Top 16, Round 2: Partizan, Tofas strike
Half of the games in Round 2 of the Top 16 were won by road teams, including Partizan NIS Belgrade and Tofas Bursa, which became the only two teams to start this phase with consecutive wins. Partizan pounded Dolomiti Trento Energia and Tofas topped MoraBanc Andorra. The other two road victories came from Group G, where all the games in both rounds have been won by the visitors. In Group F, like Group G, all four teams have 1-1 records.
Partizan NIS Belgrade led from start to finish in routing Dolomiti Energia Trento 58-83 to become the first team with two wins in the 7DAYS EuroCup Top 16 this season. As such, Partizan moved atop Group E at 2-0, while Trento fell to fourth in the four-team group at 0-2. Rade Zagorac and Marcus Paige scored 11 points each to lead a balanced Partizan effort. Nikola Jankovic added 9 points and 9 rebounds – including a career-best 5 offensive boards – as the visitors outrebounded the home team 32-44. James Blackmon paced Trento with 12 points. Segafredo Virtus Bologna captured its first victory in the Top 16 by winning a tough battle against Darussafaka Tekfen Istanbul 83-72 at home. Milos Teodosic tallied 19 points to lead Virtus, which improved its record to 1-1. Doron Lamb paced Darussafaka with 16 points.
Umana Reyer Venice held off fellow Italian League squad Germania Brescia Leonessa on Tuesday night 68-60 to leave both sides at 1-1. Jeremy Chappell ran the show with 19 points for Reyer, Mitchell Watt netted 15 for the winners and Michael Bramos scored 11 with a couple of important triples thrown in. The home side collected 13 key offensive rebounds and won the battle of the boards 40-33. Andrea Zerini paced Brescia with 13 points. Promitheas Patras snapped a three-game losing streak in knocking off EWE Baskets Oldenburg 81-70 for its first victory in the Top 16. Loukas Mavrokefalidis led the way with 19 points for Promitheas, which improved to 1-1. The Greek side took control with a 16-5 run in the third quarter. Rasid Mahalbasic collected 18 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals for Oldenburg, which had its two-game winning streak ended.
AS Monaco bounced back from a disappointing opening game in the Top 16 to grab a 78-84 road victory over UNICS Kazan. Jaleel O'Brien scored 15 points to pace six scorers in double figures for Monaco, which improved to 1-1. Norris Cole and Anthony Clemmons both had 14 points in the win. Errick McCollum tallied 21 points for UNICS, which dropped to 1-1. In a showdown of previous EuroCup champions who had never before faced each other in the competition, Rytas Vilnius topped Galatasary Doga Sigorta Istanbul for a 73-89 road win at Sinan Erdem Dome on Wednesday. Both teams are 1-1 in Group G of the Top 16. Rytas used a strong finish to the first quarter to pull away, open a double-digit lead and then used its timely three-point shooting and domination on the offensive boards to control the remainder of the game. Eimantas Bendzius shot 5 for 9 from three-point range to pace the winners with 21 points. Aaron Harrison scored 22 points for Galatasaray.
Tofas Bursa overcame injuries and absences to beat MoraBanc Andorra 63-69 on the road on Wednesday. Tofas leads the standings with a 2-0 record while Andorra dropped to 0-2. Berkan Durmaz and Tarik Phillip led the winners with 17 points apiece. Tofas was without head coach Orhun Ene and stars D.J. White, Sammy Mejia and Matt Lojeski. Dejan Musli led Andorra with 13 points. Andorra held a 63-59 margin midway through the fourth quarter, but Durmaz led a closing 0-10 run that allowed Tofas to walk away with a well-deserved win. On Tuesday, Unicaja Malaga captured its first victory in the Top 16 by fending off a Joventut Badalona comeback attempt for a 90-84 win. Deon Thompson scored all 23 of his points in the first three quarters while Jaime Fernandez collected 10 points and 10 assists for his first double-double as Unicaja improved to 1-1. Nenad Dimitrijevic tallied 16 points and 4 assists to lead Joventut, which lost to fall to 1-1 despite cutting a 22-point third-quarter deficit down to 5 points in the closing minutes.