Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana recorded its first win of the 2019-20 7DAYS EuroCup season by defeating Darussafaka Tekfen Istanbul 72-76. Olimpija had been playing well, especially in the first half of almost every game of the season, but needed an extra boost. On Wednesday night, two players stepped up big and gave the Slovenian powerhouse the energy and accuracy needed to win the game.
Things were not looking good for Olimpija early in the game as Darussafaka grabbed a 24-13 margin late in the first quarter. That is when Filip Kruslin decided he had enough. Kruslin buried three shots from beyond the arc in a 1-13 run that gave Olimpija the lead, 27-28. Kruslin would add two more three-pointers to give Olimpija its biggest margin, 46-57, late in the third quarter. Kruslin finished the game with 17 points. He had totaled exactly 17 points in the previous five games combined!
Another player who went far beyond his season average was Mikael Hopkins, who was solid throughout the game. Hopkins entered the game averaging 4.0 points, but finished it with 15 on 4-of-4 two-point shooting, 2-of-3 from downtown and 4 rebounds for a PIR of 18. He had amassed a PIR of 17 in the five previous games combined and had a season-low -5 PIR against Joventut Badalona last week.
Codi Miller-McIntyre was all over the place; he missed a triple-double by 1 assist and finished with 11 points, 10 rebounds and 9 assists. It would have been the eighth triple-double in EuroCup history. The last player to record a triple-double was Quino Colom of UNICS Kazan, who had 15 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists against Buducnost VOLI Podgorica on December 9, 2015 - almost four years ago.
"In the games that we have lost, we won the first half in almost every game and then in the second half, something happens and we lose the energy, and lose the game," Miller-McIntyre said after the game. "But I think tonight is a step in the right direction, for sure, but the goal is to try to get more wins in a row instead of win one, lose one."
Olimpija will try to keep its momentum going against at home against mighty UNICS Kazan next week.