Day two of the 2012 Euroleague Qualifier is now in the books and the Semi-Finals are set: CEZ Basketball Nymburk (CZE) vs. Pallacanstro Cantu (ITA) and Unics Kazan (RUS) vs. Le Mans Sarthe Basket (FRA). Nymburk and Cantu will tip off in Dasio, Italy at 18:00 CET.
Unics Kazan – Ratiopharm Ulm 91-73
In the first qualifying game of the day, Ulm dug themselves into a massive hole early on, getting down by 10 after the first quarter. The opening minutes of the second quarter were much of the same as Unics found they could drop in shots behind the arc as well as pound the ball in paint and score at will. Ulm got into foul trouble early, sending key players to the bench to avoid losing them early.
With Unics up by nearly 20 points, the game looked like it was going to a classic blowout, until Ulm found their rhythm and mounted a rather impressive 15-0 run that closed the gap to five at the half, 37-32.
Unics regrouped during the intermission and came out with much more focus and sharpness than they had demonstrated at the end of the first half, building their lead back up to 20 at the end of the third quarter, 72-52.
Ulm wasn’t finished though and they quickly tallied five, but Unics got back-to-back threes from Pavel Sergeev to shut down the threat and the Russians took a step closer to a spot in the Euroleague. Their next contest will be against Le Mans Sarthe Basket later today.
Unics’ Terrell Lyday led all scorers with 21 points, Ian Vougioukas added 18 for the Russians, Mire Chatman dropped in 15 in the win. Ulm got 17 each from John Bryant and Allan Ray.
Le Mans Sarthe Basket – BC Donetsk 61-55
In a game decided on who played the best defense, Le Mans sent BC Donetsk home to play in the Eurocup after they were able to shut the Ukrainians down in the fourth quarter and move on to the Semi-Finals.
Le Mans made up for a statistically awful performance from the floor, only shooting 11 for 34 inside the arc (34.2%), by tallying 27 (out of 37) from the free throw line.
Donetsk held a 19-13 advantage at the end of the first quarter, getting key blocked shots by big man D’or Fischer to keep Le Mans outside. The second quarter saw the return of Le Man’s Alain Koffi, who’s been off the court for over a year due to an injury. Koffi made good use of his time early in the second dropping in six points early in the quarter and giving Le Mans a one-point advantage. The Frenchmen outscored the Donetsk squad 22-12 in the quarter to take a 35-31 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Donetsk tied the score quickly at the start of the third quarter, but they also lost one of their big men, Darius Songalia, who fouled out of the contest early in the first half. Donetsk outplayed Le Mans in the third and had built a 47-45 advantage, only to let a defensive lapse let Khalid El-Amin drop a three-pointer at the buzzer to put Le Mans back up by one, 48-47, going into the last 10 minutes.
Le Mans extended their margin to five early in the fourth, but Donetsk fought back to within one with just under five minutes to play. A Joao Paolo Batista dunk and a well-timed three-ball by Cameron Long, put Le Mans up for good and earning them the last slot in the Semi-Finals.
Long’s 14 points paced Le Mans to the win, El-Amin and Koffi added 12 points each, and Pape Sy contributed 10. Doron Perkins led Donetsk with 15 point and 10 rebounds, Bojdan Stojanovski added 11 points, and Ramel Currey dropped in 10.