Eurocup qualifying round, Game 2 report: Banca Tercas Teramo 77-62 Apoel Nicosia

Oct 27, 2009 by Print
Bobby Jones - BancaTercas Teramo (Photo Banca Tercas Teramo)Banca Tercas Teramo pulled off an incredible 77-62 victory over Apoel Nicosia, just enough to win the two-leg qualifying round and advance to the Eurocup regular season. Apoel, which entered the contest with a 14-points cushion from the first game, was unable to protect it and missed out on becoming the first team from Cyprus to reach the competition’s regular season. Bobby Jones was the hero for Teramo after netting the two game-winning free throws with 5 seconds to play. Jones was also his team’s leading scorer with 16 points. Ryan Hoover added 12 points and 6 assists while Valerio Amoroso tallied 11 points in the victory. Lewis Hopkins had a game-high 28 points in a losing effort for Apoel. Only five other players scored for the Cypriot champs with Victor King adding 10.

Apoel got out to a 5-9 lead thanks to five quick points from Hopkins before the game took a defensive turn with fouls coming easier than baskets. After a Jones three-pointer, the score was knotted at 12-12, and Drake Diener got a jumper to fall to claim a 14-13 lead for Teramo. King powered home a dunk and, with Apoel in the bonus, Brandon Heath converted two free throws off a rebounding foul to put his squad back ahead 14-16. Teramo’s Gianluca Lulli tied it at 17-all with a triple as Hoover picked up his third assist, but Ousmane Cisse kept it even at 19-19 after 10 minutes by draining a jumper. Both teams found their offensive flow in the second quarter, and Diener gave Teramo a small 33-30 lead with five minutes to play before halftime. Hopkins made a jumper to cut the lead to one, but then Teramo went on a 9-2 run capped by a dunk by Jones, 41-34. A red-hot Hopkins kept Apoel close. Hopkins proved unstoppable in the quarter and had already notched his 22nd point before the halftime break, more than half of his team’s total. A Jones free throw sent Teramo into the locker room with a 42-38 advantage.

Teramo rolled off a 9-1 run capped by an Amoroso bucket to get the lead into double digits, 51-41, early in the third period. Heath, Apoel’s top scorer in Game 1, stepped up and scored a quick three points, but Hoover nailed back-to-back threes and suddenly Teramo was brushing the magic number at 57-44. Giorgos Anastasiadis answered with a triple of his own and moments later nailed a second bomb from long-distance to make it 59-50. Cisse cut the Teramo lead to 61-54 going into the final quarter. With just over five minutes to play, Amoroso drilled a three-pointer that made it 70-58 and Apoel took a timeout as Teramo was once again within a single field goal of taking the lead in the aggregate score. Neither side could move the scoreboard till Hoover hit a three-pointer, putting Teramo in charge. King reclaimed a one-point aggregate lead for Apoel with a jumper with two to play, but Jones made two free throws and Teramo seesawed back ahead in the series. Hopkins went to line with 12 seconds to play and sank to clutch free throws, 75-62, to provisionally qualify Apoel for the Eurocup. But Jones picked up a foul and went to the line where he coolly made both attempts with 5 seconds left. Apoel took a timeout and when King’s three-pointer came up short, Teramo could finally celebrate its amazing comeback to make the Eurocup regular season.