Short-handed Tofas wins in Andorra
Tofas Bursa overcame injuries and absences to beat MoraBanc Andorra 63-69 on the road in Group H on Wednesday. Tofas leads the standings with a 2-0 record while Andorra dropped to 0-2. Berkan Durmaz and Tarik Phillip led the winners with 17 points apiece, Muhaymin Mustafa added 10 points and Devin Williams posted 9 with 10 rebounds for Tofas, which was without head coach Orhun Ene and stars D.J. White, Sammy Mejia and Matt Lojeski. Dejan Musli led Andorra with 13 points while Jeremy Singler added 10. Andorra held a 63-59 margin midway through the fourth quarter, but Durmaz led a closing 0-10 run allowed Tofas to walk away with a well-deserved win.
Williams and Berk Ugurlu got Tofas going with consecutive layups. Senglin and Phillip traded three-pointers before Mustafa struck from downtown for a 5-10 Tofas lead. Durmaz scored in the low post, but Dejan Todorovic and Frantz Massenat each buried a triple to bring Andorra within 11-12. Durmaz scored around the basket and got help from Phillip and Baris Ermis to set a 13-18 Tofas edge. Perez stepped up for Andorra with 6 quick points, including a wild put-back slam, and Colom nailed a three-pointer that tied the game, 22-22, after 10 minutes. Muhsin Yasar hit a jump hook early in the second quarter and got help from Ermis to give Tofas a 23-28 lead. Colom stepped up with a basket off the baseline and Nacho Llovet followed a jump hook with a reverse layup that tied the game at 29-29. Durmaz and Yasar kept pushing Tofas and got help from Mustafa to give Tofas a 29-34 margin. Jelinek buried a three-pointer and Todorovic added a layup-plus-foul that gave Andorra its first lead, 35-34. Durmaz hit a catch-and-shoot jumper, but Musli answered with a jump hook to fix the halftime score at 37-36.
Durmaz scored around the basket immediately after the break, but Massenat erased that with a jumper and Perez added a layup for a 41-39 Andorra edge. Phillip struck from beyond the arc. Musli did better with consecutive reverse layups in a 6-0 run that restored a 47-42 lead. Senglin bettered Yasar's layup with a wild three-point play and soon added a step-back jumper. Phillip kept Tofas close at 53-49 after 30 minutes. Musli followed a layup with a hook shot early in the fourth quarter. Phillip hit a jumper before Mustafa and Durmaz each struck from downtown to tie the game at 57-57 with 7 minutes left. Senglin rescued Andorra and Clevin Hannah added a turnaround jumper for a 61-57 Andorra lead. Williams made free throws and Durmaz added back-to-back layups for a 63-63 tie with 4 minutes to go. Ermis scored around the basket and Williams beat the shot clock buzzer with a put-back basket for a 63-67 Tofas lead in the next-to-last minute. Andorra kept struggling to score and Williams hit free throws to seal the outcome at 63-69 with 27.5 seconds remaining.
Berkan Durmaz had averaged 3.7 points in 10 EuroCup games until this game, but made the most of out the opportunity with extended playing time due to Tofas's circumstances. He finished the game with a career-high 17 points on 6-of-8 two-point shooting, 1-of-1 three-pointers and 2-of-4 free throws, plus 7 rebounds, 3 assists, a block and 3 fouls drawn for a PIR of 23, a new personal-best.
Andorra led 63-59 midway through the fourth quarter, but was held scoreless over the final 4 minutes when it missed 4 shots and 2 free throws and committed 3 turnovers. Meanwhile, Berkan Durmaz scored twice around the basket, Baris Ermis added a layup, Devin Williams hit a critical shot that beat the shot clock buzzer and soon added free throws to cap a closing 0-10 run that led Tofas to this outstanding road win.
In a low-scoring game, small details made the difference. Tofas had a better free throw shooting percentage, hitting 22 of 25 attempts (84%) against Andorra's 12 of 19 (63.2%). Andorra had 15 turnovers and Tofas only 11, which was also one of the keys.
Did you notice?
It was Andorra's third home loss in the last two EuroCup seasons. After nine consecutive wins, Andorra only lost once at home last season - against ALBA Berlin in Game 2 of the semifinals, 81-87. This season, Andorra had only lost at home against Promitheas Patras, 81-91, in Round 5 of the regular season.
Both teams return to EuroCup action next week. Andorra hosts Unicaja Malaga on Tuesday, January 21. Tofas visits Joventut Badalona the following day.
Wednesday, January 15, 2020