BAXI Manresa not impressed by loud crowd in Poland, remain unbeaten
MIES (Switzerland) - BAXI Manresa remained unbeaten after a tough test in Poland, Kalev/Cramo dropped out of the competition after losing to SIG Strasbourg, and Igokea m:tel complicated things in Group E. Darussafaka defeated Hapoel U-NET Holon to avoid an Israeli double in Turkey this week, after Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem defeated Pinar Karsiyaka on Monday.
Manresa's perfect record tested in Poland
BAXI Manresa remain the only unbeaten team in the BCL, even though Arged BM Stal Ostrow Wielkopolski put up a fight in front of a packed house in Poland. But Manresa escaped with an 88-75 win, climbing to 5-0, while the Polish champions fell to 1-4.
Pedro Martinez's men came out on a mission to prove they won't be taking the foot off the gas pedal in the last two games, despite being the only team to advance to Round of 16 so far.They weren't impressed by the loud fans, either.
Manresa built a 12-2 lead to start the game, and even though Ostrow responded to get to 31-31 midway through the second quarter, there was another 10-2 run in Manresa's hands to close out the first half.
Pair that up with a strong start to the third, and the Spaniards never looked back again. Chima Moneke had 16 points in less than 15 minutes of action, Rafa Martinez scored 11 points going 3-of-3 from deep, Ismael Bako put together a 10-point, 12-rebound double-double to lead Manresa.
Michael Young scored 17 with 9 boards for Igor Milicic. Arged BM Stal Ostrow Wielkopolski will face Pinar Karsiyaka in Poland on the last Gameday, a win could send them through to the Play-In series.
Manresa meanwhile have a duel with Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem at home. With the way the Israeli squad bounced back over their last two games, it promises to be one of the most fun games of the season. Luckily for BAXI, they are safe and sound in first place, no matter what happens.
Pineiro comes up big for Dacka
In Group G, there was a reunion between former teammates that made the BCL so much more enjoyable just a season ago. Michale Kyser had 13 points and 5 rebounds for Hapoel U-NET Holon, but his ex-VEF Riga teammate stole all of the attention on Tuesday.
Isaiah Pineiro had 18 of his team-high 25 points for Darussafaka in the second half, going 9-of-10 from the field with 8 rebounds to his name, leading the hosts to an 86-79 win. Of course, when Pineiro gets 20+ points, it means there were highlight dunks all over the place.
With Pineiro having a big game off the bench, it was easy for coach Selcuk Ernak to create a massive 40-12 edge in bench points. Darussafaka opened up a 19-point lead at one point in the second half, Holon were on their way back thanks to Chris Johnson's 25 points and 8 rebounds, but Steven Gray's three-pointer that could've cut the gap to just 81-77 bounced out with a minute to play.
U-BT Cluj Napoca will be the happiest with this outcome, they remain alone at the top of the group with a 3-1 record. Darussafaka and Holon will meet again in Israel next week, tied at 2-2, while Happy Casa Brindisi remain bottom of the group with a 1-3 record.
Estonian champs out
Kalev/Cramo were beaten on a last second dunk in Strasbourg, they stole a game from group leaders Tofas Bursa on the road, but after losing consecutive games to Filou Oostende, and then dropping another close one to SIG Strasbourg 93-86, they are out of the fight for the next round.
"Kalev/Cramo are at the moment the unlucky ones, since they lost to us by a last second dunk, and they lost to Oostende at home a very crucial game. So it could've been either way, coin flips. This tell us that BCL is rising, you can't go out, especially on the road, and not respect the basketball game and your opponents. And that's great for all of us," SIG Strasbourg head coach Lassi Tuovi said.
With a 1-4 record, they cannot catch 3-1 Tofas, nor 3-2 SIG Strasbourg. They could finish in a tie with Filou Oostende at 2-4, but the Belgian champs own the tiebreaker, meaning the road ends here for the Estonian newcomers in the BCL.
"We couldn't stop Roberson, and for Mitchell, it was a good day today. For our club (playing in BCL) is a good thing, but we wanted to succeed more," coach Roberts Stelmahers offered.
John Roberson had 17 of his 28 points in the first half for Strasbourg, Matt Mitchell needed 18 minutes for 19 points. Strasbourg shot 14-of-25 from deep, forced 13 turnovers and opened up a 19-5 gap in points from turnovers.
Kalev/Cramo had five men in double digits, Kristjan Kitsing leading the way with 17 points and 8 rebounds.
New name, same old Igokea
ERA Nymburk seemed to be having fun in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the first half, led by Jerrick Harding who scored 21 before the break. But Igokea m:tel switched through gears after the break, winning 76-69, erasing the four-point defeat from their first matchup, which could be all important in the battle for the next round.
It was the same old physical basketball that Igokea enjoy, with Dalibor Ilic and De'Shawn Stephens rising high for numerous dunks in the game.
James Robinson was in his usual mood, hitting midrange jumpers for 11 points, Marko Josilo knocked down three three-pointers for 14 points, Markel Starks had 12 points, 9 assists and 6 steals, but it was Aleksa Radanov who had big plays during the run that gave Igokea the lead for good.
The 23-year-old finished with 12 points, 6 rebounds, and we'll forgive him the BCL season-high 9 turnovers.
"We were thinking too much, trying some passes that were impossible, because Nymburk were playing zone. In the end we had a bit of luck with that three-pointer that took us to a bigger advantage than five points. We'll go and try to win the last game, no matter what happens with Galatasaray and PAOK," Radanov said.
"After the game against Galatasaray, I told my players that nothing is over. I still feel so. We're going to Thessaloniki to win and advance," Igokea m:tel coach Dragan Bajic felt even more confident.
Harding was held to just one field goal after the break, finishing the game with 25 points, but Nymburk are now tied with Igokea at 2-3.
"After the break, we weren't as sharp as we wanted. On offense, we were not making shots, we turned the ball over a lot, it hurt us a lot. There is nothing to calculate, we have to (defeat Galatasaray) if we want to advance. It's gonna be tough, we're playing against maybe the best team in our group," coach Aleksander Sekulic explained the ramifications of this defeat.
Galatasaray Nef will be the happiest with this result - a win over PAOK mateco would send the Turkish giants to the Round of 16 already on Wednesday.