It went down to the final minute but EWE Baskets Oldenburg came back to book their place in the Euroleague Qualifying Round semi-final with victory over Cimbirio Varese.
If you only tuned in during the first half, you’d have been forgiven for thinking this game didn’t matter. Tight as the play was, the first qualifying round match between Oldenburg and Varese looked far from a win or no Euroleague game. Play was back and forth, reasonably competitive, but rather lacking in intensity. All that changed after the break.
Varese, who ruled European basketball in the 1970s, sure loved to go from deep but Oldenburg’s more consistent play got them back into the game in the third frame. Once the Bundesliga runners up got back on level terms, it was tit for tat until the final two minutes. Oldenburg finally pushed into a two-possession lead late and Varese’s game wasn’t built to claw it back. The Germans hold on and are battle tested but they’ll need to step up a notch to win two more games in Vilnius.