Asseco Arka Gdynia is doing something different this season than in any of its previous 7DAYS EuroCup campaigns. It's winning on the road.
So far this season, Arka has won two games and both of those wins have come on the road. Their last road win before that? That came against the Brighton Bears in 2003.
In addition to the road wins, there is a trend emerging here too. Against EWE Baskets Oldenburg in Round 1, Arka trailed for long spells only to set up a blockbuster comeback to win 74-78. Ditto Wednesday night when Arka trailed Buducnost VOLI Podgorica for most of the game. Arka only led, in fact, for 7 minutes out of the 40. But 5 of those 7 minutes came right at the end on the way to a 59-62 win and a winning record. Buducnost, which led by as many as 13 at one stage, could not kill the visitor’s challenge.
It wasn’t the team's best shooting performance, but Arka dug in on defense and forced its opponent into rushed, contested shots. The team was helped too, of course, by three of its five starters breaking into double digits in points.
Josh Bostic said after the game that “we are a team of warriors” and Arka certainly showed that battling spirit. He scored 19 as the leader of the group while Ben Emelogu hit 17 with 9 rebounds. Devonte Upson scored 10 and had 9 rebounds too.
With the shooting not going as planned, Arka knew it would have to outwork its opponents on the boards and did just that with 45 rebounds to Buducnost’s 41. That was the team's best rebounding effort ever in the competition.
Coach Przemyslaw Frasunkiewicz was delighted with his side’s battling spirit too, which he knows carried them through too. "We fought through the whole game like lions. Sometimes our shots were not falling, but sometimes we will have to win by playing great defense, rotating and sacrificing our bodies and this is a great victory for us,” he said.
Arka doesn't have it easy this season on the road with trips to Unicaja Malaga, Dolomiti Energia Trento and Galatasaray Doga Sigorta Istanbul still to come. It has already traveled to Germany and Montenegro and has two wins, which will no doubt have their confidence soaring. Their opponents will be taking note of their new-found ability to get it done on the road too.