Reed powers Buducnost past Metropolitans
Buducnost VOLI Podgorica led from start to finish to pull out a valuable 83-89 road win against Boulogne Metropolitans 92 on Tuesday night. Buducnost improved to 2-0 and first place in Group B, while Metropolitans dropped to 0-2 on the young season. Buducnost led by as many as 17 points in the first half behind Melvin Ejim. Metropolitans rallied before halftime and remained close until the final minute, but the visitors never relinquished the lead paced by center Willie Reed who collected 22 points, 8 rebounds and 2 blocks. Ejim finished with 16 points despite fouling out early in the fourth quarter, Nikola Ivanovic scored 13 while Justin Cobbs dished 10 assists in a victory. Rob Gray had 19 points in 19 minutes for Metropolitans. Anthony Brown netted 14 points and Tomer Ginat and Assem Marei scored 11 apiece in a loss.
Ejim got Buducnost going from long range right after the tip-off before Danilo Nikolic and Reed scored from close range. Ginat hit a transition triple for the hosts, but Petar Popovic had a steal and a dunk, followed by back-to-back triples from Nikolic and Ejim to make it 7-17. Buducnost did not stop there, as it forced 6 turnovers in the first quarter, and finished the quarter on a 2-11 run behind Rashad Vaughn's consecutive fastbreak dunks for an 11-28 cushion after 10 minutes. After struggling in the first quarter, the hosts opened the second with baskets on their first two possessions. Big men Dragan Apic and Reed kept the margin at 17 points, but Gray nailed Metropolitans' first three-pointer of the night, before Anthony Brown, Brandon Brown and Bastien Pinault scored all the points in a 13-2 run to close the gap to 34-38 at halftime.
Reed scored twice inside before Vaughn knocked down a three-pointer and Ejim added a three-point play to lead 38-48. However, the hosts turned to Marei who scored 6 points inside, before Anthony Brown netted one from the outside to cut the deficit to 49-51. Ivanovic ended the Buducnost drought with a transition triple and Cobbs drove to the rim to get the visitors within 54-61 going into the final 10 minutes. The hosts got right back in it with back-to-back three-pointers from Pinault and Ginat early in the fourth before back-to-back floaters from Gray cut it to 64-66. Reed strung together 8 points on the other end, including a pair of three-point plays, to establish a 67-74 margin. Metropolitans made another charge as Ginat and Vitalis Chikoko closed the gap to 76-79 with 1:36 to go, but Suad Sehovic replied with a triple-plus-foul, and Reed scored once again inside to put the game away in the final minute.
Willie Reed was a monster for Buducnost inside, scoring 12 of his game-high 22 points in the final 6 minutes of the game. He finished the night shooting 9 for 11 two-pointers and made all 4 of his free throw attempts along with 8 rebounds and 2 blocks.
Buducnost finished with 12 turnovers to just 8 from the hosts. Interestingly, Metropolitans had 6 of those turnovers in the first quarter when Buducnost raced away to a 17-point lead. The hosts took care of the ball after that, but they were forced to play catch up the rest of the way.
Ending a drought
This victory marks the first for Buducnost on the French soil in almost 19 years. The last time Buducnost won a road game in France was in November 2001, when it edged Pau-Orthez in the EuroLeague.
Jean-Paul Besson stood in as Metropolitans head coach with Jure Zdovc missing the game due to illness.
Next week in Round 3, both team will be on the road, Metropolitans travel to face ratiopharm Ulm, while Buducnost pay a visit to Unicaja Malaga.
Tuesday, October 6, 2020