Martin inspires Buducnost to first win
Buducnost VOLI Podgorica gained its first win of the regular season by triumphing on the road 69-76 over Dolomiti Energia Trento on Tuesday night. The home team, which dropped to 3-4, established a double-digit lead early in the second quarter but was overwhelmed by Buducnost after the break as the third quarter saw an 8-31 score in favor of the visitors and that proved decisive. Hassan Martin led Buducnost’s challenge with a superb all-round effort of 18 points, 7 rebounds, 3 steals and 4 blocked shots, while Danilo Nikolic contributed 13 points, Martins Meiers 11 and Nikola Ivanovic 10. James Blackmon paced Trento with 16 points on 4-of-7 three-point shooting. Rashard Kelly added 12 points and 7 rebounds and Aaron Craft combined 10 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists.
The opening minutes were evenly contested, with Buducnost feeding Nikolic for a couple of inside baskets and an 8-9 lead. Trento soon moved into the advantage behind a quickfire pair of three-pointers from Blackmon, whose long-range prowess was followed by driving layups from Craft, Alessandro Gentile and Kelly in making it 22-13 at the end of the first quarter. The early stages of the second quarter were dominated by free throws, before an aggressive floater from Kelly secured a double-digit advantage, 28-18. A huge slam from Martin was answered by Blackmon’s fourth triple, but Nikolic struck from long-range and added a pair of two-pointers to pull it back to 35-31. Trento finished the half on a high, with Toto Forray’s buzzer-beating layup making it 41-33 at the break. Buducnost started the second half by taking the lead with a 2-11 run featuring a three-pointer from Ivanovic and two close-range scores from Martin to make it 43-44. Trento continued to struggle offensively and back-to-back triples from Scott Bamforth extended the margin to 45-53 before a tough finish from Martin secured a double-digit lead. It was 49-64 entering the final quarter. Trento went inside to claw back some of the deficit. But Buducnost maintained its double-digit lead as Meiers scored a pair of close-range baskets. A long jumper from Petar Popovic made it 59-73 inside the final five minutes. A three-point play from Martin extended the margin before consecutive triples from Fabio Mian gave Trento some hope. But Buducnost had done enough and held on.
Third-quarter turnaround propels Buducnost
The key phase of the game came early in the second half when Trento lost its offense to score just 4 points in more than 8 minutes. That allowed Buducnost to not only take the lead, but also make it a double-digit margin, taking an unassailable lead into the fourth quarter.
Trento retains head-to-head advantage
There was some consolation for Trento, which just maintained the head-to-head advantage over Buducnost thanks to free throws from George King with 10 seconds remaining. The 7-point win for Buducnost follows a 9-point victory (68-77) for Trento in Round 2.
Free throws boost Trento
A major disparity in free-throw shooting helped explain the outcome. Buducnost got to the foul line on 24 occasions and made 17 of those shots (70.8%), while Trento converted 9 fewer free throws (8-of-9, 88.9%). That difference more than accounted for the final margin.
Cobbs outshines Craft in assists duel
League-leading assister Aaron Craft nearly maintained his average with 6 assists on the night for Trento, but he was outdone by Buducnost’s Justin Cobbs, who came into the game ranked third in the league and dished a career-high 11 assists.
Round 8 will see Trento travel to face EWE Baskets Oldenburg in a big battle for Top 16 qualification, while Buducnost will go in search of its second win at Asseco Arka Gdynia.
Tuesday, November 12, 2019