Trento rallies for first win, 81-77 over Slask, in OT
In a battle for a first victory between them in Group A, host Dolomiti Energia Trento outlasted Slask Wroclaw by 81-77 in overtime on Wednesday to break into the race for the playoffs. Trento is now 1-4 while Slask fell to 0-5. Trento shot ahead 8-2 after tipoff but Slask reeled it back to lead 16-23 after the first quarter and held on by 34-38 at halftime. The visitors had their high lead of 51-60 early in the fourth quarter, but Trento rallied to force overtime and seize the victory. Diego Flaccadori, the catalyst of the comeback, led Trento with 22 points. Johnathan Williams posted 17 points, 10 rebounds and 3 blocks in just under 40 minutes. Cameron Reynolds scored 12 more, Desonta Bradford 11 and Wesley Saunders 10 for Trento. For Slask, Kerem Kanter had a huge double-double with 17 points and 15 rebounds. Jakub Karolak followed with 15 points, while Martins Meiers scored 11 and Kodi Justice 10 for the visitors.
Williams from deep and Cyril Langevine inside got their teams on the scoreboard. Flaccadori struck from the arc and Williams added a layup as Trento seized an 8-2 start. Kanter settled Slask with a couple of layups at 10-6, but Flaccadori answered for Trento. Wesley Saunders joined Trento's scorers while free throws by Kanter and Kodi Justice allowed Slask to forge a 14-14 score. Flaccadori broke the score by Martins Meiers re-tied it and Jakub Karolak gave Slask a first lead from the corner, 16-19. Karolak was back at quarter's end with a long buzzer-beater off the glass as Slask led 16-23 through 10 minutes.
Toto Forray got a basket back quickly to open the second quarter and Andrea Mezzanotte buried a triple at 21-23. Meiers and Lukasz Kolenda answered for Slask but Desonta Bradford soon detonated a dunk to start a three-point play that tie dit again, 27-27. Aleksander Dziewa joined Slask's scorers and eventually Luca Conti took the lead back for Trento with 3 free throws, 30-29. Dziewa flipped the scoreboard again with a three-point play, as did Cameron Reynolds for Trento with one shot to make it 33-32. Justice supplied another lead change before Conti's free throw tied it again, 34-34. Dziewa and Ivan Ramljak pushed the visitors ahead 34-38 at the break from the foul line.
Kolenda bettered a basket by Saunders with a triple and his own two-pointer to make it 36-43 soon after halftime. Reynolds revived Trento with a shot from the arc to which Saunders added a layup at 41-43. Ramljak and Kanter kept Trento at bay until Meiers returned for a basket at 45-49. Justice and Williams traded twos before Kanter went back door to make it 47-53. Williams scored 4 in a row to keep Trento within striking distance but Justice hit a fall-away shot as Slask remained ahead 51-57 after 30 minutes.
Karolak returned to blast a corner triple to open the fourth quarter, but Flaccadori matched him by converting a layup-plus-free throw at 54-60. Flaccadori hit again from the top of the lane to before Justice stole and fed Dziewa at 56-63. When Karolak got loose for a layup, Slask had its highest lead, 9 points, but Flaccadori struck from deep to keep Trento alive with 6 minutes left. Then he did it again, making it 62-65 and getting the crowd back into it. Dziewa settled Slask with free throws that Saunders matched with a turnaround shot at 64-67. Bradford did the honors of tying the game 67-67 with a Euro-step fastbreak layup with 2 minutes left. Dueling steals brought it down to a minute, but Karolak's first miss gave Trento a chance and Flaccadori took it, driving the lane to score the go-ahead shot with 40 seconds left. Travis Trice answered with its first basket for another tie, 69-69, with 27 seconds left. Flaccadori couldn't repeat his magic at the finish, though, sending the game to overtime.
Williams struck first for Trento in the extra time and then Bradford beat the shot-clock from deep at 74-69. Karolak and Kanter kept Slask within 74-72 but Flaccadori hit a jumper and Bradford came through again from the arc to make it 79-72 with under 2 minutes left. Karolak struck with his own three-pointer for Slask but Williams stuck a shorter shot going into the final minute. Kanter put back the second of his two missed free throws with 45.6 seconds left, but that was the visitors' last gasp and Trento held on for the victory.
Pivotal Performer: Flaccadori saved Trento vs. Slask
Dolomiti Energia Trento was staring at a 51-60 fourth-quarter deficit, 51-60, on its own court with the prospect of losing its fifth game to start Group B of the EuroCup when Diego Flaccadori came alive. The 25-year-old swingman, who returned to Trento last summer after two seasons abroad with FC Bayern Munich, took the team on his shoulders with 13 points in the next nine minutes as the hosts forced overtime. He was needed only for another basket in the extra period, but without him, Trento would not have been there. He finished with a career-high 22 points in his fourth EuroCup season and added 6 rebounds and 4 assists to achieve Trento's first win from what seemed like a lost cause when he changed the momentum almost single-handedly.
Kanter's big night wasn't enough for Slask
Big man Kerem Kanter set a Slask Wroclaw club record in the EuroCup with 15 rebounds while spending 37 minutes on the floor for the visitors, but it wasn't enough to hold back Trento. Kanter's total was the second-highest in the EuroCup this season and came with 17 points, for a PIR of 35, tied for third-best in Slask's history in the competition.
By the numbers: Trento spread around the threes
Neither team shot the lights out from deep, but Trento had more players helping the cause to beat Slask. The hosts made 9 of 27 overall, but had five players contributing three-pointers: 3 from Diego Flaccadori, 2 each from Desonta Bradford and Cameron Reynolds, plus single shots from downtown by Johnathan Williams and Andrea Mezzanotte. By contrast, Slask saw Jakub Karolak go 4-for-6 from deep after making his first 3 tries. However, the rest of his teammates made only 1 shot out of 25, with only Lukasz Kolenda connecting on 1 of his 5 tries. Six other players tried but missed on 20 tries and the team ended up with 16.1% accuracy from the arc, very much explaining the loss.
Wednesday, November 17, 2021