Gescrap BB edged Montepaschi Siena 60-59
Gescrap BB improved its chances to reach the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Playoffs by edging Montepaschi Siena 60-59 in Top 16 Group F in Bilbao, Spain on Wednesday. Montepaschi dropped to 4-1 but is all but mathematically into the Playoffs. Gescrap improved to 3-2 in Group F and will clinch a Playoffs spot with another win or if Real Madrid loses any of its remaining Top 16 games. Raul Lopez became the man of the night with the game-winning jumper right at the buzzer. Marko Banic paced the winners with 16 points. Lopez added 15 while Alex Mumbru got 10 for Gescrap. Igor Rakocevic led Montepaschi with 14 points. Bo McCalebb added 12 while David Moss got 10 for the guests, that led 21-22 at halftime and boosted their margin to 43-47 with 6 minutes to go. Gescrap improved its defense and free throws by D'or Fischer and Lopez gave Gescrap a 58-56 lead with 13.9 seconds left. Rakocevic and Bootsy Thornton managed to put Montepaschi back ahead, 58-59, but Lopez stole the game with the game-winning shot, allowing a sellout crowd of almost 10,000 fans at Miribilla to celebrate one of the biggest wins in club history!
Moss got Montepaschi going with a bomb from downtown, as Gescrap went scoreless in the opening 2 minutes. A put-back layup by Thornton soon gave the guests a 0-5 lead. Mumbru stepped up with a one-handed running jumper but he didn't much help around early in the game. Stonerook buried a three-pointer, as the hosts brought Banic off the bench to improve its offense. Mumbru split free throws but no other Gescrap player scored in the opening 7 minutes. The hosts kept missing open shots but defense kept Gescrap alive and a dunk by Fischer brought his team within 5-8. Montepaschi had been scoreless for 5 minutes, missing its last 7 shots in the first quarter. Meanwhile, Fischer kept pacing Gescrap with an off-balance tip-in that sent the crowd to their feet at 7-8, after 10 minutes.
Montepaschi could not find the way to the basket and a layup by Banic gave Gescrap its first lead, 9-8, after a 6-0 run. Tomas Ress tried to change things with free throws, as Gescrap tried a new backcourt with Lopez and Roger Grimau together on court. Banic split foul shots and a circus shot by Lopez put Gescrap back ahead, 12-10. Rakocevic buried a six-meter shot and Ress did even better with a three-pointer that restored a 12-15 Montepaschi lead. Grimau shined with his trademark one-handed jumper that Marco Carrareto bettered with a bomb from downtown off a timeout. Banic stayed on fire with a layup and a three-pointer by Kostas Vasileadis forced Montepaschi to stop the game at 19-18. Rakocevic banked in a close shot that Vasileadis matched with free throws. A buzzer-beating layup by Rakocevic fixed the score at 21-22 as both teams headed back to the locker rooms.
McCalebb, who had been scoreless until now, shined with a reverse layup immediately after the break and free throws by Pietro Aradori gave Montepaschi a 21-25 edge. Gescrap struggled to score for more than 2 minutes until Banic hit an off-balance jump hook. McCalebb found space for an uncontested layup, as the game turned into a physical battle. Mumbru made free throws but a three-pointer by Stonerook gave Montepaschi some fresh air, 25-30. Banic rescued Gescrap with a layup-plus-foul and Lopez struck from downtown to send the crowd to their feet, 31-30. Montepaschi could not get Andersen involved but Aradori answered with a driving layup. Mumbru scored around the basket that Moss improved with a triple for a 33-35 score. Gescrap kept powering the boards and a power basket by Banic tied it at 35-35. Rakocevic followed an open jumper with free throws but Lopez hit foul shots and beat the buzzer with a fallaway jumper for a 39-39 tie after 30 minutes.
Rakocevic kept pacing Montepaschi with a baseline jumper early in the fourth quarter and Moss buried a five-meter shot for a 39-43 Montepaschi margin. Dimitrios Mavroeidis split free throws and a seven-meter bomb by Blums tied the game again, 43-43, with 7 minutes to go. Moss made foul shots and Ksistof Lavrinovic added a backdoor layup to restore a 43-47 Montepaschi lead. Banic scored in penetration and Mumbru added a layup off a wild spin move that made the guests call timeout at 47-47. A jump hook by Banic soon put Gescrap back ahead, 49-48. Montepaschi struggled to circulate the ball until McCalebb returned to the floor off a timeout. He shined with a driving layup but free throws by Mumbru and Fischer restored a 51-50 Gescrap edge with 2 minutes left. McCalebb silenced the crowd with a huge three-point play and Vasileadis split free throws for a 52-53 score. Andersen missed a five-meter jumper and Montepaschi fouled on Fischer, who made both attempts for a 54-53 Gescrap edge with 22.9 seconds left. McCalebb made 3-of-4 free throws and Lopez did even better for a 58-56 Gescrap lead with 13.9 seconds to go. Rakocevic split free throws and a Gescrap turnover allowed Thornton to give Montepaschi a 58-59 edge with 6.4 seconds left. It all came down to the final play, in which Lopez buried the game-winning shot at the buzzer, setting Bilbao Arena on fire and allowing Gescrap to get closer to the Euroleague Playoffs!
Wednesday, February 22, 2012