Joventut comes from behind to defeat Hamburg
Joventut Badalona kept on rolling by overturning an early double-digit lead to claim a 75-92 road win at Hamburg Towers. Hamburg raced into a 16-6 advantage as Joventut struggled to find any offense, before the visitors responded to make it 38-37 at the interval. The Spanish side surged clear early in the third quarter, moving into a 46-62 lead which was never overturned despite a Hamburg rally in the fourth. Joel Parra led the winners with a career-high 18 points, while Pep Busquets and Derek Willis both scored 11 and Pau Ribas added 10. Hamburg’s Caleb Homesley led all scorers with 22 points on 4-of-8 three-point shooting. Justus Hollatz scored 14, Maik Kotsar added 12 and Jaylon Brown contributed 10. Joventut is now top of Group A with a 9-2 record after five straight wins, while Hamburg drops to 4-7.
Brown and Ferran Bassas traded triples in a low-scoring start to the game. Brown scored again and Eddy Edigin added a pair of close-range baskets as Hamburg led 11-4 midway through the first. Homesley made another three-pointer and Hollatz struck inside to make it a double-digit game, 16-6. Ribas and Busquets were on target from deep to pull Joventut closer, but a triple from Hollatz made it 22-12 at the end of the first. Parra fired 5 fast points to narrow the gap early in the second, before Hollatz and Homesley stretched the lead back to double digits. A deep three from Ribas was cancelled out by inside scores from Kotsar and Homesley, making it 34-24. But the previously scoreless Ante Tomic came to life with 5 points and Bassas sank another triple, before Kotsar and Tomic again scored inside to make it 38-37 at halftime.
Busquets started the second half with a three-point play for Joventut’s first lead, before Vladimir Brodziansky scored his first two baskets. Brown’s corner three briefly kept Hamburg close, but Busquets followed a three-pointer with a layup before Simon Birgander added a putback for a 43-51 lead. Bassas, Brodziansky and Albert Ventura were on target from deep and Ventura added a transition score to make it 46-62. Robin Christen and Kotsar combined on a 7-2 run to boost Hamburg, and Homesley struck a triple to make it 56-66 with ten minutes left. Kotsar scored the first 4 points of the final period to give Hamburg hope, and Hollatz added a corner three for a 63-68 score. But Willis and Parra kept Joventut ahead, and Tomic converted an offensive rebound to restore a double-digit lead, 67-77. Birgander added a dunk and free throws from Parra extended the lead to 67-83 to seal the outcome. Two more triples from Homesley were in vain, as Joventut closed out the game with a Parra triple and three-point play.
Joventut recovers from slow start
Joventut suffered a dreadful start to the game on offense, scoring only 6 points in the opening 7 minutes and making just 2 of its first 9 field goal attempts, falling behind by double digits as a result. But the Spanish side found its rhythm towards the end of the first half and then never stopped scoring. That big improvement meant Joventut finished the game with decent shooting percentages despite its bad start, going 21-of-41 (51.2%) from two-point range and 12-of-27 (44.4%) from beyond the arc.
Busquets shines in pivotal passage
Pep Busquets was the key man at the key time of the game for Joventut, as the Spanish side made a strong start to the second half to move into the lead for the first time. Busquets started the surge with a three-point play at the start with the first play of the third quarter, and soon added a three-pointer followed immediately by a layup. He scored 8 of Joventut’s points and dished an assist in a 5-17 run in the first 5 minutes of the second half, giving the visitors a lead that would never be lost. The 22 year-old finished with a career-high 11 points and a PIR of 13, another personal best.
Joventut dominates the boards
Hamburg’s cause was certainly not helped by the absence of two of its biggest bodies, Seth Hinrichs and Lukas Meisner, who have combined for an average of 8.5 rebounds per game this season. Joventut took full advantage to totally dominate the battle of the boards, claiming 46 rebounds to just 31 for Hamburg. It was a real team effort with 11 different players taking rebounds, led by Ante Tomic and Vladimir Brodziansky with 8 apiece. Joventut also used the ball well, dishing 25 assists from 9 different players led by 5 from Pau Ribas, the only visiting player without a rebound.
Wednesday, January 26, 2022