01 September, 2016
30 April, 2017
34 Tadija Dragicevic (GRE)
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Play-Off Qualifiers report: Aris survive scare to advance despite loss

STRASBOURG (Basketball Champions League) - Despite an 81-70 loss to SIG Strasbourg in the second leg, Aris managed to survive and advance with an 8 point win on aggregate to the Round of 16 on Wednesday evening.

A short-handed Strasbourg side knew they had a monumental task ahead of them coming into the game with a 19 point deficit, and with the aggregate score tied to open the final period, it looked as though they were well on their way to pulling off the upset.

However, Aris poured in 26 points in the last quarter behind Thodoris Zaras and Will Cummings, who combined for 21 in the period to snuff out any Strasbourg hopes of advancing.

Despite winning this individual contest, Strasbourg will be kicking themselves for poor free throw shooting as they saw their season come to an end. The French side went 9 of 19 at the line, compounded by Aris' accuracy of 22 from 25 at the stripe.

And the game was all Strasbourg. They led from start to finish, and if it wasn't for Aris turning on the heat in the fourth quarter, which was the only period they won, Strasbourg would have had their Round of 16 place booked.

Erving Walker led Strasbourg with 19 points, prospect Frank Ntilikina had 15 on 6 of 8 shooting and A.J. Slaughter joined them in double figures with 13.

For Aris, Zaras' 19 points led the scorers, whilst Cummings had 14 and Vlado Jankovic 11.

"We knew coming in it was going to be very difficult," Jankovic said.

"It's (Strasbourg) a very big organisation, very good team, very good home court. They had some players missing today but they played for them and they had a very good game.

"It was a very tough game for us, we're happy to be able to qualify for the next round of the Champions League, but I think if we want to continue and be better and even qualify for the next round we have to play smarter in the away games.

"Shooting 16% from the three point line is not very good; I think we are going to work on a lot of things, basketball is all about details and we have to do that better."

Aris Head Coach Dimitris Priftis added:

"We are very satisfied with the qualification to the next phase of the Champions League. Strasbourg is a very strong team, I have a big respect for their coach. The progress of the game was very difficult for us under this atmosphere, the tempo of the game that Strasbourg imposed offensively was very difficult for us to overcome.

"I think the missing players that they had today make them play a different type of game with a lot of outside shooting, more speed and more threat from the three point game and this caused us a lot of difficulties."