Quarterfinals Game 3: UNICS, ALBA, MoraBanc survive thrillers
Not only did three of this season's 7DAYS EuroCup Quarterfinals series come down to a third-and-deciding game, but they all came down to the final minute and in MoraBanc Andorra's case, down to the final shot. In the end, UNICS Kazan advanced by beating Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar and will face the already-qualified Valencia Basket in the semifinals. ALBA Berlin rallied from a 13-point deficit to eliminate Unicaja Malaga. And MoraBanc celebrated in France after DLC ASVEL Villeurbanne guard A.J. Slaughter's potential series-winning three missed at the buzzer. ALBA and MoraBanc will meet in the other semifinal.
Quarterfinal A: ALBA Berlin 79-75 Unicaja Malaga (ALBA, 2-1)
ALBA Berlin clinched a ticket to the 7DAYS EuroCup Semifinals after outlasting Unicaja Malaga 79-75 in the third-and-deciding game of their best-of-three quarterfinals series on Wednesday at Mercedes-Benz Arena in the German capital. The hosts trailed by as many as 13 in the third quarter, but rallied with an 11-0 run to close that quarter and had another 9-0 run in the fourth. The game came down to the final seconds and Rokas Giedraitis came through with a key basket with 14.2 seconds left and a steal on Unicaja's next possession to help snatch the win. Peyton Siva paced ALBA with 15 points and 10 assists, Giedraitis and Luke Sikma netted 14 points apiece and Joshiko Saibou and Martin Hermannsson each scored 10. Mathias Lessort posted 18 points and 6 rebounds and Sasu Salin scored 17 on 5-of-8 three-point shooting in defeat.
Quarterfinal B: LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne 80-82 MoraBanc Andorra (MoraBanc, 1-2)
In a back-and-forth battle that literally came down to the final shot, MoraBanc Andorra advanced to the 7DAYS EuroCup Semifinals by edging LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne 80-82 on the road in Game 3 on Wednesday. MoraBanc won the best-of-three series 1-2 and will face ALBA Berlin in the semifinals. Dylan Ennis and Jerome Jordan led the winners with 14 points apiece and David Jelinek added 13. Miro Bilan paced ASVEL with 19 points, David Lighty scored 16 and Charles Kahudi had 14 for the hosts, who led 20-9 in the first quarter. MoraBanc got within 22-19 after 10 minutes and used an outstanding second quarter to lead 39-48, at the break. Bilan and Kahudi helped ASVEL gain a 68-67 early in the fourth quarter. Free throws by Lighty gave ASVEL its last lead, 80-79. Ennis took over with a wild driving layup and ASVEL was held scoreless in crunch time with A.J. Slaughter missing the potential series-winner from downtown at the buzzer.
Quarterfinal D: UNICS Kazan 69-65 Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar (UNICS, 2-1)
In a do-or-die battle to stay alive in the competition, UNICS Kazan advanced to the 7DAYS EuroCup semifinals by downing Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar 69-65 at Basket-Hall Kazan in Game 3 of their best-of-three series on Wednesday. UNICS won the series 2-1 and will face Valencia Basket in the semifinals. Kostas Kaimakoglou led the winners with 14 points off the bench. Errick McCollum added 11 for UNICS. Dmitry Kulagin paced Lokomotiv with 16 points and JaJuan Johnson added 15 and 12 rebounds for the visitors. Lokomotiv led 10-16 after 10 minutes, but an 11-0 run gave UNICS control of the game. The hosts reached halftime with a 32-27. A 0-11 run got Lokomotiv within 47-46 at the end of the third quarter. A layup by Dorell Wright gave the visitors their last lead, 59-60. Jamar Smith and Kaimakoglou hit back-to-back three-pointers and UNICS stayed cold-blooded in the final seconds to snatch the go-ahead win.