Gran Canaria claims Game 1 road win at Metropolitans
Herbalife Gran Canaria claimed the home-court advantage in its 7DAYS EuroCup Quarterfinals series with a 74-84 victory over Boulogne Metropolitans 92 on the road on Tuesday. Sean Kilpatrick netted 17 points to pace six scorers in double figures for Gran Canaria, which continued its hot play after winning the final three games of the Top 16. Javier Beiran tallied 15 points, AJ Slaughter and Matt Costello both scored 11 points and Aleksander Balcerowski and Tomas Dimsa came off the bench for 10 points apiece. David Michineau led Metropolitans with 15 points while Vitalis Chikoko had 13 points, Tomer Ginat 12 and Bastien Pinault 11 in defeat.
Michineau’s layup opened the scoring for the hosts with Stanley Okoye answering with the next 4 points. Kilpatrick added 4 points as Gran Canaria opened the first 4-point lead 6-10. Slaughter’s triple made it 10-15. Anthony Brown and Maxime Roos hit from deep to bring the hosts within 18-19 after 10 minutes. Michineau’s free throws started the second quarter, but Gran Canaria went on a run with Costello, Beiran and Dimsa all scoring 5 points in a 3-15 run to surge ahead 23-34. Chikoko completed a three-point play and Brown drained a triple as the hosts cut the gap to 34-40. The teams went into the locker room with Gran Canaria up 37-43.
Brown got the second half going with a three-pointer, but Kilpatrick punched back from long range and then Balcerowski tallied 4 points in a 0-8 run as the margin grew to 42-54. Metropolitans got 3 free throws from Michineau and a Pinault triple to trim the deficit to 48-56. Beiran temporarily increased the lead to 13 points, 49-62, but the score was 54-64 after 30 minutes. Pinault hit a three-pointer in helping Metropolitans score the first 6 points of the final frame. A Ginat three-point play had the hosts within 63-66. Dimsa countered with a three-pointer and Andrew Albicy picked a good time for his first basket to make it 63-71. A Slaughter jumper re-established the double-digit lead at 65-75 with under 4 minutes to place. Metropolitans was not yet done and Archie Goodwin scored 7 points to pull within 72-79. But Beiran drained a dagger three-pointer with 57 seconds left to make it 72-82.
Gran Canaria keeps rolling
Things looked bleak for Gran Canaria on January 27 after losing at home to MoraBanc Andorra to fall to 0-3 in its Top 16 group. Since then, Coach Porfi Fisac’s team has reeled off four straight wins and now needs just one more victory to reach the semifinals for the third time - and first since 2015-16.
Youth coming through
Gran Canaria’s 20-year-old big man Aleksander Balcerowski shined with 10 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal and 0 turnovers in 24 minutes. That came after he had 11 points and 6 rebounds in the final Top 16 game against UNICS Kazan.
Gran Canaria forced 18 Metropolitans turnovers, turning them into 21 points. The guests also shot a blistering 60.5% on two-pointers while also connecting on 20 of 24 free throws.
Gran Canaria will host Game 2 on Friday, March 26 with the hopes of closing out the series, while Metropolitans looks to stay alive and force a Game 3 at home.
Tuesday, March 23, 2021