Baskonia wins thriller against CSKA
In a Game of the Week thriller that went down the wire, Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz edged CSKA Moscow 79-78 on its home floor in the last game of Round 26. The win improved Baskonia’s record to 15-11 and the fifth-best in the league, while CSKA dropped to 19-7, but still shares the best record in the competition with Real Madrid. Neither team held a lead bigger than 8 points the entire night and it was Baskonia that was ahead 45-37 early in the third quarter. CSKA quickly caught up, but the hosts remained in front the entire time until James Augustine’s layup with 40.9 seconds to go, which gave CSKA a 77-78 lead. But Shane Larkin hit what turned out to be a game-winning jumper, and the hosts managed to force a turnover before running out the clock. Adam Hanga had 15 points and 4 blocks to lead Baskonia, Larkin finished with 12 points, Kim Tillie scored 11 ,while Chase Budinger and Johannes Voigtmann scored 10 apiece, with the latter also pulling down 7 rebounds. Nando De Colo had 22 points and 6 assists, and Milos Teodosic had 19 points and 6 assists in defeat.
Both teams needed some time to get into an offensive rhythm. Voigtmann had a jumper and a floater for the hosts, but a triple and a floater from Teodosic gave CSKA a 10-12 lead. Teodosic banked in another shot, but Tillie and Ilimane Diop each had a dunk to give Baskonia an 18-14 edge after low-scoring 10 minutes. Back-to-back triples from Andrey Vorontsevich and Vitaly Fridzon to start the second quarter put CSKA back in front, but Larkin and Tillie replied with a 6-0 run to restore Baskonia's advantage. It was time for a CSKA run, with De Colo hitting a three-pointer and driving for a layup in a 0-7 run, only for Hanga to score twice before Voigtmann slammed one home as the hosts scored the final 6 points of the half and took a 34-33 halftime lead.
Baskonia missed all of its 6 three-point attempts in the first half, but at the start of the third quarter, Larkin and Hanga each hit a three, and Tillie had a three-point play as the hosts opened a 45-37 lead. But after a timeout, Teodosic answered with a pair of threes, and a pair of baskets from De Colo helped CSKA climb within 51-50. But Blazic and Shengelia each scored from long range late in the quarter for Baskonia to take a 61-54 advantage into the final 10 minutes. De Colo and Hines led CSKA in catching up, and a triple from Victor Khrypa cut it to 67-66. A pair of tough drives down the stretch, one from Hanga and the other from Larkin, gave Baskonia some breathing room, and Chase Budinger had a huge slam dunk. But Teodosic hit back-to-back three-pointers before dishing a bounce pass for a layup by James Augustine that put CSKA back in front 77-78 with 40.9 seconds left. After a timeout, Larkin nailed a long jumper as Baskonia regained the lead. CSKA went down the court, De Colo missed a long jumper, but CSKA grabbed an offensive rebound. However, Baskonia forced Augustine into a bad pass and the hosts ran out the final 12 seconds off the clock, starting wild celebrations at Fernando Buesa Arena.
Friday, March 17, 2017