This is the most balanced FIBA Europe Cup!

Budivelnyk Kyiv, Kalev/Cramo, Gaziantep and Karhu win first leg in the FIBA Europe Cup Quarter-Finals. All four games were decided by 3 points or less so the qualification will be played in the matches of March 14-15.

Gaziantep v Anwil Wloclawek

The Turks seem to be the big favourite of the competition, a fantastic team in terms of value for this level. The MVPs of the last 3 months are in the same team: December Conner Frankamp, ​​January Olivier Hanlan and February Codi Miller-McIntyre. But in Poland, Damyean Dotson, scorer of 27 points, and center John Egbunu, 16 points and 7 rebounds, stood out. The Poles are a hard-workers team and lost the first match by a single point even though they were led by 13 points, 84-85 thanks to Nowakowski 19 points, Williams 19 points, 9 rebounds and Sanders 17 points. Probably the Turks will be much more careful and will not allow the Poles to keep chances to win.

Brose Bamberg v BC Kalev/Cramo

BC Kalev/Cramo is the beautiful story of this season, especially after the success of the first match 80-77. It was a duel in a team that used only 4 foreigners and the main scorer was Estonian, Konontsuk 22 points, 10 rebounds (22 years old) helped by Gilbert 18 points and another, Bamberg that used 7 foreign players and had only one German in the first 8 scorers, Sengfelder with 13 points, 9 rebounds. Miller had 15 points, Bohacik 12 points and Reaves 10 points. In the match in Germany, we will find out if the story of the Estonian team will be able to go to the end. It a story that started in the qualifications where they eliminated Cedevita Junior, Prishtina and finally Craiova, they won a group with Budivelnyk, Brindisi and Donar to finish second group 2nd after Gaziantep but in front of Crailsheim and Den Bosch.

Cholet Basket v BC Budivelnyk Kyiv

The Ukrainians played the first game in Italy and won 73-72, recovering from a 12-point deficit thanks to Berhanemeskel with 20 points and two double-doubles coming from Grant 15 points, 17 rebounds and Bliznyuk 12 points, 11 rebounds. For the French, 3 Americans stood out: Artis 15 points, Ellis 13 points and Patton 13 points. The French are one of the most formidable teams on the home ground only 3 lost in all competitions two with Le Mans and one with Monaco, so the Ukrainians will have a difficult mission.

Karhu Basket v FC Porto

The Finnish side has a 10-2 record after 2 rounds of groups, but they also had a little luck meeting approachable teams: Budivelnyk, Levice, Haifa, Anwil, Sporting and Kormend. Porto finished 2nd in a group with Den Bosch, Friborg and Parnu, then also finished 2nd in a group with Cholet, Chemnitz and Craiova. The match in Portugal was an extremely balanced one won by Karhu 81-80 after a Jaye Crockett layup with 13 seconds remaining. Dolenc with 16 points, Crockett with 15 points, 10 rebounds were the main scorers of the guests and from the hosts, Landis had 18 points and Cardoso with 11 points. The 2nd match is announced balanced again between 2 teams close in terms of value.

Valentin Petruta

Photo credit: FIBA Europe Cup