Olimpija to Top 16; Nanterre, too
In a rescheduled game from Round 5, Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana qualified to the 7DAYS EuroCup Top 16 by downing Promitheas Patras 77-73 at home in Arena Stozice in the Slovenian capital on Thursday. Olimpija improved to 6-3 in the standings while Promitheas dropped to 2-6 and is eliminated from the Top 16 race due to its tie-break disadvantage against Nanterre 92 (4-4), which also advanced with this result. Kendrick Perry led the winners with 24 points, while Jaka Blazic added 18 and Mikael Hopkins 11. Danny Agbelese led Promitheas with 17 points and Ian Miller added 16. Vangelis Mantzaris had a triple-double of 12 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, while Diante Garrett scored 11 points for the guests. It all came down to the final minute, wen Blazic and Edo Muric made the difference from the foul line.
Miller got Promitheas going with a three-pointer but Perry and Hopkins soon gave Olimpija its first lead, 5-3. Antreas Christodoulou stepped up with a back-door layup, Miller and Perry traded baskets, and Agbelese restored a 7-9 Promitheas lead. Ivan Marinkovic dunked but Christodoulou and Vangelis Mantzaris each hit triples in a 0-12 run highlighted by Miller's coast-to-coast basket. Roko Ukic and Marinkovic kept Olimpija within 13-21 after 10 minutes. Christodoulou downed a jumper and Agbelese a put-back slam to open the second quarter. Agbelese matched Blazic's layup with a jump hook and Diante Garrett added a jumper to make Olimpija call timeout at 15-29. Garrett bettered Hopkins's layup with a three-pointer but Perry and Alen Hodzic brought the guests within 22-34. Agbelese dunked and Garrett swished another jumper for a 24-38 Promitheas margin. Perry had 8 quick points to singlehandedly bring Olimpija within 32-41 at halftime. Perry scored off the inbound steal immediately after the break and Hopkins added a layup for a 36-41 score. Mantzaris and Muric exchanged triples and Blazic gave Olimpija hope at 43-45. Hopkins struck from beyond the arc to complete the hosts' comeback, 46-45. Blazic joined the three-point shootout, getting help from Hopkins and Marinkovic to keep Olimpija ahead, 53-50. Michalis Lountzis beat the shot clock with a big three-pointer but Blazic buried back-to-back shots from downtown for a 59-55 score after 30 minutes. Blazic's driving layup started the fourth quarter but Miller did better with a triple. Agbelese and Garrett soon brought Promitheas as close as 63-62. Perry and Rion Brown rescued the hosts but Mantzaris hit a three-pointer and Garrett added a layup for a 67-67 tie with under 6 minutes left. Brown sank a jumper and Perry bettered Agbelese's layup with a triple for a 72-69 Olimpija lead with 2 minutes to go. Perry scored again but Agbelese and Dimitris Agravanis got Promitheas within 74-73. Blazic split free throws, Miller missed from downtown, and Muric sealed the outcome from the foul line.
Blazic stepped up by scoring 16 of his 18 points in the second half. He hit 3-of-5 three-pointers and added 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and 6 fouls drawn for a PIR of 23.
Olimpija changed the game's momentum at the start of the third quarter. Perry scored off the inbound steal, Hopkins followed down low and Blazic added 4 quick points. Hopkins hit a triple, his first in 12 attempts this season, to put Olimpija ahead, 46-45.
Offensive rebounds and turnovers made the difference in this game. Olimpija pulled down 9 offensive rebounds and limited turnovers to just 10. Promitheas picked up as many as 18 turnovers and that difference of 8 extra possessions were critical in such a close game.
Did you know?
Mantzaris recorded the ninth triple-double in 7DAYS EuroCup history. The last player to get a triple-double was Quino Colom of UNICS Kazan against Buducnost VOLI Podgorica on December 9, 2015. He joins a list that also includes Todor Stoykov, Meir Tapiro, Elvir Ovcina, Pascal Perrier-Davis, Courtney Fortson and Donta Smith, who did it twice.
Both teams meet again in Patras, Greece on Wednesday, December 16. Promitheas has to play one more game, postponed from Round 8, at home against Frutti Extra Bursaspor on Tuesday, December 22.
Thursday, December 10, 2020