Olimpija outguns Bursaspor 104-88
Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana never stopped scoring on the way to a 104-88 victory on Monday over Frutti Extra Bursaspor in a rescheduled edition of their game that was postponed from Round 2. Olimpija, which agreed to play what should have been its own home game on Bursaspor's court, raised its record to 3-2 in Group D. Bursaspor fell to 0-5. Jaka Blazic paced the winners with 33 points, his 7DAYS EuroCup high. Kendrick Perry followed with 15 points, Jarrod Jones with 13 and Mikael Hopkins with 10. A shorthanded Bursaspor saw five of its eight players score in double figures, led by Xavier Mumford with 25 points, including 10-for-10 free throw shooting, and 7 assists. Birkan Batuk added 17 points, Kenny Kadji 13, Perry Jones and Ogus Savas 12 each.
Omercan Ilyasoglu's opening triple and Kadji's 7 points propelled Bursa to a quick 6-12 advantage. Rion Brown canned Olimpija's first three-pointer and Perry drove for his second basket at 11-12. Hopkins and Perry Jones traded strong in baskets, as did Kadji and Blazic, before Batuk lifted Bursa's lead to 17-22 from deep. Edu Muric got hot then and tied the score before Roko Ukic put Olimpija in front with 5 points to end the quarter 27-26. Ilyasoglu and Jarrod Jones traded triples to open the second quarter, but Batuk's second and third from that distance kept Bursaspor up 34-39. Again, Olimpija rallied and Jarrod Jones put his team in front 41-39 on a five-point possession due to an unsportsmanlike foul. Perry returned with a 5 quick points as Olimpija jumped ahead 46-41. Batuk kept Bursaspor close and Mumford's four-point play in the final minute was answered by Blazic from the corner for a 58-54 halftime score. The scoring didn't not abate after the break as 8 points by Blazic, including 2 triples, shot Olimpija in front 73-64. Brown, from deep, supplied the first double-digit lead and Muric upped it to 79-66 on a dunk. The points kept falling for the visitors until Mumford got hot and finished the third quarter with a buzzer-beater to bring Bursaspor within 85-76. Batuk lowered the difference to single digits with his fifth triple but a tired Bursaspor defense got no rest. Blazic completed a three-point play at 93-79. The pace slowed as Olimpija's lead persisted although a pair of put-backs got Bursaspor within 99-88 with under 3 minutes left. Olimpija made the plays down the stretch to keep well ahead and hold onto the victory.
Jaka Blazic was his hard-driving self all night and when it was finished, he had the best game in his four EuroCup seasons: 33 point and a 39 performance index rating, which were both also club records in Olimpija's sixth EuroCup seasons. Blazic's 8 points in 3 minutes shortly after halftime propelled Olimpija to double-digit lead that was never threatened after that.
Due to illness and injury, Bursaspor was limited to the minimum of eight players to start the game. What's more, veteran guard Ender Arslan enter the game in the first half, but 25 seconds later limped off with an injury, never to return, leaving his team even further strapped for players.
Olimpija as a team matched its all-time EuroCup record for scoring, with 104 points, and for hitting three-pointers, with 14. Its team PIR of 122 was the second-best for Olimpija in 71 EuroCup games.
Coming into the game, Olimpija had the second-best defense in the EuroCup, allowing opponents just 68.0 points per game. By halftime, Bursaspor already had 54 and finished with 88, well above the rest of Group D's average against Olimpija.
Due to having missed two games each so far due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Olimpija and Bursaspor made the rare agreement to play this Round 2 game, which was supposed to have been in Ljubljana, on the court of the visiting team. One result of that decision is that they will play again in 48 hours at the same arena, Tofas Spor Salonu, on Wednesday in their regularly scheduled Round 7 game in Group D.
Monday, November 9, 2020