Gran Canaria reclaims first place in Group B with fourth straight win
Herbalife Gran Canaria reclaimed first place in Group B as it held off a determined Promitheas Patras 81-62 at home. Dylan Ennis led the way with 18 points while Khalifa Diop tallied 11 points and Nicolas Brussino and Chris Kramer both scored 10 points as Gran Canaria won its fourth straight game to improve to 8-2 in Group B. Gran Canaria took control of the game with an 18-4 run to start the second half for a 12-point lead. The margin was as high as 15 before Promitheas rallied within 8 points in the fourth quarter only to see the hosts pull away. Promitheas has now lost five in a row in dropping to 2-8 at the bottom of the group despite Kendrick Ray hitting for 17 points and Dario Hunt scoring 15 points.
After Ray started the scoring, AJ Slaughter hit a triple and Ennis drained a long jumper to make it 5-2. Ray scored again and set up Dimitris Agravanis to put the visitors back ahead 5-6. Brussino’s three-pointer at the other end made it 12-8. Jerai Grant’s inside score even things at 12-12. Diop’s basket had the hosts up 14-12 after 10 minutes.
Ilimane Diop’s tip-in started the second quarter for the home side. Hunt converted an and-one to trim the deficit to 18-17. After 4 Gran Canaria points, Hunt added another three-point play and a hook shot and Ray knocked down a triple in a 2-12 run to push Promitheas ahead 24-29. Ennis countered with a three-pointer, but Grant and Ray kept up the pressure and increased the margin to 29-35. Ennis would not let his team lose touch and buried another triple and made an acrobatic layup to make it 36-38 at the break.
Gran Canaria had the better start to the second half with the first 7 points - including 5 by Brussino - in pulling ahead 43-38. Promitheas needed more than 2 minutes to score before Nikos Ragkavopoulos’s triple. That did not stop the Gran Canaria roll as the hosts reeled off 11 straight points to grab a 54-42 cushion. Hunt’s free throw ended a 5-minute drought, but Kramer and Ennis hit three-pointers and Gran Canaria led 60-45 after 30 minutes.
Promitheas started the final quarter with the first 7 points. Rogkavopoulos’s three-pointer cut the deficit to 60-52. Slaughter’s free throws finally got Gran Canaria on the board after more than 2 minutes. Promitheas could not get the stops as Oliver Stevic put back an offensive rebound and Brussino converted a three-point play as the hosts led 67-54. And Ennis delivered the backbreaker for good with a three-pointer for a 71-56 lead with under 4 minutes to play. Promitheas would not get closer than 13 points the rest of the way.
Khalifa Diop with best showing of the season
Gran Canaria big man Khalifa Diop stepped up with the absence of injured John Shurna as the 20-year-old big man had his best game of the season. The Senegal center, who just celebrated his birthday on January 15, scored 11 points on 3-of-5 shooting and 5-of-6 free throws to go with 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal and 5 fouls drawn for a performance index rating of 17. His points and PIR were season highs - besting the 9 points and PIR of 11 against ratiopharm Ulm in Round 6. Diop’s career highs are 14 points and 25 index rating - both set against Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana in November 2020.
No birthday presents for Ray, Gaddy
Promitheas Patras guards Kendrick Ray and Abdul Gaddy were both hoping to celebrate their birthdays in style on the island - capped off with a victory to end a losing streak. Ray turned 28 and started the game strong and ended with 17 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 5 fouls drawn for an index rating of 17. Gaddy had 4 points, 2 rebounds and 4 assists on his 30th birthday. Unfortunately for the Promitheas duo, that was not enough and they suffered the loss.
By the numbers: Promitheas outside shooting woes
The most glaring statistical outlier on the box score was Promitheas’s woeful outside shooting. The visitors managed just 3-of-20 shooting on three-pointers (15.0%) while Gran Canaria drained 9 of 20 triples (45.0%). The other major difference was 18 Promitheas turnovers with the hosts committing only 12. Those turned out to be very troublesome as Gran Canaria converted them into 26 points. Promitheas could only come up with 7 points off of Gran Canaria’s miscues.
Wednesday, January 26, 2022