Unics is the new Eurocup champ!
Unics Kazan dominated Cajasol Sevilla 92-77 to finish the 2011 season as the Eurocup champion. Maciej Lampe scored 26 points and grabbed 11 rebounds and Marko Popovic added 18 points and set a Eurocup Finals record with 11 assists to lead Unics to a historic win at the Palaverde in Treviso, Italy. The result also gives the Russian club an automatic bid to the 2011-12 Euroleague Regular Season. Unics dominated early, making 9 of 14 two-pointers and 4 of 4 triples in the first quarter, as Kelly McCarty and Lampe led their team to a 32-16 lead after 10 minutes. Unics increased the lead to 20 before settling for 51-36 at halftime. Outstanding defense brought Cajasol within 55-48 after the break and gave the Spanish side a chance in the fourth quarter. However Unics was too strong down the stretch and took over again in the last half of the fourth quarter to secure the victory. The win is Unics’s first Eurocup title and second continental trophy after winning the 2004 FIBA Europa League. McCarty scored 18 points in winning his second title in the competition and Terrell Lyday tallied 15 for the winners. Louis Bullock and Txemi Urtasun paced Cajasol with 15 points apiece and Tariq Kirksay and Juanjo Triguero netted 10 each.
Kirksay got Cajasol going with his trademark jump hook that Popovic erased with a layup in transition. Lampe took over with a tip-in, as Cajasol struggled to lock the defensive boards despite using a more aggressive starting frontcourt featuring Kaloyan Ivanov and Paul Davis. The latter made free throws for a 4-4 tie. Lyday dunked off a baseline drive and soon added a fast break basket for an 8-4 Unics lead. Vladimir Veremeenko scored down low and Lampe added a backdoor layup that caused Cajasol to call timeout down 12-4. Lampe kept pacing Unics with an uncontested layup and added free throws to cap a 12-0 Unics run. Cajasol kept missing open shots until Triguero shined with a jump hook. Cajasol tried Kirksay at point guard to have Bullock and Urtasun at both ends. McCarty struck from downtown, but a driving layup by Bullock kept Cajasol within 19-8. Popovic then joined the three-point shootout. Ivanov and Kirksay tried to change things for their team, but McCarty beat Cajasol's zone defense with a big triple and Popovic copied him right after that to break the game open, 28-13. Urtasun struck from downtown only to see Lampe answer quickly with a jump hook and McCarty provided a highlight with a fast break dunk, good for a 32-16 Unics lead after 10 minutes.
Cajasol improved its defense early in the second quarter and Triguero sank a five-meter jumper to make it 32-18. McCarty rescued Unics with a fast break layup, as coach Joan Plaza brought Earl Calloway into the game. Lyday made free throws that Urtasun erased with a driving layup. Unics tried Ricky Minard at point guard to give Lyday better one-on-one options at shooting guard. A technical foul on Cajasol coach Plaza allowed Lyday to make it an 18-point game. Veremeenko shined with a backdoor layup that made Cajasol call a much-needed timeout at 40-20. Mindaugas Katelynas tried to ignite Cajasol's comeback with a triple, but his team had already entered the foul bonus and Unics took advantage of it. Veremeenko made free throws that Calloway bettered with a three-pointer. Davis scored down low and free throws by Bullock brought Cajasol back to life at 42-30. McCarty split free throws and another three-pointer by Popovic kept Unics way out of trouble, 46-30. Zakhar Pashutin also hit from downtown, but Bullock followed free throws with a jumper off a steal to give Cajasol hope at 49-34. Kirksay sank foul shots, but a floating layup by McCarty fixed the halftime score at 51-36.
Kirksay stepped up with a put-back basket immediately after the break and Triguero added a backdoor layup to being his team as close as 51-40. Lyday shined with a jumper that Bullock matched with an outstanding rainbow shot. Cajasol was all over the place on defense and a layup by Katelynas got his team within single digits, 53-44. Lampe took over with a high-flying tip-in, but Katelynas set the Cajasol fans on fire with a wild alley-oop dunk. Unics kept struggling to score and a wild slam by Triguero made the Russian powerhouse call timeout at 55-48. Hasan Rizvic rolled off a high post pick for a layup and Popovic added an outstanding driving basket to restore a 59-48 Unics lead. Bullock buried one from downtown and traded free throws with McCarty to make it 61-53. Rizvic scored in transition and more free throws by McCarty made it a 12-point game, 65-53. Urtasun did not miss from the foul line, but Rizvic kept scoring under the basket. Katelynas made foul shots, as Cajasol kept using full court press after free throws made. Popovic made 4 free throws, however Unics faced severe trouble as Rizvic fouled out and Veremeenko was on the floor with 4. A three-pointer by Calloway brought Cajasol back in the game, 71-62, after three quarters.
Lampe knocked down a five-meter jumper early in the fourth quarter, as Cajasol tried to play with even more intensity in defense. Urtasun shined with a driving basket, but Lampe scored in the paint to keep Unics ahead by 11. Ivanov brought the Cajasol fans to their feet with a put-back slam, but a free throw by McCarty saw Unics restore a double-digit lead, 76-66, with over six minutes left. Lampe stayed on fire with a two-handed slam and soon added a put-back layup to force coach Plaza to call timeout at 80-66. Cajasol tried Kirksay at point guard again and Veremeenko fouled out, forcing coach Evgeny Pashutin to use McCarty at power forward. Unics kept powering the boards despite using a three-guard lineup. Triguero banked in a close shot that Lampe erased with a tip-in. Lyday then essentially sealed the outcome with a three-pointer that made it 85-68. Cajasol kept trying, but everything was said and done already. A three-pointer by Lyday allowed all Unics players and fans to celebrate that their team was the new Eurocup champion!
Sunday, April 17, 2011