Papanikolaou lifts Olympiacos in thriller
Olympiacos Piraeus got closer to return to the Greek League finals by edging Promitheas Patras 89-88 in Game 2 of the best-of-five semifinals playoffs series on Saturday. Olympiacos leads 2-0 and needs one more win to reach the finals. Vassilis Spanoulis led the winners with 20 points and seven assists. Georgios Printezis added 13 points and Brian Roberts got 10 for Olympiacos. Kostas Papanikolaou became the game hero by hitting the go-ahead three-pointer in the final minutes. Casey Prather led Promitheas with 22 points. Mouhammad Faye added 17 while Langton Hall had 15 for the guests. Spanoulis had 13 points before the break, getting plenty of help from Printezis and Georgios Bogris to make Olympiacos break the game open, 55-38, at halftime. Promitheas rallied in the second half and got 76-82 with under four minutes left. Olympiacos went on a 0-6 run but consecutive baskets by Faye restored an 84-86 Promitheas lead with a minute left. Kyle Wiltjer and Prather exchanged basket and Papanikolaou struck from downtown for an 89-88 score with 14 seconds left. Prather missed a jumper seconds before the final buzzer.
Milan gets convincing win, ties series
AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan bounced back from its initial loss in the Italian League semifinals by thrashing Germani Basket Brescia 89-68 at home in Game 2 pn Saturday. Series is tied at 1-1 but Games 3 and 4 will be played in Brescia. Andrew Goudelock led six Milan players in double digits with 15 points. Vladimir Micov and Arturas Gudaitis each added 14, Andrea Cinciarini had 12, Mindaugas Kuzminskas got 11 while Dairis Bertans contribuyed 10 in an easy win for Milan, which led 30-13 after 10 minutes, boosted its margin to 60-31 at halftime and kept a safe lead from that moment until the final buzzer. Dario Hunt led Brescia with 14 points.
Shved leads Khimki past Lokomotiv
Khimki Moscow Region took a 2-0 lead in its best-of-five VTB League quarterfinals playoffs series by topping Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar 77-72 at home in Game 2 on Saturday. Alexey Shved paced the winners with 32 points and seven assists. Tyler Honeycutt added 11 points while Malcolm Thomas had 10 for Khimki. Dmitry Kulagin led Lokomotiv with 19 points. Dmitry Khvostov added 13 while Chris Babb had 12 for Lokomotiv, which led 15-23 after 10 minutes and extended it to 34-44 right after halftime. Shved led a 18-2 run but a three-pointer by Babb tied the game, 55-55, after 30 minutes. Khimki did not trail in the fourth quarter and Thomas sealed the outcome, 77-72, with 21 seconds left. Nizhny Novgorod bounced back from its initial loss in its quarterfinals by topping UNICS Kazan 77-74 at home in Game 2 also on Saturday. The best-of-five series is now tied at 1-1. Stefan Jelovac led the winners with 29 points. Jake Odum added 15 while Petr Gubanov had 12 for Nizhny. Quino Colom led UNICS with 20 points. Melvin Ejim added 15 while Anton Ponkrashov got 10 for the guests. Nizhny led 68-61 midway through the fourth quarter but Colom and Ejim brought UNICS within 73-71 already in the final minutes. Jelovac made free throws, Colom bettered that with a triple and UNICS fouled on Gubanov, who gave the hosts a 77-74 edge. Ejim missed from downtown at the buzzer.
Cunningham, Booker lead Bayern to big home win
FC Bayern Munich took a 2-1 lead in its best-of-five semifinals playoffs series by thrashing Brose Bamberg 99-67 at home on Saturday. Jared Cunningham and Devin Booker paced the winners with 15 points apiece. Braydon Hobbs added 13, Reggie Redding had 12 while Ninad Djedovic got 11 for Bayern, which hit 23-of-35 two-point shots and 14-of-24 from downtown. Augustine Rubit led Bamberg with 15 points. Leon Radosevic added 12 while Dorell Wright had 11 for the guests. Bayern build a double-digit lead, 26-13, at the end of the first quarter, extending it to 48-28 at halftime and then again to 76-38 after 30 minutes to seal the outcome. Bamberg hosts Game 4 on Tuesday.
Limoges downs Dijon, reaches the semifinals
Limoges CSP made it to the French League semifinals by topping JDA Dijon 64-81 on the road on Saturday. Limoges advanced to the semifinals and is set to face Monaco in the next round. Kenny Hayes led the winners with 21 points. William Howard and Samardo Samuels each added 15 while Drew Joyce had 13 for Limoges, that won all four quarters and outrebounded its opponents by 31-48, grabbing 18 offensive boards. Valentin Bigote led Dijon with 19 points. Monaco also reached the semifinals by thrashing Pau-Lacq-Orthez 73-98 to sweep their best-of-three quarterfinal playoffs series. Paul Lacombe led the winners with 18 points. Elmedin Kikanovic added 17 while D.J. Cooper had 14 for Monaco, which led 36-49 at halftime, extended its margin to 58-75 after 30 minutes and never looked back. Elie Okobo led five Pau players in double digits with 14 points.
Ostrow bounces back, ties Polish finals
BM Slam Stal Ostrow Wielkopolski stole the home court advantage in the Polish League Finals by downing Anwil Wloclawek 77-83 in Game 2 of the best-of-seven title series on Saturday. Series is tied at 1-1 but Ostrow Games 3 and 4 next week. Nikola Markovic led the winners with 17 points. Aaron Johnson added 15, Jure Skific had 13 while Stephen Holt got 12 for Ostrow. Ivan Almeida led Anwil with 19 points. Quinton Hosley added 11 for the hosts, who led 24-14 after 10 minutes and kept a 60-57 at the end of the third quarter. Markovic took over early in the fourth quarter and a three-pointer by Marc Carter seemed to seal the outcome, 64-74, with 3:48 left. Anwil got within 71-74 but free throws by Markovic and Johnson kept Ostrow way ahead until the final buzzer.