Valencia Basket became the Group D champion by topping Banvit BK Bandirma in Turkey on Wednesday. Valencia improved to 4-1 and won Group D due to its tie-break advantage against both Banvit and s.Oliver Baskets Wuerzburg, who tie for second place each with a 3-2 record. Banvit and Wuerzburg face each other in Germany next week in a winner-take-all showdown for second place. Valencia broke Banvit's eight-game home winning streak in the competition, handing the hosts its first Eurocup home loss since 2010. Justin Doellman paced the winners with 27 points on 9-of-10 two-point shots and 3-of-3 three-pointers. Thomas Kelati added 18, all in the first half, and Rafa Martinez has 12 for Valencia. Kalin Lucas led Banvit with 16 points. Vladimir Stimac added 14 while Sammy Mejia had 13 for the hosts. Kelati sank 6 three-pointers before halftime to give Valencia a 34-42 lead at the break. Banvit rallied after the break and managed to get a 65-61 lead early in the fourth quarter but an unstoppable Doellman led a 0-19 run that allowed Valencia to seal the outcome minutes before the final buzzer.
Stimac got Banvit going with a layup that Kelati bettered with a triple for a 2-3 Valencia lead. Stimac insisted with a put-back basket but a dunk by Flo Pietrus and free throws by Bojan Dubljevic kept Valencia ahead, 4-7. Martinez and Keith Simmons traded layups and Lucas brought Banvit within 8-9. Kelati downed his second three-pointer but an unstoppable Stimac quickly tied the game at 12-12. Doellman shined with a put-back layup and a red hot Kelati struck twice from downtown for a 12-20 Valencia edge, after an 0-8 run. Mejia followed a put-back layup with free throws but Doelmann shined with a turnaround jumper. A foul shot by Kenan Barjamovic and a buzzer-beating basket by Mejia kept Banvit within 19-22 after 10 minutes. Doellman struck from downtown early in the second quarter but consecutive layups by Mejia and Barjamovic made it a two-point game, 23-25. Doellman scored again, Barjamovic and Kelati traded three-pointers and a dunk by Simmons brought Banvit as close as 28-30. Joffrey Lauvergne split free throws and shocked the crowd with a put-back slam in a 0-7 run that Chris Quinn capped with a floating layup, good for a 28-37 Valencia lead. Simmons and Martinez exchanged baskets and a put-back layup by Stimac kept the hosts within 32-39. Kelati - who else? - sank his sixth triple and a close basket by Stimac fixed the halftime score at 34-42.
Mejia struck from downtown immediately after the break and a jumper by Erkan Veyseloglu got the crowd involved at 39-42. Dubljevic stepped up with a layup and followed that with free throws to keep Valencia out of trouble, 39-46. Lucas nailed a jumper and another close basket by Stimac forced the guests to call timeout at 43-46. Valencia kept struggling to score and Lucas singlehandedly put Banvit back ahead, 47-46. Dubljevic scored again but an unstoppable Lucas took over with back-to-back baskets in a 6-0 Banvit run that Mejia capped with a jumper. Mejia hit another shot and Barjamovic struck from downtown but Doellman managed to bring Valencia within 58-55. Chuck Davis shined with a three-point play but free throws by Martinez kept Valencia as close as 61-57 after 30 minutes. Davis dunked it early in the fourth quarter but back-to-back baskets by Pietrus and Doellman brought Valencia within 63-61. Safak Edge hit a jumper but Doellman shined with an alleyoop dunk and followed Rodrigo San Miguel's three-pointer with his own shot from downtown for a 65-69 lead with 6 minutes to go. Martinez nailed a jumper and Doellman scored again, as Banvit struggled to find the way to the basket right when it mattered most. Doellman banked in a shot and a layup by Martinez sealed the outcome, 65-78, allowed Valencia to celebrate a big, pivotal win.
Wednesday, December 5, 2012