Mornar made history behind Pullen, Vranjes

Oct 07, 2020 by Print
Mornar made history behind Pullen, Vranjes

It was Mornar Bar's 12th EuroCup game and probably its best in the competition. The Montenegrin power showed its strength in downing Unicaja Malaga 90-80, dominating the game almost from top to bottom. Mornar shook off a slow start to lead 28-22 after 10 minutes and extended its margin to 58-39 at halftime. Unicaja tried, but Mornar kept a double-digit margin until the final buzzer.

"It is one of the biggest wins in club history because we know what Unicaja means in European basketball: a team that is playing EuroLeague or EuroCup every year, one of the top teams in Spain. It is a really big win for us," head coach Mihailo Pavicevic said after the game. "I am really proud of my team, of my guys, who fought tonight. Congratulations to them. It is their win."

Mornar reached 90 points for the first time in the competition. Its previous record came against Fiat Turin in an 86-83 win on November 14, 2018.

Mornar also scored 58 points in the first half to set a new EuroCup club record. Its previous record was 55 first-half points also against Fiat Turin, but in a different game - on October 10, 2018.

It was a team effort but two players stood out. Jacob Pullen finished the game with 24 points, showing great consistency and leaving no doubt about his role as Mornar's go-to guy. He came off the bench to make 4 of 7 three-point shots, 8 of 9 free throws and amass a performance index rating of 23.

Nemanja Vranjes, who was held scoreless against ratiopharm Ulm in Round 1, bounced back to impress. He had 16 points and missed just 1 shot at halftime, which allowed Mornar to build a 19-point halftime lead. Vranes did not score after the break, but also got 7 rebounds, 3 assists and 6 fouls drawn for a game-high index rating of 26.

Mornar sank 14 three-point shots, another new club record, after making 12 against Ulm. This a team full of shooters and Coach Pavicevic is fully aware of its potential: "About our offense, if we start to shoot well from outside, it is hard to stop us," he said after the game. "They fought and did everything, but if you shoot how we shot in the first half, it is difficult to stop us."

Mornar got a lot of confidence with its first home win. It will play three of its next four games at home and one of them will be against archrival Buducnost VOLI Podgorica on October 28, a game that is already marked down in Montenegrin basketball history.