Unicaja book Round of 16 ticket, Le Mans earn homecourt advantage in Play-Ins
MIES (Switzerland) - With one gameday still left to play, the qualification picture is clear in Group A.
Unicaja will win the group and advance to the Round of 16, Le Mans Sarthe Basket will have homecourt advantage in the Play-Ins, Peristeri bwin will enter the Play-Ins without it, while Falco Vulcano Szombathely will be out of the competition after the Regular Season.
On Wednesday, Unicaja defeated the Hungarian champions 88-65 in Malaga with Yankuba Sima contributing 16 points to lead a balanced offense, as five players scored in double digits for the hosts.
Unicaja improved to 4-1 at the top of the standings so Coach Ibon Navarro and his men know they will finish in first place no matter what happens on the last gameday, since they own the tiebreaker over Le Mans, having won the first matchup by 9 points and losing the reverse fixture by 7.
As group winners in Group A, Unicaja will now move to Round of 16 Group I, where they will be joined by the top team in Group E (Pinar Karsiyaka, SIG Strasbourg, EWE Baskets Oldenburg, Filou Oostende), and two other Play-In Series winners.
Le Mans and Peristeri to Play-In Series
Meanwhile, the same way Le Mans can no longer pursue Unicaja, they are in the clear from Peristeri bwin.
Le Mans completed the sweep over the Greek club with an 86-78 win in Athens behind a 22-point showing by Matt Lewis and a 20-point contribution nby DeVante' Jones. The French side climbed to 3-2, leaving Peristeri in third place on a 2-3 record.
Coach Elric Delord can now start planning the January Play-In Series with his players. Le Mans Sarthe Basket will own home court advantage in the best-of-three matchup against the third-placed team in Group B. (JDA Bourgogne Dijon, Promitheas Patras, Rytas Vilnius, BK Opava).
Peristeri bwin will also move to the Play-In Series, also against a team from Group B, but it would be the second-placed team. Coach Vassilis Spanoulis knows his side will have to win at least one game on the road to advance to the Round of 16.
Falco Vulcano Szombathely are the unluckiest team of the group. They cannot advance even if they defeat Le Mans and complete the sweep on the last day of Regular Season, because they got swept by Peristeri, meaning their BCL campaign will end in December.