National cups roundup: February 21

Feb 21, 2016 by Print
National cups roundup: February 21

Spanish Cup final

Turkish Airlines Euroleague defending champion Real Madrid became the first club ever to win the Spanish Cup three years consecutively when it held off Herbalife Gran Canaria Las Palmas for an 81-85 victory in Sunday's final in La Coruña, Spain. Madrid trailed briefly on a couple of occasions early in the third quarter and the game remained close until a triple by K.C. Rivers made it 68-78 with under 3 minutes left. Gran Canaria rallied once again to make it 81-83 on 2 three-pointers made by Xavi Rabaseda in the game's final 70 seconds, but Sergio Rodriguez settled matters at the foul line with 15 seconds left to secure the trophy. Gustavo Ayon led six Madrid scorers in double digits with 15 point and was named MVP. Jaycee Carroll scored 13, Felipe Reyes 12, Rodriguez and Jonas Maciulis 11 each and Rivers 10 for Madrid. Albert Oliver, with 16 points, and Rabaseda, with 14, led Gran Canaria, last season's Eurocup runner-up. It was Madrid's 26th Spanish Cup victory.

Reyes started and finished a 0-10 run that let Madrid control the scoreboard 18-24 when the first quarter ended. Pablo Aguilar sparked Gran Canaria's comeback with 6 points early in the second, and though his team fell behind by double-digits again, Brad Newly and Eulis Baez split the last 6 points before halftime to cut Madrid's advantage to 38-40. Baez put Gran Canaria in front with a triple to open the second half, as did Oliver a few minutes later at 48-45. A four-point play by Carroll revived Madrid, which nonetheless could not escape on the scoreboard. Gran Canaria pulled within 66-71 with 5 minutes left on free throws by D.J. Seeley before Carroll and Andres Nocioni made two-pointers to calm Madrid. When Rodriguez fed Rivers for an open triple and Ayon blasted a miss by Rodriguez, the lead was back to double digits, 70-82, but Oliver and Rabaseda drilled triples for Gran Canaria to suddenly cut the difference to 76-82 with 1:08 to play. After Ayon hit 1 of 2 free throws, Oliver raced for a layup and then Rabaseda hit another triple with 15 seconds left, making it 81-83. But Gran Canaria had to foul Rodriguez, who hit both free throws to settle the matter.

Turkish Cup final

Bogdan Bogdanovic beat the buzzer with a three-pointer from the wing to give Fenerbahce Istanbul a dramatic 67-65 victory over Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul in the final game of the Turkish Cup on Sunday in Bursa. It was Fenerbahce's first cup victory since it won three of four between 2010 and 2013, and Bogdanovic's shot, after an offensive rebound by Ekpe Udoh, denied Darussafaka its first trophy of any kind since 1962 despite its valiant comeback from 10 points down shortly after halftime. Bogdanovic led the winners with 21 points, while Jan Vesely had 14 to go with 9 rebounds. Manuchar Markoishvili rallied Darussafaka with 16 points and Scottie Wilbekin had 15 including the go-ahead shot with 15 seconds left, which looked like a trophy-winner until Bogdanovic had the last word.

Big men dominated the scoring early until Jamon Gordon's 4 points in a row put Darussafaka ahead 8-12. Bogdanovic nailed the game's first three-pointer then to spark an 8-0 Fenerbahce takeover of the scoreboard that resulted in a 21-18 difference after 10 minutes. Ricky Hickman's 4 points in a row pushed the lead to 26-18 but Wilbekin got them all back for Darussafaka. Melih Mahmutoglu and Bogdanovic combined for 5 quick points at 35-24 before Bobby Dixon, from downtown, supplied the first double-digit lead, 38-27. Markoishvili was the answer man for Darussafaka with 5 points in the last 65 seconds before halftime to pull his team within 38-33. Bogdanovic and Vesely restored a double-digit lead, 43-33, for Fenerbahce right after the break, but three-pointers by Reggie Redding and Mehmet Yagmur kept Darussafaka close. The teams traded baskets until Markoishvili re-emerged with back-to-back triples that cut the difference to 54-51. He hit another early in the fourth quarter and Wilbekin copied him for a new Darussafaka lead, 57-59. Luigi Datome tied before Bogdanovic detonated a go-ahead triple for Fenerbahce at 62-59, but Marcus Slaughter answered with an alley-oop dunk for Darussafaka and Markoishvili took back the lead, 62-63. Vesely did the same for Fenerbahce at 64-63 with 1:22 to play. A full minute passed before Darussafaka got the ball to Wilbekin after a timeout and he scored going to the basket to make it 64-65 with 15 seconds left. After its own timeout, Fenerbahce saw a shot by Datome miss, but Udoh fought for the rebound and sent it back out to the perimeter, where Bogdanovic decided it all in one shot.

German Cup final

Three days before they begin their Eurocup Eighthfinals series, visiting ALBA Berlin rallied after halftime to beat host FC Bayern Munich 65-67 for the German Cup title on Sunday. Dragan Milosavljevic hit a runner in the lane with 5.6 seconds left to break a 65-65 tie. When a game-winning three-point try by Justin Cobbs fell short, ALBA had won its ninth national cup since 1997 and denied Bayern its first in almost four decades. Elmedin Kikanovic scored 19 points with only 3 misses on the night and blocked 3 shots for the winners. Jordan Taylor added 18 points, while Milosavljevic had 11 points and 8 rebounds. Bryce Taylor led Bayern with 14 points, followed by Dusko Savanovic with 13 and Anton Gavel with 11. ALBA had led 11-13 after one quarter but Bayern dominated the next 10 minutes to take a 34-25 halftime lead before the visitors rallied to forge a 43-43 tie going into the fourth quarter.

ALBA seemed to have the game in hand when Will Cherry's go-ahead layup was followed by Kikanovic hitting a three-pointer at 56-60 with 2:38 to play, and certainly when Milosavljevic stretched it to 58-65 with 1:35 left on his shot from the arc. But Gavel scored quickly out of a timeout for Bayern, then an unsportsmanlike foul led to Deon Thompson making 2 free throws with 51 seconds left. On the accompanying possession, Savanovic took a desperation three-pointer to beat the shot clock and tie the game, 65-65, with 29 seconds left. After its own timeout, ALBA dribbled down the clock and got the ball to Milosavljevic, who drove from the wing and put up a one-handed runner that bounced twice before dropping through the net.

"We played two tough games and we showed character in both of them: we didn't give up," Milosavljevic said. "Even when we were losing, we didn't stop."

Italian Cup final

EA7 Emporio Armani Milan defended its home court from start to finish to claim its first Italian Cup title in two decades with a 76-82 victory in the final on Sunday against Sidigas Avellino. A 2-11 run early in the final quarter that included 4 points each by Rakim Sanders and Jamel McLean lifted Milan's lead from 5 to 14 points and assured the club its fifth national cup. Sanders paced Milan with 17 points while McLean added 15, Milan Macvan 14 and Andrea Cinciarini 10. Milan hustled for a 19-9 advantage in offensive rebounds that made a difference, as did the hosts' making 10 three-pointers to just 4 for Avellino. James Nunnally had 25 points for Avellino to lead all scorers. Milan lifted the trophy for the first time since 1996.

Milan did not trail beyond the first minute of the game, after which Daniele Magro's go-ahead basket sparked a 2-11 run to a 6-14 lead. A basket by Mantas Kalnietis secured the first double-digit lead of many for Milan at 8-18. Nunnally and Giovanni Pini combined for 12 points in the 5 minutes before halftime to get Avellino as close as 36-43. After the break, Macvan restored Milan's double-digit lead, but Avellino reeled it back to as little as 44-48 on a basket by Alex Acker before Sanders, McLean and Charles Jenkins joined to get the hosts back to a comfort zone at 50-60. Still, Avellino stayed in striking distance, making it 57-62 early in the fourth on Ivan Buva's score. That's when Milan's defense clamped down while Sanders and McLean supplied the points to stretch the difference to 59-73. A triple by Cinciarini and 2 more points by McLean accounted for the high lead of 61-78, after which Milan held off every Avellino charge to take the victory.

Lithuanian Cup final

Lietuvos Rytas defended its home court with a solid 57-67 victory over its archrival, Zalgiris Kaunas, to reclaim the Lithuanian Cup title on Sunday after a five-year drought. After a 17-17 tie in the first quarter, Rytas held the lead the rest of the way by dominating the boards and harassing Zalgiris into bad shooting. Antanas Kavaliauskas was the big gun for Rytas with 20 points and 7 rebounds, while Mindaugas Lukauskis added 11 points. Kavaliauskas led Rytas to a 47-22 advantage in rebounding. Only Martynas Pocius, with 13 pionts, and Paulius Jankunas, with 12, could reach double digits for Zalgiris, the defending cup champion, which suffered from 18-for-55 field goal shooting on the night.

Brock Motum and Lukas Lekavicius put Zalgiris ahead early before a 2-10 run by Rytas put the hosts ahead 9-15. Zalgiris would tie it up 17-17 on a triple by Pocius, but Rytas answered with another run of 0-10 that paved the way to a 21-29 advantage. The Zalgiris defense would blank the hosts for the last 5 minutes of the second quarter, but only Renaldas Seibutis could do any scoring and Rytas still lead by 6 points, 23-29, at the half. With the Zalgiris shooters cold, Rytas launched another run of 2-9 after the break for a high lead of 25-38. Motum and Pocius got the visitors back within 33-41, but Rytas still held the upper hand after 30 minutes, 39-47, thanks in large part to a whopping 19-38 advantage in rebounds at that point. The fourth quarter started with yet another Rytas rush of 0-8, giving the hosts full control of the scoreboard at 39-55. The difference would hit a high of 42-59 and it was all that Zalgiris could do from that point to reduce it to the final margin of 10 points.

Polish Cup final

Revenge belonged to Rosa Radom in the Polish Cup final as it toppled defending champion Stelmet Zielona Gora 64-74 to lift the trophy for the first time on Sunday. Zielona Gora had defeated Radom in the latter's first cup final last year. This time, Radom outgunned Zielona Gora in the pivotal third quarter on its way to a double-digit victory. C.J. Harris paced the winners by scoring 23 points. Torey Thomas and Igor Zaytsev followed him with 13 points each. Only Mateusz Ponitka and Przemyslaw Zamojski could get into double figures for Zielona Gora, with 12 points each. Radom led 22-17 after one quarter but Zielona Gora clamped down its D in the second quarter to forge a 31-31 tie at the break. However, Radom came out after halftime and outscored the trophy holders 24-11 in the third quarter, forcing Zielona Gora to have to shoot its way back, which didn't work out in the end. Zielona Gora opens the Eurocup Eighthfinals by hosting Unics Kazan on Wednesday.

Serbian Cup final

Mega Leks made history by becoming just the fourth club ever to win the Serbian Cup when it knocked off Partizan Belgrade 85-80 in come-from-behind fashion in Sunday's final game in Nis. The victory was sweeter still for Mega Leks after it lost the previous two finals by a total of 7 points. This time, Mega Leks trailed 46-51 after the first basket of the third quarter, a three-pointer by Jamar Wilson of Partizan, but stuck close enough to take a lead on the last one, a triple by Nikola Ivanovic. Mega Leks again fell behind and still trailed 73-78 on a basket by Partizan's Darrell Williams with under 3 minutes left. Danilo Nikolic hit from downtown to spark a 12-2 closing run to grab a piece of history for Mega Leks. Ivanovic led the winners with 24 points, while Nikolic had 18, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot 13 and Alpha Kaba 10. Wilson led Partizan with 17 points.

French Leaders Cup final

First-division newcomer Monaco puts its stamp on the French Leaders Cup in a big way Sunday by running away with the trophy thanks to a 99-74 victory over Elan Chalon-sur-Saone in the final game at Disneyland Paris. After Chalon had won the first half 48-52, Monaco went off to the races after the break, outscoring their more experienced opponents 51-22 in the third and fourth quarters. Jamal Shuler led the onslaught with 31 points, more than half of which came on his 6-for-12 three point shooting. Billy Ouattara followed with 13 points and Arron Cel added 12 for the winners. John Roberson had 19 points for Chalon while Jeremy Hazell followed him with 18.

Slovenian Cup final

Krka Novo Mesto made history in more ways than one as it blasted Lastovka 66-63 to lift the Slovenian Cup trophy for the third consecutive season on Sunday in Ljubljana. Krka's defense held Lastovka to the lowest point total ever in a cup final, breaking the previous record, dating to the first cup tournament in 1992, by 17 points. The 33-point difference was just the fourth-highest in cup history, however. Luka Lapornik was the top scorer for the winners with 13 points.