National cups roundup: Tofas ends long semis’ wait

Sammy Mejia scored 29 points as Tofas Bursa edged Sakarya Buyuksehir 80-78 on Thursday to reach the semifinals of the Turkish Cup for the first time this century. Last time Tofas made it this far in the domestic Cup, it won the competition in 1999-00 season. Two teams traded leads throughout the game, as well as in the fourth quarter and into the final minutes. After Tony Crocker nailed a triple to give Tofas 74-73 with 1:10 to go, Gian Clavell answered with a basket on the other end that gave Sakarya another lead. However, Tofas was quick to go the other way, and hit another three-pointer, this time by Mejia from the left corner. After Tofas made a defensive stand, Mejia split free throws, only for Pierria Henry to make a steal under Sakarya’s basket, then Kenny Kadji split free throws himself to make it 79-75 with 11.5 seconds to go. There was enough time left for more drama, however, as Clavell hit a quick three, before Henry split free throws once again. Sakarya had 6 seconds for a final possession, but Henry missed an off-balanced triple, and Metecen Birsen a put-back, as Tofas prevailed. In addition to 29 points, Mejia also had 7 rebounds and 5 assists, while Crocker scored 15. Clavell scored 19 in defeat. In the semis, Tofas will play Besiktas Sompo Japan Istanbul, which topped Banvit Bandirma 80-63. Besiktas dominated, and used 26-12 third quarter to break the game open, and led by as many as 26 points with Earl Clark and D.J. Strawberry scoring 14 points apiece. In the other semifinal on Saturday, Anadolu Efes Istanbul will play Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul.