Buducnost Voli made it to the Eurocup Quarterfinals by downing Krka Novo Mesto 63-58 in front of 3,500 fans in Podgorica, Montenegro in Group K on Tuesday. Buducnost finished Group K with a 3-3 record, reached the Quarterfinals due to its tie-break advantage (1-1, +3) against Banvit BK and is set to face Group I champion Valencia Basket in the upcoming two-way series. Krka was fourth in Group K with a 1-5 record and registered its fourth loss against Buducnost in both the Eurocup and the Adriatic League this season. Bojan Krstovic and Nikola Ivanovic paced the winners with 14 points apiece. Cedomir Vitkovac added 11 for Buducnost. Smiljan Pavic and Zoran Dragic each had 14 points to lead Krka, which rallied from an early double-digit deficit to get a 34-35 edge near halftime. A put-back basket by Edo Muric gave Krka its last lead, 44-46, late in the third quarter. Ivanovic had 9 points in an 11-0 run that put Buducnost ahead for good, 55-46. Krka managed to get within 61-58 but free throws by Jermaine Anderson allowed all Buducnost fans to celebrate a big home win.
Krstovic got Buducnost going with back-to-back triples but Dragic and Mustafa Abdul Hamid kept Krka within 6-4. Aleksa Popovic sank a jumper and Vitkovac struck from downtown but consecutive baskets by Pavic brought the guests as close as 11-8. Bojan Dubljevic joined the three-point shootout and a layup by Popovic made Krka call timeout at 16-8. Pavic kept pacing the guests with a dunk but free throws by Krstovic and a layup by Anderson made it a double-digit game, 20-10. Dragic sank jumper and Uros Lucic added 4 points late in the first quarter to get Krka within 22-16 after 10 minutes. Muric dunked it early in the second quarter and soon added a three-pointer for a 22-21 Krka deficit. A three-point play by Pavic capped a 2-14 run and completed the guests' comeback, 22-24. Ivanovic stepped up with a triple but free throws by Abdul Hamid put Krka back ahead, 25-26. Krstovic and Pavic exchanged baskets but free throws by Pavic provided another lead change, 27-28. Popovic sank another triple and Krstovic scored again but Dragic singlehandedly gave Krka a 32-33 edge. Krstovic shined with a fast break layup that Jure Balazic matched with a jumper. Free throws by Vitkovac and a jumper by Anderson gave Buducnost a 38-35 edge at halftime.
Afik Nissim hit a jumper immediately after the break and Balazic added a jumper for a 38-39 Krka edge. Buducnost went scoreless for almost 5 minutes, missing 10 consecutive shots until Vitkovac hit a layup off a steal. Zoran Dragic answered from downtown that Vitkovac improved that with a layup-plus-foul and free throws. Lucic nailed a jumper and a put-back basket by Muric restored a 44-46 Krka edge. Ivanovic followed a jumper with free throws and Hasan Rizvic found his first points to make Buducnost get a 50-46 edge. A jumper by an outstanding Ivanovic made it a six-point game, 52-46, after 30 minutes. A three-pointer by Ivanovic - who else? - capped an 11-0 run and boosted the hosts' lead to 55-46 early in the fourth quarter. Pavic and Rizvic traded baskets, as Buducnost tried to use long possessions to run the game clock down. Krka struggled to score right when it mattered while free throws by Popovic and a layup by Dubljevic sealed the outcome, 61-49, with under 4 minutes left. Dragic and Lucic managed to bring Krka within 61-56 in the next-to-last minute but Buducnost called timeout and improved its defense. Meanwhile, free throws by Anderson helped the hosts to win the game down the stretch and access to the Eurocup Quarterfinals!
Tuesday, February 28, 2012