Gran Canaria notched its first victory of the Last 16 stage Tuesday at the Centro Insular de Deportes, by beating Hemforam Stada. Gran Canaria now stands at even record with Hemofarm , 1-1, as well as the other two teams in Group I. Jaycee Carroll paced the winners with 27 points on 4-of-6 three-point shooting plus 5 rebounds. Xavi Rey added 16 points for the hosts and Spencer Nelson tallied 13 while also grabbing 6 boards. Hemofarm managed a comeback attempt in the fourth quarter after being 11 points down, but fell short. Boris Savovic led Hemofarm with 13 points, Marko Surtalo scored 11 and Milos Borisov added 10 and 9 rebounds in defeat. Gran Canaria will travel to Zagreb to challenge Cedevita in Week 3, while Hemofarm will host Unics Kazan at the Centar Millenium.
Gran Canaria forced the issue inside to start the game, as four of its first five baskets came from close range on low-post setups or penetrations from Sitapha Savane or Carroll. Hemofarm moved the ball headily on offense with Miljan Pavkovic and Mustafa Abdul-Hamid, keeping the tempo slow and the game within reach. Borisov’s hot hand kept Hemofarm afloat until the end of the quarter. The forward capped the quarter with a triple to counter consecutive Rey layups and reach the 10-minute mark at a one possession deficit, 13-11. Borisov kept hot after the sit-down and hit another long-range bomb to put Hemofarm ahead for the first time at the start of the second quarter. Carroll got going in response with a jumper and traded triples with Mladen Jeremic before Rey tallied 4 straight points to stretch the home side’s advantage back to 22-17. The visitors tried to cancel out the lead from the perimeter, but were unable to convert from beyond the arc, while Gran Canaria capitalized on a Javier Beiran three and a Spencer Nelson jumper that sparked 8 straight points from the center. Two layups by Savovic and Jeremic kept Hemofarm close, but a strong finish by the hosts made 34-26 at the half.
The visitors tried to regroup after the break, but Carroll pressed to blow the game wide open with a jumper and a couple of triples that pulled his team ahead, 46-35, the biggest margin to that point. With a comfortable lead and defensive effort a priority, Gran Canaria sealed the lane and challenged shots on its own end, as the visitors struggled to get in rhythm. It was Savovic again coming through for Hemofarm with 7 straight points that kept them in it until Pavkovic finally got in the mix with a triple and Borisov answered a Savane three-point play with 2 free throws to reach the final quarter at 54-44. Jerome Jordan found a nice moment to get involved, as his 4 straight points allowed Hemofarm to cut the deficit to 6 points before Nelson and Sutalo traded triples and Carroll converted successive layups to re-establish a 10-point lead with seven minutes to go. The visitors played hard in the following minutes using tight defense to get within 62-57 after a Savovic layup with three minutes left on the clock. With Gran Canaria suddenly stalled against Hemofarm’s defense and getting their only points from the line, Sutalo was able to keep it a two-possession game with consecutive layups: 65-61 with a minute left. After Nelson converted a pair of free throws for the hosts, Abdul-Hamid kept the hope alive for the visiting side with a long-range bomb that scored it 67-64, but Carroll again came through when it mattered most, sealing the game with a two-pointer and a killer triple that sandwiched a Sutalo beyond-the arc miss. With the difference again at 8 points with few ticks left, Jeremic’s layup was rendered moot as time expired and Gran Canaria was the one left standing.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011