Metropolitans survives thriller with Slask
Boulougne Metropolitans 92 edged Slask Wroclaw 86-83 on Wednesday in a thriller decided in the final seconds. Metropolitans improved to 1-1 in the standings while Slask dropped to 0-2. Will Cummings paced the winners with 17 points, David Michineau added 14, Jordan McRae 12 and Miralem Halilovic 10 for Metropolitans. Kerem Kanter led Slask with 18 points, Kodi Justice scored 15 and Jakub Karolak 13. Cummings had 14 first-quarter points and got help from McRae to give Metropolitans a 28-24 edge after 10 minutes. Justice and Kanter stepped up for the visitors, bringing Slask within 49-47 at the break. Kanter and Justice got help from Aleksander Dziewa to put Slask ahead 67-69, at the end of the third quarter. Nobel Boungou-Colo dunked to make it a double-digit game, 83-73, but Slask managed to rally to 85-83. Hunter split free throws and Justice missed from downtown at the buzzer.
Cummings got Metropolitans going with a three-point play, igniting an 11-0 opening run in which Lahaou Konate and McRae each struck from downtown. Cyril Langevine stepped up for Slask with a put-back layup and Lukasz Kolenda banked in an off-balance shot. Karolak bettered Cummings's layup with a triple and Langevine scored twice around the basket to bring the visitors within 15-12. McRae buried a three-pointer and Cummings erased Karolak's jumper with a layup. Cummings kept pacing Metropolitans, but Justice and Travis Trice fuelled a 0-7 run that got Slask within 24-22. Halilovic followed a jump hook with a layup for a 28-24 Metropolitans edge after 10 minutes.
Justice and Michineau traded jumpers early in the second quarter and Nobel Boungou-Colo struck from downtown to make it 33-26. Slask found a new go-to guy in Kanter, who scored 5 points in a 0-7 run that tied it. After Keith Hornsby and Karolak traded triples, Halilovic stepped up with a couple of put-back baskets that gave his team a 40-36 lead. Kolenda and Justice kept pushing Slask. Steeve Ho-You-Fat and an outstanding Michineau prompted the guests to call timeout at 46-40. Langevine scored in the paint and got help from Kolenda and Karolak to bring Slask within 49-47 at halftime.
Ivan Ramljak tied the game with a reverse layup soon after the break. Vince Hunter ignited the crowd with a huge slam and Konate added a jumper to give Metropolitans fresh air at 53-49. Karolak answered from downtown, but Tomer Ginat quickly boosted his team's lead to 59-52. Kanter hit a triple and followed Dziewa's four-point play with a layup that tied it again, 61-61. McRae sank a three-pointer, but Justice dunked and added a running hook to complete Slask's comeback, 64-66. Kanter and Hornsby traded bombs from downtown, fixing the score at 67-69 after 30 minutes.
Michineau made a six-meter jumper early in the fourth quarter and Hunter added a layup that gave the hosts a 71-69 lead. Michineau scored a one-handed jumper in the lane, but Trice matched that with a jumper in transition. Hunter dunked off a steal and got help from Hornsby and Michineau to boost the hosts' margin to 79-71. Halilovic matched Ramljak's layup with a floater and Boungou-Colo dunked to make it a double-digit game, 83-73. Kolenda scored in penetration and found Kanter for a triple that gave Slask hope at 85-78 with 2:18 left. Kanter dunked and Justice hit a triple that got the visitors as close as 85-83. Hunter split free throws with 3.8 seconds left and Justice missed from downtown at the buzzer.
Point guards lead Metropolitans to win
Just like last season, playmakers are essential to Boulogne Metropolitans 92's success. David Michineau and Will Cummings proved it against Slask Wroclaw, making sure that Metropolitans played at a very high rhythm for all 40 minutes. Cummings scored 14 of his 17 points in the first quarter and also contributed 4 assists and 4 fouls drawn for a PIR of 16. Michineau came off the bench and did a little bit of everything, too, getting 14 points on 6-of-8 two-point shooting and 2-of-2 on free throws. He added 4 rebounds, 2 assists and a PIR of 14.
Metropolitans: many steals, few fouls
Boulogne Metropolitans 92 committed only 14 fouls in Round 2 against Slask Wroclaw. It was the second-lowest mark in the EuroCup this season after Metropolitans only made 11 fouls against Turk Telekom Ankara in Round 1. That doesn't mean that Metropolitans lacked aggressiveness, as other stats prove. The hosts finished the game with 8 steals from five different players and pulled down 9 offensive rebounds against the Polish powerhouse. Metropolitans also excelled inside the arc, making 26 of 42 two-point shots (61.9%), its best mark in almost a year. Metropolitans made a club record 67.7% on two-pointers against Unicaja Malaga on November 3, 2020.
Slask's Kanter bounces back in style
Slask Wroclaw big man Kerem Kanter had a rough season opener against Lietkabelis Panevezys. Kanter was held scoreless in that game, missing 2 shots, getting 2 turnovers and committing 3 turnovers for a PIR of -5. Kanter, however, did much better in Round 2 against Boulogne Metropolitans 92. Despite his team's 86-83 road loss, Kanter bounced back and led his team with 18 points, hitting 3-of-5 two-point shots and 4-of-7 from downtown. He was also more active all around, grabbing 6 rebounds and getting an assist, a steal and a foul drawn for a PIR of 21. It was a very good sign for Slask going forward.
Wednesday, October 27, 2021