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  1997-1998     Other seasons     1999-2000  

SAPORTA CUP 1998-1999
In 1998 the event changed it's name from EuroCup to Saporta Cup

Play-Off bracket

Benetton Treviso won Saporta Cup 1999

Winner: Benetton Treviso (Italy): Henry Williams, Željko Rebrača, Marcelo Nicola, Glenn Sekunda, William Di Spalatro, Tomas Jofresa, Denis Marconato, Casey Schmidt, Davide Bonora, Riccardo Pittis, Oliver Narr, Stjepan Stazić, Matteo Maestrello (Coach: Željko Obradović)

Runner-up: Pamesa Valencia (Spain): Bernard Hopkins, Rod Sellers, Berni Alvarez, Victor Luengo, Jose Luis Maluenda, Alfonso Albert, Nacho Rodilla, Cesar Alonso, Ruben Burgos, Ignacio Martorell (Coach: Miki Vuković)

Semifinalist: Aris Thessaloniki (Greece): Mikhail Mikhailov, Gary Grant, Panagiotis Liadelis, Georgios Sigalas, Dinos Angelidis, Nasos Galakteros, Ioannis Sioutis, Alexander Kuhl, Georgios Chrysanthopoulos, Mark Nees, Dimitrios Makris, Georgios Floros, Michael Pournaris

Semifinalist: Buducnost Podgorica (Yugoslavia): Vlado Šćepanović, Nikola Bulatović, Dragan Vukčević, Željko Topalović, Gavrilo Pajović, Dejan Radonjić, Goran Bošković, Dragan Ćeranić, Saša Radunović, Đuro Ostojić, Balša Radunović

FINAL (13/4/99 in Zagaroza, Spain): Pamesa Valencia (ESP) - Benetton Treviso (ITA) 60-64 (Sellers 17, Rodilla 14, Hopkins 13, Maluenda 10, Bernardo 3, Luengo 3, Albert - Williams 17, Nicola 14, Jofresa 10, Marconato 7, Pittis 6, Rebraca 6, Bonora 4, Sekunda)
The game Benetton - Pamesa was very thrilling in last five minutes, when Pamesa come back from a -18 difference to -2 (!!.) Spanish team has been fantastic in its effort, showing a great "heart" and determination, and three great players, Nacho Rodilla, Rod Sellers, Anthony Hopkins. But Benetton' s coach Obradovic prepared very well the game, and his defense was a great starting point for the victory. More, Henry Williams and Marcelo Nicola, the two main offensive weapons of the green-whites, produced 20 and 14 points, and were very effective in last minutes, when the American players scored 4 free throws without fear, and Nicola made a decisive steal. But Marconato, Rebraca and Pittis played very good too, and Bonora and Jofresa were great in defending on opposite guards. Aftre the game, Henry Williams declared: "Now, we will try to win Italian League too". Teamsystem is forewarned. (John Smith)

Leg One (23/3/99):
Benetton Treviso (ITA) - Buducnost Podgorica (YUG) 76-60 (Bonora 8, Williams 21, Pittis 4, Nicola 7, Rebraca 18, Jofresa 0, Sekunda 9, Marconato 0, Schmidt 9 - Pajovic 6, Scepanovic 7, Boskovic 2, Topalovic 2, Bulatovic 15, Radonjic 2, Ostojic 0, Vukcevic 19, Radunovic 7)
13 points were OK to go to Beograd, 16 could be OK to go to Titograd, even if "Moraca" arena is known for his "heat athmosphere". But, after last news about the NATO probable bombing on Kosovo and Serbia, maybe that today FIBA will decide to relocate the retour match to a neutral site, along from Yugoslavian Federation. However, Benetton won the game both on the technical and physical side, Williams and Rebraca were the two players more effective, and Pittis the tougher defender, as usual. The veterans are ready to go to the Final of Saporta. (John Smith)
Pamesa Valencia (ESP) - Aris Thessaloniki (GRE) 70-64 (Hopkins 21, Sellers 20 – Mikhailov 19, Liadelis 16)
Aris lost to BC Pamesa in Spain but is still the favorite for the Saporta cup final. The 6 point deficit will be diminished in Thessaloniki's rematch. Mikhailon had 19 points and 12 boards for Aris while Liadelis added 16 but the team had an overall 31.3% behind the arc. From the spanish team Hopkins scored 21 and Sellers 20. (Thrasos Axiotis)
Leg Two (30/3/99):
Buducnost Podgorica (YUG) - Benetton Treviso (ITA)
About the FIBA decision to promote Benetton directly to Saporta Cup, GM of Treviso Maurizio Gherardini declared: "We are all very sad, if we consider our friendship with all the players and club officials of Buducnost. We don' t like to be promoted without earning promotion on the court, due to this terrible circumstance. However, we are ready to play in Final Game, we won important games all season in Saporta, and we believe to have yet demonstrated to have the rights to play The Final Game."
   FIBA Officially announced that Saporta Cup retour game between Buducnost Podgorica and Benetton Treviso would be played in Greece, istead of in Montenegro, due to NATO bombing in Kosovo. Thessaloniki was ready to host the semifinal game between Buducnost Podgorica - Benneton Treviso, but Buducnost players cannot leave Yugoslavia, because of the NATO attacks and FIBA decided to cancel the game. So Treviso is in the final of Saporta Cup (13/3 in Saragossa, Spain). The second semifinal game is on Tuesday in Thessaloniki between Aris and Valencia (spanish team won at home by 6 points). Aris will play again without Garry Grant, who decided to leave the team, because he is injured and cannot play. Olympiakos Pireus has different problems, a few hours before the critical local derby against Panathinaikos (Sun, 19.00' CET). The team has a lot of Serbians, who care more about the situation in their country. Head coach, Dusan Ivkovic, his assistant, Milan Minic and the players (Tarlac, Tomic, Vukcevic) slept only a few hours before the Euroleague game in Lyon agaist Villeurbanne, while trying to come in contact with their families in Belgrade. The same problem has Panathinaiko's Dejan Bodiroga and a lot of Serbian players, who play in the Greek A1 league. "They want to press our country to sign a "blanc paper" " said Dusan Ivkovic, about the NATO attacks. "We will not aloow anybody to destroy our country" added Iraklis Serbian coach, Dragan Sakota.
Aris Thessaloniki (GRE) - Pamesa Valencia (ESP) 50-58 (Liadellis 25, Sigalas 9 – Bernardo 24, Sellers 13)

Leg One (2/3/99):
Buducnost Podgorica (YUG) - Tofas Bursa (TUR) 67-65 (Radunovic 16, Bulatovic 15 – Rivers 23, Griffith 11, Rogers 11)Aris Thessaloniki (GRE) - Pivovarna Lasko (SLO) 95-72 (Liadelis 25, Angelidis 21, Mikhailov 18+11reb – Goljovic 22, Lisica 17+13reb)Pamesa Valencia (ESP) - Juventut Badalona (ESP) 57-50 (Sellers 19, Hopkins 10, Albert 10 – Middleton 20, Swinson 16)
Pamesa won their 15th game in a row in Saporta Cup, making it historic. It was a game between two different teams. Badalona likes to run and play fast and spectacular, just the opposite of what does Pamesa. But Pamesa could play a slow game wo they won. It was thanks to a great game of Sellers in the last minutes. (Pablo Malo de Molina)Benetton Treviso (ITA) - Partizan Belgrade (YUG) 90-77 (Nicola 14, Pittis 8, Bonora 9, Rebraca 13, Williams 29, Sekunda 4, Marconato 8, Schmidt 5 - Cubrilo 7, Gilic 9, Tomasevic 9,Radosevic 6, Lukovski 12, Djokic 8, Brkic 14, Varda 9, Vidacic 8)
At the end of the game, coach Obradovic declared to media: "If we go to Beograd thinking to the 13 points advantage, it' s better to stay at home". This is exactly what Benetton is risking now, after that Italian team left Partizan to comeback from -25 to -13 in last fivet minutes of the game. No FIBA Cup game is ended till the last second, and in Beograd is not so easy to play, even if green-whites have some veteras who know well how to do. (Gianni P.)Leg Two (9/3/99)Tofas Bursa (TUR) - Buducnost Podgorica (YUG) 64-82 (Rivers 18, Konuk 15 – Vukcevic 18, Pajovic 15, Bulatovic 15)
So Tofas payed dearly to see this team as inferior. I warned previously about this team, saying they beat Red Star and Partizan. When you form a team with millions, you make sure you get at least a good coach - this is what happens. If Tofas had lost the first game by 6-7, then they would have played much better here i guess. This shows that Turkish teams play according to the opponent, instead of their usual games. Congratulations to Budocnost - and this is a wake up call to see that the game is not just 'played' by players - you need a coach and experience. (Evrim Icoz)Pivovarna Lasko (SLO) - Aris Thessaloniki (GRE) 72-63 (Goljovic 25, Lisica 18, Becirovic 15, Dragsic 7, Doncic 3, Jurak 2, Kunc 2 - Sioutis 19, Liadelis 18, Sigalas 7, Angelidis 6, Mihajlov 6, Galakteros 4, Kuhl 3).
Pivovarna Lasko played excellent first half-time, the best in 30-years history of club. The first match lost for 24 point, but in the half-time lead for 17 and in 23.minute 47:28. Sigalas scored two 3-points in row and Aris came to 55:48 (31.minute). Then played on 30 seconds and hadn't any problem for promoted to semi-final. (Zeljko Z.)Juventut Badalona (ESP) - Pamesa Valencia (ESP) 69-66 (Biota 26, Lopez 12, Middleton 12 – Rodilla 22, Maluenda 15)
Pamesa passed to the next round thanks to their 7 point win in Valencia last week. It was an incredible game and Badalona had everything to pass (57-42) but then appeared Maluenda and Pamesa could pass to the semi-finals. However they broke their 15th winning games streak in Saporta Cup. They will face Aris Salonica. (Pablo Malo de Molina)Partizan Belgrade (YUG) - Benetton Treviso (ITA) 73-73 (Brkic 12, Gilic 7, Tomasevic 16, Radosevic 19, Lukovski 10, Djokic 2, Cubrilo 2, Varda 0, Vidacic 5, Stevanovic 0 - Bonora 5, Williams 23, Pittis 3, Nicola 18, Rebraca 8, Marconato 11, Schmidt 4, Jofresa 1) It was the 39th birthday of Zelimir Obradovic yesterday, and Pionir Arena received him with a great ovation. Then, the coach had the birthday present from his players too, with a good defensive work, the usual streak shooting from Nicola, the hard rebounding from Marconato and Rebraca. The final result of coming out unbeaten from Beograd is a great success, now Treviso will meet another Yugo powerhouse, Buducnost, which made almost a miracle winning in Turkey. They will be two very hard semifinal games. (Gianni P.)

1/8 Finals
Leg One (9/2/99):
W1 Buducnost Podgorica (YUG) - Slovakofarma Pezinok (SVK) 86-68 (Bulatovic 24, Boskovic 19 – Ristanovic 19, Szabo 13, Zadravec 13)
W2 Pivovarna Lasko (SLO) - Cholet (FRA) 77:68 (Lisica 23 (2p 7/9, 9 rbs), Goljovic 23 (3p 5/10), Becirovic 9, Dragsic 9, Doncic 6, Jurak 4+9 rbs, Kunc 3 - Howell 27 (3p 3/5), Hayes 17, Miller 12+7 rbs, Micoud 7, Dubos 2, Villalobos 2, Jeanneau 1. 2P: 14/29 - 17/38. 3P: 11/32 - 5/11. FT: 16/21 - 19/24. RBS: 30 (23+7) - 20 (18+2))
Cholet lead just twice (12:10, 16:14) and Pivovarna had a good chance for a big victory. They started with 10:2 and in 25.minute lead 51:32. But some mistakes and hazard tactics with shoots for three points (32 attemps, for 2 points only 29 attemps) are reason that in 30.minute was just 54:48 (partial result 3:16). Four minutes before the end was 64:59 but Goljovic twice and Dragsic once scored for 3-points and Pivovarna won for nine. It was teenth victory for Slovenian team in Saporta's Cup 1998/99.
Ales Pipan, Lasko's head coach: "We so early lead for 19 points. However, 77:68 is still good result."
Eric Girard, Cholet's head coach: "French championship is more important for us. It seems that my team didn't want to win, beacuse they had 10 rebounds less than Lasko." (Zeljko)

W3: BC Split (CRO) - Pamesa Valencia (ESP) 76-79 (Miller 21, Vujcic 15 – Garcia 17, Hopkins 16)
W4 Turk Telecom PTT Ankara (TUR) - Partizan Belgrade (YUG) 70-85 (Bibo 17, Mc Cullough 16 – Lukovski 21, Brkic 20)
W5 SSV ratiopharm Ulm (GER) - Tofas Bursa (TUR) 65:74 (Walker 22, Ast 1, Svitek 7, Autry 15, Kemna 1, Nees 12, Lommerse 7 - Rivers 24,Rimac 11, Bas 2, Rogers 19, Konuk 7, Okur 2, Griffith 9)
Ulm lost after a great game against Bursa. 38. minute: Ulm is in the lead with 63:60, then Ulms playmaker Adrian Autry gets out with the 5. foul. This was the end for Ulm. Jarvis Walker made a good game against David Rivers in defense. Dirk Lommerse (11) was best rebounder, Murat Konuk gets 10. (Ute)
W6 BK Ventspils (LAT) - Aris Thessaloniki (GRE) 73-65 (Sims 18, Jeffries 16 (8/11 20, 15 reb), Buskevics 15 (3/4 3p), Laksa 10, Valeiko 6, Vitols 4, Zeidaks 4, Muiznieks, Bernats - Liadellis 19 (6/8 2p), Mikhaylov 18, Galakteros 10, Sioutis 7, Sigalas 6, Angelidis 5, Kuhl, Chrysantopoulos). Attendance: 3200
Very good game from Ventspils, also after considering playing almost without their main playmaker Valeiko (injured leg). Aris was leading by 12 points in the first half, but then collapsed, after Latvian strong defensive pressure. Aris closed the first half still leading by 5, but after the break had a complete blackout, when they didn`t get any of their 10 free shots at the beggining of the second half!!! (Saverio)
W7 Hapoel Jerusalem (ISR) - Juventut Badalona (ESP) 81-73 (Williams 25, Curcic 24 – Swinson 19, Middleton 17)
Jerusalem came back from a 12-point lead of Badalona at the begining of the 2nd half to an 8-point victory. But the differential might not be enough for the 2nd game. (Uri)
W8 Charleroi (BEL) - Benetton Treviso (ITA) 66-70 (Ellis 4, Morton 17, Cleymans 15, Marion 6, Stas 15, Weatherspoon 2 - Pittis 8, Marconato 13, Rebraca 2, Jofresa 12, Williams 12, Bonora 3, Sekunda 0, Schmidt 9, Di Spalatro 2)
Leg Two (16/2/99):
W1 Slovakofarma Pezinok (SVK) - Buducnost Podgorica (YUG) 81-85 (Szabo 20, Lukjanec 17 – Bulatovic 21, Radonjic 16, Scepanovic 16)
W2 Cholet (FRA) - Pivovarna Lasko (SLO) 86-82
W3 Pamesa Valencia (ESP) - BC Split (CRO) 84-75 (Hopkins 17, Luengo 16 – Tvrdic 18, N.Vujcic 13)
W4 Partizan Belgrade (YUG) - Turk Telecom PTT Ankara (TUR) 76-43 (Cubrilo 19, Brkic 15 – Koul 13, Berezhnoi 8)
W5 Tofas Bursa (TUR) - SSV ratiopharm Ulm (GER) 79-70 (Griffith 17, Rogers 13 – Nees 20, Walker 19)
W6 Aris Thessaloniki (GRE) - BK Ventspils (LAT) 79-64 (Mikhaylov 21+11reb, Liadellis 16, Sioutis 15+8ast, Galakteros 13 (3/4 3p), Sigalas 8, Chrysantopoulos 4, Angelidis 2 - Sims 20, Jeffries 14, Vitols 12, Muiznieks 10, Zeidaks 3, J. Laksa 3, Buskevics 2, Valeiko, M. Laksa)
W7 Juventut Badalona (ESP) - Hapoel Jerusalem (ISR) 93-74 (Swinson 37, Murcia 16, Biota 11, Lopez 10, Corrales 9, Midelton 6, Garcia 4 - Curcic 24, Hamilton 21, Williams 21, Williams 9, Turgeman 9, Karver 9, Katz 2)
Badalona easily erased the 8 points differential Jerusalem had from the 1st game. Jerusalem just couldn't stop the super-fast Badalona. (Uri)
W8 Benetton Treviso (ITA) - Charleroi (BEL) 75-61

1/16 Finals
A1: BC Split (CRO) - Kalev Tallinn (EST) 83-77 (Tvrdic 27, Vujcic 15 – Daniels 16, Kuusmaa 13)
A2: Slovakofarma Pezinok (SVK) - Sony Milano (ITA) 89-77 (Zadravec 27, Lukjanec 18 – Booker 33, Johnson 23)
In Milan only two Americans were "real players".
A3: Savinjska Hopsi Polzela (SLO) - Turk Telecom PTT Ankara (TUR) 70-64 (Jagodnik 26, Stevic 15, Cizej 14, Trifunovic 8, Kobale 3, Nikitovic 2, Udrih 2 - McCullogh 24, Payne 12, Bereznoi 8, Koul 7, Bibo 6, Onar 4, Ozmen 3. 3P: 4/1 - 3/13)
Savinjski Hopsi lead 28:22 nad then Turk Telekom made partial result 18:4 (34:40). But in second half-time national tema member Goran Jagodnik scored all 26 points and his team won.
A4: Estrelas Lisbon (POR) - Cholet (FRA) 59-75 (Doug Muse 19, Jimmy Moore 7, Juan Barros, Daniel Cerezo 3, Flávio Nascimento 10, Joaquim Arcega 8, Santi Toledo 4, Paulo Simão 3 and Artur Cruz 5 - Jeanneau 2, Micoud 9, Akpomedah 2, Howell 16, Dubos 6, Gautier 1, Hayes 5, Fortier 16, Villalobos 10 and Miller 8)
A5: Atomerömü Paks (HUN) - Pamesa Valencia (ESP) 70-71 (Gulyas 18, Lukminas 18/3, Visockas 12 - Hopkins 15, Rodilla 14/3, Maluenda 11/3)
Atomeromu missed a chance to win against Pamesa Valencia (ESP) by being beaten in the last minutes of the game. The Spanish team started the game better but soon Atomeromu took the lead was leading till the last second. In the finish of the game the Hungarians (and Lithuanians) made way too many mistakes and lost from a lead above ten points.
A6: AEK Athens (GRE) - Buducnost Podgorica (YUG) 66-61
AEK defeated Buducnost but is not happy. The 5-point advantage seems not enough to secure the qualifying to the next round. The first step was difficult, the second would be even worse said AEK coach Fotis Katsikaris after the match, probably thinking of the second leg game in Montenegro capital. AEK was very effective at the beginning (14-3 at 7th minute) with Kakiouzis point production, but Buducnost flipped over the game since. Led by internationals Bulatovic (was real power at rebounds and scored 21) and Scepanovic (sunk 6 3-pointers) the Yugoslav team took the lead with an embarassing 26-4 strike (18-29 at 18th). In the second half AEK relied on Prelevic shots (18 points total) and Kakiouzis offencive rebounds (and 18 points, eventually) to take the lead with 66-55 in 38th, but scored no other points till the end and the experienced Yugoslavs managed to diminish the point advantage and have the upper hand in qualification.
A7: Zepter Slask Wroclaw (POL) - Pivovarna Lasko (SLO) 81:82 (Smith 8, Miglinieks 13, Krzykala 6, Tarle 4, Wojcik 30, Mcnaull 18, Zyskowsky 2 - Jurak 3, Doncic 22, Lisica 16, Goljovic 22, Becirovic 5, Dragsic 7, Kunc 7)
A8: ASK-Broceni Riga (LAT) - Partizan Belgrade (YUG) 84-97 (Holden 23, Sneps 14, Sturm 12 (11 reb), Helmanis 10, Vecvagars 10, Knowles 7, Purnis 4, S. Valters 4, Vaikulis - Brkic 24 (7/9 2p), Cubrilo 17 (6/8 2p), Radosevic 16, Tomasevic 15, Lukovski 14, Vidacic 7, Varda 2, Djokic 2). Attendance: 3.500
It was a really thrilling game! Broceni were down -9 late with 4 minutes left in the first half, but recovered, with tough defense and good offense from Holden and Vecvagars, to lead at halftime by 2, with a final basket from young Sandis Valters. Edgars Sneps hit a good streak, and Tomasevic and Radosevic were blocked until the 27th minute, when the game seems to be all on Latvians hands: it was +10 for Broceni (71:61), but this time the Yugs reacted and finally caught the Latvians, with good team playing and inside shooting. It was just -1 at 1:10 till the end but in the last minute everything happened bad for Latvians and good for Partizan, to get to the final -13. Haris Brkic was the game MVP, with 24 points in only 27 minutes played, while on Broceni's side there were the debuts of the two new players: Knowles from Bahamas played so-so, but Sturm was really great in defence, and was the top rebounder of the game. (Saverio)
A9: TVG Trier (GER) - Tofas Bursa (TUR) 70-92 (Suhr 15, Brown 14, Grey 10, Thompson 8, Marsh 6, Baum 6, Welfroe 6 - Rivers 30, Rimac 17, Griffth 14, Rogers 9, Pars 8, Konuk 6)
Tofas took an easy victory over Trier with their impressive play of backcourt.David Rivers and Slaven Rimac were the 2 top scorers of the game.
A10: Telindus Antwerpen (BEL) - Hapoel Jerusalem (ISR) 67-64 (Dupont 22, Huger 18, Vanhaele 13, Rowe 6, Huggins 4, Rasquin 2, Baert 2 - Curcic 18, Williams 16, Hamilton 13, Waldman 7, Turgeman 5, Shefa 5)
A good defense from both teams. Jerusalem consentrated on Antwerpen's foreigner, Louis Rowe, that scored only 6 points. Radisav Curcic had problem with the Belgian center Yves Dupont, that took him out of the paint and scored from the outside (Uri).
A11: Charleroi (BEL) - CSP Limoges (FRA) 60-61 (Ellis 19, Cleymans 15 – Amaechi 23, Weis 12)
A12: Aris Thessaloniki (GRE) - Lietuvos rytas Vilnus (LTU) 77-76
Aris lost but is smiling. The greek team played without injured Russian center Mikhailov and had problems in inside game, but the defeat with only one point is good news for coach Markopoulos. The game was very close, with the Lithuanians establishing a diffrence between 4-6 points in first half, with internationals Dimavicius (16 points total) and Jasikevicius (21 points) at their best. In halftime Lietuvos Rytas was in front with 37-31 lead, but in the second half was not so productive offencively, thanks to the effective half-court man-to-man defence that Aris chose to play. Panagiotis Liadelis and Dinos Aggelidis were the most accurate Greek players, finishing the game with 18 points each. Aris could have won the match, but point guard Gary Grant missed some key 3-point shots in the last two minutes. Our way to the next round seems to be open, but we have to play seriously in the 2nd leg game next week said coach Markopoulos.
A13: Stahlbau Oberwart (AUT) - Juventut Badalona (ESP) 66-92 (Volcic 22, Capers 21 – Middleton 23, Swinson 22)
A14: Ovarense Ovar (POR) - SSV ratiopharm Ulm (GER) 66-62 (Josep Perich 7, Ralf Melis, Kelvin Allen 12, Paulo Sousa 9, William Sanders 24, Nuno Manarte 3, José Garcia 6, Lee Stringfellow 5 - Walker 22, Ast 3, Svitek 14, Autry 11, Kemma 2, Nees 10, Lommerse)
A15: BK Ventspils (LAT) - Uniks Kazan (RUS) 88-73 (Sims 27, Jeffries 21 (13 reb), Valeiko 10 (10 ast), Muiznieks 10, Zeidaks 9, Laksa 9, Vitols 2 - Avleev 24, Korobov 15, Tatarovich 12, Tchijenko 11, Sevastjanov 10, Samoilenko 1, Pichougine, Drevke). Attendance: 2600
Ventspils lead all first half by around 7-9 points, but Kazan cut the gap to -3 at 19'. In the last minute Muiznieks and Sims made a 6-0 break for the Latvians, who ended the first half at +9. After the break, Ventspils started to dominate the game totally, with the two USA Sims and Jeffries offensively hot, and Janis Laksa and Valeiko well assisting them and controlling the game. Only Ruslan Avleev opposed something from the Russian team, but Ventspils reached the maximum lead at +24 with 3 minutes left. The qualification at that point seemed already guaranteed for Ventspils, but in the final 180 seconds Kazan's effort was enough to retain some hopes of revenge for the retour match of the 19 January.
A16: Pekaes Pruszkow (POL) - Benetton Treviso (ITA) 70-62 (Dryja 12, Hoskins 12 – Williams 25, Schmidt 10)
A1: Kalev Tallinn (EST) - BC Split (CRO) 62-69 (Kuusmaa 14, Daniels 12 – Tvrdic 25, Miller 15)
A2: Sony Milano (ITA) - Slovakofarma Pezinok (SVK) 75-72 (Johnson 21, Booker 19 – Ristanovic 24, Lukjanec 14)
A3: Turk Telecom PTT Ankara (TUR) - Savinjska Hopsi Polzela (SLO) 77-53 (Ozmen 13, Mc Cullough 12, Payne 12 – Stevic 22, Jagodnik 9)
Polzela is a team that is very dangerous, eliminating very strong teams before. When Telekom lost the first game, and after losing to Efes really bad, poeple were suspicious about the outcome of this game. But one thing that has been improving every year showed itseld, and Telekom won. Yes, this is defence. I believe the best defence is being performed by Turkish teams this year. The usual problem area is attack, and this game, Telekom manages to use all 10 players for scoring. Yigit Erdal and Ali wied the opponents forwards out. Ali was at his best form this year. Erdal Bibo probably broke the Steal record. He had 7!
Turk Telekom paired with Partizan. I guess this will be a really tough match-up with a mysterious outcome (Evrim Icoz and Erdal Ozbek)

A4: Cholet (FRA) - Estrelas Lisbon (POR) 84-55 (Jeanneau 13, Micoud 3, Akpomedah 5, Howell 2, Dubos 16, Gautier 12, Hayes 12, Villalobos 3, Miller 18 - Muse 8, Moore 13, Barros 2, Freitas 8, Arcega 14, Toledo 4, Gouveia 4, Brito 2). Attn: 3,000
A5: Pamesa Valencia (ESP) - Atomerömü Paks (HUN) 82-63 (Maluenda 25, Luengo 13 – Visockas 21, Gulyas 17)
A6: Buducnost Podgorica (YUG) - AEK Athens (GRE) 74-63, OT
Heart-breaking game. The 5-point handicup AEK had from the first game wasn't enough, as the Montenegrans, current leaders in their national league, had a very mature game, especially in overtime. The game was very close, with Buducnost scoring from outside (Radonic sunk 4 threes) and the Greek responding from inside (Danish Andersen scored all 15 points in second half). Buducnost international Bulatovic scored last 5 points of the games, as Radonic scored 9 points in overtime
A7: Pivovarna Lasko (SLO) - Zepter Slask Wroclaw (POL) 71-68 (Lisica 26 (2p 7/8, 3p 1/1, 10 rbs, 5 steals), Goljovic 15, Becirovic 11 (ft 8/8), Dragsic 8, Doncic 7, Jurak 2, Kunc 2 - McNaull 18 (2p 7/9), Zielinski 15, Wojcik 11, Zyskowski 9 (3p 3/4), Krzykala 7, Miglinieks 5, Wilczek 3. 2P: 13/22 - 19/32. 3P: 7/22 - 5/18. RBS: 22 (14+8) - 17 (13+4))
Slask was on the way for 1/8 finals when scored 13 points in row and after 23:23 lead 40:24. McNaull in first half-time scored 16 points nad he missed just one shots. Second half-time Pivovarna's captain Mileta Lisca started with 12 points in row and his team came to 39:42. In last minute was 66:68 and at 69:68 Slask had last attack. Zyskowski five seconds before the end of match lost the ball and Lisica scored both free-throws for victory. It's intersting that Pivovarna in whole match wasn't lead more than 4 points (4:0, 10:6, 65:61). (Zeljko)
A8: Partizan Belgrade (YUG) - ASK-Broceni Riga (LAT) 87-89 (Brkic 22, Pekovic 13, Radosevic 13, Lukovski 12, Cubrilo 8, Djokic 6, Varda 6, Ilievski 5, Tomasevic 2 – Knowles 26, Holden 18, Sneps 18, Purnis 7, Vcevargas 7, Helmanis 6, Valters 4, Sturm 3)
A9: Tofas Bursa (TUR) - TVG Trier (GER) 80-70 (Rogers 17, Konkut 12, Rivers 12 - Gray 24, Brown 19, Suhr 10). Attn: 4.000
A10: Hapoel Jerusalem (ISR) - Telindus Antwerpen (BEL) 94-66 (Hamilton 24, Williams 17, Curcic 16, Waldman 14, Baloul 8, Turgeman 7, Shefa 4, Tamir 2, Karver 2 - Huggins 23, Huger 20, Vanhaele 10, Laorigis 2, Van-Hauke 1)
Jerusalem wins match by 158-133 overall. Antwerpen didn't stand a chance, not without their foreigner, Louis Rowe. Without Rowe, Jerusalem cosntarated their defensive efforts on Huger. So Jerusalem wiped the 3 point advantage Antwerpen had from the 1st game after... 49 seconds. Derek Hamilton was great, on both sides of the court. Kenny Williams was superb in the 1st half, scoring his entire 17 points in that half. Radisav Curcic decided to pass the ball while rather than scoring, and he finished the game with 5 assits. H Waldman was 2 assits short from a triple-double. Antwerpen was saved from a totale collapse during the 2nd half, when young Erez Katz guarded Huger, and the latter penetrated on him. (Uri)
A11: CSP Limoges (FRA) - Charleroi (BEL) 69-76 (Markovic 14, Allen 16, Amaechi 6, Boyce 8, Weis 15, Frigout 5, Méthélie 5 - Marion 10, Stas 15, Morton 15, Cleymans 7, Ellis 21, Buja 8). Spectateurs: 3000
Surprising defeat of Limoges, at home, versus Charleroi. The French team had won the first game in Belgium and seems unable to compete without his former warrior Jean-Jacques Conceiçao. Because his English replacement, John Amaechi, was out of form in offense (6pts at 3/8FG in 30mn), Limoges has badly failed. French young center Frédéric Weis (10rbds) was too alone to win by himself the game (Vincent).
A12: Aris Thessaloniki (GRE) - Lietuvos rytas Vilnus (LTU) 85-72 (Liadelis 10, Chrisanthopoulos 18, Sigalas 8, Sioutis 2, Galakteros 7, Agelidis 7, Mikhailov 11, Grant 22 - Kazlauskas 4, Giedraitis 20, Siskaukas 13, Vizniauskas 5, Dimavicius 5, Jasikevicius 13)
It was a double-face game. Up to 24th minute the Lithuanians were dominating the game (37-47) with internationals Giedraitis and Jasikevicius scoring from... everywhere. Then Aris woke up, as point guard Gary Grant scored his total 22 points in last 15 minutes! He had much help from Chrysanthopoulos (an underestimated talent) who came off the bench to score 18 point with 4/4 3-pointers (Argyris).
Svi Sherf won his first game as coach of Aris. The team of Thessaloniki won the Saporta Cup game against Lietuvos Rytas by 85-72 (35-38). The Israeli coach has to choice between Mikhaylov and Stanley Roberts for the second foreigners place of the team, till 31st of Januar. "It's a difficult decision. Mikhaylov played well, but he is not in his best shape, after his injury and i have to see for a few days Roberts in the practices" he said. The Russian center has the best changes, because Roberts is in very bad physical condition (too fat!). For ARIS scored Grant 22 (all in the 2nd half), Hrisanthopoulos 18p and Mikhaylov 11p (+10reb). For Lietuvos Rytas, Jasikevicius was the best with 25p. Gedraitis scored 20p. (Giorgos)
ARIS PASSED IN THE '16' ELIMINATING STATYBA WITH 85-72. The final 85-72 does not mean that ARIS had an easy afternoon, as for about 32' minutes Lietuvos was ahead, and the 'yellows' found the strength to come back at the most decisive moment of the match. - Maybe they had believed that the game had ended even before it started, as they were ahead with 10-6 in the first five mins. Though the team from Lithuania, having an unexpected favour from the refs who kept on 'loading' the Greeks with fouls, took the advantage with 12-18 in the 10th minute. At that point ARIS tried to get closer and with a consecutive 10-4 score equalised 22-22 in 12'. However, Gary Grant seemed to be in a bad day and ARIS lacking of his ace's points could not pass ahead. Lietuvos was the one who didn't miss that chance and raised the score at 27-35, in the 16th. Hrysanthopoulos with 2/2 3point shots shortened the differential and the two teams went to the half-time with a 35-38 finding Vilnius once more ahead.
- Things got even harder in the start of the 2nd leg, as in 23' the team from Salonica was losing with 10 pts (37-47). The few fans (about 1,500) that were there encouraged ARIS, and suddenly everything changed. Grant woke up and started his own show against the opponents' basket, accompanied by the good defence of Sigalas on Jasikevicius, while Hrysanthopoulos kept on scoring from the 6,25m. Furthermore, Angelidis and Mikhailov took over the control of the rebounds, so ARIS seemed to do their game and with a 9-0 passed ahead with 61-57 in 30'. Four minutes before the end of the game the score was 74-68 for ARIS. From that point on, the Greeks were careful with the free throw procedure and raised the score in 39' up to 85-70, to end the match successfully with 85-72, moving to the next round of Saporta.
- Gary Grant, who hadn't scored A SINGLE POINT TILL 23', had a blasting 2nd half scoring 22 points, with 7/8 1p, 3/5 2p, 3/3 3p.
- Giorgos Hrysanthopoulos was an essential solution and had an excellent performance, with a Tendex of 1,196 (perfect=1), and scored 18 pts with 4/5 3p. Sigalas was very efficient in the defence especially in the 2nd half, as he stopped Jasikevicious with success. Angelidis and Mikhailov fought in the front-line, with the Russian -even injured- grabbing 10 rebs and scoring 11 pts.
- From Lietuvos, Jasikevicious was their best performer who was excellent in the 3/4 of the match, but seased along the whole team's game in the last 10 mins.
- Svi Sherf, the new coach of ARIS said: "I know that the substitution of their coach affected my players, and such a pressure was the reason for the average performance of the first half. It was a very important victory and now we look ahead to our A1 League and Cup F-4 games against Paok".
- Mr. Sakalauskas, coach of Lietuvos, commented: "I would like to give my congratulations to ARIS for their victory, and wish them good luck. For the first time we showed two different faces in a game. We started well and hoped that we could achieve the surprise. Things changed in the last quarter of the match and we couldn't resist against ARIS' come-back. We stop here for this competition. I hope we do better next year".
- Stanley Roberts might not replace Mikhail Mikhailov, as he seems to have health problems and he's over weight. Moreover, the Russian center does not give up and even if he's under replacement, he keeps on performing his best despite he's injured. Svi Sherf will decide within the next 48 hours.
- Next opponent of ARIS is BK Ventspils from Latvia. The two teams had also played against each other last year, but for the Korac Cup. ARIS had won both games and had eliminated Ventspils. (Thrasos Tezapsidis)
A13: Stahlbau Oberwart (AUT) - Juventut Badalona (ESP) 95-64 (Middleton 18, Swinson 17 – Capers 22, Valera 12)
A14: SSV ratiopharm Ulm (GER) - Ovarense Ovar (POR) 79-63 (Nees 18, Svitek 18, Walker 16, Autry 12, Ast 9, Held 2, Birkenfeld 2, Konstantinidis 2 - Stringfellow 21, Sanders 11, Perich 9, Allen 8, Sousa 8, Sing 6)
Ulm is in the next round. The best players was Walker (9 rebound) and Svitek for ulm and the 37-your-old Lee Stringfellow of Ovarense. Sanders had anly two points in the first 20 minutes, because Walker works very hard against him. (Ute)
A15: Uniks Kazan (RUS) - BK Ventspils (LAT) 74-79 (Avleev 22, Sobstokov 14, Sevastianov 9, Samoilenko 8, Iankovski 8, Korobov 7, Kouriltchouk 6, Tatarovitch, Tchienko - Sims 24, Jeffries 18 (10 reb), J. Laksa 13 (4/5 2p, 9 reb), Vitols 8, Zeidaks 6, Valeiko 6, Buskevics 4, Muiznieks). Attendance: 1500
After losing by 15 in Latvia, Unics Kazan, the Russian team from the Republic of Tatarstan, in the first half managed to cut the overall gap to 10 points, with a pressing zone which forced Ventspils frontcourt to many turnovers. But in the second half the Latvians reacted immediately, Sims from the outside and veteran Janis Laksa from the inside closed the qualification door to the Tatars, and Ventspils won also the game with great precision from the free throws line from all the team (Saverio).
A16: Benetton Treviso (ITA) - Pekaes Pruszkow (POL) 83-60 (Williams 22, Rebraca 16 – Szybilski 29, Walker 21)

Preliminary group stage

Group A
1. Sony Milano 7-3
2. Kalev 6-4
3. Kovinotehna Savinjska Polzela 6-4
4. Estrelas da Avenida 5-5
5. Cherno More 3-7
6. Atletas 3-7
Group B
1. Cholet 8-2
2. Türk Telekom PTT 8-2
3. Split 5-5
4. Slovakofarma Pezinok 5-5
5. MZT Boss Skopje 3-7
6. Mlékárna Kunín 2-8
Group C
1. Pamesa Valencia 10-0
2. Budućnost 6-4
3. Śląsk Wrocław 5-5
4. ASK Brocēni 5-5
5. Sankt Pölten 2-8
6. Hapoel Eilat 2-8
Group D
1. Partizan 9-1
2. Pivovarna Laško 7-3
3. AEK 7-3
4. Atomerőmű 3-7
5. Zagreb 3-7
6. Torpan Pojat 1-9
Group E
1. Tofaş 7-3
2. Hapoel Jerusalem 7-3
3. Spirou Charleroi 7-3
4. Lietuvos Rytas 6-4
5. Marc Körmend 2-8
6. Bosna 1-9
Group F
1. Aris 9-1
2. Limoges 7-3
3. Racing Antwerpen 5-5
4. Trier 4-6
5. Planja 3-7
6. Feal Široki 2-8
Group G
1. Pinturas Bruguer Badalona 9-1
2. Ratiopharm Ulm 7-3
3. Ventspils 5-5
4. Mazowzanka 4-6
5. APOEL 3-7
6. Spartak Saint Petersburg 2-8
Group H
1. Benetton Treviso 10-0
2. UNICS 5-5
3. Ovarense Aerosoles 4-6
4. Stahlbau Oberwart 4-6
5. Hans Verkerk Keukens 4-6
6. BIPA-Moda 3-7

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