Buducnost beats Bourg on the road
Buducnost VOLI Podgorica bounced back from its home defeat against Gran Canaria in Round 7 and escaped from the Ekinox with a valuable 82-86 road win against Mincidelice JL Bourg en Bresse on Tuesday night. The visitors built an 18-point lead early after the break, but Bourg came back and made it a one-possession game, 68-70, in the last period. Justin Cobbs came to the rescue, scoring 11 of Buducnost's last 16 points to pave the way for the win. Cobbs was the guests’ top scorer with 24 points, to which he added 6 assists for a PIR of 31. D.J. Seeley followed him with 21 points and as Willie Reed posted 15 points and 8 boards to help Buducnost improve to 6-2. Alexandre Chassang had career-highs in points (15) and PIR (20 to set the tone for Bourg, which dropped to 2-6. Maxime Courby also netted 15 points to achieve his career-best, while C.J. Harris, Rasheed Sulaimon and Maxime Roos contributed 13, 12 and 11 points, respectively in defeat.
Both teams had slow starts on offense until Cobbs and Seeley contributed 4 points apiece to give the visitors an early 5-10 edge after 4 minutes. Buducnost looked much more comfortable than Bourg playing low tempo and it proved right when Seeley hit from downtown to make it 7-15. Roos and Courby stepped up to launch a 9-2 run that brought the hosts within 1 point right before Chassang made it all square, 19-19, from behind the arc. A three-point play by Cobbs helped the visitors keep the lead at 21-22 at the end of the first quarter.
Back-to-back triples by Suad Sehovic and Seeley increased the margin to 23-28. Axel Julien tied it again from the same place, but a put-back slam by Reed and 3 points from the line by Seeley prevented Bourg from completing the comeback. Vladimir Micov followed with a short jumper that set the difference to 28-35 and forced a Bourg timeout. Pierre Pelos finished a 4-minute scoring drought with a triple, but Reed answered with 8 points in a row that built a double-digit lead, 31-43, in a blink of an eye. Cobbs and Micov joined in from the foul line to cap a 0-11 boost that sent the game to the locker rooms with a 31-46 margin for the visiting side.
Even though Sulaimon tried to heat his team up after the break with 5 consecutive points, Buducnost found a timely answer from Seeley, who contributed 8 of his own to allow his team to dig it even deeper, 39-57. Chassang showed up inside to try to avoid an early sinking, as Buducnost turned over 3 consecutive possessions that opened the door for Bourg to get within 50-59 with an 11-2 run. Reed cooled it down with a floater, but that would be the last field goal by the visitors until the end of the quarter, which Bourg exploited to stay in the hunt, 55-64, entering the last stanza.
The hosts continued the rally through Chassang, who first drained a three and then stole a ball to grant Suleimon an easy layup that made it 63-66 with 8 minutes remaining. Another bucket by Chassang reduced the difference to 68-70, but Buducnost didn’t panic. Cobbs connected from downtown and Marko Jagodic-Kuridza scored inside for a 68-75 edge midway through the last quarter. The hosts struck again with Chassang inside and Harris outside to reduce the deficit to 73-75 with 3 minutes to go, but Cobbs stabbed a dagger on Bourg’s back by scoring 8 points in a row that froze the comeback, 75-83. Micov followed with a three-point play entering the last minute which made it 78-86 to seal the outcome.
Cobbs turns the lights off on Bourg
Justin Cobbs proved once again that he is even more dangerous when the game goes to the wire. He took over when things got most dangerous for Buducnost VOLI Podgorica, as the hosts managed to come within 63-66 early in the fourth quarter after erasing an 18-point deficit. It was then that the guard showed up to score 13 points in the last 8 minutes, keeping his team calm enough to avoid losing the lead. First, he dropped a couple of free throws, then assisted Vladimir Micov for a 66-70 edge. And when Alexandre Chassang made it a one-possession game on the following play, Cobbs exploded, draining back-to-back triples, and following with 3 free throws and a jumper that all but put the game on ice.
Buducnost wins in eight against eight
Buducnost VOLI Podgorica’s head coach Aleksandar Dzikic had to expect the best of a shorthanded rotation, as he counted on only eight players for this game, as he did in Round 7 against Gran Canaria at home. Unlike that game, Buducnost escaped with a victory and most of the credit must go to the magic trio formed by Justin Cobbs, D.J. Seeley and Willie Reed. They combined for 60 of the visitors' total 86 points (69.7%), and for 75 of Buducnost’s 97 total PIR (77.3%). On the other side, Mincidelice JL Bourg en Bresse also had to limit its rotation to eight players and - even though the team enjoyed balance with five players scoring in double-digits, it proved not enough to claim a third home win in a row.
Chassang and Courby shine in defeat
Despite trailing by double-digits at halftime, 31-46, and 39-57 midway through the third period, Mincidelice JL Bourg en Bresse never gave up and managed to make a terrific rally that threatened the outcome. Two of the players who had the most to do with the comeback were Alexandre Chassang and Maxime Courby, who stepped up in the second half to lead the hosts. The former scored 13 points in the second half for a total of 15, his best in the competition, while the latter netted 10 of his total 15 points after the break, also registering a career-high. Chassang also added personal bests in defensive rebounds (6), assists (4) and PIR (20), while Courby reached a new high in assists, too, with 4.
Tuesday, December 21, 2021