Gibson fuels Buducnost over Lietkabelis, and into Top 16
In a crucial Group D clash on the final night of the 7DAYS EuroCup Regular Season, Buducnost VOLI Podgorica booked its place in the Top 16 by downing visiting Liektabelis Panavezys 76-62 in the Montenegrin capital. Buducnost finished the regular season with a 5-5 record, while Lietkabelis was eliminated with the loss. The hosts took control in the second quarter and held a 10-point margin on a couple occasions, but Lietkabelis closed within a single point in the fourth quarter. However, Kyle Gibson and Kyle Landry scored all the points in an 11-1 run that restored the double-digit margin and secured Buducnost a celebration. Gibson had 17 points and 5 assists to lead the way, Nikola Ivanovic scored 12, while Suad Sehovic and Zoran Nikolic netted 10 apiece for Buducnost. Zanis Peiners was the only Lietkabelis player in double figures with 12 points.
Lietkabelis was first to get on a run with 8 consecutive points, capped by a three-point play from Pienars who made it 6-9. Aleksa Ilic scored 5 points inside for the hosts, but a wild three from Simas Jasaitis and another from Darjus Lavrinovic kept the visitors in front 14-17 after 10 minutes. However, Gibson hit Buducnost's first triple early in the second as the hosts went on a 12-1 run. Zoran Nikolic had an alley-oop dunk and Suad Sehovic also hit from downtown to help make it 26-18. Lietkabelis needed more than five minutes to score its first field goal of the second quarter before Jasaitis hit a corner three, and Adas Juskevicius also hit one to close the visitors within 28-26. But Nikola Ivanovic made a runner, and Danilo Nikolic a tip-in, as Buducnost took a 35-29 lead into halftime.
Dunks from Zoran Nikolic and Petar Popovic, the latter on a fast break, opened a 39-29 margin. Lietkabelis, however, found its offensive rhythm, going inside often. Ksistof Lavrinovic made foul shots, Adas Juskevicius, Donatas Tarolis, Peinars and Lorenzo Williams all scored from close range, as the gap closed to 45-40. Buducnost kept the breathing room with a jumper from Gibson and a triple from Ivanovic, which helped restore a double-digit lead, 56-46 late in the third. The hosts went into the fourth quarter up by 8, and Lietkabelis needed only two minutes to catch up, as Zygmantas Skucas and Lavrinovic scored inside. Skucas hit from the outside to make it 57-56. With Buducnost badly needing offense, Landry hit a baseline jumper, thus ending a five-minute scoreless drought for Buducnost. Gibson followed it with a jumper and then made a steal and served Landry for a fastbreak dunk, before capping a 9-0 run with a triple that opened 66-56 with 3 minutes to go. A three-pointer from Sehovic with 70 seconds left, sealed the outcome.
Wednesday, December 27, 2017