Cedevita Zagreb, Ukic stun champs in Tel Aviv
Cedevita Zagreb hit 14 three-pointers to silence Nokia Arena and stun reigning Turkish Airlines Euroleague champion Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv 73-83 on Thursday night. The historic, first ever Euroleague road win improved Cedevita to 1-3 in Group B, while Maccabi dropped to 2-2. The visitors trailed only one all game – for 20 seconds in the first quarter – and then put together a 0-11 run for their first double-digit lead. Maccabi rallied behind Jeremy Pargo in the first half, and Sofoklis Schortsanitis at the start of the third quarter, tying it at 44-44. But the hosts never regained the lead as Fran Pilepic caught fire with 14 second-half points and Cedevita opened 51-62 margin before holding on by closing out the game with a 2-9 run. Roko Ukic finished with 17 points and 6 assists, Nemanja Gordic netted 16 on 4-for-6 three-point shooting. Cedevita also pulled down 14 offensive rebounds, as Mario Delas collected 10 points plus 9 boards, and Miro Bilan 10 points and 8 boards. Jeremy Pargo led Maccabi with 24 points, Devin Smith netted 14 and grabbed 7 rebounds, while Schortsanitis had 10 points in defeat.
First quarter: Gordic fuels Cedevita to an early lead
Cedevita started the game with a layup from Bilan and a runner from Gordic. Pargo opened Maccabi's tally with a tip-in, and Schortsanitis followed it with a hook-shot. Gordic sank a three-pointer for the visitors, but Brian Randle scored from close range in a fast-paced start, helping the hosts to 8-7. But a long jumper from Lovro Mazalin sparked a run from Cedevita, during which Delas had a dunk and a layup and Gordic made a fastbreak dunk for an 8-15 lead. A three from Ivan Ramljak extended the margin to 10 points as Cedevita’s defense produced 4 turnovers during the 0-11 run. Maccabi snapped it with a layup from Guy Pnini, followed by a triple from Pargo, which caused visiting coach Jasmin Repesa to call a timeout. Ukic came into the game, and immediately buried a triple, and after Pargo hit a pull-up jumper, Gordic knocked down Cedevita’s fourth three in the quarter to make it 15-24. Pnini answered with a three of his own, and after Bilan scored inside, Maccabi made 4 of 4 from the free throw line in the last minute to get within 22-26 after 10 minutes.
Second quarter: Cedevita stays in front, Pargo keeps Maccabi close
Schortsanitis scored surrounded by three players, and his free throws on the ensuing possession made it 26-26. But Cedevita replied, with Bilan scoring from close range and Tomislav Zubcic nailing a corner triple. Ukic followed with a fastbreak layup-plus-foul, and Zubcic buried another three for a 27-37 lead. Randle snapped a 1-11 run before Pargo scored from close range, then knocked one down from way downtown to close within 34-37. Pargo cut the deficit to a single point with an easy fastbreak layup, but put-backs from Mario Delas and Luka Babic kept the visitors in front, before Gordic nailed another three and made it 36-44. Smith drove for a layup that ended Maccabi’s drought of almost four minutes without a basket, and Pnini’s foul shots cut it to 40-44 at halftime.
Third quarter: Cedevita pulls away to another double-digit lead
Pargo made a floater, and Bilan a put-back to get things going in the quarter. A corner triple from Smith tied it at 47-47. Mario Delas and Schortsanitis traded close-range baskets after hustle plays, and Ukic made a floater to put the visitors up 49-51. Pilepic created more separation with a wide-open three, and after a nifty reverse layup from Smith, a three-pointer from Ukic made it 51-57. Pilepic drove the lane for a layup, and a put-back from Zubcic gave Cedevita its largest margin of the night, 51-62. Randle scored 3 of 4 free throws for Maccabi to snap a 2-13 run. In the final minute of the quarter, Pilepic and Smith traded corner triples, before Gordic hit his fourth long-range shot just before the buzzer to make it 57-68.
Fourth quarter: Visitors hold on to shock Maccabi
Sylven Landesberg drove to the hoop, and as Maccabi stepped it up on defense, Pargo drilled a three-pointer to get to 62-68. Randle used a feed from Smith for a layup before Pilepic snapped a 7-0 run with a three-pointer. Landesberg hit a three for Maccabi, but Pilepic nailed another one from downtown for a 67-74 advantage going into the final five minutes. Alex Tyus found his way for a layup-plus-free throw, and the hosts held Cedevita without a basket for three minutes, before Mario Delas made a pair of foul shots, and Ukic fed Bilan for a layup and 71-78 with 79 seconds to go. Pargo quickly drove for a layup, but Mario Delas came up with a big offensive rebound and Ukic drove for a layup in the final minute to seal the deal. Ukic put on the exclamation point with a last-second three-pointer for a historic victory.
Thursday, November 6, 2014