Wright, Olimpija stun Bilbao
In a close game in which neither team held more than an 8-point margin, visiting Union Olimpija Ljubljana edged Dominion Bilbao Basket 80-83 on Wednesday night. Both teams not hold 2-2 record in a four-team share of the second place in Group A. Olimpija was up for most of the second half, had 45-53 midway through the third period, but never more than that. Bilbao rallied, and briefly regained the lead in the fourth, but the visitors had their response in Sasa Zagorac and Zach Wright. Bilbao had a chance to send the game into overtime, but Alex Mumbru missed a three-pointer at the end. Wright paced the winners with 18 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists, while Sasa ZAgorac scored 17 in victory. Blaz Mahkovic had 11, while Miha Lapornik and Blaz Mesicek each scored 10 in victory. Alex Mumbru had 15 points for the hosts. Clevin Hannah scored 12, Axel Hervelle collected 11 points and 8 rebounds, and Alex Suarez also had 11 points in defeat.
Hervelle opened the game with a pair of triples, but the visitors replied with a 0-9 run in which Zagorac hit a three-pointer, and Mahkovic and Wright made it 8-11. Bilbao went back in front with baskets from Mumbru, and a three-point play from Dairis Bertans, helping the hosts to 20-13. But Wright nailed a three-pointer which helped cut it to 22-18 at the end of first. Suarez hit twice from downtown to extend it to 28-22 early in the second, but Mesicek scored twice to get Olimpija back in front, 29-30. Teams traded leads through Mumbru and Hervelle on one side, and Lapornik and Vlatko Cancar for the visitors. Mahkovic and Wright made it 33-39, but Mumbru and Hervelle hit back-to-back threes to tie it. However, Ronalds Zakis, Mahkovic and Luka Rupnik made sure Olimpija takes 41-45 lead into halftime.
After the break, basket from Mitja Rupnik extended it to 43-51. Lapornik hit it from long range, but Bilbao had Hannah and Suarez hit triples to get the hosts closer, 57-58. Lapornik hit another one from downtown, helping Olimpija hold 59-61 at the end of third, but Bilbao did not allow a single basket for almost 3 minutes to start the fourth, as Giorgos Bogris and Dejan Todorovic gave the hosts 63-61. But lead was brief, as Zagorac and Lapornik scored baskets again, and Zagorac added a triple to the tally to cap a 2-10 run, making it 65-71. Bilbao answered, Raul Lopez hit a three-pointer, but Zagorac replied right away with another one of his own, and Mesicek scored again, too, 70-76. Hannah’s triple-plus-free throw tied it at 76-76 with 95 seconds remaining, but Mahkovic and Zagorac combined to make 3 of 4 free throws to keep Olimpija with slim advantage. Bertans nailed a triple, 79-79, but Wright made free throws, and after Olimpija withstood two Bilbao possessions, Mahkovic made a pair from the foul line with 7 seconds to go, 80-83. Bilbao had the final possession after a timeout, but Mumbru missed a shot that would have sent the game into overtime.
Wednesday, November 4, 2015