Domestic roundup: June 14

Jun 14, 2015 by Print
Domestic roundup: June 14

Olympiacos wins Greek League title

Euroleague runner-up Olympiacos Piraeus is the Greek League champion for the 11th time in club history. The Reds swept arch-rival Panathinaikos Athens in the best-of-five final series, finishing the job in Game 3 with a comfortable 93-74 win behind 23 points and 5 assists from Vassilis Spanoulis. This is the second league title for Olympiacos in 18 years, and the first since 2012. The hosts did not waste much time, taking the lead for good late in the first quarter with a tip-in from Othello Hunter. Matt Lojeski ended the first quarter with a triple for 16-12, then threes from Brent Petway, Dimitrios Agravanis and Oliver Lafayette helped extend it to 34-20. A.J. Slaughter hit from long range to snap an 11-2 run, and Vlantimir Giankovits hit back-to-back from downtown to keep Panathinaikos in the game as the hosts took 51-39 into halftime. Antonis Fotsis hit a triple to start the third, and Panathinaikos cut it to 51-46 with baskets from Loukas Mavorkefalidis. But the Reds led by Vassilis Spanoulis answered with a big run that broke the game wide open. Spanoulis assisted for baskets from Trammell Darden and Georgios Printezis, then hit a pair from downtown himself for 61-48. He followed it with a driving layup, and after a three-point play from Hunter, Spanoulis threw a perfect half-court pass to Lojeski for a catch-and-shoot corner triple and 69-50. Giankovits snapped 18-4 spurt, but the Reds never looked back, cruising to a big win and the title. Printezis had 12 points and 6 rebounds, Lojeski scored 11 points and Hunter had 10 in victory. Giankovits had 17, and Fotsis 11 points for the Greens.

Reggio Emilia takes 1-0 lead

Grissin Bon Reggio Emilia made the first blow in the Italian League finals, beating Dinamo Banco di Sardegna Sassari 82-63 in Game 1 of the best-of-seven series that will decide the champion. The hosts hit 7 triples in the first half and used a 16-2 run in the second quarter to go up 41-24. Behind Achille Polonara and Ojars Silins, the hosts led 52-32 at halftime and never let Sassari back in the game in the second half. Polonara finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds, Rimantas Kaukenas scored 13 points and Darjus Lavrinovic finished with 12. Silins added 10, and Andrea Cinciarini dished 10 assists. Rakim Sanders scored 19 with 7 rebounds in defeat.

Bamberg takes 2-1 lead over Bayern

Brose Baskets Bamberg is one win away from a German League title after topping FC Bayern Munich 91-79 in Game 3 of the best-of-five final series on Sunday. Bamberg holds 2-1 lead after a game in which Janis Strelnieks netted 16 points, Ryan Thompson scored 15, Bradley Wanamaker had 14 points and 6 assists, while Trevor Mbakwe collected 13 points and 9 rebounds. John Bryant scored 20 for Bayern, while Robin Benzing scored 12 and Nihad Djedovic 11 points. Bamberg had a solid 8-0 start to the game, but after going scoreless for the opening 3 minutes, Bayern needed only 3 minutes to catch up and tie it at 13-13. Teams continued trading leads and it was only fitting for 44-44 halftime score as Bryant dominated inside for the visitors, while Strelnieks hit 4 of 4 from long range and along with Thompson - paced Bamberg. The hosts pulled away and built their margin early in the third quarter, however, as Darius Miller hit twice from three-point range, and Wanamaker added couple of baskets in a 14-0 run for 62-49. Bayern never recovered, getting to 70-62 at the start of the final period, but Thompson and Wanamaker hit triples for 76-62, sealing the deal.

Barcelona holds off Unicaja in decider

In an exciting, hard-fought deciding game of the semifinals series that went down to the final possession, FC Barcelona edged Unicaja Malaga 77-74 to make it to the Spanish League finals. Neither team held more than a 7-point margin throughout the game, and it was Juan Carlos Navarro who hit a triple with 19.4 seconds left that decided the game. Navarro finished with 10 points, hitting that one triple in three attempts. DeShaun Thomas had 14 points to pace Barcelona which grabbed 19 offensive rebounds. Ante Tomic scored 11, Tomas Satoransky had 10 points, while Justin Doellman amassed 9 points and 12 rebounds. Ryan Toolson, Jayson Granger and Fran Vazquez each scored 10 for Unicaja which grabbed an early lead in the game, with Granger scoring all of his 10 points, and Toolson contributing for 19-26 early in the second quarter. Mario Hezonja got Barcelona going with his 8 points, including a pair of triples, and a three-pointer from Bostjan Nachbar tied the game at 32-32. Unicaja did go into halftime with 35-37 lead thanks to a German Gabriel triple, but Barcelona got in front in the third behind Doellman, Tomic, and a pair of triples from Thomas for 54-49. Caleb Green scored 7 points before the end of the quarter, briefly giving Unicaja its final lead, before Huertas drove to the hoop to beat the third quarter buzzer for 57-57. Barcelona dominated offensive boards in the fourth, and used it to get its biggest lead with another three-pointer from Thomas, which sparked a 7-0 run capped by a coast-to-coast layup from Marcelinho Huertas for 68-61. But the game was far from over, as Stefan Markovic hit a triple, then Vazquez, Markovic and Toolson nailed consecutive jumpers to bring visitors within 72-70, which also remained the score as the game went into the final minute. Unicaja managed to force a shot-clock violation, then Vazquez made an easy dunk with 35 seconds left to tie the game. But on ensuing possession, Navarro was left wide-open, hitting a three-pointer to give Barcelona lead it managed to hang on to and advance to the final where it will defend the title against its arch-rival and the Euroleague champ Real Madrid.

Strasbourg ties the finals

In Game 2 of the French League finals Strasbourg beat the reigning champion CSP Limoges 66-52 to tie their series at 1-1. Limoges will host the next two games of the best-of-five series after Strasbourg led from start to finish in this one. The hosts opened the game with an 8-0 run, and with Antoine Diot running the offense, and Ali Traore and Matt Howard combining to score 14 points, Strasbourg had 21-12 advantage after 10 minutes. Diot scored 9 of first 13 points for Strasbourg in the second quarter, extending it to 34-22, but Jamar Smith hit one from downtown for Limoges to help cut ii to 36-27 at halftime. After the break, however, Diot and Jeremy Leloup got the margin back into the double figures, 44-29. A three-pointer from Louis Campbell and consecutive baskets from Traore made it 51-34 as Strasbourg looked to put the game away. The visitors stepped it up on defense in the fourth, and Pooh Jeter and J.P. Batista tried to rally Limoges, but never got closer than 9 points the rest of the way. Diot had 20 points and 8 assists to lead the way, Traore scored 14 and Howard had 12 points plus 7 rebounds. Batista collected 11 points and 8 boards for Limoges. Smith also netted 11, while Adrien Moerman added 10 plus 7 rebounds in defeat.

Karsiyaka takes 2-1 lead in Turkey

D.J. Strawberry netted 26 points as Pinar Karsiyaka Izmir took the upper hand in the Turkish League best-of-seven final series, holding off Anadolu Efes Istanbul 71-65 to take 2-1 series lead. Efes was first to jump in front behind Stephane Lasme and Dogus Balbay for 12-18. Robert Dixon and Strawberry got the hosts back in front in the second quarter, building 30-25 advantage, but Dario Saric stepped it up before halftime by scoring 7 points in the final 3:02 of the half for 35-39 at the break. Efes lost Nenad Krstic to knee injury in the third, meanwhile Strawberry buried two three-pointers in the quarter to put Karsiyaka ahead, and Kenny Gabriel had a pair of baskets, including an alley-oop dunk that helped the hosts to 55-49. Birkan Batuk hit from downtown to close within 59-58, but Strawberry and Jon Diebler were quick to answer, as another Strawberry's triple helped the hosts to 66-58. Saric and Matt Janning got Efes to 67-65, but Karsiyaka did not allow another basket in the final 2:14 of the game. Dixon helped Strawberry with 14 points, and Juan Palacios collected 9 points and 10 rebounds. Saric paced Efes with 13 points, 11 rebounds and 4 assists, while Lasme finished with 10 points and 7 rebounds.

Hapoel Eilat forces Game 5 against Maccabi

Hapoel Eilat forced deciding game of the best-of-five semifinals series after beating Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv 92-79 in Game 4 to tie the series at 2-2. After 47-41 at halftime, Eilat pulled away in the third with back-to-back triples from Amit Simhon for 62-48, and Afik Nissim scored 7 points late in the third quarter and two three-pointers from Kevin Palmer opened 79-60 margin in the fourth. The visitors played without Devin Smith, but had Jake Cohen and Jeremy Pargo rally them within 81-75, but Elishay Kadir and Nissim finished the job. Among six scorers in double figures, Nissim led the hosts with 18 points. Adrian Uter amassed 16 points, 11 boards and 4 assists, Simhon scored 15, and Palmer 13 points. Kadir had 12 points, 11 rebounds and 6 assists, while Khalif Wyatt had 11 points and 11 assists. Cohen led Maccabi with 16 points, Sofoklis Schortsanitis scored 15, and Nate Linhart had 14 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and dished 6 assists in defeat.