Unicaja, Murcia through to Quarter-Finals; Rytas and Manresa to fight for last ticket
MIES (Switzerland) - Seven of the eight teams that will be in the Quarter-Finals draw are known after the conclusion of Gameday 5 in the Round of 16. It remains to be seen whether BAXI Manresa or Rytas will secure the last ticket which is still up for grabs, as well as which team will take first place in Group I and Group K.
Telekom Baskets Bonn and Lenovo Tenerife are the only two teams that know they will finish first in their respective groups, no matter what happens on the final day of Round of 16 action.
Best Limoges game not enough to stun Unicaja
Limoges CSP were already out of the hunt before tip-off in Malaga, but still played their best basketball of the season to put up 30 points in the second quarter and 52 in the first half.
However, coach Ibon Navarro's team talk was strong enough to put together a 31-point outburst in the third quarter that lifted Unicaja to a 99-88 win, their fourth of the Round of 16.
Tyler Kalinoski had 18 points, Tyson Carter scored 15, Will Thomas 13, David Kravish 12, Kendrick Perry 11, and Yankuba Sima added 10 to mark Unicaja's six men in double digits. Desi Rodriguez's 25 points went to waste for Limoges.
With the Spanish Cup winners moving to 4-1, and Galatasaray Nef dropping to 2-3, the two spots in Group K have found their rightful owners and Unicaja are through to the Quarter-Finals however their matchup against AEK in Athens next week will determine the group winner.
Murcia and Tenerife both win
UCAM Murcia knew they had the doors to the elite eight wide open with Surne Bilbao's defeat to Darussafaka Lassa on Tuesday. They knew they could be through to the Quarter-Finals with a win over Lenovo Tenerife, and their strong start to the game also put the prospect of winning first spot in the group within their sights.
The defending champs had won the reverse fixture by 20 points, but found themselves trailing by 26 at one point in this one. That would've given UCAM Murcia the tiebreaker and put Tenerife's first place in jeopardy, but Txus Vidorreta's men found the way back to reduce the deficit to 15, and Murcia settled for a 82-67 win.
"During 30 minutes there was only one team on the court, UCAM Murcia. They qualified for the Quarter-Finals for the second time in their history and they deserve congratulations. We appeared a little bit in the fourth quarter, we scored two triples in a row which was like a miracle tonight. In the end we kept the goal average and will keep first place, so you can say it was a good day for both teams. Better for Murcia, that's for sure," coach Vidorreta explained.
Travis Trice had 17 points and 9 assists, both game-highs, with Nemanja Radovic scoring 16 on the night to lead Murcia. Jaime Fernandez was the only man in double digits for Tenerife with 10.
|1||Lenovo Tenerife *||5||4||1||80.0||384||344||40||76.8||68.8||9|
|2||UCAM Murcia *||5||3||2||60.0||437||416||21||87.4||83.2||8|
Since they protected the tiebreaker, Tenerife know they will finish first, while UCAM Murcia will be in the unseeded part of the Quarter-Finals draw.
Strasbourg and Jerusalem will battle it out for #1
In Group I, SIG Strasbourg took the lead with five minutes to play in the first quarter and never looked back the rest of the way, claiming an 80-65 win over Hapoel Atsmon Holon in Israel.
Coach Luca Banchi will be happy with his second unit, as Strasbourg won the bench points 20-3, more than enough to keep Holon at bay. The hosts did attempt a comeback and reduced the gap to 66-60 with five minutes left, but Rodions Kurucs' five straight points put the game out of Holon's reach.
Leo Cavaliere had 17 points, Kurucs finished with 16 and 8 rebounds, Marcus Keene scored 14. The 2017-18 season MVP Manny Harris made his return to the BCL with 21 points, but Holon dropped to 0-5.
|1||Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem *||5||4||1||80.0||373||356||17||74.6||71.2||9|
|2||SIG Strasbourg *||5||4||1||80.0||443||395||48||88.6||79||9|
|3||JDA Bourgogne Dijon||5||2||3||40.0||376||402||-26||75.2||80.4||7|
|4||Hapoel Atsmon Holon||5||0||5||0||384||423||-39||76.8||84.6||
Strasbourg are at 4-1, and they host Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem next week in a direct battle for the top spot and home court advantage in the Quarter-Finals. Jerusalem won the first matchup by 1.
Rytas chasing Manresa after winning in Istanbul
We will have another direct battle in Group J, where Rytas Vilnius will chase a 13-point gap against BAXI Manresa in the battle for second spot.
Rytas got to 2-3 with a 92-69 win over Bahcesehir College on Wednesday, as Gytis Masiulis had 14 points to lead six Rytas players in double digits. Bahcesehir dropped to 0-5, Muhammed Baygul had a team-high 15 points.
Manresa won the first matchup with Rytas by 13 points in Spain. No doubt a packed house in Vilnius awaits, as the Lithuanian champions could reach the Quarter-Finals for the first time ever since joining the Basketball Champions League.
|1||Telekom Baskets Bonn *||5||5||0||100||431||363||68||86.2||72.6||10|