Kalev/Cramo reach FIBA European basketball semi-finals for first time ever
Estonian basketball team BC Kalev/Cramo have reached the semi-finals of the FIBA Europe Cup for the first time in the club's history, after beating German club Bamberg 85:67 away.
Wednesday's match was the second leg of the FIBA European Cup quarter-finals, and Kalev/Cramo won with a 21-point margin on aggregate.
Kalev/Cramo had won the first leg at home last week and took a three-point advantage to the second leg at the Brose Arena in Bamberg, Bavaria, and were able to widen that to a 13-point league by the second quarter.
At half-time, the scores were 51:43 in favor of the visitors, but Kalev/Cramo picked up even more momentum after the break, to go into the final quarter 15 points ahead.
While Bamberg started the quarter strongly, with a 5-0 scoring spree, coach Heiko Rannula then took a time out to settle the team down a bit, and that helped, which seemed to help matters.
Kalev/Cramo then strung together five points in-a-row, enough to guarantee victory.
Small forward Artur Konontšuk was Kalev/Cramo's top scorer, with 17 points and eight rebounds, followed by shooting guard Wesley Van Beck (U.S., 17 points), Ukrainian point gaurd Oleksandr Kovliar, added (12), Alterique Gilbert (U.S., point guard) and power forward Kristjan Kitsing (nine each), Latvian center Martins Meiers (eight) and power forward Hugo Toom (seven).
The hosts' top scorer was Gerel Simmons, with 24 points.
Kalev/Cramo face Cholet Basket (France) in the semi-finals. Cholet, who finished third in the last French domestic league last season, overcame BC Budivelnyk Kyiv across two games, scoring 155:152 on aggregate, in their quarter-final.
As the schedule stands, the first semi-final will take place in Tallinn, on March 29, and the second, away leg will follow on April 5.
The other semi-final pits Finnish club Kauhajoki Karhu Basket against Anwil Wloclawek (Poland).
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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Maarja Värv