assists.
Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem needed to beat Limoges CSP on the road but the French team prevailed 88-83 to conclude their maiden BCL campaign on a high note, preventing the Israeli side from reaching the Play-Offs in the process.
Limoges made clear right from the start that they were seeking to wave goodbye to the competition with a victory and had the final word in a nail-biting affair that featured 17 lead changes.
The hosts were the only side to grab a double-digit lead, 60-50 halfway through the third frame, but it proved shortlived as Hapoel reacted immediately and J’Covan Brown drilled a triple right as the third buzzer was sounding off to bring the Jerusalem team back in front, 64-63.
The two teams traded blows throughout the final stanza but, with the scores tied at 81-81 and just 55 seconds left on the clock, Marcus Ginyard sunk a daring three-pointer in transition for Limoges to grab an 84-81 lead.
Hapoel turned the ball over and Speedy Smith scored with a layup 27 seconds from the final buzzer, to stretch the gap to 86-91 and effectively seal the Limoges victory.
Jerry Boutsiele and Nicolas Lang paced Limoges with 19 points apiece, the former also grabbing 7 rebounds. For Hapoel, Brown finished with a game-high 21 points and Suleiman Braimoh had a double-double of 16 points and 11 boards in defeat.
Rytas Vilnius 81-77 SIG Strasbourg -- Group E
Rytas Vilnius bowed out of their maiden BCL campaign with an 81-77 victory over Group E winners SIG Strasbourg, in what was the Lithuanian club's second success in the competition and their first under new head coach Giedrius Žibėnas.
Strasbourg got off to a much better star and led by nine points in the opening frame but the hosts balanced proceedings in the second quarter and used an 11-3 burst after the interval to claim a 51-39 lead on Keith Benson's dunk 5:38 from the third buzzer.
Strasbourg stopped the rot and reduced the gap down to 78-77 in final seconds, but Dovis Bickauskis kept his composure at the stripe and sunk 3 of 4 free-throws to seal the deal for Rytas.
Benson paced Rytas with a near double-double of 17 points and 9 rebounds and Ryan Boatright added 16 points, while Bonzie Colson had a game-high 23 points for Strasburg in a losing effort.
Strasbourg finish tied with VEF Riga at 4-2 but take top spot in the group, courtesy of their head-to-head advantage, while Rytas finish tied with Peristeri at 2-4.