Ratiopharm Ulm continued its good form and is on the verge of advancing to the Last 32, after downing Valencia Basket Club 92-84 on Tuesday. It is the fifth consecutive win for Ulm, improving it to 6-1 atop of Group C, while Valencia drops to 4-3 in at least a share of the third place. Valencia did win head-to-head tiebreaker, however, because of its 16-point victory in Round 2. Ulm did not trail again after putting together a 12-0 run in the second quarter, and pulled away to a double-digit margin in the third. The hosts hit 12 triples, but the visitors kept coming back, until Cameron Long ignited a 7-0 run late in the fourth to put the game out of reach. Long finished with 19 points plus 6 assists, while Mat Howard and Philipp Schwethelm scored 14 apiece in victory that has Ulm with one foot in the next stage. Ulm could advance to the Last 32 on Wednesday, if Union Olimpija Ljubljana (4-2) beats the visiting Asvel Villeurbanne Lyon (3-3). Valencia lost despite nailing 11 three-pointers and having five players in double figures. Justin Doellman led with 16 points plus 7 rebounds, Romain Sato netted 13, while Sam Van Rossom and Rafa Martinez each scored 11 in defeat.
Van Rossom opened the game with the triple, and Doellman added couple of baskets from close range, but the host scored 5 of their first 6 attempts from the field, including a triple from Daniel Theis for 11-9. Martinez answered with a three-pointer as teams traded leads. A layup and a dunk from Howard gave Ulm 21-18, but Valencia finished the quarter with back-to-back threes from Oleksiy Pecherov for 23-26. Pecherov and Oliver Lafayette converted first four visitors’ possessions in the second, to keep margin at 30-35. The host, however, answered with a 12-0 run that including couple of energetic baskets from Trent Pleisted, and triples from Schwthelm and Per Guenther got them 42-35 lead. Valencia countered with 6 consecutive points through Pau Ribas and Sato, before Guenther’s jumper made it 44-41 at halftime. After the break, a jump shot from Martinez tied it at 46-46, but Keaton Nankivil replied with a triple as the hosts did not relinquish their lead again. A triple from Adam Hess and a basket-plus-foul from Edgar Sosa extended it to 57-48, and after Van Rossom hit from downtown for the visitors, back-to-back three-pointers from Nankivil and Long made it 65-53. Valencia quickly cut the deficit, with baskets from Doellman and Van Rossom, but after Ribas nailed a triple for a 4-point margin, Schwethelm beat the buzzer with a three-pointer at the end of the third, and opened the fourth quarter with another shot from downtown and 74-66. The hosts did not allow a field goal for more than 4 minutes of the final quarter, and Theis hit behind the arc for 79-67. Sato’s triple snapped Valencia’s drought, and he followed it up with a triple-plus-foul for 79-74. However, 7 points by Long on the next three possessions, including a triple, gave Ulm more breathing space, before a steal from Howard and a fastbreak layup by Sosa made it 88-76. Howard had couple more baskets from close range, but Martinez and Doellman prevented Valencia’s deficit from becoming even bigger, and making sure the visitor won the head-to-head tie-breaker.
Tuesday, November 26, 2013