Buducnost VOLI Podgorica and Gran Canaria battled on Wednesday with first place in Group B at stake. Both teams arrived with remarkable absences; Gran Canaria was without two starters - playmaker Andrew Albicy and center Artem Pustovyi - and Buducnost was without former Gran Canaria big man Jacob Wiley, Igor Drobnjak and team captain Petar Popovic. Gran Canaria ended up registering a 76-83 victory to remain undefeated against the Montenegrin powerhouse in 7DAYS EuroCup action.
With Pustovyi sidelined, Gran Canaria's frontcourt players stepped up big to lead their team to a valuable road victory. Miquel Salvo finished the game with a career-high 15 points. He made 4 of 7 shots inside the arc, both of his shots from downtown and his only free throw attempt. Salvo added 2 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 assist and 3 fouls drawn for a personal-best PIR of 16. John Shurna had 14 points and 8 rebounds, Oliver Stevic was effective with 6 points and 7 rebounds and Khalifa Diop had 8 points in less than 12 minutes as well as some key defensive stops down the stretch which allowed Gran Canaria to seal the outcome.
"It was very important for us. We were playing bad in our last games," Salvo said after the game. "I think we needed this game. Now, a lot of victories are coming."
Chris Kramer and A.J. Slaughter did not have big scoring nights, but made up for Albicy's absence by organizing their team's offense close to perfectly. Kramer and Slaughter combined for 9 assists and just 3 turnovers. Dylan Ennis struck three times from downtown in the opening minutes and finished the game with 14 points. Nico Brussino had 15 to complete Gran Canaria's great team effort.
Gran Canaria powered the offensive glass and was accurate from beyond the arc, which were the biggest keys to this game. The Spanish powerhouse buried half of its 24 three-point shots and limited Buducnost to just 4-of-19 shooting from downtown (21.1%). Gran Canaria outrebounded the hosts 34-41, including 15 offensive boards. Everyone in Gran Canaria had at least 1 defensive rebound, and all the players but Ilimane Diop had at least 1 assist, which points out the great team effort it displayed in the Montenegrin capital.
"We started the game really well, dominating the rhythm, with great control of the rebounds, but in the third quarter, our percentages gave us the advantage in the scoreboard," Gran Canaria head coach Porfi Fisac said after the game. "In the last quarter, they pushed a lot with their defense and made better decisions on offense in the last minutes."
Gran Canaria remains the only team undefeated on the road in the 2021-22 7DAYS EuroCup; it previously defeated Promitheas Patras, Valencia Basket and Frutti Extra Bursaspor. Its final EuroCup game in 2021, however, will take place at home against mighty Virtus Segafredo Arena on Wednesday, December 22.