Ayon, Reyes step up late as Madrid edges Bamberg
Felipe Reyes scored the game’s last 4 points and Gustavo Ayon recorded a key block of Brose Baskets Bamberg point guard Bradley Wanamaker with 12 seconds left as defending champion Real Madrid edged the German champs 86-90 in a thriller at Nuremberg Arena. The game featured four lead changes and three ties in the fourth quarter alone and was tied with 69 seconds left when Reyes hit go-ahead free throws for Madrid. After Ayon stopped Wanamaker, Reyes iced the game from the line. Sergio Llull paced the winners with 21 points on 6-of-7 three-point shooting. Reyes scored 18 points, Ayon posted 11 points, 7 rebounds and 3 blocks, Augusto Lima debuted with 10 points and Sergio Rodriguez dished 10 assists. Darius Miller paced Bamberg with 20 points on 4-of-5 shooting from downtown. Wanamaker scored 16, Janis Strelniks tallied 11 points and 4 steals, Leon Radosevic also scored 11 and Nicolo Melli added 10 points. The hosts took charge with the game’s first 12 points, but Llull heated up from downtown and Reyes got going too as the visitors closed to within 26-23 after 10 minutes. Rodriguez took over for Los Blancos in the second quarter with a series of assists to newcomer Lima and a fantastic alley-oop to Jeffrey Taylor at the buzzer to make it 45-46 at the break. Madrid led by as many as 10 in the third quarter and 9 in the fourth, but Bamberg rallied behind Miller to take the game down to the wire.
First quarter: Bamberg soars ahead with game’s first 12 points
Bamberg won the opening team and quickly went ahead on a Wanamaker triple. Patrick Heckman drove for a layup and Strelniks buried a three. Nicolo Melli banked in a runner to make it a 10-0 start, after which Coach Pablo Laso called Madrid’s first timeout. Radosevic’s jumper made it that all five Bamberg starters scored before Madrid even got on the board. Llull buried a pair of threes around another Radosevic jumper to make it 14-6. Radosevic’s put-back restored a double-digit lead. Jonas Maciulis nailed a three from the corner and Jaycee Carroll cut the difference to 4 with his first three. Melli drained a triple at the other end and Darius Miller added a jumper to give Bamberg a 21-12 advantage. Reyes split free throws for Madrid’s first point that wasn’t from downtown. After Strelniks and Reyes traded free throws, Zisis set up Miller for a three with a look-away pass. Llull countered with a three. Lima missed twice from the line, but Reyes tipped in the second miss and then nailed a three from the corner to bring Madrid within 26-23 after 10 minutes.
Second quarter: Rodriguez, Lima lead Madrid rally
Lima scored twice thanks to assists from Rodriguez, but a Melli triple in between kept the hosts on top. After Melli assisted Zisis for a layup, Reyes made it 31-30 with a three. Reyes shined with an assist to Lima for a slam and Madrid’s first lead before nailing his third triple of the game. Rodriguez teamed up with Lima on an alley-oop to cap a 0-10 Madrid run. Wanamaker revived the hosts with a four-point play, but Rodriguez scored on either side of a Zisis layup to keep Madrid in front, 37-41. After a timeout, Radosevic scored inside, but Gustavo Ayon countered with 2 free throws. Wanamaker drove for a layup and Lucca Staiger drilled a long three to put Bamberg back on top, 44-43. Radosevic for the hosts and Andres Nocioni for the visitors each split free throws. Madrid called a timeout with 6 seconds left in the half and drew up a perfect play for Rodriguez to find Taylor with an alley-oop lob that the latter dunked for a 45-46 Madrid edge at the break.
Third quarter: Miller keeps Bamberg in the game
Llull got a shooter’s roll on an off-balance jumper and made the bonus foul shot that came with it. Ayon scored inside before Miller nailed a jumper for Bamberg. However Llull drilled a three to give the visitors a 47-54 advantage. Carroll was next to hit from downtown as Madrid took a 10-point lead. After a Bamberg timeout, back-to-back threes by Miller drew the hosts within 53-37. Maciulis hit a jumper for Madrid, but Miller connected on another three. It was a 1-point game after Wanamaker free throws. After an Ayon tip-in, Miller sank a pull-up jumper. Maciulis drew a foul shooting a three-pointer and made the resulting 3 free throws for a 60-64 lead. Reyes added to the Madrid lead. Strelniks made free throws, but Llull bettered him with a triple to extend the difference to 7. Radosevic made 2 free throws and Daniel Theis added another. Taylor’s basket on the offensive glass and Ayon’s free throw made it 65-72 at the end of the quarter.
Fourth quarter: Reyes, Ayon save Madrid
Rodriguez and Lima connected on another alley-oop to start the quarter. A Theis triple and Strelniks’s steal and layup brought Bamberg within 4. K.C. Rivers sank a high-arching floater, but after a Wanamaker three-pointer and a pair of Strelniks free throws, it was 75-76. Wanamaker buried a jumper to give Bamberg the lead and Madrid promptly called timeout. Ayon blocked Wanamaker inside and Llull knocked down his sixth three to put the champs back ahead. Bamberg called timeout and Zisis buried a three to regain the lead for his side, but Ayon set up Nocioni for a layup-plus-foul to make it 80-82 with five minutes to go. Zisis tied it with a jumper, but Rodriguez’s 10th assist was to Ayon for a slam and a slim lead. Miller made a tough layup to even the score, but Carroll took a bounce pass from Ayon for a layup with two minutes on the clock. Miller turned distributor and set up Melli for a layup to make it 86-86. Reyes converted 2 free throws with 69 seconds remaining. Ayon came up with a huge block on Wanamaker with 12 seconds remaining and Reyes sealed the win from the line.
Thursday, February 25, 2016