Galatasaray Nef win Group E, punch ticket to Round of 16
ISTANBUL (Turkey) - Galatasaray Nef have joined BAXI Manresa as the second team to punch their ticket to the Round of 16 after they defeated PAOK mateco 87-75 in front of a raucous home crowd at Sinan Erdem Arena.
Galatasaray are the Group E winners with a record of 4-1.
The three other teams in the group are all 2-3 and therefore can't catch Galatasaray with only one game to go.
Turning point: Galatasaray pretty much dominated the game, as they led for 35:33 while PAOK only led for 1:19.
They never relinquished the lead after the first quarter and led by as many as 21 points.
A three-pointer at the buzzer by Sadik Kabaca to end the third quarter lit up the arena, as they started to sense it at that moment.
Game hero: DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell was the game's top scorer with 20 points along with 6 rebounds and 2 assists.
This is the fourth time that he has recorded 20+ points and 5+ rebounds this season, as no other player has done it more than two times this season.
Akoon-Purcell scored 16 points in the first half and shot 7-of-14 from the field and 4-of-8 from three-point for the game.
20-year-old (soon-to-be 21) Kabaca, who is a candidate for Best Young Player, deserves an honorable mention for his performance tonight, finishing with 16 points, 6 rebounds and 2 blocks.
He shot 7-of-9 from the field, a perfect 5-of-5 from two-point and 2-of-4 from three-point, and also finished with a game-high efficiency rating of 24.
Stats don't lie: Galatasaray knocked down 14 three-pointers, which was four more than PAOK.
Galatasaray only had one more offensive rebound than PAOK (10-9), but outscored them by quite a bit more in second chance points with 19 compared to only five for PAOK.
Galatasaray also took advantage of PAOK's 14 turnovers, scoring 24 points from those turnovers.
Bottom line: Galatasaray are now 4-1 and have clinched the top spot in Group E.
The Turkish club will travel to face ERA Nymburk in their last group play game on December 22.
PAOK are now 2-3 and sit in fourth place in the group, in a three-way tie with Igokea m:tel and Nymburk.
The Greek club will host Igokea in an important last group play game on December 22.
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