Joventut punches playoffs ticket
Joventut Badalona reached the EuroCup Quarterfinals with an 88-95 victory over Nanterre 92 at Maurice Thorez on Tuesday. Joventut finsihed second Group E with a 4-2 record and will face Virtus Segafredo Bologna in the next stage. Nanterre, which needed to win by at least 6 points to qualify, was eliminated from third place at 2-4. Ante Tomic led the winners with 18 points, Pau Ribas added 16 on 11-of-11 free throw shooting, Nenad Dimitrijevic scored 14 while Xabi Lopez-Arostegui had 13 for Joventut. Marcquise Reed led Nanterre with a career-high 27 points, Isaia Cordinier added 15 and Tyler Stone 11. Joventut was up 45-47 at halftime before Xabi Lopez-Arostegui led a 0-11 run that boosted the guests' margin to 47-61, and Joventut kept full control of the situation until the final buzzer.
Reed needed just 4 seconds to get Nanterre going with a layup. Cordinier scored in penetration and Chris Warren struck from downtown for a 7-2 score. Tomic scored around the basket and Vladimir Brodziansky downed a triple, but Reed and Cordinier kept Nanterre ahead, 12-7. Stone took over with a three-point play and Cordinier added a reverse layup, but Tomic and Brodziansky brought Joventut within 17-13. Ivan Fevrier and Stone each buried a three-pointer for a 25-17 Nanterre margin. Tomic followed a layup and a tip-in, getting help from Ribas to bring Joventut within 29-26 after 10 minutes. Dimtrijevic hit a running jumper early in the second quarter and Ribas bettered Cordinier's dunk with a triple that tied it, 31-31. Reed struck twice from beyond the arc and got help from Cordinier for a 39-35 Nanterre lead. Joventut found a go-to guy in Dimitrijevic, who scored twice around the basket and added a jumper in a 2-12 run in which Conor Morgan and Ferran Bassas each hit a triple to put Joventut ahead, 41-47. Reed downed a mid-range jumper and beat the buzzer with a floater to fix the halftime score at 45-47.
Bassas sank a triple soon after the break. Warren hit a baseline jumper, but Lopez-Arostegui followed a layup-plus-foul with a three-pointer in an 0-11 run that Albert Ventura capped with his a shot from beyond the arc to break the game open, 47-61. Johnny Berhanemeskel stepped up with a driving layup, but Bassas and Dimitrijevic kept Joventut way ahead, 50-64. Alpha Kaba, Cordinier and Berhanemeskel brought Nanterre a bit closer, 59-70, after 30 minutes. Kaba hit a jump hook early in the fourth quarter and Nikola Rebic added a triple to make it 64-70. Morgan and Berhanemeskel joined the three-point shootout. Dimitrijevic added a jumper and a floater for a 67-77 Joventut lead. Rebic swished a step-back jumper that Tomic matched with a jump hook. Kaba scored again and Rebic buried a three-pointer that gave Nanterre hope, 74-79, with over 4 minutes left. Reed's acrobatic three-point play got the hosts even closer, 80-84, with 1:13 left. Ribas sealed the outcome from the foul line.
Ante Tomic had 14 points in the first quarter when Joventut struggled to keep up with Nanterre's scoring pace. Tomic finished the game with 18 points on 9-of-12 two-point shooting plus 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 steal for a PIR of 17 - all in less than 22 minutes on the floor.
Nanterre led 39-35 late in the first half, but Joventut found a go-to guy to take off. Neno Dimitrijevic scored in penetration and followed Conor Morgan's triple with a jumper. Dimitrijevic scored again and Ferran Bassas struck from downtown to put Joventut ahead for good, 41-47, after a 2-12 run.
Two-point shot accuracy made the difference in this game. Joventut made 24 of 36 two-pointers (66.7%). Nanterre took more two-point shots (40) and scored fewer (21) for a 52.5% percentage. Joventut had 20 assists and only 10 turnovers.
Did you know?
Joventut has made it to the EuroCup Quarterfinals for the first time since the 2007-08 season. That team, led by Rudy Fernandez, Ricky Rubio and Demond Mallet, went on to lift the trophy after downing Akasvayu Girona 54-79 in the championship game in Turin, Italy.
Joventut faces Virtus Segafredo Bologna in the EuroCup Quarterfinals. Virtus hosts Game 1 of the best-of-three series on Tuesday, March 23. Nanterre 92 has been eliminated from the 2020-21 7DAYS EuroCup.
Tuesday, March 9, 2021