EuroChallenge 2013 opened it’s schedule yesterday with the first round of qualifying to determine the final four slots in the 32-team field. The second and final games of the qualifying round will be contested on Tues., Oct., 2nd.
Joensuun Kataja (FIN) vs. Aliaga Petkim (TUR) at Joensuun (FIN) 82-70
Mounting a stunning comeback from down by 17-points with just over six minutes to play in third quarter, Joensuun Kataja gave the 2,420 fans in attendance a lot to cheer about as they built a 12-point advantage going into the second game of the EuroChallenge 2013 Qualifier.
Aliaga Petkim out-rebounded the hosts 35-20 during the contest, but also tallied 30 turnovers.
Petkim built a 12-p0int margin by halftime, 42-30 and had extended that advantage to 17, 52-25, with 4:34 to play in the third. Consecutive threes from Kataja cut that lead to 11 in less than 60 seconds and as close as seven, before Petkim was able to build it back to nine going into the final 10 minutes.
Kataja completely turned the game around by scoring six unanswered points in the first minute of the fourth quarter, four off steals, to bring the game to 60-57. They tied the score at 64 with 4:59 to play and outscored Petkim 18-6 in the last five minutes, going 10 for 10 from the free throw line.
Petri Virtanen’s 17 points paced the Finland squad in the win, also contributing were Johnell Smith with 16 points, Jerald Fields with 13 points and Jermaine Flowers with 10. Aliaga Petkim got a game-high 26 points and 12 rebounds from Orhan Haciyeva, 15 points from Branislav Ratkovica, and 10 from Taquan Dean.
Rakvere Tarvas (EST) vs. Tofas SC (TUR) at Rakvere (EST) 76-106
Tofas grabbed a 30-point advantage in their two-game series with Rakvere Tarvas when they traveled to Rakvere, Estonia and dominated every aspect of this EuroChallenge 2013 Qualifier.
Tofas built a 56-47 advantage through the first half and was only an eight-point game mid-way through the third. Tofas took control of the game and built a 15-point lead going into the final 10-minutes, where they outscored their hosts 30-15 to take a comfortable cushion into game two.
Tofas got 17 points from Joshua Heytvelt, 20 points from Steven Burtt, 14 points from from Chinemelu Elonu, and 11 from Can Altintig. Tarvas was paced by Clarence Jackson’s 17 points, and got contributions of 13 points from Reimo Tamm, and 12 points from Raitis Grafs.
Xion Dukes (AUT) vs. Apollon (CYP) at Klosterneuburg (AUT) 70-78
Apollon took the first game of their two-games series with Austrian club Xion Dukes, 78-70. This was a close contest throughout, with the difference being a 9-0 run that started with the teams tied at 54 late in the third and had Apollon up 63-54 with 8:50 to play.
The Dukes were able to get to within three with a little over three minutes to play, but then forgot to guard the middle of court and allowed Apollon big man Marvin Jefferson to score on three successive trips down the court on a dunk, a lay-upa and an alley-oop, to put the game away.
Brandon Brown was the most productive member of the Pizza Express squad, hauling in 17 rebounds, scoring 24 points, and swatting away three shots. Diego Kapelan added 13 points, Daryl Dorsey tallied up 12 points and 10 assists, and Gerald Robinson contributed 11 points to the winning total. Ramiz Suljanovic led the hosts with 22 points and eight rebounds, Christoph Nagler added 14 points, and Curtis Bobb dropped in 10.
Gaz Metan Medlas (ROU) vs. Ural Ekaterinburg (RUS) at Sibiu (ROU) 67-69
The hosts, Gaz Metan Medlas, built the largest advantage either team would have in their first game of the series when they jumped out to an 8-1 advantage within the first 2:20 of the game. From there neither team would get farther away from the other than seven points. Gaz Metan held a one-point lead at the intermission, 34-33.
Ekaterinburg controlled the contest for most of the third quarter, building a lead of six points, only to go down by two, 52-50, heading into the final frame.
Ekaterinburg was able to build another five-point margin with 4:12 to play, but six straight points by the host squad put them up by one with 2:30 on the clock. The game came down to a three-point Ekaterinburg lead with four seconds on the clock and Gaz Metan with the ball. Deven Mitchell launched a three-ball, got fouled and was sent to the free throw line for three charity tosses and a chance to tie up the score at 68. He missed the first and hit the last two, then had to foul on the ensuing inbounds play giving Dmitrii Nikolaev to free throws of his own, which he split to close out the scoring at 69-67. The next match will be held in Russia next Tuesday.
Christopher Monroe paced the Russian squad with 23 points and seven assists, and Aaron McGhee added 19 points and eight rebounds. Gaz Metan Medias got 24 points and nine rebounds from Deven Mitchell, 12 points from Aleksandar Mladenovic, and 10 points from Slobodan Dundjerski.
Schedule – Tues., Oct. 2:
3/B – 19:00 Ural Ekaterinburg vs. Gaz Metan Medlas at Ekaterinburg (RUS)
4/B – 20:00 Tofas SC vs. Rakvere Tarvas at Bursa (TUR)
1/B – 20:30 Aliaga Petkim vs. Joensuun Kataja at Izmir (TUR)
2/B – 20:30 Apollon vs. Xion Dukes at Limassol (CYP)