Joventut survives Bourg's late rally
Joventut Badalona grabbed an important 77-84 road win at the Ekinox to ruin JL Bourg en Bresse’s Eurocup debut at home this season. The visitors led by as many as 21 points in the last quarter, but a late comeback led by Kadeem Allen, Danilo Andjusic and Thomas Scrubb got the home team within 4 points with less than 2 minutes to go. Joventut kept calm and used veterans Ante Tomic and Pau Ribas to abort the comeback and climb atop of Group A with two wins from as many games.
Bourg fell to 1-1. The visitors were led by Tomic, who finished with 18 points and 7 boards in just 23 minutes. Ribas followed him with 16 points, and Vladimir Brodziansky and Simon Birgander added 14 and 12 respectively. Danilo Andjusic scored 18 and Thomas Scrubb 15 in the losing effort.
The hosts had a strong start with Scrubb scoring 4 points in an 8-0 opening run that forced an urgent timeout by Joventut. Tomic and Brodziansky broke the trend from inside, as Pau Ribas converted a floater and a three to put the visitors ahead 8-9. Scrubb and Andjusic came to the rescue and combined for 6 points to help Bourg build a small advantage, 14-9. Even though Joventut dominated the offensive glass, its shooters missed three after three, allowing the hosts to keep a 21-17 edge at the end of the first quarter. Pierre Pelos and Maxime Courby extended the margin to 29-22 with back-to-back triples, but Joventut found a weapon in Birgander to keep Bourg in sight, 32-30, midway through the second quarter. Pelos answered and sank another three to cool the hosts. Free throws by Andjusic followed that made it 38-30. Those were the last points for Bourg for the next 3 minutes, though, as the hosts found Tomic inside first and then Nenad Dimitrejevic and Brodziansky outside to spark a 0-12 run that gave the lead back to Joventut, 38-42, at halftime.
Albert Ventura drained a three and Tomic scored inside twice to extend the gap to 40-49 right after the break. The hosts tried to recover their offensive rhythm through Andjusic and Zackary Wright, but Ribas connected from downtown and Brodziansky added a putback slam to make it a double-digit lead, 44-56. Bourg tried to stop it with a timeout, but that proved worthless. Joel Parra added a couple of free throws, Ribas buried a three and Conor Morgan added another basket in a 2-11 run that closed the third quarter with a 51-69 margin for the visitors. Morgan hit from behind the arc and Birgander went inside to make it 54-73, but Bourg didn't surrender. Wright scored 5 points in a row to wake the hosts up, while Andjusic and Zachery Peacock combined from the outside to reduce the gap to 66-74 with 4 minutes remaining. The visitors returned to the basics, which was to feed Tomic and Brodziansky inside to look for easy points or free throws. That was enough to abort the comeback and keep a safe double digit-margin, 67-78. It wasn't the last attempt for Bourg, though, as Allen and Scrubb came up big and brought the hosts within 75-79 with 90 seconds to play. Tomic added a free throw, Allen missed a three and Joventut grabbed 4 offensive rebounds on the following possession that allowed Ribas to get to the foul line to secure the win.
The much-anticipated duel between Alen Omic and Ante Tomic had a clear winner and it was the Croatian center. But Tomic was not alone, as his frontcourt mates like Vladimir Brodziansky, Simon Birgander, Conor Morgan and Joel Parra all helped him a lot. They combined for 56 points and 27 rebounds. Bourg's entire teams totaled 32 boards.
Bourg scored 99 points against Bahcesehir Koleji Istanbul in Round 1 and averaged 94.5 points in the French league after three games. Joventut managed to hold them under 80 for the first time this season and that meant Bourg’s first loss too.
Did you know?
Joventut Badalona went 0-8 in away games last season. Their last road win in the EuroCup took place a decade ago, and guess what? It was also in France when Joventut beat Le Mans 62-70 on February 9, 2010.
Both teams will play on the road the same day next week. JL Bourg will visit Italy to face Umana Reyer Venice while Joventut will travel to Turkey to challenge Bahcesehir Koleji.
Wednesday, October 7, 2020