Reggio Emilia takes dramatic road win at UNICS
Grissin Bon Reggio Emilia made a statement in Round 3 by holding off UNICS Kazan 69-71 on the road on Tuesday. Both teams now hold 2-1 records halfway through Group H of the Top 16. Reggio Emilia led for the majority of the night, but still found itself down by a point in the final minute of the fourth quarter. That’s when Amadeo Della Valle made 2 free throws and the visitors survived UNICS’s final possession to pull out a valuable victory. James White paced the winners with 16 points and 9 rebounds, while Della Valle scored all of his 13 points in the final 15 minutes of the contest. Julian Wright also scored 13 and Manuchar Markoishvili netted 12 points and dished 5 assists for Reggio Emilia. Jamar Smith led UNICS with 15 points and Quino Colom and Stephane Lasme had 13 apiece in defeat.
The visitors came out hot; Markoishvili had a three-point play and a pair of triples that capped a 0-10 run and gave Reggio Emilia a 5-16 lead after five minutes. Anton Ponkrashov’s runner snapped a four-minute UNICS drought, but a triple from Leonardo Candi and a tip-in from Wright made sure the visitors led 12-21 after 10 minutes. Riccardo Cervi and Wright scored inside to restore a double-digit lead early in the second, but Maurice Ndour and Smith each had a jumper and Colom a triple that got the hosts within 23-25. Wright’s put-back dunk snapped a 9-0 run, but a couple buckets from Trent Lockett gave UNICS its first lead, 29-27. However, before the end of the half, White nailed a pair of triples and Wright threw down a big dunk that helped Reggio Emilia to a 36-37 halftime lead.
Smith opened the third quarter with a three-pointer and Melvin Ejim added one of his own. Smith’s second triple made it 45-39. Lockett’s fastbreak extended the lead, but Della Valle scored 6 unanswered points to get within 49-48. Ndour hit a corner three for the hosts, but Reggio Emilia scored the final 7 points of the quarter, including a sky-hook from Jalen Reynolds at the very end of the third quarter, his first bucket of the night, to make it 52-55 after 30 minutes. A jumper from Della Valle and dunk from Reynolds opened a 52-59 margin. Colom and Smith each hit a three-pointer for UNICS, but Wright had a three-point play and Markoishvili fed Reynolds twice inside, to help keep the lead at 62-68. However, after a timeout, Ejim had a fastbreak slam, Lasme came up with a layup after a loose-ball scramble, and followed it with a pair of free throws to make it 69-68 with 40 seconds to go. But Della Valle found his way to the foul line and made two shots with 20 seconds remaining to put the visitors back in front. On the ensuing possession, Colom missed a three, grabbed the offensive board, but missed a baseline jumper, too. White secured the defensive rebound, which sealed the outcome.
Tuesday, January 16, 2018