BC Donetsk became the Last 16 Group J champion by topping Aris BSA 2003 66-77 in Thessaloniki, Greece on Tuesday. Donetsk won Group J with a 5-1 record due to its tie-break advantage against BC Khimki and is set to face two-time Eurocup champions Lietuvos Rytas in the Quarterfinals. Aris finished the Last 16 with a 1-5 record and was fourth overall. Ramel Curry paced the winners with 15 points. Vule Avdalovic and Dmytro Gliebov each added 11 for Donetsk. Ronald Davis led Aris with 19 points. Sam Muldrow added 13 for the hosts, that trailed 27-31 late in the first half. Darnell Jackson helped Donetsk to get a double-digit lead, 27-37, but Davis brought Aris within 38-41 right after the break. Curry led an 0-11 run that broke the game open, 43-60, late in the third quarter. Aris managed to get within single digits, 57-66, but Ivan Radenovic shined in crunch time to lead Donetsk to a critical road win.
Davis got Aris going with a three-pointer but Gliebov and Curry answered from downtown for a 3-6 Donetsk lead. Radenovic scored down low but Michalis Tsairelis and Davis tied it at 8-8. Dimitrios Verginis scored around the basket but Michael Lee and Jackson fueled a 0-6 Donetsk run that Vojdan Stojanovski capped with free throws for a 10-14 score. Davis kept pacing Aris with a three-point play and a triple by Dan Mavraides tied it at 16-16. Free throws by Avdalovic ignited an 1-8 run that Vyacheslav Kravtsov capped with a dunk for a 17-24 Donetsk lead. A foul shot by Verginis fixed the score at 18-24 after 10 minutes. Avdalovic stepped up with a layup early in the second quarter and free throws by Kravtsov soon gave Donetsk a 20-28 edge. Curry scored in transition but Muldrow buried his second three-pointer for a 23-30 Aris deficit. Muldrow stayed on fire with a jumper and free throws by Davis brought the guests even closer, 27-31. Donetsk found a go-to guy in Jackson, who had 4 points in a 0-6 run that gave his team some fresh air, 27-37. Matej Krusic took over with a three-point play and followed Mavraides' layup with his own basket for a 34-39 Aris deficit at halftime.
Back-to-back layups by Tsairelis and Davis got Aris as close as 38-41, right after the break. It didn't last long, however, as Donetsk improved its defense right after that. Meanwhile, free throws by Avdalovic and Lee restored a 38-45 margin. Mavraedis scored down low and Christos Taputos found his first points but Gliebov and Avdalovic kept Donetsk ahead, 43-49. A jumper by Stojanovski ignited a game-breaking 0-11 Donetsk run in which Curry had 5 points, including a big three-pointer that boosted the guests' lead to 43-60. Eleftherios Bochoridis made free throws by Gliebov shined with a put-back layup for a 45-62 Donetsk margin after 30 minutes. Muldrow dunked it early in the fourth quarter but Kravtsov answered in the same way for a 47-64 score. Donetsk had started to use long possessions to keep its margin alive. Meanwhile, Muldrow dunked it again and three-pointers by Bochoridis and Davis made the guests call timeout, 55-66, with under 6 minutes left. Davis scored again but a triple by Curry silenced the crowd at 57-69. Radenovic shined in crunch time, following a dunk with a layup that sealed the outcome, 62-76, allowing Donetsk to celebrate a historical win.
Tuesday, February 28, 2012