Union Olimpija Ljubljana punched its ticket to the Last 32 after stunning Valencia Basket 91-93 on Wednesday night. Olimpija improved to 6-2 in the second place of Group C, while Valencia dropped to 4-4 in a share of the third place with Asvel Villeurbanne Lyon. Valencia opened the game with a 22-9 lead, but the visitors rallied and went in front 61-70 late in the third quarter. But game went down the wire, with Deividas Gailius making 5 of 6 from the foul line in the final 90 seconds, enough for Olimpija's big win. Gailius paced the winners with 24 points, while Alen Omic scored 10 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter. Sasu Salin collected 18 plus 7 rebounds, while Cedric Jackson had 11 points, 7 assists and 6 rebounds in victory. Valencia lost despite hitting 13 of 26 from behind the arc, and Justin Doellman's 28 points plus 9 rebounds. Rafa Martinez netted 22, Oliver Lafayette finished with 16, while Sam Van Rossom scored 11 in defeat.
Valencia opened the game with back-to-back threes from Doellman and Martinez. Van Rossom hit one of his own from downtown, Romain Sato and Doellman added layups to the tally, and Martinez sunk his second three-pointer, helping Valencia to 22-9. But Alen Omic scored twice inside, and Kodi Augustus had a pair of dunks for 25-23 after 10 minutes. Valencia stayed in the lead with a triple from Van Rossom, and 5 points from Martinez for 35-28. But Gailius went on a little run of his own, scoring 12 points, including couple of three-pointers, and teams were tied at 44-44 at halftime. After the break, a layup from Cedric Jackson gave Olimpija its first lead, 44-46, but a three-pointer from Martinez and a put-back-plus-foul from Sato gave the hosts 55-50. Salin tied it with a basket-plus-foul of his own, and after Van Rossom hit a three-pointer for the hosts, Salin and Nebojsa Joksimovic hit back-to-back three-pointers, and Salin scored 7 more points, including another triple for 61-70. Martinez answered from long range, elping make it 66-70 after three quarters, before Olivar Lafayette and Salin traded triples to start the fourth. Another shot from downtown by Lafayette made it 76-75, but Dragisa Drobnjak answered right back with a three. A see-saw battle contnnued with a dunk and a three-pointer from Doellman, giving Valencia another lead, 81-79, but Alen Omic strung together 7 points for 81-86. Lafayette sunk his thirs triple of the quarter, and Doellman's dunk tied it at 88-88 with less than 2 minutes to go. Doellman hit a jumper, too, but Gailius twice made a pair of free throws, for 90-92 entering the final minute. After Lafayette and Gailius each only split free throws, Valencia had two shots to win, but Doellman and Martinez missed potential game winning three-pointers in the final seconds, as Olimpija celebrated win that sent it through to the Last 32.
Wednesday, December 4, 2013