Laboral downs Madrid, gets third road win in Group F
In an All-Spanish showdown in Group F, Laboral Kutxa Vitoria Gasteiz recorded its third road win in this season's Top 16 by downing Real Madrid 68-77 in the Spanish capital on Friday. Laboral improved to 4-2 with back-to-back road wins over FC Barcelona Lassa and Madrid, which dropped to 3-3. Fabien Causeur led the winners with 15 points. Jaka Blazic added 13, Davis Bertans had 11 while former Madrid center Ioannis Bourousis pulled down 14 rebounds for Laboral. Sergio Rodriguez led Madrid with 18 points and Willy Hernangomez added 13 for the hosts. Gustavo Ayon shined early to put Madrid ahead, 11-8. Three-pointers by Causeur, Adam Hanga and Bertans ties the game, 19-19, at the end of the first quarter. Bertans kept pacing Laboral and got help from Blazic to boost the guests' lead to 31-39. Sergio Rodriguez and Felipe Reyes hit back-to-back triple to bring Los Blancos within 37-41 at halftime. Laboral took off after the break, as Hanga, Ilimane Diop and Causeur helped the visitors to a 15-point cushion. Madrid rallied to within 63-64 on a three-point shot by Andres Nocioni, but Darius Adams had 5 points and a behind-the-back assist in a 0-9 run that sealed the outcome, 63-73, as Madrid never recovered.
First quarter: Causeur, Ayon shine early
Felipe Reyes got Madrid going with free throws, which Causeur erased with a fast break layup. Sergio Llull and Kim Tillie traded three-pointer and a jump hook by Ayon restored a 7-5 Madrid lead. Causeur joined the three-point shootout, but Ayon finished a great Madrid play with a dunk and then fed Reyes for a layup that gave Los Blancos an 11-8 lead. Causeur kept pacing Laboral with a driving layup, which Sergio Rodriguez bettered with a triple. Causeur answered from downtown and Adam Hanga bettered K.C. Rivers's close basket with a three-pointer that tied it at 16-16. Davis Bertans, now playing power forward, nailed a nine-meter bomb, which Ayon erased with a layup-plus-foul to tie the game at 19-19 after 10 minutes.
Second quarter: Bertans, Blazic put Laboral ahead
Bertans nailed another catch-and-shoot triple from way downtown early in the quarter and soon buried another one to boost Laboral's lead to 19-25. Madrid struggled to score for more than two minutes until Hernangomez stepped up with a reverse layup. Jaka Blazic hit free throws and a jumper by Mike James caused Madrid to call timeout at 21-29. Hernangomez scored again and free throws by Rodriguez brought the hosts within 4. Ioannis Bourousis - playing with 2 fouls - stepped up with a put-back layup and free throws by Blazic set a 25-33 Laboral margin. Jaycee Carroll took over with consecutive baskets and Hernangomez matched Bourousis's foul shots with a jump hook. Blazic shined with a fast break layup, which James followed with a jumper, which prompted Madrid to stop the game at 31-39. Rodriguez struck from downtown but free throws by Bertans kept the visitors in control. A three-pointer by Reyes fixed the halftime score at 37-41.
Third quarter: Laboral uses defense to take off
Hanga dunked immediately after the break and Ilimane Diop soon added an alley-oop slam to boost Laboral's lead to 37-45. Rodriguez tried to change things with a driving layup, which Causeur bettered with a bomb from downtown. Reyes had to leave the game due to a shoulder injury. Causeur shined with a driving layup that made it a double-digit game, 39-50. Rodriguez scored again, but Adams and Diop made free throws to boost the guests' margin to 13. Madrid kept struggling to score and an alley-oop layup by Hanga broke the game open at 41-56. Llull and Hernangomez rescued Madrid with foul shots and a close jumper by Carroll prompted Laboral to call timeout at 46-56. Carroll split free throws and a dunk by Jeffery Taylor got the crowd involved at 49-56, after an 8-0 run. Blazic stepped up with a layup-plus-foul to restore a double-digit Laboral margin, 49-59, after 30 minutes.
Fourth quarter: Adams steps up in crunch time to seal win
Hernangomez shined with a big basket in the low post early in the quarter and free throws by Llull gave Madrid hope at 53-59. Laboral was held scoreless for more than two minutes, but Bourousis stepped up with free throws. Hernangomez kept pacing Madrid with a layup and a tip-in that caused Laboral to stop the game at 57-61. Blazic shined with a wild driving layup, which Rodriguez bettered with a corner three-pointer, 60-63. Bourousis split free throws and a corner triple by Nocioni made it 63-64. Blazic scored again and a driving layup by Adams gave Laboral some fresh air with more than three minutes to go. Adams fed Tillie for a fast break slam and soon struck from downtown to seal the outcome, 63-73. Madrid kept missing shots when it mattered most and even after Nocioni hit an off-balance shot, it was already too little, too late for the reigning champion, as Laboral had cruised to a well-deserved road win.
Friday, February 5, 2016