Triumph Lyubertsy finished its 2009-10 Eurocup season in style by rallying from a 21-point deficit in the final 8 minutes to edge Hemofarm Stada 78-79 at home in Vrsac, Serbia on Tuesday night. Triumph was third in Group B with a 3-3 record due to its tie-break disadvantage against Le Mans Sarthe Basket. Meanwhile, Hemofarm was fourth with a 1-5 record. It was an earlier than expected exit for Hemofarm, that made it to the Eurocup semifinals three times since 2005 and registered all its 4 losses by 7 points on less. Triumph opened its Eurocup seasons with back-to-back wins, but 3 consecutive losses prevented the guests from making it to the next round despite its final loss. Brion Rush had 18 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter to fuel the winners' comeback. Paul Miller added 18 while Valeri Likhodey had 13, including the game-winning dunk seconds before the final buzzer. Milos Borisov led Hemofarm with 15 points, all in the second half. Milan Macvan added 11 while Goran Jagodnik had 10 for Hemofarm, that led 65-44 already in the fourth quarter. Rush brought Triumph back to life while Likhodey shined with the go-ahead dunk. Jagodnik missed a desperation shot from downtown at the buzzer.
Boban Marjanovic got Hemofarm going with a dunk but Miller struck from downtown and followed Konstantin Nesterov's layup with a jumper for a 2-7 Triumph lead. Jarod Stevenson and Rush traded triples and Macvan kept Hemofarm as close as 8-10. Rush kept pacing Triumph with a jumper but Marjanovic, Petar Despotovic and a layup-plus-foul by made Triumph call timeout at 17-12. Stefan Markovic followed a layup with a dunk, Stevenson downed a triple and a free throw by Bojan Krstovic capped a 17-0 run and fixed the score at 25-12 after 10 minutes. Rush sank a jumper early in the second quarter and Likhodey scored twice inside for a 27-18 Triumph deficit. Rasko Katic and an unstoppable Jagodnik stepped up for Hemofarm to keep the hosts way ahead, 36-23, midway through this period. Andrey Mateyunas sank free throws and Egor Vyaltsev added a jumper to give Triumph some hope at 36-27. Katic shined with a put-back basket and Krstovic boosted the hosts' lead to 40-27. Miller downed his second three-pointer and Vadim Panin also struck from downtown to bring Triumph within 42-34 at halftime.
Borisov buried a three-pointer immediately after the break but a layup by Miller and a big triple by Pavel Sergeev kept Triumph as close as 45-39. Borisov shined with a jumper that Miller matched with a dunk. Hemofarm kept running its offense through Borisov, that buried one from downtown, igniting a 12-0 run that Macvan capped with another shot from beyond the arc, good for a 59-41 Hemofarm lead. Triumph kept struggling to score while a put-back layup by Marjanovic made it a 19-point game, 61-42, after 30 minutes. Marjanovic scored again and Jagodnik added a layup to give Hemofarm its biggest margin at 65-44. Rush nailed a triple, igniting an 0-8 run that Miller capped with his own shot from downtown to give Triumph some hope at 65-52. Likhodey soon brought the guests within single digits, 67-60. Rush followed a layup with consecutive triples to make a one-point game, 71-70, with 3 minutes left. Borisov buried a three-pointer and soon added free throws but Rush singlehandedly kept Triumph within 76-75. A dunk by Likhodey allowed Triumph to escape with an unbelievable win.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010