01/09/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 01/09/2019 16:59
MUNICH (FIBA Europe Cup) - Many teams tried and many failed, but Avtodor Saratov put an end to the uncontested Bakken Bears reign in the FIBA Europe Cup, with Dusan Alimpijevic's men finding a chink in the Danish armor on Wednesday.
A defensive-minded approach proved to be the key in derailing the competition-best eight-game winning streak, as the Russian side club moved to 3-0 in Group L after downing the mighty Danes in a low-scoring 71-60 contest that turned Avtodor's way in the fourth quarter.
Perrin Buford paced the victors with 17 points and Trae Golden collected 14 points, 5 rebounds and 8 assists, but it was work on the other end of the floor that got the most praise from the side's Serbian playcaller.
'This win makes me happy because it was undoubtedly our best defensive performance so far that helped us beat a really strong opponent. We conceded just 60 points from a team that was previously averaging 106 points,' stressed Alimpijevic.
'It's a very important win for us to stay in the top position in the group and to make a big step towards the next round of the FIBA Europe Cup.'
Despite a well-rounded 14-point, 8-rebound, 2-steal and 3-block effort from Michel Diouf, Bakken Bears could not salvage the game after ending up on the wrong side of an 11-0 run at the start of the fourth quarter.
The Steffen Wich-coached Danish club maintained a strong grip on the second place in the standings, holding a one-game lead over ZZ Leiden who earned their first win of the Second Round by defeating Kataja Basket 87-72 in the other Group L fixture of the day.
In a day that saw a flurry of lopsided scores, the only single-digit contests took place in Group K. The top-of-the-pack Pallacanestro Varese shook off Donar Groningen at the MartiniPlaza for a 73-67 victory, while their Italian compatriots Dinamo Sassari overcame a 29-point effort from Kyle Vinales in a 96-89 win over Petrolina AEK.
Elsewhere, s.Oliver Wurzburg forward Xavier Cooks stole the spotlight in a 118-71 rout of Szolnoki Olaj with 25 points and 5 boards, as the German side finished the first half of the Second Round with a 3-0 record in Group I. The 23-year-old Australian connected on 10-of-12 attempts from the field, including an incredible 5-of-6 from three-point range.
In spite of not having some of their newest signings available, Pinar Karsiyaka had little trouble against Z Mobile Prishtina, claiming a 107-85 victory behind 22 points, 6 rebounds and 11 assists from Sek Henry to stay hot on Wurzburg's heels at 2-1.
In Group J, victories by Balkan and Alba Fehervar forced a three-way tie at the top of the standings with Ironi Ness Ziona. All three teams share an identical 2-1 mark, while winless Lukoil Levski remained at the bottom of the pileup.
The Nebojsa Vidic-coached Botevgrad side treated the home fans to an 81-57 win over local rivals Lukoil Levski in a Bulgarian derby after swinging the balance in their favor with a 19-0 spurt in the final frame. Meanwhile, Alba Fehervar secured a 93-70 road victory against a short-handed Ness Ziona squad in Israel.