Gomes leads Trento to historic comeback win against Zenit
Dolomiti Energia Trento earned one of the most remarkable comeback victories in 7DAYS EuroCup history, roaring back from 16 points down with three and a half minutes remaining to stun host Zenit St Petersburg with a 99-102 overtime triumph. Zenit appeared to be cruising to the Top 16 after leading by 22 at half-time, but Trento showed incredible resolve to keep going and eventually earned its reward to keep its qualification hopes alive. Aaron Craft scored the game-winning basket with 4 seconds of overtime remaining, and he finished with a double-double of 17 points and 13 assists. Beto Gomes was the other hero for Trento after scoring 19 points in the final quarter, including a triple to force overtime with 15 seconds left. He finished with a total of 28 points, including 6-of-10 three-point attempts.
Three pointers from Marko Simonovic and Sergey Karasev gave the hosts an early edge, and a couple of close-range scores by Jalen Reynolds made it 10-2. A pair of triples from Fabio Mian kept Trento in touch, but a big put-back slam by Reynolds gave Zenit a double-digit lead. The margin stayed roughly the same for a long time, despite a steady stream of points from Davide Pascolo, and the lead grew to 45-28 with a flurry of points from Vladislav Trushkin and Evgeny Voronov. A buzzer-beating triple by Philip Scrubb made it 52-30 at the break. Trento gave itself hope with the first 5 points of the second half, and a three-point play by Craft plus Pascolo’s fadeaway jumper pulled it back to 60-48 midway through the third. But a triple and reverse layup from Vadim Panin settled Zenit, and it was 71-54 after three quarters.
Baskets were traded evenly in the early stages of the fourth, before Gomes scored 8 quick points to force Zenit into timeout at 87-78. Craft had a three-point play, Gomes netted again from deep and Pascolo laid up to make it a one-possession game, 89-86, with 40 seconds left. Zenit didn’t score so Trento had a chance to tie it, and Gomes took that chance with an incredible three-pointer to force overtime. Zenit reasserted itself in the extra period with three-pointers from Trushkin and Voronov, but Mian’s triple kept Trento in the hunt. Free throws from Flaccadori gave Trento its first lead, 97-98, with 20 seconds remaining, before Karasev also made foul shots to restore Zenit’s lead. But Craft scored a mid-range jumper, Diego Flaccadori made a steal from the inbounds pass and then converted both free throws, completing a sensational victory.
Famous five for Trento
Victorious coach Maurizio Buscaglia leaned almost exclusively upon five players to seal the memorable win. The quintet of Aaron Craft, Beto Gomes, Diego Flaccadori, Davide Pascolo and Fabio Mian all played at least 27 minutes, and they all scored in double figures. Gomes led the way with 28 points, followed by Craft (17), Pascolo and Flaccadori (16) and Mian (14). Nobody else scored more than 5 points.
Notable in defeat
Several players shone for Zenit during the first 35 minutes, including league leading scorer Sergey Karasev who finished with 20 points. Evgeny Voronov added 18, Philip Scrubb scored 16 and Vladislav Trushkin scored 14.
Never ahead until the final seconds
Zenit took early command of the game, scoring the first basket and soon advancing into a double-digit lead. Trento was never on level terms until 15 seconds remaining, when Gomes sank a triple to force overtime. Even then, Zenit moved ahead again and Trento only took its first lead of the entire night when Flaccadori made a pair of free throws with just 20 seconds of overtime still on the clock.
Trento will look for another huge road victory when it travels to Turk Telekom Ankara, while Zenit will attempt to revive its fortunes with an away game at Valencia Basket.
Wednesday, November 21, 2018