Cedevita snaps losing skid with convincing win at Valencia
Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana ended its five-game losing skid with a convincing 85-97 victory over Valencia Basket on the road in Group B. Jaka Blazic paced six Cedevita scorers in double figures with 24 points while Yogi Farrell collected 15 points, 7 assists and 2 steals. Edo Muric added 15 points, Jacob Pullen 13, Zach Auguste 11 and Melvin Ejim finished with 10 points in Cedevita’s first 7DAYS EuroCup win since Round 2 on October 27. Valencia saw its three-game winning streak come to an end and fell to 4-3. The club was without its head coach Joan Penarroya, who was unavailable due to COVID-19 protocols. Sam Van Rossom scored a team-high 13 points off the bench, Klemen Prepelic netted 12 points and both Xabi Lopez-Arostegui and Martin Hermannsson had 10 points.
Both teams were slow to start with Muric’s three-pointer for the visitors coming after nearly 2 minutes. Lopez-Arostegui answered at the other end. Blazic came back with two scores and Ferrell and Muric made triples as Cedevita went ahead 10-19. Muric added a third three-pointer as the lead grew to double digits, 12-22. Valencia started getting some stops and knocked down some three-pointers of its own - including 2 from Josep Puerto - to pull within 22-24 after 10 minutes.
The run continued over into the second quarter with Nenad Dimitrijevic’s free throws giving Valencia the lead and Jasiel Rivero making it 27-24. Marko Radovanovic finally got Cedevita on the board from long range after more than 2 minutes. Blazic also sank a three-pointer as the visitors evened the score at 30-30. Louis Labeyrie came off the Valencia bench for 5 points to put the hosts up 39-32. After Ferrell’s triple got the guests within 2, Cedevita missed a couple of chances to tie the game or pull ahead and Labeyrie knocked down a triple for a 42-37 cushion. Valencia led 44-43 at the break.
Hermannsson opened the second half with a three-pointer for Valencia. The hosts committed three straight turnovers with Ejim converting a layup and Blazic throwing down a dunk and draining a triple before Ferrell added a three-pointer in a 0-16 run for a 47-59 advantage. Valencia responded from deep with 2 Van Rossom three-pointers and a Mike Tobey triple to pull within 56-61. Cedevita got the lead out to 9 points, but Prepelic started to finally heat up. He didn’t score for the first 27 minutes and then scored 8 points for Valencia to get within 64-70 after 30 minutes.
Pullen started the final frame with 4 free throws - on a three-pointer and a technical foul - to push the lead to 64-74. Zach Auguste threw down two big dunks and Cedevita led 69-78. Valencia did not give up and Prepelic drained a triple to pull within 75-80. Ejim and Blazic both had 4 points in a 1-11 surge to put the game away 78-93 with under 2 minutes to play. Blazic added 4 free throws in the closing 72 seconds to give Cedevita a bigger win.
Omic becomes No. 1 all-time in two-pointers made
Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana center Alen Omic scored 6 points on 3-of-6 two-pointers, which gave him the all-time lead in two-pointers made in a career. The 30-year-old big man now has 425 two-pointers made in 102 games for Gran Canaria, Unicaja Malaga, Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem, Joventut Badalona, JL Bourg en Bresse and Cedevita. His performance saw him move past Elmedin Kikanovic, who made 424 two-pointers in 85 games for Crvena Zvezda Belgrade and ALBA Berlin.
Prepelic kickstarts too late for Valencia
Klemen Prepelic ended up being Valencia’s second-leading scorer with 12 points, but the home side probably needed him to get going earlier to have a chance for the win. Prepelic came into the game averaging 15.4 points a game, but he didn’t score his first points until 2 free throws with 2:22 minutes left in the third quarter. The guard ended up scoring Valencia’s final 8 points of the frame. All told, Prepelic finished with 12 points, hitting just 3 of 12 shots, including 2 of 9 three-pointers, and 4 of 6 free throws to go with 2 turnovers.
By the numbers: Cedevita dominates around the basket
Valencia came into the game shooting 58.7% on two-pointers while the home side was allowing teams to shoot 58.6% on two-pointers. And the teams’ two-point shooting really decided this game. Cedevita shot a blistering hot 67.6% on two-pointers while Valencia had an absolute nightmare, converting only 34.8% of its two-pointers. Add to that Valencia committing 18 turnovers - and forcing only 11 for Cedevita. The guests scored 12 fastbreak points to just 2 for Valencia while Cedevita collected 29 points off turnovers to just 13 for Valencia.
Wednesday, December 29, 2021