Gran Canaria pounds Darussafaka to snap skid
Herbalife Gran Canaria snapped its 10-game losing streak by rolling past Darussafaka Tekfen Istanbul 84-64 at home in its first game under old-new head coach Pedro Martinez. Marcus Eriksson led the way with 16 points, Nikola Radisevic had 10 points and Ondrej Balvin chipped in 8 points and 6 rebounds for Gran Canaria, which improved to 7-19 in Martinez’s first game on the bench after replacing Victor Garcia. Darussafaka could not take advantage of Gran Canaria having the worst defense in the league as the league’s worst offense tallied its third-fewest points this season in losing its 10th game in the last 11 contests. Kartal Ozmizrak scored 11 as Darussafaka’s top scorer and Stanton Kidd and Tony Douglas both added 10 points.
Albert Oliver’s three-pointer gave Gran Canaria an early 4-2 lead, but the hosts were held scoreless for the next 3:45 minutes and a three-point play from Kidd sparked a 0-11 run to pull Darussafaka ahead 4-13. Aleksander Balcerowski stopped the run and the 18-year-old added a three-pointer to go with two jumpers from Eriksson to knot the game at 15-15. Ozmizrak answered with the final 3 points and Darussafaka led 15-18 after 10 minutes. An Ozmizrak three-pointer increased the guests’ lead to 15-23. Eriksson’s three-pointer finally got the hosts on the board after more than 2 minutes in the second quarter. Three straight scores, including a D.J. Strawberry triple, put Gran Canaria up 26-25. The hosts scored the next 5 points to push the gap to 31-25 before Jeremy Evans's three-pointer snapped a 3 and a half minute scoreless drought. Strawberry and Siim-Sander Vene countered with threes at the other end and Gran Canaria led 37-30 at the break. Ozmizrak nailed a three and Muhammed Baygul added a score as Darussafaka cut the gap to 39-35 early in the second half. But the guests could not score for nearly 4 minutes and Oriol Pauli nailed a three-pointer to start a 9-0 run to put Gran Canaria up 48-35. Radicevic's three-pointer pushed the gap to 51-37. Eriksson followed with two more triples and Radicevic also hit another as the lead grew to 60-45 and was 60-47 after 30 minutes. Gran Canaria finished off the game early in the fourth quarter as Corey Jefferson scored 5 points and Jacob Wiley threw down a pair of alley-oop dunks in a 14-0 start to the quarter for a 74-47 lead. Kidd’s free throw after more than 4 minutes finally got Darussafaka on the board and he added a three-pointer as the guests went on a 2-10 surge to pull within 76-57 with less than 4 minutes to play. The guests would not get closer than 18 points the rest of the way.
Marcus Eriksson came up big for Gran Canaria with a team-high 16 points, including 3 three-pointers to go with 2 rebounds and 1 assist.
Youngster standing out
Gran Canaria’s 18-year-old center Aleksander Balcerowski started the game and collected 7 points, 2 rebounds and 1 steal in just his second game in the EuroLeague after picking up 2 points, 1 rebound and 1 block in 3 minutes against Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul in Round 19.
Darussafaka made just 16 of 38 (42.1%) from two-point range and 5 of 19 (26.3%) from three-point range, while turning the ball over 18 times. Gran Canaria made 12 of 25 (48.0%) three-pointers in the victory.
Gran Canaria will be looking to make it two in a row as it heads to FC Bayern Munich on Tuesday, March 19. Darussafaka hopes to finally win again when it hosts Khimki Moscow Region the enxt night.
Thursday, March 14, 2019