Play-Offs Round of 16 report: High-flying Korkmaz leads Banvit into Quarter-Finals
BANDIRMA (Basketball Champions League) - Banvit threw down the gauntlet to the other title hopefuls in the Basketball Champions League on Tuesday with a hugely impressive 70-61 triumph over EWE Baskets.
The Turkish outfit led by as many as 16 points before walking off the court with a victory of nine on aggregate.
After clawing back a double-digit deficit in the fourth quarter of the first leg to knot the score at 82-82, Banvit rolled to victory in Bandirma with Jordan Theodore, the high-flying Furkan Korkmaz and Gasper Vidmar doing most of the damage.
Theodore had a game-high 22 points and flirted with a triple-double because he also had 9 assists and 7 rebounds. Korkmaz scored with alley-oop dunks but also hit 4 of 6 from behind the arc on his way to 20 points.
Vidmar had 16 points and also pulled down 10 of the team's 47 rebounds. Banvit dominated the boards, with EWE Baskets finishing with just 31 rebounds.
There were two stretches of play that made the difference in the second leg. Trailing 20-14 at the end of the first quarter after a Vladimir Mihailovic 3-ball for EWE Baskets, Banvit outscored the visitors 15-2 over the next six minutes for a 7-point advantage.
Korkmaz, getting out in transition, poured in 6 straight points to knot the contest at 20-20 and force a timeout.
The 19-year-old sensation then hit a 3-pointer with 5:40 remaining in the second quarter for a 26-22 Banvit lead. He drilled another shot from deep inside the final minute to push the lead to 34-24 and Banvit ended up taking a 36-26 advantage to half-time.
After EWE Baskets began the third quarter superbly and Philipp Schwethelm's 3-pointer cutt the deficit to 36-34, Banvit took a timeout. When play resumed, the visitors employed a confusing 2-3 zone but Korkmaz, with the shot clock winding down, buried another 3-pointer to stop the visitors' run cold in its tracks.
Theodore was a menace when he had the ball in his hands, finding his way into the lane time and time again to either score or pass to Vidmar.
He also fed Korkmaz with a couple of long alley-oop passes that the teenager finished with slam dunks.
Banvit will believe in their chances of going all the way in the Basketball Champions League.
They have already won the Turkish Cup and now they are among the final eight in the European competition.