Olimpija gets key road win at Bourg
Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana took a crucial step toward the 7DAYS EuroCup playoffs by edging JL Bourg en Bresse 64-77 at Ekinox on Wednesday. Olimpija improved to 3-1 and needs one more win - or Buducnost VOLI Podgorica to lose once - to qualify for the next stage. Meanwhile, Bourg dropped to 0-4 and was mathematically eliminated from quarterfinals contention. Jaka Blazic and Rion Brown led the winners with 15 points apiece. Kendrick Perry added 14, Jarrod Jones had 11 and Edo Muric 10 for Olimpija. Maxime Courby and Luka Asceric paced Olimpija with 11 points apiece. Pierre Pelos added 10 for the hosts, who led 41-39 at halftime. Olimpija led most of the way after the break and used a 0-10 run to seal the outcome down the stretch.
Mikael Hopkins got Olimpija going with a layup, igniting a 2-10 in which Blazic added a three-point play and a triple. Zachery Peacock scored twice in the paint, but Perry and Muric rescued Olimpija and Blazic insisted from beyond the arc, causing the hosts to stop the game at 8-17. Muric scored down low and Jones bettered Danilo Andjusic's jumper with a three-pointer. Courby struck twice from downtown and Luka Rupnik and Asceric joined the three-point shootout. Jones insisted from beyond the arc for a 21-28 Olimpija lead after 10 minutes. Ivan Buva sank a triple early in the second quarter. Brown followed a driving layup with a three-pointer, but Asceric struck from downtown for a 27-33 score. Buva kept pacing Bourg and a put-back basket by Hugo Benitez prompted the guests to call timeout at 32-33. Asceric nailed his third triple, but Kendrick Perry and Rion kept the visitors in charge, 35-38. Peacock hit a jumper and Zack Wright added a layup and fed Buva for a close basket to put Bourg ahead, 41-39, at halftime.
Back-to-back fastbreak layups by Muric helped Olimpija regain the lead after the break. Wright and Peery exchanged tip-ins and Courby soon tied it at 45-45. Perry followed a triple with a jumper in an 0-8 run that Blazic capped with a layup-plus-foul. Andjusic and Peacock rescued Bourg and Pelos struck from downtown to give Bourg hope at 52-56. Courby downed a corner three-pointer, but Jones restored a 55-59 Olimpija edge after 30 minutes. Pelos hit a triple early in the fourth quarter. Rupnik and Benitez also hit one each from beyond the arc. Brown's alley-oop dunk boosted Olimpija's lead to 61-66. Brown nailed a triple and Blazic added a close jumper in a 0-10 run that sealed the outcome, 61-72, with under 3 minutes left. A huge put-back dunk by Hopkins allowed Olimpija to seal an important win in style.
Rion Brown made the difference in the fourth quarter, scoring 7 of his 15 points in the final 8 minutes. Brown added 4 rebounds, 1 assist and 2 fouls drawn for a game-high PIR of 17.
Hugo Benitez struck from downtown to bring Bourg within 61-63 early in the fourth quarter. Brown took over with a show-stopping alley-oop slam and also hit a three-pointer in a 0-10 run that Jaka Blazic capped with a close basket. Olimpija broke the game open, 61-73, and never looked back.
Olimpija committed just 7 turnovers for a new season-low. It previously had 8 turnovers against Promitheas Patras and twice against Nanterre 92. Bourg had twice as many turnovers, 14, and that allowed Olimpija to collect 6 steals.
Did you know?
The two top scorers this season, in terms of total points, faced each other in this game. Blazic now leads the 2020-21 7DAYS EuroCup in scoring with 259 points, and Danilo Andjusic, who scored 6 points, is second with 244.
Both teams return to 7DAYS EuroCup action in early March. Olimpija hosts Virtus Segafredo Bologna on Tuesday, March 2. A day later, Bourg welcomes Buducnost VOLI Podgorica.
Wednesday, February 3, 2021