Fenerbahce beats Efes, takes 1-0 lead
Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul hit first in the Turkish League finals by downing Anadolu Efes Istanbul 56-73 in Game 1 of the best-of-seven series on Sunday. Fenerbahce has a 1-0 lead and stole the home-court advantage in the series. Efes hosts Game 2 on Tuesday. Ali Muhammed led the winners with 22 points. Melih Mahmutoglu added 17 while Ahmet Duverioglu had 10 for Fenerbahce, which was without Jan Vesely, Erick Green and Luigi Datome. Vasilije Micic led Efes with 16 points. Sertac Sanli added 10 for the hosts. A jumper by Nicolo Melli and a three-pointer by Muhammed gave Fenerbahce a 6-11 margin late in the first quarter. Muhammed insisted from downtown, getting help from Nikola Kalinic and Sinan Guler to boost the guests' lead to 10-18 after 10 minutes. Micic and Shane Larkin each hit a triple to get Efes within 16-18 early in the second quarter. Kalinic and Duverioglu stepped up for Fener and a three-point play by Kostas Sloukas gave his team fresh air at 21-29. Micic brought Efes within 32-35 but Mahmutoglu had 5 points in a 0-7 run that made it a double-digit game, 32-42, at halftime. Mahmutoglu kept pacing Fenerbahce after the break and a three-pointer by Muhammed gave the guests a 34-51 margin. Fenerbahce only allowed 4 points in the third quarter, extending its margin to 36-62 after 30 minutes and sealing the outcome.
Spain: Barcelona wins again
FC Barcelona Lassa took a 2-0 lead in its best-of-five semifinal series by downing Tecnyconta Zaragoza 76-70 at Palau Blaugrana in Game 2 on Sunday. Barcelona needs one more win to reach the finals. Zaragoza hosts Game 3 on Tuesday. Thomas Heurtel led the winners with 21 points. Ante Tomic and Adam Hanga each had 10 for Barcelona. Renaldas Seibutis and Nemanja Radovic led Zaragoza with 12 points apiece. Stan Okoye and Johnny Berhanemeskel shined early and a jumper by Fran Vazquez forced Barcelona to call timeout at 9-16. Hanga and Heurtel stepped up for Barcelona but back-to-back baskets by Radovic kept Zaragoza way ahead, 14-21, after 10 minutes. Nacho Martin struck from downtown and a floater by Fabio Santana made it a 12-point game, 14-26. Heurtel hit back-to-back triples and added a floater but he didn't find much help around. Meanwhile, Martin and Jonathan Barreiro boosted Zaragoza's margin to 23-36. Kyle Kuric rescued Barcelona with 7 quick points, getting help from Tomic and Pierre Oriola to bring Barcelona within 36-40 at halftime. Singleton took over after the break and a driving layup by Heurtel gave the hosts their first lead, 51-49. Zaragoza went scoreless for almost 7 minutes, while Huertel, Pau Ribas and Kevin Pangos made it a double-digit game, 61-51, at the end of the third quarter. Zaragoza found a go-to guy in Seibutis, who managed to get his team within 68-65 with over 2 minutes left. Hanga followed a dunk with a fast break layup and soon added a critical basket that sealed the outcome, 74-67, in the final minute.
ALBA advances to German finals, clinches EuroLeague spot
ALBA Berlin made it to the German League finals by downing EWE Baskets Oldenburg 89-100 in Game 3 of the best-of-five semifinals series on Sunday. ALBA swept the series and is set to face FC Bayern Munich in the finals. With this win, ALBA has earned the right to take part in the 2019-20 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague. Peyton Siva and Johannes Thiemann led the winners with 14 points apiece. Martin Hermannsson, Landry Nnoko and Luke Sikma each added 12 while Rokas Giedraitis had 10 for ALBA. Will Cummings led Oldenburg with 31 points. Siva and Kenneth Ogbe fueled an 0-8 run that gave ALBA an early 4-12 lead. Siva hit his second triple and Sikma struck from downtown to make it a double-digit game, 12-22. Cummings brought Oldenburg within 25-28 after 10 minutes. Giedraitis joined the three-point shootout and a layup-plus-foul by Thiemann boosted ALBA's lead to 29-38. Cummings found help from Mahalbasic to get the hosts closer, 43-47, at halftime. Nnoko and Giedraitis took over after the break, and a three-point play by Sikma improved ALBA's margin to 52-60, which Oldenburg cut to 67-70 at the end of the third quarter. A three-pointer by Philipp Schwethelm tied the game, 70-70, early in the fourth quarter. Siva, Nnoko amd Sikma combined for 11 quick points to make Oldenburg call timeout, 74-81, with over 6 minutes left. Back-to-back triples by Niels Giffey sealed the outcome, 80-90, with 3:30 remaining.
Torun closer to Polish title
Polski Cukier Torun took a 3-2 lead in the Polish League finals by edging Anwil Wloclawek 74-70 in Game 5 of the best-of-seven title series on Sunday. Torun needs another win to take the trophy but Anwil hosts Game 6 on Wednesday. Cheikh Mbodj led the winners with 16 points. Aaron Cel and Bartosz Diduszko each had 11 for Torun. Chase Simon led Anwil with 20 points. Torun led most of the way but Szymon Szewczyk gave Anwil a 64-67 edge with under 4 minutes left. Damian Kulig and Karol Gruszecki fueled a 10-0 run that sealed the outcome, 74-67, already in the final minute.