Shorthanded Buducnost rolls past Promitheas
Buducnost VOLI Podgorica shrugged off a whirlwind first half and ended up running away with a 60-89 victory over host Promitheas Patras on Wednesday to remain one of the top teams in Group B. Buducnost started hot and used a 2-17 run to take a 10-27 lead. Promitheas punched back with a 21-2 surge to pull ahead. The guests responded with a 6-20 run spanning halftime to reestablish control and never looked back in moving to 5-1. DJ Seeley led the way with career highs of 29 points and a 30 performance index rating. Zoran Nikolic also set personal bests with 20 points, 10 rebounds and 30 PIR while Justin Cobbs chipped in 17 points. Only eight players played for Buducnost. Promitheas saw its two-game winning streak snapped in falling to 2-4. Kendrick Ray scored 16 of his team-high 22 points in the second quarter and Jerai Grant added 10. But the hosts did not have enough other options, scoring just 8 points in the third quarter.
Nikolic opened the scoring for the guests while Grant hit first for Promitheas. That was the only score for the hosts in the first 4 minutes while Vladimir Micov's layup gave Buducnost a 2-6 lead. Grant scored again and Ray's first basket trimmed the margin to 8-10. The guests started to really roll, with Nikolic pushing his tally to 13 points and Marko Jagodic-Kuridza draining a three-pointer in a 2-14 run to finish the first quarter with a 10-24 lead.
Seeley opened the second quarter with a three-pointer and the Buducnost margin grew to 10-27. Ray finally got the hosts back on the board with a three-pointer and then went off with 2 more bombs from deep and a three-point play among his 16 points in a 21-2 run to put Promitheas ahead 31-29. Buducnost responded with Cobbs and Edin Atic both scoring 5 points in a 4-10 run to lead 35-41 at the break.
Micov tallied the first 2 points of the second half to push the lead to 35-44. Ray finally got Promitheas on the board after nearly 2 minutes. Another basket by Nikolic increased Buducnost's lead to 37-49 as the hosts just could not score with any consistency. Seeley took his turn to lead the offense with 3 triples among his 11 points in a 2-15 run to extend the Buducnost advantage to 43-66 after 30 minutes.
Ray and Grant started the fourth quarter with baskets and Promitheas was within 47-66. Buducnost hit the next 4 points and Seeley knocked down another three-pointer to push the margin to 49-73. Seeley just keep going in the fourth quarter, ending the final frame with 13 points as Buducnost just coasted the rest of the way.
Cobbs did it all for Buducnost
Justin Cobbs was the man for a bit of everything all game for the winners. He poured in 17 points as he connected on 6 of 9 shots and 5 of 8 free throws while also grabbing 5 rebounds. The veteran leader also dished out 5 assists and snagged 3 steals for an index rating of 26. Cobbs will be happy about following up his amazing Round 5 game with a strong showing, but he will likely be disappointed about 3 missed free throws, considering he had made 39-of-45 thus far this season from the line.
Ray second-quarter show wasn't enough
One of the few bright spots for Promitheas all game was the second quarter, and the main man in that frame was Kendrick Ray. The 27-year-old drained 3 three-pointers, converted a three-point play and also hit a tough layup among his 16 points in the quarter. That output alone evened his career high in points and he ended with 22 points to go along with 2 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals for a PIR of 22, which was also his career high.
Buducnost shot the lights out
Buducnost was unstoppable on offense as it made 66.7% of its two-pointers and also connected on 8 of 17 shots from long range for 47.1%. Buducnost's team PIR of 121 ranked tied for third in club history. The guests' defense also held Promitheas to just 24.1% on three-pointers and 47.2% on two-pointers. The hosts dished out just 11 assists, 9.6 fewer than their average coming into the game. All told, Promitheas managed a PIR of just 34, which was a new club low, 18 less than the 52 PIR it had in October 2020 against Dolomiti Energia Trento.
Wednesday, December 8, 2021