05 October, 2021
15 May, 2022
1 Tyson Carter (LAVR)
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Lavrio take down Unicaja, advance to Play-In, send Nizhny Novgorod out

MIES (Switzerland) - The math was clear when it came to first two places in the group, with Unicaja certain to finish first and JDA Dijon booking second spot. Lavrio Megabolt and Nizhny Novgorod were fighting for the last ticket to the Play-In series, with the Greek squad having a one game advantage.

In the end, both teams did their jobs, defeating the first two seeds. Once Lavrio Megabolt defeated Unicaja 70-58, the Play-In picture was painted no matter what the score was in Russia.

Lavrio came into the game against Unicaja extremely motivated in the Peace and Friendship Stadium, putting up 25 points in the first quarter alone. The Spaniards were relaxed, knowing they would finish in the first place, and had the luxury of resting players - Norris Cole did not play at all.

This doesn't mean coach Fotios Katsikaris was out to lose the game. Jaime Fernandez logged in 28 minutes with 12 points, Dario Brizuela got to 15 points and 6 assists in 29 minutes, but the hosts were a step faster all game long, building a massive 21-point lead at one point.

Tyson Carter was on top of his game again, 19 points, including a monster dunk, Dimitrios Kaklamanakis dominated inside with 18 points on 9-of-12 shooting, Vasilis Mouratos had 15 points to lead the way for coach Christos Serelis.

Lavrio will now face either Falco Szombathely or Nutribullet Treviso in the Play-In series, without home court advantage. First to two wins will advance to Round of 16.

Lavrio and Unicaja combined for 11 three-pointers on the night. It was a parallel universe compared to the other group game, where Nizhny Novgorod knocked down 17 triples to defeat JDA Dijon 93-85 and sign out with a win.

Coach Zoran Lukic led the team to the Final 8 last season, but a new roster could not repeat the achievement this time around. Nizhny finished with a couple of wins, but their defense was questionable all season long - they allowed 79 or more in five of their six games in 2021-22.

"We have to analyze what happened in this stage. All I can say is that I would like to congratulate Dijon, and wish them best of luck in the rest of the competition," Nizhny Novgorod coach Lukic said after the game.

Ivan Strebkov had another big game with 23 points on 9-of-9 shooting from the field, including 4-of-4 from beyond the arc. Mikhail Kulagin knocked down six shots from deep for 22 points, Rolands Freimanis was also in double digits with 15 off the bench.

Dijon got 20 points from Gavin Ware, David Holston scored 18 as coach Nenad Markovic spread out the minutes for all ten players. Nobody played less than 16 minutes, nobody played more than 23.

The French squad will play against VEF Riga in the Play-In series, with home court advantage. Winner of that one moves into Group I, where Galatasaray Nef and MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg await.