|BK Banvit Bandirma came out on top in a must-win game against Budivelnik Kiev on Wednesday night, shaking off a late scare thanks to a great performance from Chuck Davis. The hosts hit a late basket in the 94-85 triumph that could be crucial, as it gave Banvit the advantage over Budivelnik in the event of a tie-break situation. Davis scored 24 points and almost got into double digits with 9 rebounds. Kalin Lucas added 14 points for the winners, Sammy Mejia finished with 13, and Vladimir Stimac and Kenan Bajramovic netted 12 apiece. Banvit will win Group I if it can beat Buducnost on the road next week. For Budivelnik, which would have clinched first place in Group I with a victory, Leo Lyons was in great form with a double-double of 20 points and 11 rebounds, Artur Drozdov added 14 points and Malcolm Delaney 10. Despite the loss, Budivelnik still controls its own destiny and will advance to the quarterfinals with a victory against Triumph at home next week.
Banvit was relentless from the tip-off, putting down 7 unanswered points to take an early lead. Delaney ended that hot streak from downtown three minutes into the game, and the road team made a recovery thanks to that outside threat. Drozdov hit two shots from beyond the arc, Lyons another and Danius Salenga a further triple on the buzzer, giving Budivelnik its first lead of the game right at the end of the quarter. For Banvit, Lucas was the most prolific shooter in the first quarter with 5 points –albeit all from the foul line. A 24-25 scoreline rounded out the opening quarter. Banvit’s Serkan Erdogan returned the advantage to his side, hitting a three-pointer immediately after the second quarter start. Budivelnik prevented another early breakaway, however, and Lyons broke into double digits with a series of 5 points –rounded off by another Erdogan triple for Banvit. The game was tied 36-36 after Delaney put in a close-range shot midway through the quarter, but Banvit kept scoring key baskets as a response whenever Budivelnik threatened to take the lead. A Drozdov three-pointer to put the score at 42-41, but was swiftly answered by Lucas’s bucket from outside the perimeter. That shot kick started a 10-point scoring spree. To cap it off, Sammy Mejia knocked down his first three-point shot of the evening to lift Banvit 55-45 up at halftime.
After having scored 11 points fewer than its opponent in the second quarter, Budivelnik mounted a comeback through a dominant third. Using frequent trips to the foul line to bump up its tally, the road team found itself closing the gap off high percentage shooting from Rihards Kuksiks, George Tsintsadze and Michailis Anisimov. Kostiantyn Anikiienko sent down a late dunk after converting 2 of his foul shots in the final seconds of the quarter, setting the score at 71-69 with 10 minutes to play. The recovery to turn a 12-point game into a 2-point game showed that the momentum was truly on Budivelnik’s side. Attempting to keep Banvit’s nose ahead, Davis continued a solid game with his 14th points of the night to open the fourth quarter. He also provided an immediate response to the next three baskets by Budivelnik, all via shots from inside the paint. Ironically, it would be his turnover which led to the equalizing shot from Kuksiks, making the score 77-77. Lyons got Budivelnik in front with a subsequent three-pointer, leveled immediately by an identical basket from Bajramovic. Davis recovered from his mistake to score a further 6 points and grab 2 rebounds before the end, ensuring that his team took a 94-85 win. Mejia’s late steal and dunk in the closing seconds was vital, as a win by over 8 points put Banvit into the driving seat in a head-to-head tiebreak situation.
Wednesday, February 13, 2013