17 September, 2019
01 January, 2020
12 Xavier Pollard (FRIB), 18 Brandon Garrett (FRIB)
Game Report
to read

Qualification Round 1: Gameday 2 Round Up

MIES (Switzerland) - Eight teams punched their ticket to the second and last stage of the 2019-20 qualifiers following the completion of Qualification Round 1 action on Friday night, which featured one single overtime and one double overtime game.

One of the few times that a loss can feel good - Benfica are through to Qualification Round 2

BC Kyiv Basket, Keravnos, Södertälje Kings, Karhu Basket, Falco Szombathely, SL Benfica, Fribourg Olympic, and Legia Warszawa emerged triumphant from their two-leg ties, albeit advancing to the next qualification round involved considerable more drama for some than for others.

Kapfenberg Bulls, Bakken Bears, Tsmoki Minsk, Balkan Botevgrad, CSM CSU Oradea, Inter Bratislava, Donar Groningen and Sigal Prishtina will continue their campaign in the FIBA Europe Cup.

Let’s have a closer look at what happened in the second leg of Qualification Round 1.

BC Kyiv Basket 73-63 Kapfenberg Bulls (Kyiv win 139-129 on aggregate)

The Ukrainian side earned some breathing space late in the third quarter to clinch a 73-63 win over Kapfenberg and advance from what had been the most balanced Qualification Round 1 tie during its first 60 minutes.

A Maksym Pustozvonov triple with 4:52 left in the third period sparked a 10-0 run for Kyiv, who pushed ahead 50-38, and the Bulls never managed to reduce the deficit below 5 points again.

Bakken Bears 69-94 Keravnos (Keravnos win 180-164 on aggregate)

Keravnos pulled of the most astonishing comeback of Qualification Round 1 as they overturned a 9-point deficit from Game 1 at home with an amazing 94-69 win over Bakken on the road. The Cypriot side trailed by as many as 15 points (or a combined 24 points) during the second quarter, but held their hosts to just 24 points after the break, while scoring 55 of their own.

The Cypriot side turned the tables after winning the battle on the glass, 45 to 33, but mostly by inflicting a poor shooting night on Bakken, who went only 8 of 32 from behind the arc. Keravnos meanwhile drilled 10 of their 22 three-point attempts led by Jake O’Brien, who finished with 22 points and 8 rebounds, and by Josh Hagins who collected a double-double of 17 points and 10 boards. For Bakken, Michel Diouf had 13 points and Darko Jukic added 12 points and 7 assists.

"We had a really bad first half in the first game in Cyprus as well as tonight," said Keravnos head coach Christophoros Livadiotis. "But in the second half we showed that we can compete at the highest level against Bakken Bears. We have to build on our performance in the second half and then I think we can compete in the next round as well."

Tsmoki Minsk 68-67 Karhu Basket (Karhu win 160-154 on aggregate)

The Belarus champions claimed a 68-67 win over Karhu in a tight contest which saw the lead change hands 15 times, but ultimately the Finnish side were the ones celebrating as they safeguarded their 7-point cushion from the first leg.

Minsk scored 19 points in transition while Karhu only scored 3 points on the fast break. The hosts also got a great deal of help from their bench, who contributed 40 points, compared to Karhu’s 20 points. Alex Gavrilovic had 15 points and 5 boards for Minsk, with Jamar Abrams and Dominez Burnett contributing 13 points each. Karhu’s Okko Järvi led all scorers with 19 points and Alex Thompson started off the bench to finish with a near double-double of 12 points and 9 rebounds

Balkan Botevgrad 82-74 Södertälje Kings (Kings win 153-146 on aggregate)

The Botevgrad team poured in 53 points in a fantastic second-half effort that lifted them to an 82-74 win over Södertälje on the night, but was too little too late in the grand scheme of things.

The Bulgarian side endured a poor shooting night from behind the three-point arc, hitting just 25 percent of their three-point attempts, and they might be left wondering what could have happened if they were a bit more accurate from deep. Jordan Callahan had 16 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists for Balkan while Dino Pita and Charles Callison scored 19 points apiece for the Kings.

"I think we controlled the tempo for most of the [first] game at home and also the rebounds were very important for us to win," said Kings head coach Ludwig Degernas. "In Botevgrad ,we knew they were going to be be ready, they had good matchups at the beginning, but we found a good rhythm and I was happy with our first half. They started the third quarter even more aggressive and we lost a little bit our focus, but in the end we managed to keep our heads and I am very happy about my players’ character and everything we did today."

”I am not satisfied with our play in either game," said Balkan head coach Jovica Arsic. We showed more desire here in Botevgrad and our fans helped us to overcome some difficult periods and to show et least part of what we can. We won the rebounds, but our three-point shooting wasn’t good. There are still many things to fix to reach the level we want. We weren’t as focused as we had to.They were shocked when we got an 11-point lead but we didn’t play well on two possessions and made some bad fouls, which helped them come back to the game. This is the beginning of the season. We want to overcome the group phase of the FIBA Europe Cup now. It won’t be easy, but for sure if we improve our play it is not impossible."

CSM CSU Oradea 96-90 Falco Szombathely (Falco win 161-158 on aggregate)

The Romanian hosts claimed a thrilling 96-90 win over Falco after overtime, in what was the second-most dramatic game on Friday night, but Oradea’s victory fell short as the Hungarian side advance to the next round courtesy of their 9-point win in the first game. The hosts were leading by 10 points with 16 seconds left in regulation but Marko Filipovity earned a foul and split his free-throws to send the game in overtime.

Oradea claimed a 10-point lead again late in the extra period but Zoltan Perl came up with a crucial offensive rebound 51 seconds from the final buzzer and assisted Benedek Varadi who reduced the gap to 96-88. Perl himself drew a foul on the ensuing possession and hit both his free throws to write the final score. Kristopher Richard led Oradea with 24 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists while Dragan Zekovic had 19 points and 6 boards. For Falco, Juvonte Reddic had 21 points and 7 rebounds while Perl finished with 17 points and 8 assists.

Fribourg Olympic 89-50 Inter Bratislava (Fribourg win 156-132 on aggregate)

The Swiss champions stepped on the floor needing to overturn a 15-point deficit from the Tuesday game, which increased to 20 by the end of the first quarter, but what happened next is something only their most dedicated fans could dream of. Fribourg finished the second quarter on a 20-4 run and kept their foot on the gas after the break, to roll over Inter 89-50.

Fribourg out-rebounded their Slovak guests 49 to 23 and Inter also endured a terrible shooting night, hitting only 12.5 percent of their three-point shots. Murphy Burnatowski paced the winners with 20 points and 5 rebounds, Brandon Garrett had 17 points and 9 boards while Natan Jurkovitz collected a double-double of 11 points and 11 rebounds. Lee Edward Skinner scored 14 points for Inter in a losing effort.

Donar Groningen 76-66 SL Benfica (Benfica win 161-141 on aggregate)

Donar put on a very convincing display at home, led from halfway through the opening quarter until the end and clinched a 76-66 win over the Portuguese champions, but ultimately Benfica’s 30-point advantage from the first leg proved unassailable and was never in danger.

The Dutch side’s bench contributed 32 points while Benfica’s second unit only came up with 9 points. Carrington Love paced the hosts with 16 points while Matt McCarthy added 13 points and 6 rebounds. For Benfica, Toure' Murry finished on a game-high 17 points on 8 of 13 shooting from the floor.

Legia Warszawa 85-83 Sigal Prishtina (Legia win 166-162 on aggregate)

Legia out-lasted Prishtina in the longest game of Qualification Round 1

The Polish hosts prevailed 85-83 over the Kosovo champions after a nail-biting battle that went to double overtime and in which the pendulum could have swung in the other direction. Fisnik Rugova drew a foul with 13 seconds left in second overtime and sunk both his free-throws, to reduce Legia’s lead to just one point. Prishtina immediately sent Drew Brandon to the foul line and he split his free-throws, but the visitors failed to score in the remaining 10 seconds.

Legia took a little better advantage of small details in such a tight contest and scored 18 points from Prishtina’s 21 turnovers. The Polish team’s bench contributed 36 points, while the guests only got 14 points from their second-unit players. Brandon led the way for the winners with a double-double of 21 points and 12 rebounds while Filip Matczak added 17 points, 6 boards and 4 assists. Divine Myles finished with a game-high 26 points for Prishtina in a losing effort.