Cantu downs Ulm, both wait to learn their faith
FoxTown Cantu hit 14 triples, leading from start to finish and downing Ratiopharm Ulm 77-85 on Wednesday, as this outcome keeps alive both teams’ hope to advance to the eighthfinals. Both Cantu and Ulm finished the Last 32 Group I with 3-3 record, but Ulm holds a tie-break advantage due to 97-106 win at Cantu in Round 2. However, faith of both clubs depends on the outcome of the last match in the group JSF Nanterre vs. Pinar Karsiyaka. A win from Nanterre will send Ulm through, and if Karsiyaka wins on the road, than it is Cantu that makes it to the eighthfinals. Cantu needed to win by 9 to claim the place in the next round, and it held a 16-point margin twice in the first half. After 33-44 at halftime, Maarten Leunen and Pietro Aradori hit downtown daggers, keeping the visitors’ advantage safe throughout the second half. Cantu had an 11-point lead and possession in the final minute, but Cameron Long made a basket-plus-foul and Matt Howard blocked the last second attempt from Leunen to keep Ulm’s deficit below 9 points. Leunen finished with 20 points on 6 of 9 from downtown. Joe Ragland had 15 points and 10 assists, Aradori netted 14, and Michael Jenkins 12 points in victory. Edgar Sosa paced Ulm with 22 points. Daniel Theis amassed 15 points plus 12 rebounds, Matt Howard had 14 points and 8 rebounds, while Long finished with 12 for Ulm.
Cantu pulled away right away as Jenkins opened the game with back-to-back triples, and scored 10 points in less than 2 minutes. Leunen added his first triple and Aradori a layup-plus-foul for 3-16. Long nailed one from long range for Ulm, but Stefano Gentile and Ragland extended it to 9-25. A pair of baskets from Sosa at the very end of the first, and a triple to start the second quarter cut it to 16-25. But Jenkins, Gentile and Leunen helped Cantu keep the double-digit margin, before triples from Leunen and Aradori extended it to 23-39. The hosts closed in a bit before halftime through Theis, Long and finally Sosa who nailed a triple to end the second quarter for 33-44.
Ragland hit a triple at the start of the third, but Per Guenther and Sosa hit from long range for the hosts, and Howard from close range helped cut it to 46-49. But Leunen and Gentile replied with back-to-back triples, and Leunen added another one for 49-60 at the end of the third. In the fourth, Keaton Nankivil and Sosa nailed more triples for Ulm, but Adrian Uter had a pair of layups keeping the visitor up by a magic 9 points, 55-64. With high drama picking up, Howard and Sosa scored inside for the hosts, but Aradori nailed a pair of triples on consecutive trips down the floor for 61-70. Theis finished four straight possessions with a dunk, but Ragland hit a pair of layups and a triple in between, 69-77. With each basket carrying weight, Marco Cusin made both free throws before Leunen nailed his fifth three-pointer for 70-82 with 90 seconds to go. Long sank 4 of 4 from the foul line on the other end, but Leunen answered with his sixth triple for 74-85. On the next trip down the floor, Leunen missed from downtown, and Long used it to raced down the floor for a layup-plus-foul, 77-85. Cantu had 12 seconds to score and seal its place in the eighthfinals, but Howard blocked Leunen’s attempt, leaving both teams hopeful to go through.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014