2020-21Regular SeasonRound 8
November 18, 2020 CET: 21:00
Local time: 20:00 GRAN CANARIA ARENA

Gran Canaria stays perfect at home to advance to Top 16

Herbalife Gran Canaria sealed its qualification to the Top 16 by downing 90-82 Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana at Gran Canaria Arena on Wednesday night. The hosts trailed 18-25 early in the second quarter, but managed to get ahead at halftime and retain short leads from then on until Matt Costello and John Shurna buried key three-pointers in key moments to prevent the visitors from coming back. Gran Canaria improved to 6-2 atop of Group D along with Dolomiti Energia Trento, while Cedevita dropped to 4-3. Costello led the winners with 16 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists and 4 blocks for a PIR of 27, followed by Khalifa Diop, who posted career highs in points (14), rebounds (8), assists (2), blocks (2) and PIR (25). Andrew Albicy added 14 points and 4 assists, Stanley Okoye contributed 13 points and 8 rebounds, Tomas Dimsa tallied 12 on 3-of-4 three-point shooting, while Franco Ferrari dished 10 assists for Gran Canaria. Kendrick Perry paced Buducnost with a career-high 25 points and 32 PIR, followed by Jaka Blazic and Rion Brown, who contributed 22 and 12 points respectively.

Costello and Diop got Gran Canaria going from inside, but the visitors adjusted better on defense and found Perkins on offense to lead 7-8. Neither team managed to escape. Ivan Marinkovic provided a nice floater and Blazic added a free throw and a three-pointer to get Cedevita back in front, 13-16, but Dimsa replied immediately from downtown to close the first quarter with all tied. Brown came up big with consecutive three-pointers, the second one with an additional free throw, to spark a 0-9 run that made it 18-25. Gran Canaria didn’t panic, though, as Albicy drilled the first three of the game for the hosts and Dimsa followed him with another one of its own to keep Cedevita in sight. After another tie at 26-26 midway through the second quarter, Blazic provided 5 points in a row to make it 28-31. Shurna and Okoye combined to bring the Yellows back ahead, 35-34. Both teams exchanged blows and traded leads from then on until Costello went to the line to keep his team ahead 41-40 at halftime.

The hosts got hot early after the break with a three-pointer by Ferrari and a thunderous throwdown by Okoye, but Blazic and Edo Muric replied from outside to keep Cedevita into the game, 46-45. Dimsa took over and started a rain of three-pointers by the hosts as Costello and Ferrari joined to make it 55-47. Diop added a basket-plus-foul later to raise the difference to double-digits. Jones tried to help his team with back-to-back triples. Cedevita used an unsportsmanlike foul and more three-pointers from Perry in an 0-9 run to get within 63-62. Shurna and Albicy came to the rescue to prevent the visitors from completing the rally and allowed Gran Canaria to enter the last quarter leading 68-64. Both teams swapped baskets as the difference remained steady for a while. Okoye added a couple of free throws ad Albicy emerged to hit a contested three to make it 78-69 and force an urgent timeout by Cedevita with 6 minutes to play. The visitors refused to give up, as Blazic and Brown combined for 9 points to make it a one-possession game, 83-81, entering the last 2 minutes. Diop came up big at that moment, drawing a foul, scoring a free throw and grabbing an offensive rebound that enabled Shurna to drill a key triple that extended the margin to 87-81. Perkins and Dimsa traded free throws right before Blazic missed a three and Costello scored a layup that sealed Gran Canaria’s win and its qualification for the Top16.

Strong inside

Olimpija ran Gran Canaria off the boards 46-33 the last time they met, including 13 offensive rebounds for 17 second-chance points. But, on this night, the Yellows’ frontcourt dominated. They outrebounded Cedevita 37-28 and registered a club-record 9 blocks, with Matt Costello leading the way with 16 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists and 4 blocks.

The X-factor

18-years old Khalifa Diop had a magic night in which he registered career highs in points (14), rebounds (8), assists (2), blocks (2) and PIR (25). His performance was not only statistically relevant, but he scored a free throw and grabbed a key offensive rebound in crunch time to help his team qualify for the next phase.

Numbers don’t lie

Gran Canaria not only was better in rebounding and blocks, but in all other statistical categories but two (steals and turnovers). The hosts shot the ball better from all distances (58.1% in 2-points, 51.9% in three-pointers and 75% from the line) and had 14 more assists for a PIR of 118.

What’s next?

Both teams will play at home their Round 9 games, as Herbalife Gran Canaria hosts Frutti Extra Bursaspor on Wednesday, December 9, and Cedevita Olimpia Ljubljana welcomes Group D leader Dolomiti Energia Trento the day before.

Khalifa Diop - Hernalife Gran Canaria (photo Gran Canaria) - EC20
Thursday, November 19, 2020
Eurocupbasketball.com
Referees: GKONTAS, SPIROS; PANTHER, ANNE; SUKYS, ARTURAS
Attendance: 0 (Tentative)
By Quarter1234
Herbalife Gran Canaria16252722
Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana16242418
End of Quarter1234
Herbalife Gran Canaria16416890
Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana16406482
Herbalife Gran Canaria
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
2 BALCEROWSKI, ALEKSANDER 12:59 4 1/2   2/2 1 2 3 2     3   2 1 10
3 MONTERO, JEAN DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
4 FERRARI, FRANCO 17:12 6 0/2 2/2     1 1 10   3     4 1 9
5 OKOYE, STANLEY 29:06 13 2/3 2/4 3/4   8 8     2     2 3 16
6 ALBICY, ANDREW 22:53 14 0/1 4/7 2/2   1 1 4 1 3     2 8 19
9 DIMSA, TOMAS 26:43 12 1/4 3/4 1/2   1 1 1   4     2 1 4
14 SHURNA, JOHN 24:16 9 3/4 1/4   1 1 2 1   2     1 1 6
17 SANTANA, FABIO DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
18 DIOP, KHALIFA 21:38 14 6/7   2/4 3 5 8 2 1   2   3 4 25
23 BURJANADZE, BEKA 15:15 2 1/2 0/2     3 3           2    
24 COSTELLO, MATTHEW 29:58 16 4/6 2/4 2/2 4 4 8 6   1 4 1 2 1 27
Team             2 2               2
Totals 200:00 90 18/31 14/27 12/16 9 28 37 26 2 15 9 1 20 20 118
        58.1% 51.9% 75%
Head coach: FISAC, PORFI
Min: Minutes played; Pts: Points; 2FG M-A: 2-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); 3FG M-A: 3-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); FT M-A: Free Throws (Made-Attempted); Rebounds: O (Offensive), D (Defensive), T (Total); As: Assists; St: Steals; To: Turnovers; Bl: Blocks (Fv: In Favor / Ag: Against); Fouls: Cm (Commited), Rv (Received); PIR: Performance Index Rating
Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
1 RADOVIC, ROK 8:05     0/1   2   2           1    
3 PERRY, KENDRICK 35:15 25 3/3 5/7 4/6       7 2 2     3 7 32
5 HOPKINS, MIKAEL 25:20 6 2/3   2/2 4 6 10     1   1 2 3 14
7 DUSCAK, DAN 4:45 1 0/1   1/2                 2 1 -2
8 MURIC, EDO 23:14 5 1/2 1/5 0/2               1 3 2 -4
11 BLAZIC, JAKA 32:29 22 5/11 3/6 3/4   4 4 1   2   2   3 16
15 BROWN, RION 29:29 12 0/3 3/5 3/3 1 5 6 3 3 1   1 2 2 17
20 HODZIC, ALEN DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
21 JONES, JARROD 26:43 7 0/3 2/5 1/2   2 2 1 1 1 1 2 3 2 1
23 SCUKA, LUKA DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
29 MARINKOVIC, IVAN 14:40 4 2/4     1   1   1 2   2 4   -4
Team             2 2     1         1
Totals 200:00 82 13/30 14/29 14/21 8 19 27 12 7 10 1 9 20 20 71
        43.3% 48.3% 66.7%
Head coach: GOLEMAC, JURICA

Head Coaches

FISAC, PORFI
Herbalife Gran Canaria

"I think [the key to the win] was our push in defense, how we played defense on the pick-and-roll against Brown and Blazic."

"Congratulations to our guys because tonight we had a lot of problems in our roster, and we managed to play great defense in the second half. [Diop and Balcerowski] were very important because they played the center position all game long. That’s what we have been working so far this season. Alek [Balcerowski] had very bad luck because he got injured one month and a half when he was starting to help us very much. Khalifa [Diop] is providing us with the contribution we need at the center position, from a seven-footer, something we need and that is needed in this competition."

GOLEMAC, JURICA
Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana
"We are short in rotations. That’s why we couldn’t be fresh for 40 minutes. We didn’t share the ball as we used to, they grabbed a couple of very important offensive rebounds and that’s why the victory went to the side of Gran Canaria."

Players

ALBICY, ANDREW
Herbalife Gran Canaria
"We played like we had to. We defended good, even though we made some mistakes on the pick-and-roll against Blazic and Perry in the first half, but we contained them better in the second half. We took care of the ball and we made good shots too... We won and we are in the Top 16 officially, so it’s a perfect day for us."
PERRY, KENDRICK
Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana
"It was a tough game. Gran Canaria played hard, we got our opportunities, but in the end, we had too many breakdowns defensively and offensively we didn’t share the ball as we are used to, so I think those were kind of the key factors that cost us the game."