Joventut beats Bourg to finish atop Group A
In the final game of the 2020-21 7DAYS EuroCup Regular Season, Joventut Badalona clinched first place in Group A by downing JL Bourg en Bresse 90-75 at home on Wednesday. Joventut finished first with an 8-2 record and Bourg fell to third at 6-4 behind UNICS Kazan on a tiebreaker. Xabi Lopez-Arostegui paced the winners with 23 points. Joventut also got 15 points from Vladimir Brodziansky, 14 from Conor Morgan and 13 from Nenad Dimitrijevic. Danilo Andjusic led Bourg with 16 points, Luke Asceric added 13, Maxime Courby 11 while Kadeem Allen and Alen Omic each had 10 for the visitors. Joventut led 18-15 after 10 minutes and boosted its margin to 46-32 at halftime. Bourg kept trying after the break, but Joventut kept a 69-58 margin at the end of the third quarter and extended it to 78-64 to seal the outcome.
Working exclusively inside, Lopez-Arostegui, Brodziansky and Ante Tomic filled an 8-2 start for Joventut. Lopez-Arostegui, with the game's first triple, made it 11-2 before Scrubb and Andjusic steadied Bourg. Asceric, from deep, brought the visitors within 13-9. Soon, Omic scored inside and fed Courby for a triple that tied it until Morgan beat the first-quarter buzzer with a three-pointer worth an 18-15 advantage for Joventut. Morgan and Dimitrijevic forced a quick Bourg timeout at 22-15. Shawn Dawson and Morgan each struck from downtown, but Pierre Pelos and Andjusic kept Bourg within 28-24. Morgan had 4 points, including a dunk in traffic, in a 6-0 run that made it a double-digit game, 34-24. Scrubb and Andjusic downed a triple apiece before Brodziansky and Lopez-Arostegui kept Joventut out of trouble, 40-30. Tomic scored down low and Dimitrijevic boosted the hosts' lead to 46-32 at halftime.
Allen hit a floater soon after the break and Andjusic banked in a close shot to make it 48-36. Allen buried a three-pointer, which Scrubb followed with a tip-in to get the guests even closer, 50-41. Lopez-Arostegui hit one from beyond the arc and Dimitrijevic followed a jumper with a triple for a 58-45 Joventut margin. Asceric and Dawson exchanged three-pointers and Lopez-Arostegui scored off a steal to boost the hosts' lead to 63-48. Albert Ventura joined the three-point shootout, but Asceric and Courby kept Bourg in the game, 68-58, after 30 minutes. Lopez-Arostegui sank a corner triple early in the fourth quarter and Simon Birgander added a tip-in that broke the game open, 73-58, with 8 minutes left. Morgan scored around the basket and Lopez-Arostegui sealed the outcome with his fourth three-pointer, 78-64, as Bourg did not recover in the final 4 minutes.
Lopez-Arostegui balanced Joventut's offense with his outside shooting. He finished the game with 23 points on 5-of-8 three-point shooting and 4-of-4 on free throws, plus 6 rebounds, 1 assist, a steal and 4 fouls drawn for a PIR of 23.
Morgan took matters into his own hands with a couple of free throws and a huge dunk, igniting a 6-0 run which Birgander capped with a close jumper. That gave Joventut its first double-digit lead, 34-24, and the hosts never looked back after that.
Omic pulled down 7 rebounds, which sent him to second place on the EuroCup's all-time standings. He has 399 rebounds after passing Vladimir Veremeenko, who is now third with 396. Bojan Dubljevic leads the standings with 417 boards. Omic is also second in offensive rebounds (226), not far away from Dubljevic (231).
Did you know?
Joventut has finished first in its regular season group for the second time in seven EuroCup appearances in the competition. It previously did so in 2007-08 with a 9-1 regular-season record. Joventut went on to lift the trophy and did not lose any games after that; its 16-1 record that season is still the best for a EuroCup champion in competition history.
Both teams return to 7DAYS EuroCup action in the Top 16, set to start on January 12-13, 2021. Joventut is in Top 16 Group E alongside Unicaja Malaga, Nanterre 92 and AS Monaco. Bourg ended up in Group G, also featuring Virtus Segafredo Bologna, Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana and Buducnost VOLI Podgorica.
Wednesday, December 30, 2020