In arguably one of the most thrilling showdowns so far in this Eurocup season, Dinamo Banco di Sardegna Sassari took a big step forwards to reach the last 32 in Group B by edging Bilbao Basket 91-93 in overtime on Wednesday. Sassari improved to 5-2 and ties for first place with Cedevita Zagreb, with Bilbao and EWE Baskets Oldenburg right behind each with a 4-3 record. Omar Thomas had 8 of his 21 points in overtime to lead the winners. Caleb Green added 20 and 11 rebounds, Drake Diener had 14 points while Linton Johnson and Marques Green each had 10 for Sassari. German Gabriel led Bilbao with 20 points. Fran Pilepic added 12 and Alex Mumbru had 11 for the hosts. Raul Lopez sank a huge shot from beyond midcourt to send the game to overtime, 80-80. Free throws by Pilepic gave Bilbao its last lead, 89-87. Thomas followed foul shots with a triple, Lopez stepped up with a layup and Drake Diener split free throws but Bilbao did not score in the game's final possessions.
Mumbru, Lopez and Pilepic combined for all points in a 9-0 opening run. Thomas shined with a three-point play off a Sassari timeout. He got help from Caleb Green and Marques Green to bring the guests within 13-11. Axel Hervelle scored down low and three-pointers by Drake Diener and Zoran Vrkic fixed the score at 18-14 after 10 minutes. Brian Sacchetti and Johnson stepped up to tie the game, 20-20, early in the second quarter. Gabriel struck twice from downtown in a 10-2 Bilbao run that gave the hosts fresh air at 30-22. Marques Green and Caleb Green buried respective three-pointers to bring Sassari within 33-32. Marques Green made free throws and Caleb Green hit a triple but Gabriel and Dairis Bertans kept Bilbao ahead, 38-37, at halftime. Caleb Green took over with consecutive three-pointers after the break and back-to-back baskets by Sacchetti gave Sassari a 43-53 margin. An 11-0 Bilbao run that Bertans capped with a triple, however, put the hosts back ahead, 54-53. Travis Diener and Manuel Vanuzzo joined the three-point shootout but Antanas Kavaliauskas shined late in the third quarter to tie the game, 60-60, after 30 minutes. Travis Diener, Thomas and Johnson allowed Sassari to get a 67-70 edge but an unstoppable Gabriel put Bilbao back ahead, 75-74, in the next-to-last minute. Drake Diener made 4-of-4 free throws, Marques Green split attempts and Caleb Green also went 1-of-2 for a 77-80 Sassari edge. Lopez took over with a wild three-pointer from beyond midcourt that sent the game to overtime, 80-80, setting Miribilla on fire.
Roger Grimau and Drake Diener traded baskets early in overtime and a three-pointer by Damir Markota gave Bilbao an 85-82 edge. Thomas answered from downtown and fed Vanuzzo for a basket which tied the game again, 87-87. Pilepic hit free throws but 5 unanswered points by Thomas put Sassari ahead for good, 89-92. Lopez scored again, Drake Diener split free throws and Gabriel could not score in the game's final possession.
Wednesday, November 27, 2013