In an all-Spanish League clash, Uxue Bilbao Basket came back from a double-digit first half deficit to down Valencia Basket 91-76 and pick up its first win in the Last 16. Bilbao improved to 1-2 in Group J, the same record as CEZ Basketball Nymburk, while Valencia dropped to 2-1 and shares the top spot with VEF Riga. The hosts trailed 31-42 midway through the second quarter after Valencia made an 0-18 run. However, Bilbao answered with a 23-4 spurt that bridged the second and third quarters, taking the lead for good. A 10-2 run midway through the fourth quarter sealed the deal for Bilbao, which had four players, Nikos Zisis, Milovan Rakovic, Alex Mumbru and Raul Lopez, with 14 points. Rakovic and Mumbru also grabbed 8 rebounds apiece, while Lopez dished out 7 assists. Thomas Kelati led Valencia with 20 points on 5-for-7 three-point shooting. Bojan Dubljevic scored 13, and Vitor Faverani 12 points in defeat.
Bilbao stormed out of the gate with 6 points from Mumbru, and an Axel Hervelle dunk made it 8-0 in less than 100 seconds. Valencia had a quick answer, though, as Rodrigo San Miguel hit a three-pointer and Serhiy Lishchuk made basket-plus-foul. Another layup from Lishchuk made it 10-10, but Kostas Vasiliadis contributed with 6 points to help make a 10-2 run. Bilbao lead reached 9 points before a layup from Stefan Markovic made it 23-16 at the end of the first quarter. After Faverani started the second quarter with a basket for Valencia, Fran Pilepic hit back-to-back jumpers for the hosts, but Dubljevic sank back-to-back triples to cut it to 27-24. Lamont Hamilton and Zisis brought the lead back to 7 points, but Valencia hit back with 18 unanswered points. After Faverani dunk started the run, Kelati hit three triples and Dubeljvic added another one of his own, 31-42. Bilbao recovered quickly, as Hamilton hit a triple before Vasiliadis made one from behind the arc as well, and a jumper from Lopez at the end of the half made it 41-44.
What he started at the end of second, Lopez continued at the start of the third with a jumper and a triple before a couple of layups from Rakovic made it 50-44. After Adrien Moerman made it 54-46, as Valencia only managed 3 of 4 free throws in the quarter, Faverani ended the visitors’ field goal drought. Lopez hit another triple and Zisis added couple of baskets, but Faverani dunked and Kelati hit a triple for 61-56. Roger Grimau answered with a layup before Zisis hit a buzzer-beater from near midcourt for 66-56 Bilbao lead going into final 10 minutes. Stefan Markovic made a steal and raced for a layup to kick-off the fourth quarter, but a put-back dunk from Hamilton gave Bilbao 69-58. Markovic, however, replied with triple, before baskets inside from Kelati and Dubljevic cut the difference to 71-65. But Bilbao kept the visitors at bay with a jumper from Pilepic before Rakovic made couple of baskets inside on the way to 79-67. The hosts did not allow a field goal for more than four minutes as Mumbru and Rakovic extended the lead to 14 points to seal the deal. Before game’s end, more baskets from Mumbru and Rakovic extended the margin to 15 points.
Wednesday, January 23, 2013