Buducnost storms host Arka to stay alive
Buducnost VOLI Podgorica stayed alive in Group D by storming to a 61-78 road win over host Asseco Arka Gdynia on Wednesday. It was the second victory in a row for Buducnost after starting 0-6 but came with enough of a point difference to eye Arka and Dolomiti Trento Trento, both 3-5, for fourth place. A 28-51 onslaught in the middle quarters decided the game after the first one ended 18-18. Justin Cobbs led the winners with 17 points while Hassan Martin had 14 and 9 rebounds. Nikola Ivanovic chipped in 12 points and Suad Sehovic 11 for Buducnost, whose defense was so dominant that the top scorer for Arka was Leyton Hammonds with 11 points.
Scott Bamforth drilled 2 jumpers for a quick 0-6 Buducnost lead but triples by Hammonds and Armani Moore tied it. Buducnost responded with another 0-6 run that Bamforth finished with a floater at 6-12. Again, Arka rallied as triples from Dariusz Wyka and Krzysztof Szubarga evened it again, 18-18 after 10 minutes. Wyka dunked for Arka's first lead to start the second quarter, then it switched hands twice again before Martin took over inside and Sehovic added 2 triples as Buducnost surged ahead 26-32. Sehovic kept it going with his third strike from downtown for a new high lead of 27-39 that held up at 30-41 at the break. Adam Hrycaniuk and Moore scored in close to open the second half as Arka cut the difference to 37-43. Cobbs had a three-point play and fed Nikola Ivanovic for the first of his consecutive triples that widened the difference to 40-54. Buducnost's defense dominated until Cobbs drilled from deep, too, for a huge 40-57 advantage that just kept growing to 44-69 after 30 minutes. Arka found more points in the final quarter, but not enough to threaten as Buducnost covered a three-point home loss to the Polish club as well, just in case that comes into play when Group D's remaining Top 16 qualification is decided.
Justin Cobbs needed less than 21 minutes on the floor to make an outsized impact with a game-high 17 points and lead Buducnost with 4 assists. He also drew 7 fouls and made 8 of 10 free throws to pile up a PIR of 24 when no other player had more than 19.
Suad Sehovic came into a 16-16 game late in the first quarter, but within 10 minutes he had made 3 three-pointers and given Buducnost its first of many double-digit leads at 27-39. It was clear sailing from there for the visitors.
Buducnost's defense was relentless in the middle quarters, leaving Arka little room to develop plays or shoot. That resulted in the hosts being held to 40.5% two-point shooting (15 of 37) and 25.0% three-point accuracy (6 of 24).
Did you notice?
Its 17-point difference not only gives it an advantage in a potential head-to-head tie with Arka, but if that tie ends up including Trento, too, it's the biggest win among the three teams. Trento and Arka play in Round 9 to stay alive, but it's Buducnost who has command of the overall point difference in the group, too, with -4 to -45 for Arka and -39 for Trento.
After a two-week break in the regular season, Arka will remain at home to take on Dolomiti Energia Trento on Wednesday, December 11 in Round 9. Buducnost will return to action at home against Galatasaray Doga Sigorta Istanbul the same night.
Wednesday, November 20, 2019