Gran Canaria first to claim a Last 32 ticket
Herbalife Gran Canaria Las Palmas became the first team to qualify for the Last 32 in the 2014-15 Eurocup campaign, after leading from start to finish to beat FoxTown Cantu on the road 63-80 on Wednesday. Gran Canaria improved to 6-0 atop of the Group B, and has a 5-game advantage over Cantu and Artland Dragons Quackenbrueck with 4 games to play. Gran Canaria had a double digit lead before the end of the first quarter, and a 4-22 spurt led the visitors to 10-29 lead which they comfortably held throughout the game. Kyle Kuric scored 14 points in victory, Walter Tavares and Brad Newley had 12 points plus 6 rebounds each, and Oriol Pauli scored 10. For Cantu, Darius Johnson-Odom had 14, and James Feldeine 10 points in defeat.
Gran Canaria wasted no time to take control at the start of the game. Txemi Urtasun hit from long distance, and Tavares strung together 6 points from close range, while Cantu got three-pointers from Awudu Abass and Johnson-Odom, 6-9 half way through the quarter. Newley hit a triple, and Mouhamed Barro scored on a fast break to extend the visitors’ lead. Despite Ivan Buva scoring a pair of baskets for the hosts, Tavares and Kuric from close range got Gran Canaria to 10-22 after 10 minutes. Gran Canaria opened the second quarter with a 0-7 run, capped with Newley's three-pointer for 10-29. Stefano Gentile hit a three for Cantu, and Eric Williams and Feldeine each had a dunk, but Kuric hit from long range for the visitors, and baskets from Pauli, Urtasun and Tavares helped Gran Canaria to 23-41 halftime lead.
Johnson-Odom with a jumper and Feldeine with a triple got Cantu to a good start in the third quarter, but Albert Oliver and Urtasun fueled a 2-11 run that extended the lead to 32-56. Marco Lagana hit back-to-back threes for Cantu, but Barro helped make it 40-59 after three quarters before Pauli with couple of baskets and Oliver with a triple extended it back to 42-66 early in the fourth, making sure the hosts don’t think of a comeback. Damian Hollis had a jumper, and he traded triples with Kuric, before a fastbreak dunk by Johnson-Odom and a three-pointer from Feldeine cut it to 56-71 with 4 minutes to go. But with big lead in hand, Gran Canaria closed out the game to stay perfect on the season and claim its place in the Last 32.
Wednesday, November 19, 2014