Budivelnik kept alive the hope for Ukraine place in the Last 16 by holding on for a tense 70-71 road win at Siauliai in Group C on Tuesday. Due to the suspended Gran Canaria (4-1) vs. Buducnost (3-2) game in the same group - which will be played now on January 4 - the fate of Budivelnik (4-2) must wait. But with its second road win, Budivelnik put itself in a position to advance unless Buducnost wins the suspended game by 20 to 29 points. A free throw by veteran Andy Betts for his only point in a 50-second appearance proved the game-winner for Budivelnik. Dmytro Zabirchenko paced the winners with 18 points, while Zach Morley added 13, Billy Keys 11 and Lamayne Wilson 10. For Siauliai, which was one of two teams in the competition to finish 0-6, the desire to give the home fans one victory was there, if not realized. David Weaver had 14 points for Siauliai, while Ricky Harris added 12 and Vytautas Sarakauskas 11.
Zabirchenko got the guests going with a three-point play, but Roman Gumenyuk soon shot Siauliai ahead 7-5, the first of several lead changes. Even when back-to-back triples by Zabirchenko and Denys Lukashov put Budivelnik up 11-16, time remained for Weaver and Harris to close out the quarter with 5 points to forge a 16-16 tie after 10 minutes. Sarakauskas and Weaver re-established Siauliai's lead at 20-16, but Wilson and Keys took it back with consecutive triples, although they were separated by 2 minutes. Edgaras Stanionis soon tied it again, 24-24, but Budivelnik stayed a step ahead until Morley joined the scoring, Zabirchenko returned and Wilson ended the half with a basket good for a 0-9 blast and the game's first double-digit lead, 29-40, for the visitors.
Great defense let Budivelnik expand its advantage to 33-48 on another triple by Zabirchenko early in the second half. The visitors got to the free throw line to make 5 of 5 that kept the lead high, at 44-57, but Siauliai copied a page from Budivelnik's book by finishing the third quarter with a dunk by Mario Delas and a Harris three-point play to pull within 51-57 on the scoreboard. The hosts' rally continued with baskets by Harris, Sarakauskas and Gumenyuk to make it 59-60 early in the final quarter. When Harris added the go-ahead layup, Siauliai had a 17-3 run and a 61-60 lead. The lead changed several times thereafter, with Weaver putting Siauliai back in front 70-69 with free throws early in the final minute. After that, however, Budivelnik made 2 of 4 free throws - including the game-winner by Andy Betts - while Siauliai missed its only shot. That left visitors with a victory that keeps it alive for the Last 16 when the suspended game is played on January 4.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010