Cedevita hung on for a tough 73-71 victory over Hemofarm Stada that sends the team through to the Eurocup Quarterfinals in the club’s debut season in the competition. Corsley Edwards scored 17 and grabbed 7 rebounds and Dontaye Draper added 15 points and 7 assists to pace the winners, who improved to 3-2 in Group I. Cedevita started strong with the game’s first 9 points, but Hemofarm fought back and head coach Aleksander Petrovic’s side trailed by 7 midway through the second quarter. Hemofamr led 42-44 at the half, but a 17-5 third-quarter blitz gave Cedevita the lead for good. Hemofarm crept within 1 in the final minute of the game, but Cedevita held on for the victory. Vedran Princ added 14 points on 4-of-6 three-point shooting, while Damjan Rudez, the Eurocup Last 16 Week 3 and Week 4 MVP, cooled down a bit, but still offered 7 points and 5 assists for the winners. Mladen Jeremic scored 15 to lead Hemofarm, which dropped to 1-4 and hosts Gran Canaria 2014 next week hoping to avoid finish last in the group. Miljan Pavkovic added 14 points, Milos Borisov had 10 and Milivoje Bozovic tallied 9 points and 13 rebounds in defeat.
Cedevita got just the start it wanted, with Draper leading the charge on both ends and Bracey Wright teaming up in the backcourt to get the ball to Edwards inside for a 9-0 start. Hemofarm made a quick substitution to get Bozovic in and Pavkovic soon found him for the visitors’ first points. Jeremic got involved as Hemofarm trimmed the gap to 13-11. Rudez tallied his first points from a pair of free throws midway through the opening quarter and soon Draper with a dish to Edwards and a three of his own had the hosts up 21-12. However the trio of Jeremic, Bozovic and Pavkovic brought Hemofarm right back. A Pavkovic triple made it 25-24 after 10 minutes. Bozovic gave the visitors their first lead at the start of the second quarter and son Bojan Krstovic and Pavkovic drained threes in a 0-8 push that made it 27-34. A three from Vedran Vukusic and good work inside from Edwards kept Cedevita close, but Hemofarm continued to generate points. Rudez’s first three of the night only brought the hosts within 42-44 at halftime.
Both teams came out for the second half bearing down on defense, which is why a Pavkovic free throw was the only point of the first three-and-a-half minutes of the third quarter. A Bozovic slam lifted Hemofarm to 43-47, but Cedevita responded quickly. Edwards capitalized on Draper’s missed free throw for a basket and Princ sank a second-chance three as the hosts took the lead. Ivan Maras kept Hemofarm close, but a three-point play by Edwards kept the momentum with Cedevita and Draper capped a 17-5 blitz with a triple before Borisov scored from the line to make it 60-54 heading into the fourth quarter. Princ continued his hot shooting with a three to open the final stanza, but Borisov matched him for Hemofarm. Jeremic and Pavkovic further trimmed the deficit before Boris Savovic scored his first points on the offensive glass to make it 66-63 midway through the fourth quarter. Wright stepped up with a pair of important scores for Cedevita, but Jeremic came up huge to keep Hemofarm in the fight. Mustafa Abdul-Hamid made it a 1-point game in the final minute. Marino Bazdaric put the hosts up 73-71 and Abdul-Hamid was unable to convert in the last second a shot that would have forced overtime, instead ceding victory to Cedevita, which marches on to the Quarterfinals.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011