Spain: Real, Barcelona sweep to next round
Real Madrid, FC Barcelona Lassa and Tecnyconta Zaragoza all completed 2-0 sweeps of their Spanish League quarterfinals series, while Valencia Basket remained alive with a win. Real took care of business with a 73-88 victory at Baxi Manresa. Facundo Campazzo led a balanced Real attack with 14 points and 7 assists, Jaycee Carroll added 12 points and Rudy Fernandez 11. Los Blancos led from tip to buzzer; Fernandez sank a pair of threes in a 0-10 Real start, which became 11-26 after 10 minutes and 28-47 at halftime. The lead peaked at 54-86 in the fourth quarter before Real took its collective feet off the gas late. Sergi Garcia led Manresa with 13 points and Alvaro Munoz had 12 in defeat. Barcelona overpowered Divina Joventut Badalona 86-107 on the strength of a masterpiece by Thomas Heurtel, who scored 32 points on 4-of-7 three-point shooting and 9 assists. Heurtel led six Barcelona scorers in double figures; Victor Claver scored 16, Adam Hanga tallied 13 points and 7 rebounds, Pierre Oriola also scored 13, Pau Ribas 11 and Chris Singleton 10. Joventut jumped out to a hot start, but Claver hit a pair of threes in a 3-16 Barcelona run that bridged the first and second quarters for a 19-30 lead and Coach Pesic's charges never looked back. Nico Laprovittola amassed 22 points and 11 assists for Joventut and Xabi López-Arostegui and Nobel Boungou-Colo added 14 points each.
Valencia Basket evened its series against Unicaja Malaga with a 69-76 road win at Unicaja Malaga. Mike Tobey scored 14 points in 12 minutes off the bench to pace the Valencia attack, Fernando San Emeterio added 12, Will Thomas 11 and Guillem Vives 10. Valencia led by as many as 16 points in the second quarter and Unicaja came back to lead by 5 in the third quarter and 53-52 heading into the fourth. The fourth quarter alone featured nine lead changes, the last of which saw San Emeterio's three-point play put Valencia up 65-67 with 4 minutes remaining. Valencia's defense blanketed Unicaja down the stretch to collect a tough win. Mathias Lessort posted 12 points and 8 rebounds and Brian Roberts scored 10 for Unicaja. Earlier, Zaragoza eliminated KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz 76-69. Nemanja Radovic paced the winners with 16 points and Javier Justiz added 14. Zaragoza took charge early and led by as many as 19 in the second quarter before Baskonia rallied to within 38-33 at halftime, took its first lead in the third quarter and extended it to 49-57 early in the fourth. Justiz took charge with 10 points in a 17-2 Zaragoza run that gave the hosts the lead for good. Jayson Granger led Baskonia with 14 points, Toko Shengelia scored 12 and Johannes Voigtmann 10.
ALBA, Bayern start strong in German semifinals
ALBA Berlin and FC Bayern Munich each won the opening game of their respective best-of-five German League semifinals series. Martin Hermannsson scored half the points in a 0-8 fourth-quarter run that helped ALBA Berlin put away EWE Baskets Oldenburg 93-100. Peyton Siva paced the victors with 26 points, Hermannsson and Landry Nnoko added 15 points and Rokas Giedraitis 11. Oldenburg jumped ahead with a 9-0 first-quarter run and led for most of the first half until Siva led a 1-9 run at the end of the second quarter to send ALBA to halftime with a 44-46 edge. Franz Wagner scored 6 points in a 2-11 start to the second half, but the hosts rallied to lead 73-72 on a Nathan Boothe triple at the end of the third quarter. The game was close for the first half of the fourth quarter until, with ALBA leading 83-86, Hermannsson led the game-clinching run. Will Cummings and Rasid Mahalbasic scored 21 points each for Oldenburg, Boothe had 18 and Frantz Massenat tallied 16 points and 8 assists in defeat.
Bayern bested RASTA Vechta 98-88 behind big games from Vladimir Lucic and Devin Booker. They missed 3 field goals between them as Lucic netted 24 points and Booker posted 21 points and 9 rebounds. Maodo Lo added 15 points and Danilo Barthel 10. Bayern scored the game's first 9 points and led for the vast majority of the game, including a 52-42 halftime advantage. Vechta rallied in the fourth quarter and with a pair of Austin Hollins three-pointers reeled off 9 straight points to take its first lead, 78-79. However, Booker scored 6 in an 11-0 run that Petteri Koponen capped with a three for a 91-81 lead and Bayern held on the rest of the way. Seth Hinrichs led Vechta with 21 points and 6 assists, Hollins finished with 17 points and T.J. Bray had 14 points and 7 assists in defeat.
Efes goes up 2-0 in semifinals in Turkey
Turkish Airlines EuroLeague runner-up Anadolu Efes Istanbul took a commanding 2-0 lead in the Turkish League semifinals with an 80-68 victory over Galatasaray Istanbul. Efes never trailed in the game and its lead was in double figures for all of the final three quarters. The hosts, who led by as many as 27 in the third quarter, got 41 points off the bench. Shane Larkin and Bryant Dunston paced the winners with 12 points each, Sertac Sanli scored 11 and Vasilije Micic and Adrien Moerman added 10 apiece. Erol Can Cinko led Galatasaray with 11 points and Tai Webster and Marko Arapovic scored 10 each.
France: ASVEL dominates Game 1 of semis
LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne romped past JSF Nanterre 91-72 in the opening game of their French League playoff semifinals. ASVEL outscored visiting Nanterre in each of the four quarters. Adreian Payne shined for the winners with 21 points on 5-of-7 three-point shooting, DeMarcus Nelson added 14 points and 7 rebounds, Miro Bilan scored 12 and Livio Jean-Charles 10. ASVEL started strong, but Nanterre remained in the game and took a 36-39 lead 4 minutes into the second quarter. The hosts responded with 9 straight points, led 52-42 at halftime and remained in control the rest of the way. Nick Johnson paced the Nanterre attack with 18 points and Julian Gamble added 12.
Zvezda opens Serbian semis with victory
Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade scored an 83-72 victory over Mega Bemax in Game 1 of their Serbian League semifinals. Billy Baron scored 24 points on 4-of-6 three-point shooting, K.C. Rivers netted 17 points, Filip Covic 14 and Ognjen Dobric 13. Mega led for all of the first half, which ended at 38-40. Zvezda took its first lead at 47-46 on a Dobric jumper in the third quarter and led 58-57 at the end of that period. Rivers and Dobric teamed up on a 10-3 start to the fourth quarter and held on the rest of the way. Luka Asceric was Mega's top scorer with 20 points and EuroLeague Rising Star Award winner Goga Bitadze added 12 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 blocks.
Sassari KO's Milan to reach Italian finals
Dinamo Banco di Sardegna Sassari outscored AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan 19-7 in the overtime session to claim a 108-96 victory and a 3-0 sweep of their Italian League semifinals series. Jaime Smith scored 8 of his game-high 29 points in overtime to lead the winners. Sassari raced ahead early and twice led by 10 in the first quarter, which ended at 29-21. Milan came back to tie it at 37-37 midway through the second quarter and led 51-52 at the break. Dyshawn Pierre led a 10-0 finish to the third quarter that put Sassari in control, 74-66, and his next bucket made it a double-digit margin. Back-to-back threes by Mike James and James Nunnally gave Milan a 1-point edge in the final minute. Pierre split free throws to tie it at 89-89 and that's how regulation time ended. With the score tied 94-94, Jack Cooley scored 4 straight free throws to start a 9-0 run that put Sassari in charge for good en route to the victory, a series sweep and a spot in the finals. Rashawn Thomas tallied 22 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists for Sassari, Cooley finished with 20 points and Pierre with 15. Nunnally led Milan's attack with 19 points, James recorded 18 points and 7 assists, Mindaugas Kuzminskas also scored 18, Nemanja Nedovic 16 and Vlado Micov 10.