Ulm wins to survive, MoraBanc advances despite loss
ratiopharm Ulm held off MoraBanc Andorra 88-80 to improve its chances to qualify for the Top 16, while the visitors booked their place in the Top 16 for the first time in club history on Tuesday night. Ulm improved to 4-5 in Group A, while MoraBanc dropped to 5-4 before the final regular season round. Patrick Miller led all scorers with 20 points, while Per Guenther and David Kraemer had 12 apiece in the victory. Dylan Ennis had 17 points, including free throws with 25 seconds to go that clinched MoraBanc's place in the Top 16. Ennis also dished 6 assists.
John Shurna scored the first 8 points for the visitors and Michele Vitali's corner triple gave MoraBanc a 5-12 lead. Ulm answered with Miller scoring 5 points, before Guenther hit back-to-back three-pointers to make it 18-17. A pair of baskets from Maximilian Ugrai gave Ulm a 22-19 lead after 10 minutes. Ryan Thompson drove for a layup to make it a 5-point affair early in the second quarter. However, MoraBanc forced turnovers that led to easy baskets and David Jelinek and David Walker each knocked down a three-pointer as Arka regained a 31-33 advantage. Kraemer and Ugrai each had a three-pointer for Ulm, but Andrew Albicy had a three and a jumper for the visitors as the two teams went into the break tied at 43-43. Back-to-back put-back layups from Javonte Green put Ulm up 51-48 midway through the third quarter. A triple from Kraemer and a three-point play from Thompson helped open a 61-51 margin. Ulm answered with a 1-9 run, during which Shayne Whittington nailed a three-pointer, but Ulm kept a 66-61 advantage going into the fourth quarter. A Guenther triple restored a 10-point margin, 71-61, early in the fourth. Whittington hit from downtown again for the visitors, but Kraemer's triple and Miller's three-point play made it 77-68. MoraBanc was not going away, as Jelinek hit a three to help cut the margin to 77-75, but Kraemer beat the shot-clock with a corner triple and Miller hit one from long range of his own. Miller's jumper with 31.7 seconds to go made it 88-78. Ennis made 2 free throws and the visitors made a defensive stand on the final possession, which booked them a place in the Top 16.
MoraBanc Andorra makes Top 16
Going into the game there were many scenarios that could have qualified MoraBanc for the Top 16 and the team chose the most dramatic one – losing by less than 9 points. MoraBanc is now assured that it will be at least fourth in Group A if it ends up in a four-team tie with Ulm, Galatasaray Istanbul and Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade with 5-5 records.
Movers and shakers
Patrick Miller scored 9 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter for Ulm. David Kraemer made 4 of 5 triples and Per Guenther hit 3 of 5 from long range. Javonte Green scored 10 points in the winning effort. Shayne Whittington netted 14 points in less than 14 minutes for the visitors, John Shurn had 11 and David Jelinek 10 points for MoraBanc.
MoraBanc set a club record with 26 assists in the Round 4 clash against Ulm and in this game it had 23, which is tied for the club's second-most in the EuroCup.
Looking towards Round 10
Ulm knew it could get eliminated with a loss against MoraBanc and combination of other results on Wednesday. With this win, Ulm is safe for at least another week, but the team will need to win at Brescia in Round 10 and to get other Group A results to go its way.
In the final round of the regular season, MoraBanc welcomes AS Monaco on Tuesday in a battle for first place in Group A. Ulm travels to face Germani Brescia Leonessa on Wednesday, and will need a win to keep with a chance to qualify for the Top 16.
Tuesday, December 11, 2018