Olimpija fights off Gran Canaria for first win
Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana collected its first victory of the 7DAYS EuroCup season by rolling past Herbalife Gran Canaria 84-68 in Group D on Tuesday. Jarrod Jones paced five players in double figures with 18 points for Olimpija, which improved to 1-2 in the group. Kendrick Perry had 15 points and 5 assists, while Roko Ukic scored 14 , Jaka Blazic 13 and Rion Brown 12 for the winners. Olimpija took over the game in the second quarter and pulled away steadily after halftime. Gran Canaria tried to come back but suffered its first defeat in the group despite Jacob Wiley scoring 15 points to go with 9 rebounds.
Mikael Hopkins and Rion Brown put the hosts up 4-0 early until Wiley scored for Gran Canaria. Perry's three-pointer sent Olimpija ahead 13-9 only to see Stanley Okoye, Wiley and John Shurna all copy him as Gran Canaria surged ahead 15-20. Ukic answered with a triple of his own for a 20-20 deadlock after 10 minutes. Olimpija continued running as Ukic, Jones and Perry all hit threes in an 11-0 start to a 31-20 second-quarter lead. Shurna's three-point finally put the guests on the board but another Perry triple increased Olimpija's advantage to 13 points, which remained the spread at the break, 42-29. Matt Costello and Andrew Albicy both hitting triples to trim the gap to 46-37 after halftime. Olimpija had the answer, though, with Blazic leading a 9-2 surge to 55-39. Jones added 4 points as the hosts led 61-44 after 30 minutes. Ukic's three-pointer to start the final quarter pushed the margin to 64-44. Jones completed a three-point play and Blazic knocked down a triple as the lead grew to 76-48 midway through the fourth quarter. Gran Canaria made the hosts sweat a little with a 13-0 run featuring triples from Frankie Ferrari, Tomas Dimsa and Fabio Santana to pull within 76-61. But Brown put back a miss to snap a three-minute Olimpija drought and deny the Gran Canaria comeback attempt.
Olimpija shows no rust
Olimpija showed no rust from not playing in nearly two weeks as its Round 2 home game against Frutti Extra Bursaspor did not take place because the entire Olimpija team was forced to remain in quarantine due to a COVID-19 positive case.
Jarrod Jones was outstanding off the bench for Olimpija, not only leading the team in scoring with 18 points on 6-for-9 two-point shooting, but also grabbing 9 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 block with 0 turnovers in 24 minutes.
Olimpija gave up just 68 points – after the Spanish side had scored 86 and 94 in its first two games – thanks to limiting Gran Canaria to just 39.4% on two-pointers and 30.6% on three-pointers.
Olimpija will head back on the road for its next game, travelling to Italy to face Dolomiti Energia Trento on October 20 and hoping to make it two wins in a row. Gran Canaria has another road game for Round 4 as it takes on Frutti Extra Bursaspor on October 20 looking to bounce back.
Tuesday, October 13, 2020