Metropolitans takes first place with win over Unicaja
Boulogne Metropolitans 92 took over first place in Group B of the 7DAYS EuroCup by defeating Unicaja Malaga 90-80 and extending its winning streak to four games. Anthony Brown scored a team-high 18 points for Metropolitans including a three-pointer with 3.0 seconds left to secure the French side a 4-2 record and the tiebreaker over Unicaja, which had won their Round 1 encounter at home by 8 points. Balance was the name of the game for the hosts with five players in double figures, including Tomer Ginat with 13 points, Brandon Brown and Assem Marei with 12 each and Bastien Pinault chipping in 11 points. Brandon Brown also dished 7 assists. Dario Brizuela paced Unicaja with 19 points while Tim Abromaitis had 15 points, Axel Bouteille 13 and Francis Alonso 10 points. Unicaja saw its three-game winning streak snapped and fell to 4-2.
After Brandon Brown opened the game with a three-pointer for the hosts, Bouteille hit twice from deep and Alsono’s triple gave Unicaja an 8-14 lead. Another Alonso three-pointer increased the margin to 11-19. Marei score twice inside and a Pinault triple trimmed the deficit to 20-22 but Brizuela answered from the outside. It was 20-25 after 10 minutes. Brizuela and Abromaitis opened the second quarter with three-pointers and Metropolitans did not score in the first 3 minutes and trailed 20-31. Vitalis Chikoko got the hosts’ offense going with a score inside and added 5 more points to trim it to 29-33. Anthony Brown also hit from outside and 4 points from Marei made it 38-40, but Unicaja led 40-44 at the break.
Ginat and Anthony Brown hit three-pointers to knot the game 46-46 and both added another basket as Metropolitans surged ahead 50-46. Alonso finally scored Unicaja’s first basket of the second half after nearly 5 minutes. It was tight the rest of the third quarter with a Pinault triple evening it 59-59 after 30 minutes. Marei and Ginat scored to push the advantage to 63-59 before a Jaime Fernandez three-pointer for Unicaja. After Ginat score the next two baskets, Abromaitis responded with a three-point play to make it 69-64. Metropolitans punched back with 7 straight points as Pinault’s triple made it 76-67 with less than 5 minutes to play. Four straight points from Maxime Roos pushed the lead to 85-76. Unicaja twice cut the margin to 7, but Anthony Brown nailed the big three-pointer with 3.0 seconds left to give Metropolitans the tiebreak advantage.
Brandon Brown did it all for Metropolitans as he scored 12 points while not missing a shot - 2 of 2 on two-pointers, three-pointers and free throws - while also picking up 5 rebounds and 7 assists for an index rating of 23.
Balance without leading scorer
Metropolitans’ big win was all the more impressive as the team won without its leading scorer, Rob Gray who left the team last week. Gray averaged 14.5 points, including scoring 10 of his team-high 16 points in the final 2:27 as Metropolitans came back to beat Germani Brescia in Round 5.
Metropolitans was on fire as the team nailed 11 of 18 three-pointer (61.1%) and also made 67.7% on two-pointers. The home side also outrebounded Unicaja 30-19, helping to compensate for 16 turnovers to just nine lost balls for Unicaja.
Metropolitans will be back on the road for Round 7 as it travels to Montenegro to play Buducnost VOLI Podgorica on Tuesday, November 10. Unicaja will play at home for the first time since Round 4 when it hosts Mornar Bar the next day.
Tuesday, November 3, 2020