Andorra captures road win in Gran Canaria
MoraBanc Andorra captured its second consecutive road win in Group H of the Top 16 by defeating Herbalife Gran Canaria 63-66 on Wednesday at Gran Canaria Arena. The victory gave Andorra a 2-1 record at the midpoint of the phase while sending Gran Canaria to last place in the group without a win. Andorra led by 11 early in the fourth quarter only to see A.J. Slaughter lead a late charge to get the hosts within 1. Clevin Hannah came to the rescue for the visitors, who were able to hold on down the stretch. Hannah finished with 16 points and 7 assists against his former team, Tomasz Gielo added 15 points on 5-of-7 three-point shooting and Oriol Pauli contributed 11 points and 7 rebounds. Slaughter scored a game-high 23 in defeat.
Oriol Pauli came out firing as he finished an alley-oop and sank a three-pointer for the first 5 points of the game. Nearly 3 minutes passed before Slaughter got the hosts on the scoreboard with a basket-plus-foul. Slaughter continued to fuel Gran Canaria as he trimmed the gap to 7-8. Matt Costello evened the score at 11-11, but Jeremy Senglin responded with a triple. However, Sean Kilpatrick's baseline jumper gave the home team its first lead, 15-14, and the lead reached 4 before a Sergi Garcia three ended the first quarter at 18-17. Jumpers by Kilpatrick and Stan Okoye put the hosts up 5, however, Babatunde Olumuyiwa inside and Hannah from downtown pushed Andorra back in front. Olumuyiwa's basket in the paint made it 24-27 midway through the second quarter. Tomas Dimsa scored twice as the hosts regained the lead. After Gielo and Javier Beiran traded threes, Malick Dime edged the visitors in front 32-33 at the break.
Andorra scored the first two baskets of the second half, but was held scoreless for more than 3 minutes as a layup by Oliver Stevic and free throws by Slaughter had Gran Canaria leading 39-37. Pauli's second three of the game sent Andorra back in front and 4 three-pointers by Gielo in less than 3 minutes made it 47-54 at the end of the third quarter. A jumper by Guillem Colom gave Andorra a double-digit lead early in the fourth quarter and it was 47-58 after Olumuyiwa split free throws. However, Stevic revived the hosts who scored on three consecutive possessions, prompting a timeout from Andorra. Hannah retaliated with a triple to make it 53-61 with 5 minutes remaining. Slaughter sandwiched a pair of scores around a layup by Kilpatrick. A technical foul on the Andorra bench allowed Slaughter to cap a 7-0 run with a free throw to get within 60-61 with 3 minutes remaining. Hannah delivered with a pull-up three and a jumper to give the visitors breathing room. A three by Slaughter with 1:17 on the clock gave the hosts hope, but Gran Canaria missed its final two shots as Andorra held on.
After Babatunde Olumuyiwa put Andorra up 47-58 early in the fourth quarter, no visiting player scored the rest of the way spare Hannah. He twice hit threes to keep Gran Canaria at bay – the second after the hosts rallied to 60-61. He added a jumper on the ensuing possession. Hannah, who called Gran Canaria Arena his home when he played for the club three seasons ago, finished with 16 points on 3-of-5 three-point shooting plus 7 assists without a single turnover to lead the victors.
Gran Canaria slumped to one of the worst three-point shooting nights in club history, making just 3 shots from 31 tries. The 3 threes tied for the third-fewest in the club's 179 EuroCup appearances. Likewise, the 9.7% shooting from downtown was the third-worst. On the other end, Andorra was 12 for 28 on threes (42.9%), with Tomasz Gielo making more threes in the third quarter alone (4) than the entire Gran Canaria team in 40 minutes.
Gran Canaria point guard Andrew Albicy made some history when he dished his fifth assist of the game to move into sole possession of ninth place on the EuroCup's all-time charts with 317. He passed Yotam Halperin for that honor. His teammate Oliver Stevic collected 7 rebounds to reach 400 for his career. He became the 13th player to achieve that distinction.
These teams will square off against one another in Round 4 in the Principality of Andorra on Wednesday, February 3.
Wednesday, January 27, 2021