Unicaja overcame Asseco Prokom 63-82
Unicaja finished the Top 16 this season on a positive note thanks to a road win at Asseco Prokom by 63-82 on Thursday night. With nothing at stake for either
team, the first three quarters were real balanced but in the last period, Unicaja stepped up with a 8-20 run that broke the game open. With this result,
Prokom, already qualified for the Playoffs before the game, finishes the Top 16 with a 3-3 record in Group G and will face Olympiacos in the Quartefinal
Playoffs. On the other hand, Unicaja ends with a 2-4 record and avoids last place in the group. Joel Freeland led the winners with his 17 points, Berni
Rodriguez added 15, Carlos Jimenez 13 and Omar Cook 11. Ratko Varda was the main man for Prokom with 16 points, Ronnie Burrell posted 11 and David Logan and
Qyntel Woods nailed 10 points apiece.
Junior Harrington opened for Asseco Prokom with a long jumper but Carlos Jimenez replied fast with a three from the corner to put Unicaja ahead, 2-3. Robert
Archibald grabbed a powerful offensive board to score again for the guests, and he soon added a new basket with a move in the low post for 3-7. Harrington
buried three free throws, and soon David Logan added a three to make it 9-9. Logan himself drove for a layup and a Prokom lead, but Joel Freeland free throws
made it tied again, 13-13. Unicaja defended up to midcourt, but Harrington fed an alley-oop for Qyntel Woods to destroy the defensive plans of the guests.
Freeland has his own battle in the paint, but so did Ratko Varda to keep Prokom ahead, 17-15. Freeland scored now from the long range for his sixth straight
point, and he soon blasted a three to put Unicaja ahead, 19-20. The duel between Varda and Freeland was red hot as the quarter ended with a 21-20 Prokom
Woods fed Varda in offensive transition to open the second quarter while on the other side, Zabian Dowdell slammed to keep Unicaja close. But Varda was the
master of the paint in offense, and he scored again to tie the game once more, 25-25. Soon, Jan Jagla blasted a three from the corner to keep Prokom in the
lead, but Jimenez copied him fast and then added two free throws for a 31-34. Both teams played fast now, and good baskets fell for each side in the run and
gun game, as the score showed similar differences during these minutes, 37-39. Ronnie Burrell grabbed the offensive glass for the put-back and a 39-39 tie,
but there was no more time for anything else as the teams hit the lockerrooms with the score tied.
Prokom opened the second half in style with a 7-0 run capped by Burrell's steal and layup, 46-39. Varda counted his defensive actions by blocked shots, but
Unicaja finally reacted with a 0-5 capped by Georgios Printezis' three that made it 46-44. Berni Rodriguez blasted a three to keep the scoring streak of
Unicaja for 46-48 as Prokom lost the spark of just a few minutes before, and Omar Cook joined the party with a new three that made it 46-51 making it a 0-12
run. Finally it had to be Woods, from the low post, the one to stop the bleeding for Prokom but Cook was on fire from the arc, and maintained the guests in
the driver's seat. Despite some rush in offense that caused turnovers, Unicaja kept calm and played its game as Freeland hit the layup on the third quarter
buzzer to make it 55-62.
Saul Blanco and Jiri Welsch opened the last quarter scoring for Unicaja to get their biggest lead yet, 57-66. That was just a hint of what was about to come
as Unicaja kept controlling the tempo now increasing the run to 5-14 for 60-76 after a free throw by Archibald. Asseco Prokom had a hard time in offense, and
when Unicaja reached a 20-point lead after Rodriguez's three, the game was broken open allowing Unicaja to at least end the Top 16 on a positive note.
Thursday, March 11, 2010