Buducnost rallies to lift Montenegrin Cup
Buducnost VOLI Podgorica won the Montenegrin Cup for the 11th in club history, and for fifth consecutive year, after a hard-fought and dramatic 87-83 win over Mornar Bar. In the final game of the tournament Buducnost hosted, it was Mornar that had 56-64 midway through the third quarter. But Buducnost cut into deficit before going into the fourth, and the game went down to the wire. In the deciding moments, Nemanja Gordic hit a triple to give the hosts 82-80 lead, followed by Kyle Gipson extending the margin from the foul line, as Buducnost held on. Gibson led the way with 19 points, and Nikola Ivanovic scored 15 for Buducnost. Gordic finished with 14, while Strahinja Micovic had 21 in defeat.
Cedevita lifts fifth straight Croatian Cup crown
Cedevita Zagreb beat its city rival Cibona 86-74 to win its fifth consecutive Croatian Cup on Saturday. In the final played in Zadar, Cedevita trailed 17-27 early in the third quarter, but back-to-back triples from Filip Kruslin and Will Cherry started a turnaround, and Cherry finished the half stringing together 11 points, including a pair of triples and a three-point play, as Cedevita went into the break up 41-36. When Cibona closed to a single-point deficit in the third quarter, Cherry and Dzanan Musa kept Cedevita with a lead, before big man Andrija Stipanovic and a triple from Roko Ukic opened 63-55 margin. A pair of three-pointers from Damir Markota early in the fourth gave Cedevita its first double-digit lead, before Cherry, Demetris Nichols and Cherry again hit back-to-back-to-back triples that broke the game open. Cedevita shot 17-for-33 behind the arc, as Cherry finished with 31 points on 6 of 12 from long range. Musa scored 12, and Nichols had 10 points in victory. Josip Bilinovac scored 13 points for Cibona.
Spain: All set for another El Clasico
Real Madrid and FC Barcelona Lassa will meet in the final of the Spanish Cup on Sunday in Las Palmas. Madrid overcame a slow start before running away to a 59-77 win over Iberostar Tenerife in the first semifinal clash. Tenerife jumped to an early 19-11 lead. But Rudy Fernandez and Luka Doncic led Madrid’s rally. Madrid got within 38-37 at the break, then took control behind Fernandez and Trey Thompkins, before Doncic, Fernandez and Thompkins scored the first 8 points of the fourth, as Madrid opened 49-64 margin and cruised the rest of the way. Doncic had 17 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists, Jaycee Carroll netted 14 points, while Thompkins and Fernandez scored 13 apiece. Fran Vazquez scored 16 points for Tenerife. In the second semifinal, Barcelona downed the host Herbalife Gran Canaria 74-87, taking control in the third quarter. Rakim Sanders hit a three-pointer to spark a 0-12 run during which Ante Tomic had a pair of baskets and Barcelona took 49-59 lead. Three-pointers from Pau Ribas, Juan Carlos Navarro and Victor Claver extended it to 56-68 after 30 minutes, and Gran Canaria never managed to threaten again. Thomas Heurtel starred with 13 points and 14 assists in victory. Pierre Oriola scored 14, while Ribas and Adam Hanga scored 12 apiece. Marcus Eriksson had 25 points in the losing effort.
Italy: Fiat wins in overtime thriller
Fiat Turin made it to the Italian Cup final after edging Vanoli Cremona in overtime 87-92. Cremona’s Simone Fontecchio drove for a layup with 16 seconds to go in the regulation to tie the game at 80-80, and Fiat failed to convert the final possession of the fourth quarter to win the game. But Diante Garrett scored a basket and Sasha Vujacic hit a triple midway through the extra session to give Fiat 83-88, the lead it never relinquished. Garrett finished with 18 points, Vander Blue scored 17, while Vujacic netted 15 points with 7 rebounds. Deron Washington amassed 13 points plus 13 rebounds in victory, while Fontecchio had 16 points in defeat. The second semifinal also went into overtime in which Brescia ousted Cantu 82-87. Luca Vitali collected 19 points and 9 rebounds, while Marcus Landry had 17 points for the winners. Charles Thomas scored 20 points, and Jeremy Chappell amassed 17 points plus 13 rebounds for Cantu.
Germany: Bayern, ALBA set to clash for the German Cup
FC Bayern Munich and ALBA Berlin moved to the final of the German Cup with their semifinal victories on Saturday. Bayern topped the tournament host ratiopharm Ulm 84-73 to move into the final of the German Cup on Saturday. Bayern will face either ALBA Berlin or Bayreuth on Sunday, and attempt to win its first Cup crown since 1968. The key in Bayern’s victory was the third quarter, which Bayern won 26-15. Two teams traded leads for majority of the first 25 minutes, but a triple from Alex King gave Bayern 50-48 lead, and sparked a 14-2 run as Bayern needed less than 3 minutes to pull away to 61-50 lead, and it never looked back. Jared Cunningham led the way with 22 points, and Reggie Redding was everywhere with 13 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists. Maik Zirbes contributed with 10 points in victory. Isaac Fotu led Ulm with 21 points, and Ryan Thompson added 12. ALBA cruised past Bayreuth 74-96. ALBA held a 9-point advantage at halftime, then used a 0-11 third-quarter to break the game open. Luke Sikma had 16 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists, while Joshiko Saibou and Spencer Butterfield scored 13 apiece in victory. Robin Amaize scored 18 points in the losing effort.
Serbia: Zvezda hits 17 threes, reaches final
Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade hit 17 triples on 30 attempts in 98-82 win over FMP Zeleznik to reach the finals of the Serbian Cup where it will play its arch-rival Partizan NIS Belgrade. Zvezda started gaining separation at the start of the second quarter with 5 points from Branko Lazic and back-to-back threes from Dylan Ennis to open 38-30 lead. Ennis went on to hit triples on three consecutive possessions, and open 51-38 margin. FMP answered with a 0-8 run, but Milko Bjelica and Dejan Davidovac hit consecutive triples that opened 71-57 lead in the fourth quarter. FMP had made another charge, a 0-9 run in the fourth, but James Feldeine and Marko Keselj answered with triples and closed out the game. Ennis finished with 20 points on 6-for-9 from three-point range. Bjelica scored 16, Taylor Rochestie added 14, and Lazic had 13 points in victory. Dragan Apic scored 21, and Filip Covic had 19 points in defeat. Partizan reached the final with 89-79 win over Mega Bemax. Bandja Sy and Novica Velickovic scored all points in a 10-2 run to end the third quarter to open 68-60 lead, before Petar Aranitovic hit back-to-back threes in the fourth to extend the margin to 11 points, before Partizan closed out the game. Vanja Marinkovic netted 18 points, and Dojrdje Gagic had 14 points and 13 rebounds to lead the way in victory. Sy scored 13 points and Velickovic collected 12 points with 8 assists and 5 rebounds for Partizan. Vlatko Cancar had 20 points for Mega, and Nikola Rebic added 17.
Turkey: Simon shoots Efes into Sunday’s final
Anadolu Efes Istanbul led from start to finish and moved into the finals of the Turkish Cup with 90-76 win over Darussafaka Istanbul on Saturday. Efes will play against Tofas Bursa in Sunday's final. Kruno Simon and Bryant Dunston scored 7 points apiece as Efes opened the game with 26-9 lead. Darussafaka woke up, and threes from Muhammed Baygul, Scottie Wilbekin and Stanton Kidd cut it to 32-24, but Efes went into halftime with 38-28 lead. Darussafaka threatened in the third with a 0-9 run that cut it to 44-37, but Simon hit a three-pointer, and Efes never allowed Darussafaka to come closer that those 7 points the rest of the way. Simon sealed the deal, hitting back-to-back threes, including banking one from way downtown with 6:17 left, extending the margin to 75-58. Simon finished with 29 points on 7-for-11 from three-point range, and also had 6 assists and 4 rebounds. Dogus Balbay and Errick McCollum contributed with 14 apiece in victory, while Wilbekin had 17 points and 7 assists for the EuroCup quarterfinalist Darussafaka. In the second semis, Tofas hit 14 three pointers and held off Besiktas Sompo Japan 86-79. Tofas led throughout the first half, hitting 9 triples before halftime, and holding 46-39 advantage. Back-to-back threes from Kenny Kadji opened 58-48 in the third. However, D.J. Strawberry was on fire on the other end, and Besiktas closed within a single point on several occasions. Strawberry’s three cut it to 69-68, but Tony Crocker answered with a three-pointer, and Pierria Henry had a three-point play that gave Tofas more breathing room, and Henry, Crocker and Sammy Mejia came up with big baskets in the final 2 minutes as Tofas held on. Crocker had 20 points, Raymar Morgan collected 17 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists. Kadji scored 15, Mejia 14 and Henry finished with 10 in victory. Strawberry scored 25 in defeat.
Lithuania: Rytas, Zalgiris cruise into finals
Lietuvos Rytas and Zalgiris Kaunas cruised to the final of the Lithuanian Cup played at the Zalgirio Arena in Kaunas. Rytas coasted to 61-81 win over Alytus Dzukija, after it pulled away by ending the first quarter on a 0-12 run behind Loukas Mavrokefalidis, then extended the margin to 11-29 with a basket from Martynas Echodas early in the second. Dzukija did use a 13-2 spurt to get back into the game, but Rytas still held 26-35 at halftime, then opened the third quarter with a 2-9 spurt which helped it open 31-50 margin on a triple from Ben Madgen midway through the third quarter. Mavrokefalidis scored 10 of his 19 points in the first quarter, Echodas amassed 15 points and 14 rebounds, and Mindaugas Girdziunas netted 14 in victory. Parrish Petty and Nikolaos Stylianou scored 13 apiece in defeat. In the other semifinal, Zalgiris defeated Lietkabelis Panevezys 88-74. Brandon Davies led the way with 17 points and 7 rebounds, Paulius Valinskas had 14, and Kevin Pangos scored 13 in a game in which Zalgiris took control early and built 54-34 halftime lead, then cruised in the second half. Darjus Lavrinovic had 18 points for Lietkabelis.
Greece: AEK downs Olympiacos, ends long title drought
AEK Athens held on to a 83-88 win over Olympiacos Piraeus to win its first Greek Cup crown since 2001 and, its fourth Cup title in club history. In a clash played on Crete, teams traded blows for majority of the contest. AEK took an 8-point lead in the second quarter, but neither team held an advantage bigger than that. Vassilis Spanoulis hit a three to tie the game at 47-47 in the third quarter, and Nikola Milutinov’s basket gave the Reds 61-60 lead. But AEK went back in front through Kevin Punter and Manny Harris, and a triple by Delroy James made it 74-80 with 4 minutes to go. Janis Strelnieks and Ioannis Papapetrou kept Olympiacos in it, but Harris drove for a layup with 13 seconds to go, to make it 82-86. Strelnieks only split free throws on the other end, before James made a pair of foul shot to seal the deal. Harris was the MVP with 17 points, Vince Hunter scored 15, and Punter had 14 in victory. Spanoulis paced Olympiacos with 20 points and 9 assists, Milutinov scored 17 and Strelnieks 14 points in the losing effort.