Dynamo Moscow advanced to the ULEB Cup semifinals by downing PGE Turow Zgorzelec 78-63 in their quarterfinal showdown at Palavela in Torino, Italy on Friday. As such, the 2006 ULEB Cup champion returns to the semifinals for the second time in three years and still has the chance to become the first team to win two ULEB Cup titles in competition history. Meanwhile, Turow goes back home once it became the first Polish teams to reach the ULEB Cup quarterfinals. Henry Domercant led the winners with 22 points. His 6-for-6 three-pointers become a new ULEB Cup elimination rounds record for more shots from downtown made without a miss. Milos Vujanic had 16 points, Robertas Javtokas added 15 while Travis Hansen got 10 for Dynamo. David Logan had 19 points for Turow while Thomas Kelati added 15. Vujanic and Javtokas led Dynamo in a 20-9 opening run, but Logan and Kelati shined in the second quarter to put Turow ahead, 30-33. Domercant and Antonis Fotsis allowed Dynamo to regain the lead, 43-38, at halftime. Domercant fired in 4 shots from downtown in the third quarter to boost Dynamo's lead to double digits, 61-49, after three quarters. Turow did not recover, allowing Dynamo to cruise to a well-deserved win.
Dragisa Drobnjak got the scoring started for Turow with a jump hook that finished a long offense. Vujanic then sparked Dynamo with a floating layup to which he added a driving basket for a 4-2 Dynamo lead. Vujanic capped a 7-0 Dynamo run with a three-pointer but Kelati answered with a seven-meter bomb as Turow pulled within 7-5. Javtokas scored inside to add to Dynamo's lead as Turow kept trying to slow down the tempo, but failed to get open shots. Meanwhile, Hansen made a free throw and Domercant a driving layup, forcing Turow to call timeout at 12-5. Logan hit foul shots that Javtokas bettered with a layup-plus-free throw. Andres Rodriguez fed Mario Skecic for an easy basket for Turow, but Vujanic scored in penetration for a 17-9 Dynamo lead. A jumper by Hansen gave Dynamo its first double-digit lead, 20-9 before Logan struck from downtown and soon dunked it off a steal to bring Turow back to life at 20-14. Fotsis for Dynamo and Kelati for Turow joined the three-point shootout but an unstoppable Javtokas kept Dynamo ahead 25-17 at the end of one quarter, at which time Turow had but a single rebound.
Logan buried his second three-pointer to start the second quarter. After Dynamo committed a 24-second violation, Robert Witka struck from downtown for Turow and Kelati tied the score at 25-25 with a layup. Following a Dynamo timeout, Logan scored again off a midcourt steal to complete a 0-10 run that opened the quarter with his team taking its first lead, 25-27. Domercant took over with his first three-pointer but Witka quickly put Turow back ahead, 28-29. Logan provided a highlight with a wild power basket that Sergey Monya matched with free throws. Dynamo kept struggling to score against Turow's defensive intensity while free throws by Drobnjak gave his team a 30-33 edge. Soon, however, Domercant sank a corner triple and Dmitri Domani scored off an inbound play to restore a 35-33 Dynamo edge. Fotsis also struck from downtown to make Turow call a much-needed timeout at 38-33. Domercant capped a 10-0 run with a layup but Kelati answered with a three-pointer at 40-36. Drobnjak fed Kelati for an easy layup, but Javtokas made a free throw and Vujanic a driving layup to fix Dynamo's halftime advantage at 43-38.
Both teams struggled to score after the break, as Turow kept trying to collect steals by covering the passing lines. Dynamo even struggled to get shots now but Javtokas stepped into the void with a jump hook. Logan finished a long, two-chance Turow offense with a five-meter jumper but Domercant immediately answered from downtown for a 48-40 Dynamo lead. Turow kept finding problems to stop Javtokas but a driving layup by Drobnjak kept his team within 48-42. Domercant sank another triple but Drobnjak came up big for Turow with an off-balance layup. Domercant nailed another shot from downtown, and yet another one - his sixth in as many attempts, this time from the corner in front of two defenders - to make Turow call timeout at 57-45 after 26 minutes. Turow continued struggling to score, however, as Javtokas had a big block on Witka and then sank a jump-hook at the other end, making it a 14-point game, 59-45. Kelati tried to ignite a Turow comeback with free throws while Skecic added a layup at 59-49 deficit, but Sergey Bykov nailed a floating layup to give Dynamo a 61-49 margin after three quarters. Dynamo had buried 9-for-12 three-pointers in the opening 30 minutes.
Turow needed a fast comeback to keep its semifinal options alive but Dynamo was now slowing the game tempo to maximize its options. Witka stepped up with a second-chance basket than Hansen matched with a long two-pointer. Time was running out for Turow, that kept struggling to score around the basket. Meanwhile, a three-pointer by Hansen broke the game open, 66-51, with 7 minutes to go. Turow called timeout but Witka scored in the paint but Javtokas matched it with yet another jump hook. Logan struck from downtown but Dynamo kept following its game plan to perfection against a tired Turow, with Rodriguez, Kelati and Logan playing almost non-stop. Rodriguez found his first points on free throws while but Drobnjak missed twice from the line. By the time Hansen nailed another jumper, hundreds of Dynamo fans were already celebrating that their team will keep fighting for the ULEB Cup title. Meanwhile, Turow had a bitter end to an otherwise fantastic ULEB Cup season.
Friday, April 11, 2008