Union Olimpija topped Asseco Prokom 70-62
Union Olimpija Ljubljana used some overdue outside shooting to beat visiting Asseco Prokom Gdynia of Poland 70-62 at home in Stozice Arena on Wednesday. It was Olimpija's first victory in Group D, good for a 1-2 record, while Prokom dropped to 0-3 and needs a win soon to keep up its Top 16 hopes. Olimpija, which made just 4 of 33 three-point tries in its first two games, saw five different players make 11 of 27 to keep ahead of Prokom all night. Danny Green was the big gun for Olimpija, with 23 points that included 5-for-7 shooting from downtown. No more Olimpija scorers reached double digits, but Robert Rothbart came off the bench for 9 and 8 rebounds, while Dino Muric and Aleksandar Capin scored 8 each. Prokom was led by Alonzo Gee's 13 points and Oscar Lafayette's 12. After going up 25-16 in the first quarter, Olimpija kept the lead to above 6 points for all but 30 seconds in the third quarter, when Lukasz Seweryn drained a triple that cut the difference to 48-45. Muric answered from downtown, however, and Prokom could get no closer, despite battling hard to the very end.
Union Olimpija struck first as Green knocked down a three-pointer after a scoreless opening minute. Adam Hrycaniuk answered for Prokom, putting back his own missed shot. After Ratko Varda hit a running hook against his former team, Jerel Blassingame and Alonzo Gee shared 3 of 4 free throws to tie 5-5 for the visitors. Dino Muric's two-pointer put Olimpija up again before Gee and Motiejunas combined for Prokom's first lead, 7-8. Green dunked on a nice look from Deon Thompson to regain the Olimpija advantage but also went to the bench with his second foul. After Prokom tied on a foul shot, Capin hit from downtown over the shot-clock buzzer at 12-9. Olimpija, which had made just 4 three-pointers in its first two games now saw Sasu Salin and Varda make it 4 for the first quarter, good for an 18-9 advantage. Michael Kuebler got a basket back, his first ever in the Euroleague, for Prokom, before Motiejunas helped trim the difference to 21-14 by dunking on a fast break. Olimpija's bench came through with baskets by Robert Rothbart and Ben Woodside, whose jumper provided the game's first double-digit lead before Adam Lapeta's put-back ended the first quarter 25-16.
Olimpija's offense kept piling up new scorers as Davis Bertans scored off a baseline dish from Woodside and Jaka Blazic broke away for a layup and Olimpija's biggest lead yet, 29-16. Prokom got its first basket of the quarter after 4 minutes as Hrycaniuk put in a layup after working the offensive boards. Then came a flurry of points from both teams. First, Green and Gee exchanged three-pointers at 32-23, then Woodside restored the hosts' double-digit advantage at the foul line. Lapeta cut into that with foul shots and Oliver Lafayette drained a three-pointer for Prokom, suddenly lowering the difference to 34-28. Again, Green and Gee exchanged three-pointers, but Capin added his second shot from downtown - his team's eighth already - as Olimpija held onto a 40-33 halftime lead.
Green opened the second half bombing from way downtown for a new Olimpija double-digit lead, 43-33. Seweryn answered with his own triple on a nice inside-out pass from Jerel Blassingame. Green then drained his fifth three-pointer, more than his whole team's total for the first two games. When Capin hit a left-handed reverse on breakaway, Olimpija was up 12 points, 48-36, forcing Prokom to call a timeout. After a scoreless minute, Prokom buried 2 three-pointers, by Seweryn and Blassingame, cutting the lead back to 6 points, 48-42. Seweryn then found all net from downtown for the third time in quarter, bringing Prokom to Olimpija's doorstep, 48-45, but Muric quickly answered with a triple of his own. Green banked in his own miss, then Thompson hammered home a dunk to end the Prokom threat as Olimpija was comfortably ahead again, 58-47, after three quarters.
Muric nailed a three-pointer and then Rothbart tipped in a basket to open the game's biggest lead,63-47, at the start of the final quarter. Still, Prokom kept fighting, as Lapeta dunked and Lafayette hit a rainbow jumper from downtown, cutting the lead to 63-52. Green answered with a twisting drive in the paint, but Prokom again lowered the difference to single digits as Lafayette knifed the lane for a layup and put back a rebound to make it 65-56. When Gee then buried a wide-open three-pointer, it was 65-59, and the crowd at Stozice Arena in Ljubljana was getting restless. Rothbart and Green reassured them by hitting 3 of 4 foul shots, so that when Woodside buried a step-back jumper, it was 70-59 with just under a minute left, putting the game out of reach for Prokom. Motiejunas answered with a three-pointer, but there was too little time for a comeback as Olimpija iced the win, 70-62.
Wednesday, November 2, 2011