Brescia streaks past Promitheas
Awudu Abass scored 13 of his career-high 19 points in the fourth quarter to lift Germani Brescia Leonessa to a 63-57 victory over Promitheas Patras on Tuesday in the first Group F game at the Top 16. It was a game of streaks that entered the fourth quarter with the visitors ahead by 1, but Abass led a 12-0 run that gave Brescia the lead for good and he then answered every basket by the visitors down the stretch. Abass also posted 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks in a standout all-around performance. Luca Vitali added 14 points and Tyler Cain tallied 12 points and 7 rebounds for the winners. Vangelis Mantzaris led Promitheas with 12 points and 6 assists in his first game back with the team, Chase Fieler also scored 12 and Oleksandr Lypovvy added 11 in defeat.
Promitheas went to its big man early and Octavius Ellis scored the game's first two baskets. Cain got the hosts on the scoreboard, but Promitheas remained in control thanks to its intense defense, which kept Brescia without points for nearly 6 minutes. In that time, Lypovvy sank a triple and split free throws to make it 5-13. Andrea Zerini ended the drought and Vitali's second triple made it 10-15 after 10 minutes. Abass scored the first 2 baskets of the second quarter before Vitali fed Cain for a slam and the hosts’ first lead of the night, 16-15. The visitors were back ahead after a three by Dimitris Agravanis, but Cain restored the advantage to Brescia and, which did not allow Promitheas more than that one triple in all of the second quarter. Vitali free throws gave Brescia a 26-18 lead at the break.
With the first basket of the second half, Cain gave Brescia the game's first double-digit lead. Shots started to fall on both sides with Ellis and Fieler reviving Promitheas, though threes by DeAndre Lansdowne and Vitali helped extend the Brescia lead to 38-24. Lypovvy heated up with 5 points in a 0-12 run that Chris Babb capped with a triple – his first points of the night – to bring Promitheas within 2. Mantzaris beat the shot clock with a triple that put his team ahead 40-41 at the end of the third quarter. Brian Sacchetti hit a three to tie it at 43-43 in the first minute of the fourth quarter, however, the momentum remained with the visitors, who drew a series of fouls to get into the bonus early. Mantzaris sank a three and added free throws as Promitheas pushed the lead to 43-49. Tommaso Laquintana fired up the crowd with a three and Cain’s foul shot got Brescia within 2 midway through the fourth quarter. Abass converted a three-point play and fadeaway jumper to send Brescia ahead 52-49. After a Promitheas timeout, Abass connected from downtown to complete a 12-0 run. A three by Babb halved the deficit only to see Abass sink another dagger. Abass assisted on the next Brescia basket – a three by Vitali that made it 60-54 with a minute to go – and then added another three that all but wrapped up the victory.
A game of streaks
The visitors dominated the first and third quarters and the host controlled the second and fourth. Promitheas held Brescia scoreless for 6 minutes in the first quarter to take control, but scored only 3 in all of the second quarter. Promitheas used a 0-12 third-quarter run to regain the lead, however, Brescia had a 12-0 surge of its own in the fourth.
All signs pointed to a defensive showdown; Brescia allowed the fourth-fewest in the regular season (72.5) and Promitheas the sixth-fewest (75.1). Brescia outdid itself and reached a season-low in points allowed. Promitheas held Maccabi Rishon LeZion to 55 points in the regular-season opener and this game was its second-best defensive showing.
In a game that was ultimately decided by 6 points, every basket was crucial. Brescia had the second-lowest three-point shooting accuracy (30.7%) in the regular season, but shot 9 of 24 (37.5%) on threes in this game. Luca Vitali led the way with 4-of-6 three-point shooting. Meanwhile, Promitheas missed 9 free throws – Chase Fieler, Oleksandr Lypovvy and Octavius Ellis – each missed 3. Those foul shots could have also changed the game.
Brescia will remain in Italy, but play on the road against Umana Reyer Venice in Round 2 of the Top 16 on Tuesday, January 14. The following night Promitheas will host EWE Baskets Oldenburg.
Tuesday, January 7, 2020