Buducnost of Montenegro jumped into the middle of the Group E race by registering a 76-79 road win at Antwerp Giants in Belgium on Tuesday. Buducnost raised its record to 1-1 while Antwerp fell to 0-2. Strong first and third quarters helped the visitors establish big leads that held up as Antwerp counterpunched in the final one, but could not complete its comeback. Vladislav Dragojlovic and Vladimir Micov both put up 17 points for the winners, while Nemanja Gordic followed them with 13. Antwerp relied on two big guns, Brandon Gay with 25 points and Ryan Sears with 23, but they couldn't score enough to avoid the home loss.
Ivan Maras buried a triple in the opening minute, igniting a 0-8 Buducnost run that Micov capped with a basket. The Giants went scoreless for almost 4 minutes until Gay stepped up with a layup that Dragojlovic matched in the other end. He soon added another basket to boost the guests' lead to 4-14. Sears and Gay brought the Giants back to life, 14-21, at the end of the first quarter. Maras, Micov and a put-back layup by Zarko Rakocevic still allowed Buducnost to keep full control of the game, 19-29. The Giants finally improved their defense, while Ian Hanavan and Gay ignited the hosts' comeback. Free throws by Aleksander Lichodzijewski and a triple by Sears brought Antwerp back in the game, 31-33. Dragojlovic allowed Buducnost to keep a 33-36 halftime edge. Dragojlovic kept pacing Buducnost after the break while Micov buried one from downtown to give the guests some air at 36-45. Micov capped a 0-9 run with a layup, while free throws by Dragojlovic and a basket by Marko Popovic made it a 12-point game, 46-58, after 30 minutes. The Giants were not done, however, as Sears and Gay brought the hosts within 61-69 with 3 minutes to go. Gay followed free throws with a three-point play to give his team chances at 66-69. Three-pointers by Sears and Lamot got Antwerp even closer, 74-75, with seconds remaining. Dragicevic scored but Gay erased his basket with free throws. Bojan Bakic sealed the outcome from the foul line, as Antwerp ran out of time to tie the game down the stretch.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007