Cedevita conquers Gran Canaria
In a battle between 7DAYS EuroCup powerhouses that went down to the final seconds, Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana edged Gran Canaria 77-79 on the road on Tuesday. Jacob Pullen led the winners with 27 points, Jaka Blazic added 18 and Melvin Ejim had 12 for Cedevita. Nico Brussino paced Gran Canaria with 20 points, Dylan Ennis and Miquel Salvo each scored 12 and Ilimane Diop had 10 for the hosts. Ennis, Brussino and Salvo shined early to give Gran Canaria a 30-14 lead. Blazic and Pullen fueled an 0-11 run that brought Cedevita back into the game and kept pushing the visitors to bring their team even closer, 48-47, at halftime. Ejim and Pullen led another 0-10 run that gave Cedevita a 53-60 margin early in the second half. Brussino, Ennis and Khalifa Diop helped Gran Canaria regain the lead, 65-63, after 30 minutes. Brussino gave Gran Canaria a 77-72 lead but Ejim and Pullen fueled a 0-7 run that allowed Cedevita to win the game down the stretch.
Artem Pustovyi got Gran Canaria going with a close basket that Ejim bettered with a triple for a 2-3 Cedevita lead. Zach Auguste scored in the paint but Ennis and Brussino gave the hosts an 11-5 lead. Luka Rupnik hit a three-pointer only to see Ennis answer from downtown. He added a layup that caused Cedevita to stop the game at 16-8. Blazic joined the three-point shootout and got help from Pullen to bring Cedevita closer, 20-14. Khalifa Diop scored down low, Ilimane Diop struck from downtown and Salvo followed a triple with a layup to break the game open, 30-14. Blazic and Pullen each hit one from beyond the arc to fix the score at 30-20 after 10 minutes.
Pullen insisted from three-point range early in the second quarter and Blazic added an acrobatic layup to make it 30-25 after a 0-11 Cedevita run. Salvo hit a jumper and A.J. Slaughter found his first points, but Pullen and Ejim got the visitors even closer, 34-30. Khalifa Diop hit a close jumper and Chris Kramer scored in penetration but Edo Muric and a red-hot Blazic each buried a triple for a 38-36 score. After Slaughter struck from downtown, Blazic followed a jumper with a put-back layup and got help from Zach Auguste and Pullen to keep Cedevita close, 48-47, at halftime.
Pullen scored down low and Ejim bettered Salvo's layup with a three-point play that gave Cedevita a 50-52 lead. Salvo struck from beyond the arc but Ejim and Marko Radovanovic fueled a 0-10 run that Pullen capped with a bomb from downtown that boosted the guests' lead to 53-60. Khalifa Diop stepped up with a put-back jump hook and Brussino buried back-to-back three-pointers that caused the visitors to stop the game at 61-62. Ennis kept pacing Gran Canaria and Ilimane Diop completed Gran Canaria's comeback at 65-63 after 30 minutes.
Pullen downed his fifth three-pointer early in the fourth quarter. Brussino answered with a reverse layup and Slaughter soon made it a 4-point game with 8 minutes left. Blazic and Radovanovic stepped up for the visitors and Ziga Dimec tied the game again, 72-72, with over 4 minutes left. Brussino ignited the crowd with a layup-plus-foul and soon added free throws for a 5-point Gran Canaria edge. Ejim scored in transition and Pullen buried a huge triple off the dribble that tied it again, 77-77. Ejim hit foul shots with 25.4 seconds left and Gran Canaria missed 4 shots in the final seconds, including a final one by Ennis that would have sent the game to overtime.
Pullen does it again in Gran Canaria
Another EuroCup season, another road win for Jacob Pullen in Gran Canaria. Pullen led Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana to a good-as-gold 77-79 victory with 27 points off the bench. He buried 6 of 9 three-pointers, 2 of 4 shots inside the arc and 5 of 5 free throws. Pullen also added 4 assists and 3 fouls drawn for a PIR of 27. It was Pullen's second visit to Gran Canaria in the last two years. In his first one, Pullen helped Mornar Bar register a 100-102 victory earlier this year, on January 13, with another strong performance - 14 points, 5 assists and a PIR of 14. With the game tied at 100-100, Pullen hit the go-ahead free throws to give Mornar the win.
A bittersweet return for Brussino
Gran Canaria forward Nico Brussino had a bittersweet return to the EuroCup. In his first stint with Gran Canaria, Brussino played 7 EuroCup games in the 2016-17 campaign and averaged 4.0 points. In Round 1 against Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana, Brussino led Gran Canaria with EuroCup career-highs of 20 points and 20 PIR. He made 3 of 5 two-pointers and 3 of 9 shots from downtown. He added 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, a block and 6 fouls drawn, confirming his reputation as an all-around player. Brussino could not lead Gran Canaria to a victory in Round 1 but confirmed he came back to one of the team's main pillars.
Three-pointers lead Cedevita to win
Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana registered a 77-79 road victory in Gran Canaria despite losing in some statistical categories. Cedevita committed 21 turnovers and allowed Gran Canaria to collect 21 offensive boards. That is the second-best mark for the Spanish powerhouse in its 187 games in the competition; it pulled down 23 against Le Mans Sarthe Basket on October 13, 2015. Cedevita just shot the ball better, hitting 12 of 24 three-pointers (50%). Gran Canaria took many more shots from downtown, 34, and connected on just 9 of those (26.5%). Gran Canaria (83) had a higher PIR (74) than its opponent, but Cedevita won the game.
Tuesday, October 19, 2021