Long-time ULEB Cup contender Hemofarm turned the tables on higher-seeded Buducnost by battling to an 82-56 home win in the first leg of their two-game Last 32 series in Vrsac, Serbia on Tuesday. Buducnost would have to win by 27 at home in Podgorica, Montenegro in next week's rematch in order to keep Hemofarm from advancing. Hemofarm's experience seemed to make the difference as it exploited a nine-point first-quarter difference by adding small increases until exploding with a 13-4 finishing run. Nebojsa Joksimovic played all 40 minutes to lead the winners with 29 points, 9-for-12 two-point shooting, 6 rebounds, 7 assists and 4 steals. Rawle Marshall added 21 points for Hemofarm, while Milivoje Bozovic added 15 points and 9 rebounds. Only one player, Vladimir Dasic, managed to score in double figures for Buducnost, with 13 points to go with 7 rebounds.
Nenad Mijatovic got Buducnost on the board first and had both baskets in a early 3-4 lead, but Hemofarm recovered to lead 9-6 behind Marshall's 5 quick points.That lead expanded on back-to-back-to-back baskets by Joksimovic, who then assisted Stefan Markovic's triple for a 20-10 scoreboard. Markovic added free throws later before Marko Popovic stopped Buducnost's slide with a three-pointer to end the quarter with a 22-13 score. Vladan Vukosavljevic and Bozovic added triples to Hemofarm's lead early in the second quarter. Buducnost survived on two-pointers by Dasic and Ivan Maras before Marshall connected from downtown, too, for a 31-19 Hemofarm edge. After the difference reached 34-19, Dasic hit a three-pointer for Buducnost, which went back to its strenght - consecutive shots inside the arc by Vladimir Micov, Maras and Bojan Bakic - to cut the margin down to 36-28. Hemofarm called timeout and ended the half with a 6-0 run on points by Joksimovic, Milan Macvan and Marshall to take a 42-28 advantage into the locker room.
Joksimovic kept Hemofarm rising with a personal 7-0 run on a pair of baskets and 3 free throws soon after halftime. By the time Marshall added his own two-pointer, it was 51-30 and Buducnost needed timeout. It didn't help. Bozovic and Vukosavljevic finished the 12-0 run with their team ahead 54-30. After 5 scoreless minutes, Buducnost got free throws from Micov, but waited longer for afirst basket of the half by Nikola Otasevic. Even with Micov hitting from downtown next and Dasic ending the quarter that way for Buducnost, Hemofarm held a 62-43 advantage after 30 minutes. To boost the lead again, Hemofarm went back to its big guns, Marshall and Joksimovic, early in the last quarter. The hosts were up 69-45 at one point before Buducnost started trimming the difference with a 0-7 run.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008