The guard from the Dominican Republic ended up overshadowing an outstanding performance by Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana's Justin Cobbs.
Andres Feliz went from zero to hero to get Joventut back on track
Justin Cobbs looked set to emerge as the MVP of a breathtaking BKT EuroCup contest between Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana and visiting Joventut Badalona, capping an outstanding individual performance with a superb mid-range jumper which gave the home side an 87-86 lead with just 2 seconds left in overtime.
There seemed to be no way back for Joventut, which had missed 4 free throws moments earlier, as neither Ante Tomic nor Andres Feliz could hit from the foul line. Cedevita, which had suffered a pair of crushing defeats in its previous two games against Hapoel Shlomo Tel Aviv in the EuroCup’s opening round and then Crvena Zvezda Meridianbet Belgrade in the regional ABA League, thought it was in dreamland as Cobbs struck.
Andres Feliz flipped the script
Cedevita called a timeout for head coach Simone Piangiani to outline the last play, one last roll of the dice. But, it ended up turning into a nightmare as Feliz received the ball from the sideout and served up a buzzer-beating floater to give Joventut the win.
It was a crushing blow for Cedevita, whose players were left standing motionless at the end of the nerve-jangling contest while Joventut was able to breathe a huge sigh of relief, having lost its opening EuroCup game 63-66 at home to Besiktas Emlakjet Istanbul.
Joventut head coach Carles Duran was delighted to snatch the win but conceded his side, last season’s semi-finalist in the competition, was far from its best.
“We are happy to get the first victory in this group, but we need to improve many things because we conceded too many easy points. We showed a good mentality, but we need to play better in the next game,” Duran said during his post-game press conference.
Piangiani acknowledged that Cedevita was disappointed. “I am not happy for my players because they left it all out there and didn’t get rewarded. We played well in the first half, but in the second Jovetut piled on the pressure and we missed too many open shots,” he commented.
“The last shot is something that happens. Injuries will now force us to reshuffle and we’ll have to wait and see how quickly the sidelined players can recover. But I am proud of my players tonight and we have to stay calm positive. It’s my job to keep their confidence high.”
Cobbs led all scorers with 28 points on 12-of-13 shooting from the floor and veteran Jaka Blazic added 24 for Cedevita, including a pair of three-pointers which had forced overtime. At the other end Deshaun Thomas poured 23 points, Brodziansky had 19 and 8 rebounds while Tomic and lucky man Feliz chipped in with 12 apiece.