Croatia: Cedevita fights to reach the final
Cedevita Zagreb held off KK Zabok 66-59 on Friday to move into the finals of the Croatian Cup, where it will face its city rival Cibona Zagreb, while attempting to win its fifth consecutive Cup crown. Resilient Zabok led early, and kept itself in the game for full four quarters despite Cedevita taking the lead for good just before halftime. Filip Kruslin hit two triple in an 8-0 run that opened first double-digit lead of the game, 41-31 in the third quarter, but Lovro Buljevic kept getting Zabok close. Roko Ukic hit a three-pointer to open 63-53 in the fourth quarter, but Buljevic and Petar Maric got Zabok within 59-58 with 1:27 to go. But Karlo Zganec made free throws, and Will Cherry hit a three-pointer in the final 20 seconds to seal the deal. Kruslin netted 19 points on 5-for-9 three-point shooting, Cherry had 13 points, and Andrija Stipanovic collected 12 points and 7 rebounds. Maric scored 17 points, while Buljevic had 14 points plus 8 rebounds in defeat. In the second semifinal, Cibona beat the host KK Zadar 61-73. Cibona led for majority of the game, and when Zadar made its final charge and came within 57-61 with under 5 minutes to go, a 0-7 run sealed the deal. Veteran center Luka Zoric dominated with 30 points and 14 rebounds, while young point guard Karlo Uljarevic had 14 points in victory.
Spain: Gran Canaria rides its offense into semifinals
In a thriller between two Turkish Airlines EuroLeague teams that went down to the wire, FC Barcelona Lassa held off Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz 94-90 to move into the semifinals of the Spanish Cup. Barcelona, with coach Svetislav Pesic on the bench, first pulled away to a double-digit margin when Pau Ribas, Rakim Sanders and Juan Carlos Navarro hit a triple apiece in an 11-1 second-quarter run to open 50-40 lead, and Ante Tomic and Navarro fueled a run that opened 70-59 lead late in the third. However, Tornike Shengelia and Rodrigue Beaubois fueled Baskonia’s comeback, tying the game at 82-82. Teams remained tied until the penultimate minute, but Thomas Heurtel strung together 5 points, putting Barcelona up 93-88 with 25 seconds to go. Baskonia still got one more chance to tie the game, but Johannes Voigtmann missed a triple with 10 seconds on the clock, as Barcelona prevailed. Heurtel finished with 20 points and 9 assists, and Tomic had 18 points plus 9 rebounds in victory. Shengelia scored 30, and Beaubois finished with 22 points in defeat. In the other quarterfinal on Friday, Herbalife Gran Canaria dominated on offense to beat Montakit Fuelnabrada 107-92. Fuenlabrada led early, but Gran Canaria used three-pointers from Nikola Radicevic and Pablo Aguilar to get going, before Marcus Eriksson from long range and Ondrej Balvin inside fueled a 14-2 run to get Gran Canaria in front. The host led 58-52 at halftime, then increased the margin in the third quarter. Balvin’s baskets opened 79-64 in the final minute of the third and Gran Canaria went on to close out the game. Balvin and Aguilar scored 18 points apiece, and Radicevic had 15 points in victory. Paco Cruz had 20 points for Fuenlabrada. On Saturday, Gran Canaria will play against Barcelona, while the other semifinal clash features Real Madrid and Iberostar Tenerife.
Italy: Cantu ousts Milan
In Friday’s quarterfinals action, Red October Cantu defeated AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan 87-105 to reach the semifinals. Cantu never trailed and reached the first double-digit margin after only 6 minutes, and led 38-57 at halftime. Margin was as big as 25 points midway through the third quarter, before Milan attempted a charge, but never managed to get the deficit down into the single digits. Jaime Smith had 23 points and 8 assists for Cantu, which had six-double digit scorers. Jeremy Chappell had 19 points and 5 steals, while Christian Burns collected 14 points and 12 rebounds. Andrew Goudelock netted 23 points for Milan, while Jordan Theodore had 16 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists in defeat. Cantu next faces Brescia, which beat Virtus Bologna 97-83 with Lee Moore scoring 22 points and Luca Vitali contributing with 20 points and 7 rebuonds.
Serbia: Partizan move into semis
Partizan NIS Belgrade beat Zlatibor 67-54 in the quarterfinals of the Serbian Cup. Partizan used a 17-0 third-quarter run, fueled by three-pointers from Vanja Marinkovic and Novica Velickovic, to turn a tied game into 49-32 lead, and it never looked back. Djordje Gagic, Mihajlo Andric and Kwame Vaughn each scored 10 points in victory, while Nemanja Gudzic had 14 points for Zlatibor. In the semis on Saturday, Partizan will face Mega Bemax which cruisd past Dynamic Belgrade 94-79. Goga Bitadze led Mega with 17 points and 11 rebounds, Ognjen Carapic netted 15, and Nikola Miskovic 14 points in victory, while Aleksandar Todorovic scored 20 points in defeat. In the other semifinal Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade will face off against FMP Zeleznik.