Buducnost gets good-as-gold road win
In a replay of their postponed game from Round 6, and a critical showdown for both teams in the race to reach the 7DAYS EuroCup Top 16 in Group B, Buducnost VOLI Podgorica defeated Germani Brescia 66-75 on the road at Palaleonessa A2A on Friday. Buducnost improved to 4-3 in the standings and depends on its own results to reach the next round, while Brescia dropped to 2-6 and has slim chances to advance due to its tie-break disadvantage against Mornar Bar (3-5) and ratiopharm Ulm (3-5). Melvin Ejim led the winners with 18 points. Justin Cobbs added 16 points, Nikola Ivanovic 15 and Zoran Nikolic 11 for Buducnost. Drew Crawford had 15 points for Brescia while Dusan Ristic added 10. Brescia led 40-31 at halftime but everything changed after the break, as Buducnost improved its defense while Ejim, Cobbs and Ivanovic made sure the guests grabbed an important road victory.
Christian Burns got Brescia going with a floater, igniting a 6-0 opening run that Crawford capped with a dunk. Suad Sehovic and Crawford traded three-pointers, then Cobbs hit a floater for Buducnost at 9-5. Kenny Chery and Ejim joined the three-point shootout and TJ Cline banked in a close shot for a 14-8 score. Cobbs and Ivanovic stepped up for the guests and Zoran Nikolic dunked but Giordano Bortolani took over with a three-point play and Burns added a buzzer-beating layup for a 21-17 Brescia lead after 10 minutes. Bortolani scored again early in the second quarter and Tyler Kalinowski hit a jumper but Cobbs and Zoran Nikolic got Buducnost as close as 27-26. Crawford beat the shot clock with a layup which Ristic followed with a jump hook to make the guests call timeout at 31-26. Kalinowski sank a triple and Andrea Ancellotti added a layup but Dragan Apic kept Buducnost within 36-29. Chery hit his trademark stop-and-pop jumper and Ancellotti scored again to boost Brescia's lead to 40-31 at halftime. Ejim hit a jumper and Danilo Nikolic struck from downtown to give Buducnost hope, 41-36, soon after the break. Ivanovic took over with a wild three-point play and Ejim added one from beyond the arc to complete the guests' comeback, 41-42. Ivanovic swished a jumper that capped a 1-14 run before Crawford rescued Brescia with a jump hook. Danilo Nikolic sank another three-pointer, getting help from Cobbs and Ivanovic to keep Buducnost ahead, 47-51. Zoran Nikolic¡s jump-hook fixed the score at 47-53 after 30 minutes. Ivanovic scored off a steal early in the fourth quarter and Ejim made it a double-digit difference, 47-57. Ejim scored around the basket and Cobbs added a floater to keep Buducnost ahead 50-61. Ristic tried to change things with a three-point play that Ejim immediately erased with a triple. Cobbs scored down low and Ejim sealed the outcome, 57-69, with 3 minutes left, as the hosts never recovered.
Ivanovic came off the bench and changed the game with a fantastic second-half performance. He finished the game with 15 points on 5-of-6 two-pointers and 5-of-5 free throws, also getting 3 rebounds, 5 assist, 3 steals and 5 fouls drawn for a game-high PIR of 20.
Buducnost improved its defense after the break, allowing Brescia to score just 1 point in the first 5 minutes of the third quarter. Meanwhile, Ivanovic, Ejim and Danilo Nikolic combined for 12 points in a 1-14 run that gave the guests their first lead, 41-44. That switched the game's momentum, and Buducnost went on to control the game for good.
Buducnost finished the game with 16 offensive rebounds and limited turnovers to just 6. That's Buducnost's lowest turnovers mark in the competition since October 25, 2017, in an 87-78 home win against Galatasaray Odeabank Istanbul, and one more than the club's record, 5, in a 76-62 victory against Lietkabelis Panevezys on December 27, 2017.
Did you know?
Chery had scored in double digits in all of his 15 EuroCup appearances until now – eight with Nanterre 92 last season, and seven with Brescia before this game. His double-digit streak came to an end as he had 9 points tonight.
Both teams return to 7DAYS EuroCup action in early December. Brescia hosts already-qualified Unicaja Malaga on Wednesday, December 9 at 20:45 CET. A day earlier, on Tuesday, December 8, Buducnost visits ratiopharm Ulm at 20:00 CET. Buducnost, however, has another postponed game against Boulogne Metropolitans 92 with a date yet to be determined.
Friday, November 20, 2020