Rock Dumped Out of EuroChallenge Cup
The TÜ/Rock basketball team last night lost a second and final game against Szolnoki Olaj of Hungary in the quarterfinals of the EuroChallenge Cup.
The team from Tartu had high hopes, having navigated the previous stage by beating the holders twice and going 5-1 in the group.
Rock began the game in Tartu well on Tuesday, jumping to a 5-0 lead, but trailed at the end of first quarter by two points, 14-16. The gap had grown to 12 points, 39-51, by the end of the third quarter and Rock failed to turn the game around in the last period. The match ended as a 60-78 loss.
Rock suffered from 3-point range, hitting only 5 of its 26 attempts (19.2 percent), while Szolnoki Olaj went 10-24 (41.7 percent). Rock was led by Tanel Kurbas, who had 11 points and 3 rebounds. Péter Lóránt scored 15 points and grabbed 13 rebounds for Szolnoki Olaj.
"Congratulations to Szolnok for qualifying. They deserved to win the series," said Gert Kullamäe, Rock's head coach. "I think it is one of the best opponents that play as a team who we have played this season. They have a lot of power, especially after [Marton] Bader came back. They played a good game tonight. One our forwards Janar Talts was not feeling well tonight. The pressure at home was too much for us today and this is why Szolnok goes to the Final Four and we stop here."
Tuesday's game was the third between the pair, with Rock beating the Hungarians in the first game held at home a week ago 87-83, but lost a few days later by seven points, 73-80. The quarter final was played until either team had two wins.
The EuroChallenge tournament is the third tier of European basketball club competitions.