MIES, Switzerland (Basketball Champions League) – The Round of 16 is now set for the Basketball Champions League with eight sides having punched their tickets to the second phase of the Play-Offs this week.
Greek sides AEK, Aris and PAOK all won Play-Off Qualifying ties and will take on AS Monaco, ASVEL and Iberostar Tenerife, respectively. AEK were convincing winners in their second-leg showdown with Juventus Utena while Aris had to dig deep to see off a comeback attempt by SIG Strasbourg in the second leg of their tie in France before advancing. PAOK lost the first leg at home to Partizan but behind Thaddus McFadden’s 26 points on Wednesday won the second leg for a two-point triumph on aggregate.
Dinamo Sassari edged CEZ Nymburk by a point on aggregate on Tuesday and Umana Reyer Venezia hit back from a seven-point first leg deficit one night later against Ventspils to join fellow Italians Sidigas Avellino in the Round of 16. Sassari will take on Le Mans Sarthe of France while Umana Reyer will meet Avellino in an all-Italian clash.
Pinar Karsiyaka hit back from a 10-point first-leg deficit against Fraport Skyliners and won convincingly to make it three Turkish outfits in the next stage. The Izmir side will face fellow Turkish team Besiktas Sompo Japan while newly-crowned Turkish Cup champions Banvit will meet EWE Baskets Oldenburg of Germany, who ground out a tough, two-legged triumph over Avtodor Saratov in their Play-Off Qualifier showdown.
MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg was the other German side to progress with a triumph in their two-legged clash over Maccabi Rand Media. They will now go up against Neptunas of Lithuania.
The first legs will be played on the home courts of the winners of the Play-Off Qualifiers on 28 February and 1 March while the second legs will be staged 7-8 March.