Herbalife Gran Canaria exhibited a bit of its excellent depth in ripping away the home-court advantage of its 7DAYS EuroCup Quarterfinals Series from Boulogne Metropolitans 92 thanks to an outstanding showing by its bench. Six players scored in double figures for Gran Canaria in its 74-84 Game 1 victory at Boulogne Metropolitans 92 - four of them were reserves.
The starting trio of Stanley Okoye, John Shurna and Oliver Stevic came into the game averaging a combined 26.5 points. But they only produced 8 points in Game 1. Stepping up instead were Javier Beiran and his 15 points with Matt Costello picking up 11 points and 8 rebounds and Tomas Dimsa and Aleksander Balcerowski both adding 10 points and 3 assists. All told, Gran Canaria’s reserves outscored the starters 48-36. And the bench players left their mark throughout the game.
The 20-year-old big man Balcerowksi came on early in the game and scored inside and hit a three-pointer in the first quarter. Gran Canaria took control of the game thanks mainly to players from its second-unit in the second quarter as Costello, Beiran and Dimsa each scored 5 points in a 3-15 run for a 23-34 lead. Balcerowski added 4 points in a big 0-8 surge in the third quarter to extend the lead to 42-54.
And in the fourth quarter, the bench kept on shining; Costello scored 4 points and Dimsa added a big three-pointer to keep Metropolitans at an arm’s length in the first half of the frame. And then it was Beiran who drained the dagger three-pointer to make it 72-82 with just 57 seconds left.
This bodes well for Gran Canaria coach Porfi Fisac, who knows he can rely on the guys coming off the bench to produce if the starters need a break or get into foul trouble. The coach also knows the reserves are able to carry the team to a victory if needed.