Turkey: Darussafaka, Efes win quarterfinals
Darussafaka Istanbul and Anadolu Efes Istanbul are the first two semifinalists in the Turkish Cup after winning their quarterfinal games on Wednesday in Istanbul. The two sides will meet each other in one semifinal on Saturday. The other semifinal will feature the winners of Thursday’s quarterfinals, pitting Tofas Bursa against Sakarya Buyuksehir Belediye Basketbol and Basiktas Istanbul against Banvit Bandirma.
JaJuan Johnson paved the way for Darussafaka to beat Eskisehir Basket 59-75. The forward produced 17 points and 10 rebounds, while Scottie Wilbekin and James Bell netted 12 points apiece and Michael Eric hauled in 13 boards. Viacheslav Kravtsov led Eskisehir with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Darussafaka led 38-43 at halftime before cracking down on defense to old Eskisehir to 7 third-quarter points and opening up a double-digit lead that it held on to for good.
In the nightcap, Efes knocked out archrival Fenerbahce Dogus Istanbul 80-83. Bryant Dunston paced Efes with 23 points, Krunoslav Simon produced 15 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists, Errick McCollum also scored 15 and Brock Motum added 12 points for the victors. Jan Vesely led Fenerbahce with 18 points and Marko Guduric posted 17 points and 7 assists in defeat. Efes started strong and led 14-26 after 10 minutes, but Fenerbahce roared back to within 1 in the final minute. Simon sank a pair of key free throws and Fenerbahce missed three times from behind the arc in the closing seconds.
Zalgiris rolls into Lithuanian Cup semifinals
Zalgiris Kaunas and Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius won their Lithuanian Cup quarterfinals on Wednesday to join Tuesday’s winners in the semis. Zalgiris will meet Lietkabelis Panevezys in one semifinal on Saturday and Rytas will face Alytas Dzukija in the other. Zalgiris outlasted Siauliai 85-78 as Vasilije Micic starred with 14 points and 7 assists. Arturas Milaknis knocked down 3 three-pointers en route to 13 points, Aaron White added 10 points and Kevin Pangos dished 10 assists. Laurynas Birutis had a career game with 35 points and 11 rebounds in defeat. It was a one-possession game with less than two minutes to go, but Pangos and Edgaras Ulanovas scored on consecutive Zalgiris possessions, while Siauliai came up empty on its final three.
Rytas edged Utenos Juventus 91-88 after overtime. Ben Madgen led five Rytas scorers in double figures with 18 points, Chris Kramer tallied 15 points and 7 assists, Rokas Giedraitis and Loukas Mavrokefalidis scored 13 points apiece and Martynas Echodas posted 12 points and collected 4 steals for the winners. Mindaugas Kupsas paced Juventus with 22 points, Kenny Gaines scored 21 and Dovis Bickauskis posted 18 points and 11 rebounds in defeat. Rytas led by as many as 16 in the second quarter, but Juventus rallied back to lead by as many as 3 in the final minute of regulation. Kramer tied it at 77-77 and Anthony Ireland missed a chance to win it in the dying seconds. In the extra session, Kupsas again put Juventus up by 3 with less than a minute to play, but Kramer tied it from the line and after a Juventus turnovers, Jimmy Baron sank what proved to be the game-winning free throws.
Cedevita cruises in Croatian quarters
Cedevita Zagreb had little trouble in routing KK Zagreb 63-114 in the quarterfinals of the Croatian Kresimir Cosic Cup. The game was never in doubt after Cedevita took a 15-30 lead after 10 minutes and cruised the rest of the way. Dzanan Musa scored 22 points, grabbed 6 rebounds and dished 5 assists to pace the winners and Damir Markota and Filip Kruslin added 11 points each. Ante Krapic posted 19 points and 11 rebounds for Zagreb. Zabok edged Sibenik 84-86 in Wednesday’s other semifinal behind 18 points from Antonio Vlaic. Cedevita will face Zabok in one of Friday’s two semifinals. The other semifinal matchups will be determined by Thursday’s games.