Metropolitans rallies past Partizan to quarters!
A late rally from 9 points behind in the fourth quarter lifted Boulogne Metropolitans 92 past host Partizan NIS Belgrade 70-75 and into the 7DAYS EuroCup Quarterfinals at the end of an absolute thriller in the Serbian capital on Wednesday. Metropolitans took first place in Group F with a 4-2 record while Partizan was eliminated after falling to 2-4 on a sweep by the visitors. Brandon Brown supplied the game's 12th and final lead change on a three-pointer and Anthony Brown, his team's leading scorer with 18 points, hit another in the final minute to seal the deal for the winners. David Michineau added 13 points and Lahaou Konate 10 for Metropolitans, which had to withstand 22 turnovers to win. Rashawn Thomas had 20 points and Josh Perkins 10 for Partizan, which also got 9 points and 10 rebounds from Nikola Jankovic.
Michineau and Tomar Ginat's first 7 points for Metropolitans were bettered by 2 layups each from Jankovic and Thomas for Partizan. Konate put the visitors up 8-10 from deep but Thomas soon tied and Uros Trifunovic sent Partizan ahead on a fastbreak at 13-11. Michineau flipped the scoreboard with a triple before Brandon Brown fed Josh Owens for a dunk and struck from deep for a 13-19 Metropolitans lead. Perkins hit Partizan's first triple and Marcus Paige immediately followed for another tie before Nemanja Dangubic turned a steal and dunk into a 21-19 lead after 10 minutes. Vitalis Chikoko scored twice inside to steady Metropolitans before triples by Anthony Brown and Michineau saw the visitors seize a 26-30 edge. Konate added 3 from deep at 26-33 before Thomas answered with back-to-back baskets for Partizan. Ognjen Jaramaz drilled a game-tying triple before Thomas restored a Partizan lead at the foul line, 35-33. An unsportsmanlike foul let Michineau even the score again 35-35 at halftime.
Thomas turned a reverse layup into a three-point play and Dangubic downed a jumper gave the hosts a 40-35 edge. Maxime Roos and Anthony Brown struck right back with triples, flipping the scoreboard, but Paige took the lead back from deep. Roose tied it again before Dangubic's three-point play made it 46-43 for Partizan. Anthony Brown and Ginat drilled threes as the visitors surged in front, 49-50. Jaramaz was soon stealing and dunking to make it 53-53. Perkins found Jankovic for a go-ahead layup and added his own second-chance basket at 57-53. Archie Goodwin conjured an acrobatic and-one layup next for Metropolitans but free throws kept Partizan in front 59-56 after 30 minutes. Perkins busted a step-back triple to start the fourth-quarter scoring and Novica Velickovic fed Jaramaz for another and a new high Partizan lead, 65-56. Anthony Brown buried a three and Michineau added free throws to steady Metropolitans at 65-61. There the score stalled until Dangubic hit 1 of 2 free throws at 66-61 with 5 minutes left. Konate trimmed 2 free throws off the difference and Brandon Brown hit a layup to make it 66-65. With 2:41 left, Anthony Brown supplied the game's 10th lead change from the line to make it 66-67. Jaramaz hit Jankovic for a huge dunk then Brandon Brown stole the lead back from deep, 68-70, with 2 minutes left. Thomas's free throw and the 22nd turnover for Metropolitans gave Partizan one chance, but Jankovic missed and Anthony Brown blasted a deep triple at 69-73 with under a minute left. Konate's two-pointer with 21 seconds left proved the backbreaker for Partizan as Metropolitans took the win back to Paris.
What a game!
With both teams trying to reach the quarterfinals, there were no less than 12 lead changes and 10 ties spread along the game. The biggest gap with neither last 10 minutes, from 55-53 with 2 minutes left in the third quarter until 2:41 of the fourth, when Anthony Brown's free throws made it 66-67. Partizan scored next, but Brandon Brown busted a three-pointer with 2 minutes left for the 12th and final lead change, this one in favor of Metropolitans.
Metropolitans wasn't sure-handed in passing but certainly knew how to shoot from deep, hitting 14 of 28 three-pointers to just 6 of 24 for Partizan, with 3 of them coming in the last 8 minutes after the visitors were trailing by 9 points.
Did you know?
Due to tiebreak scenarios, Metropolitans had to win the game or be eliminated, while Partizan had to win by 4 points or suffer the same fate. If Partizan had won the game in regulation time by 1 to 3 points, neither team would have qualified. In that scenario, the remaining quarterfinals berth from Group F would have gone to Dolomiti Energia Trento.
Partizan was credited with 16 steals in forcing 22 turnovers on Metropolitans. Those steals not only shattered Partizan's previous best of 12 but were the most ever in any EuroCup Top 16 game.
Metropolitans advanced to play Herbalife Gran Canaria, the second-place team from Group H, in the quarterfinals beginning on Tuesday, March 23. Partizan finished its season with an 8-8 overal record, 6-4 in the regular season and 2-4 in the Top 16.
Wednesday, March 10, 2021