Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul qualified to the Turkish League Finals, beating Darussafaka 65-91 to win its semifinals series 3-1. Olympiacos Piraeus, FC Bayern Munich and AX Armani Exchange Milan each recorded important victories.
Domestic leagues: Fenerbahce reaches Turkish League finals!
Turkey: Fenerbahce eliminates Darussafaka
Fenerbahce stormed into the Turkish League finals by downing Darussafaka Istanbul 65-91 on the road in Game 4 also on Monday. Fenerbahce won the series 3-1 and will have the home-court advantage in the best-of-five finals. Ismet Akpinar led the winners with 21 points. Nando De Colo added 17 while Melih Mahmutoglu had 13 for Fenerbahce, which buried 13-of-32 three-pointers (40.6%) and dished 23 assists, more than twice as many as its opponents (11). Troy Caupain led Darussafaka with 15 points.
Pierria Henry, Mahmutoglou and Ismet Akpinar each hit a three-pointer in a 0-9 run that gave Fenerbahce its first lead, 6-9. De Colo and Mahmutoglou allowed the hosts to extend its margin to 10-16 after 10 minutes. Fenerbahce found a new go-to guy in Vesely, who joined forces with De Colo to make it a double-digit game, 16-26. Vesely and De Colo kept pacing the guests and Akpinar allowed Fenerbahce to reach halftime with a 23-42 margin. Fenerbahce managed to keep full control of the game until the final buzzer, extending its lead to 28-50 right after the break and then again to 45-68 at the end of the third quarter, more than enough to cruise to a well-deserved, important win.
Greece: Olympiacos thrashes Promitheas
Olympiacos Piraeus took a 1-0 lead in its best-of-five Greek League semifinals series by overwhelming Promitheas Patras 116-73 at the Peace and Friendship Stadium on Monday. Tyler Dorsey led six Olympiacos players in double figures with 18 points. Shaquielle McKissic added 17, Sasha Vezenkov 15, Kostas Papanikolaou 12, Giannoulis Larentzakis 11 and Livio Jean-Charles 10 for the Reds. Georgios Tanoulis led Promitheas with 17 points. Nikos Gkikas added 15 and Dimitris Agravanis 11 for the guests, that hosts Game 2 on Wednesday. Olympiacos hit 28-of-35 two-point shots (80%) and only allowed Promitheas to hit 18 of 37 shots inside the arc (48.6%).
Jerai Grant hit a jumper to put Promitheas ahead, 12-13, late in the first quarter. Dorsey and Thomas Walkup rescued Olympiacos and Kostas Sloukas's jumper gave the Reds a 24-19 lead after 10 minutes. Shaquille McKissic struck twice from downtown and Larentzakis hit a triple in a 15-0 run that Jean-Charles capped with a dunk to break the game open, 42-21. Marcus Foster stepped up with 7 quick points but Olympiacos managed to keep a 21-point margin, 53-32, at halftime. Vezenkov and Dorsey each hit a couple of three-pointers to boost the Reds' margin to 67-34 soon after the break. Olympiacos improved its margin to 80-39 and never looked back.
Germany: Bayern wins in Bonn - again
FC Bayern Munich got closer to the German League finals by downing Telekom Basket Bonn 82-83 in Game 2 of their best-of-five semifinals. Othello Hunter hit the go-ahead free throw with 3.1 seconds remaining. Nick Weiler-Babb paced the winners with 18 points. Andreas Obst added 17 while DeShaun Thomas had 16 for Bayern, which has a 0-2 lead in the series and hosts Game 3 on Wednesday. Jeremy Morgan led 5 Bonn players in double digits with 17 points.
Bonn led 27-21 early in the second quarter, but Andreas Obst struck twice from downtown to help Bayern get a 35-38 lead. Obst kept pacing Bayern, getting help from DeShaun Thomas and Jason George to give Bayern a 44-49 lead at halftime. Nick Weiler-Babb hit a triple soon after the break for a 44-52 Bayern lead. Bonn rallied and regained the lead, 59-56, but Weiler-Babb single-handedly helped the guests tie the game, 64-64, after 30 minutes. Obst's fourth three-pointer restored a 69-70 Bayern lead with over 7 minutes left. Obst and Weiler-Babb combined for all points in a 0-7 run that boosted Bayern's lead to 72-77 but Bonn tied the game, 81-81, with 24 seconds remaining. Othello Hunter drew a foul and split free throws, allowing Bayern to win the game, as Javontae Hawkins missed at the buzzer.
Italy: Milan moves closer to finals
AX Armani Exchange Milan took a 2-0 lead in its best-of-five semifinals seires by downing Banco di Sardegna Sassari 90-82 at Mediolanum Forum. Sergio Rodriguez led the winners with 18 points. Devon Hall added 17 while Shavon Shields had 16 for Milan, which pulled down 13 offensive rebounds, had 4 blocks and limited turnovers to just 11. Eimantas Bendzius had 23 points to lead Sassari, which hosts Game 3 on Wednesday.
Kyle Hines and Shields fueled a 7-0 opening run. Sassari bounced back and took its first lead, 15-18, on a three-pointer by Bendzius. Hall and Tommaso Baldasso helped Milan regain a 22-18 lead at the end of the first quarter. The hosts soon boosted their margin to 35-29 but David Logan scored 10 points in less than 4 minutes to put Sassari in charge, 41-49, at the break. Giampaolo Ricci and Hall each buried a triple to keep Milan within 47-49 right after halftime. Luigi Datome's three-point play completed his team's comeback, 62-61. Sassari regained a 68-69 lead after 30 minutes. Baldasso and Hall nailed a three-pointer apiece to give Milan an 80-73 edge. Rodriguez and Shields made the difference in crunch time.