On paper, the challenge sounds simple enough, play one opponent two games and either beat them twice or if you split the games with them, beat them by more than they beat you. Today, eight teams square off in round two of their two-game series to determine what four teams will join 28 other pre-determine squads to round out the field of 32 for the EuroChallenge 2013. The point differentials range from two to 30, so today’s contests should be exciting for the fans in attendance and those able to watch on TV, online or listen on the radio.
Game 1 - Ural Ekaterinburg (RUS) vs. Gaz Metan Medlas (ROU) at Ekaterinburg (RUS)
Ekaterinburg takes a two point advantage into game two of their series with their Romanian competitors. Their round one game went down to the last seconds in Sibiu, so look for another nail-biter.
The winner of this series will move into EuroChallege Group D and will play their first game at home against JDA Dijon on Nov. 6th.
Game 2 - Tofas SC (EST) vs. Rakvere Tarvas (TUR) at Bursa (TUR)
The Estonians dug themselves a massive hole that they have to try to get out of when they lost 106-76 at home last week. Tofas SC finished eighth in the Turkey Basketball League last season and ended up a Quarterfinalist in the league playoffs, losing their first round to Banvit 81-78. Rakvere Tarvas finished third in the Estonia KML, third in the Estonia Cup, and second in the Baltic Basketball League Challenge Cup last season. This season they won the BBL Cup at home against Liepajas Lauvas.
The series winner will be placed in EuroChallenge Group A and will play Pinar Karaiyaka at home on Nov. 6th.
Game 3 - Aliaga Petkim (TUR) vs. Joensuun Kataja (FIN) at Izmir (TUR)
Joensuun Kataja mounted a remarkable comeback from 17-points down in Round 1 to beat their Turkish visitors by 12, 82-70. While the final margin was substantial, the fact that Petkim was able to build such a margin in two and a half quarters means that this one’s up in the air. In the last contest, Aliaga Petkim hauled in nearly double the number of rebounds Kataja did (35-20), but they also committed 30 turnovers.
EuroChallenge Group B awaits the winner of this series with a first game at home against CSU Asesoft Ploiesti on Nov. 6th.
Game 4 - Apollon (CYP) vs. Xion Dukes (AUT) at Limassol (CYP)
Apollon took the first match 78-70 on the road in Klosterneuburg and will play host to the final game of the series. The two squads battled in the first contest, trading the lead numerous times and going on extensive scoring runs that ultimately decided the Cypriots fate as they ran off nine unanswered points late in the third quarter with the score knotted at 54. Brandon Brown dominated in the first contest scoring 24 and grabbing an impressive 17 rebounds.
A first round match-up with SLUC Nancy of EuroChallenge Group G awaits the winner of this series. The game will be at home on Nov. 6th.
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)