Unics, Valencia get big wins before the Eurocup Finals

Apr 27, 2014 by Eurocupbasketball.com Print
Unics, Valencia get big wins before the Eurocup Finals
Kostas Kaimakoglou - Unics Kazan (Photo: Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar)Valencia Basket Club and Unics Kazan proved to arrive in great shape to the Eurocup Finals with respective big wins in their domestic competitions on Sunday. Valencia handed Real Madrid its first Spanish League loss this season, 105-110. Madrid, which reached the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four first week, is first at 28-1, with Valencia right behind at 26-3. Romain Sato paced the winners with 17 points. Vladimir Lucic, Ksistof Lavrinovic and All-Eurocup forward Justin Doellmen each added 15 while Oliver Lafayette, Sam Van Rossom and two-time Eurocup Rising Star Bojan Dubljevic had 11 apiece for Valencia. Sergio Llull led Madrid with 23 points. Unics got a 21-point lead in the Russian Cup finals - played in a two-way format, just as the Eurocup Finals - by downing Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar 66-45 at home in Game 1. All-Eurocup guard Andrew Goudelock led the winners with 21 points. Former Eurocup MVP Chuck Eidson added 13 for Unics. Derrick Brown led Lokomotiv with 12 points. Unics limited Lokomotiv to 14-of-46 two-point shots and 1-of-10 three-point attempts.

In Kazan, a three-point shot by Pavel Antipov and a basket by Nikos Zisis gave Unics an early 14-7 lead. Brown took over with 7 unanswered points but Nikita Kurbanov put Unics back ahead, 16-14, after 10 minutes. Unics found its regular go-to guy in Goudelock, who had 5 points in a 9-0 run which gave the hosts their first double-digit margin, 28-18. Brown and Krunoslav Simon brought Lokomotiv within 31-26 at halftime. A layup by Richard Hendrix made it a one-point game, 34-33, right after the break. Goudelock followed 3-of-3 free throws with a wild triple to make Lokomotiv call timeout at 42-34. A backdoor layup by Dmitry Sokolov fixed the score at 46-37 after 30 minutes. Bykov took over early in the fourth quarter, getting plenty of help from Vladimir Veremeenko and Eidson to make it an 18-point game, 58-40, with 2 minutes left, enough for Unics to get a solid lead in the series after yet another outstanding defensive effort.

In Madrid, Doellman and Dubljevic shined early to give Valencia a 5-14 lead. Madrid bounced back and free throws by Llull gave the hosts a 22-21 edge. Lucic followed a wild slam with an alleyoop layup to keep Valencia within 27-26 after 10 minutes. Madrid led 39-36 midway through the second quarter but Doellman and Van Rossom fueled a 0-10 run which put Valencia ahead for good, 39-46. Van Rossom and Lucic led another 0-10 run which boosted the guests' lead to 42-56 right after the break. Madrid could not find answers on defense, as Valencia kept scoring fluently. Free throws by Lucic and a put-back layup by Lavrinovic made it a 20-point game, 61-81, late in the third quarter. Another basket by Lavrinovic gave Valencia its biggest margin, 68-91. Tremmell Darden and Llull allowed Madrid to rally once the outcome was clear, but Los Blancos managed to get the potential tie-break advantage should both teams finish the regular season with the same record.