As you probably read already, Tobi also wrote about the Cup night tonight. So here is what I remember from this upset day in European basketball.
Let’s start with the Copa del Rey in Spain. When the first game saw the victory of home town TAU Ceramica in a close contest over Malaga, the second game came up with the surprising victory of Bilbao against Barcelona. Thanks to ACB TV Live, I had the possibility to watch the first game and it was really not decided until the last minutes. The decisive play in my opinion was a strange choice by Unicaja’s Marcus Haislip who went up for a strange out of the dribble three point shot which he missed at the score of 64-63. You can check out the best plays of this very spectacular game right here on ACB TV. The second game of the night was even closer as Bilbao managed to beat Dusko Ivanovic’s AXA FCB by 1 point behind a nice team effort and top scoring Fred Weis (11pts 10rebs). Yes that Fred Weis drafted by the Knicks some time ago.
Moving over to Italy for the next big upset with the defeat of Montepaschi Siena against Scavolini Pesaro. The eight seeded team was led by the veteran Carlton Myers who scored 11 points in the last quarter to create this huge suprise. Myers who is still holding the record of most scored points in a game in Italy with 87.
Maybe the biggest surprise of the night comes from Tel Aviv where Maccabi lost in his arena the Final of the Israeli Cup against Hapoel Jerusalem. Being up with 22 points in the third quarter, the team from the holy city had all gods with them and managed to turn the game into a 93-89. According to some people, this may be the biggest comeback in the whole Israeli basketball history.
The next upset is reported from Russia where CSKA lost the Final of the Russian Cup against Khimki behind great efforts of former top prospect Maciej Lampe and actual top prospect Anton Ponkrashov. Messina’s teams looked apparently really bad and the probable addition of Victor Khryapa is heavily needed because they really need some Russians to put on the court due to the specific foreigner role in Russia.
And what about the results from France? Le Mans lost heavily against Vichy 65-82 where only the two youngsters Nicolas Batum (14pts 6rebs) and Antoine Diot (15pts 5rebs) came up with normal stats. Jimmal Ball was the man for the Yellows from Vichy with 22pts. The second game was closer and after a disappointing first quarter, it improved to become really close in the final seconds and go to overtime. When it was Sean Colson who topped all scorers with 30pts, what about the huge effort of 1988 born Alexis “Elbow” Ajinca who finished the game with 6pts, 14rebs and an amazing 7 blocked shots.