Cedevita advances after edging CAI in overtime thriller
Luka Babic scored an overtime game-winner for Cedevita Zagreb to claim a place in the Eurocup eighthfinals with a thrilling 84-85 road win over CAI Zaragoza. Victory makes Cedevita 4-1 in the first place of Group I, while CAI drops to 1-4 and has been eliminated. It was a wild second half and overtime, with Cedevita putting together a 1-21 third quarter run for 44-61 lead, but CAI answered with a 25-3 spurt, which included a 17-0 start of the fourth quarter for 69-64. Cedevita managed to rally back, and send the game into overtime on Marko Arapovic put-back dunk late in the regulation. Marcus Landry gave the hosts 84-83 with 11 seconds to go in the extra session, but Babic was the one who scored a game-winner on the other end. Fran Pilepic had 19 points to pace Cedevita which was without Roko Ukic and Mario Delas. Miro Bilan collected 18 with 8 rebounds, Babic finished with 11 points and 4 steals, while Nemanja Gordic had 8 points and 8 assists in victory. Stevan Jelovac scored 17 points for the hosts, Henk Norel had 14 points, and Rasko Katic 10 in defeat.
Teams traded leads from the early going, before Katic scored inside, and Jason Robinson hit a jumper for 14-11. Marko Tomas hit a triple for Cedevita, but Katic scored again inside, and Landry from the outside for 20-16. Babic finished the first quarter with a second chance basket, and opened the second with a three-pointer to put the visitors back in front. Bilan scored from close range on consecutive possessions for 23-28, and Cedevita remained in front with a dunk from Stanko Barac. Teams exchanged trips to the free throw line, and Robinson hit a jumper for CAI, before Barac scored to finish the half, giving Cedevita slim 36-38 advantage.
Joan Sastre scored 5 points, including a triple in the first 2 minutes of the third quarter, but CAI's lead proved to be brief. Pilepic sparked things for Cedevita with a layup, Arapovic followed with a layup and a triple, and Bilan scored three times inside to cap a run of 17 unanswered points and 43-57 lead. Babic had a dunk to extend the margin to 44-61, before Norel stopped the leak, and helped the hosts cut the deficit to 52-64 at the end of the third quarter. Jelovac had a layup-plus-foul to continue the hosts' run, before Pere Tomas buried a three-pointer. Baskets from Norel, Kevin Lisch, Jelovac and Katic again gave the hosts 69-64. Marko Tomas hit a triple for Cedevita, snapping a 17-0 run, but Lisch answered right back from downtown. Jelovac had a basket-plus-foul and Katic a put-back to make it 77-71 with 82 seconds to go, but Bilan made a dunk, Pilepic hit a pair of free throws, before Arapovic dunked a put-back in the final seconds, sending the game into overtime, 77-77.
In the extra session baskets were few and far between. Jelovac hit from downtown for 82-79, but Pilepic had a layup and a jumper for 82-83. Landry put CAI in front with a layup, and only 11 seconds remaining, but it was enough time for Gordic to find Babic, who scored a game-winner and send Cedevita into the eighthfinals.
Wednesday, February 4, 2015