On a night when the home team could have qualified to the elimination rounds, instead BK Ventspils shocked Group B leader BC FMP with a 96-100 overtime road win in Belgrade, Serbia on Tuesday. The result left four teams within a victory of each other at the top of the group, with FMP falling to 5-2, just one victory ahead of Ventspils and Snaidero Udine, both 4-2. Dusan Jelic scored 5 points early in overtime to lift Ventspils to victory after Dragan Labovic had forced the extra period by making a last-second layup in regulation time for FMP. Jelic led the winners with 25 points, while Justin Love added 18, Darlon Johnson 12, Pavels Veselovs and Eddie Shannon 10 each. FMP got 23 points from Aleksandar Rasic off the bench, while Labovic poured in 21. Milos Teodosic added 15 and Bojan Krstovic 12 for the hosts.
Without injured starter Branko Cvetkovic, the hosts from FMP still managed to take a 7-3 lead. Love of Venstpils cut it to 7-6 with back-to-back triples, but Labovic answered for FMP with a pair of fastbreaks giving him 7 points already and his team an 11-6 advantage. FMP continued on a 7-2 run and kept the lead until the end of the first quarter, which ended 22-17. Ventspils got connected to start the second quarter and quickly cut the difference to 22-21 but FMP answered with 4 points from Ivan Todorovic. Jelic kept Ventspils in the game with his scoring now until Ivans Timermanis connected on 2 triples in a row and Shannon added fastbreak points to cap a 0-8 blast that put Venstpils in the lead at 30-33. Rasic and Krstovic tied the score for FMP, then a three-point flurry finished the half. Jelic of Venstpils and Rasic of FMP hit a pair each from the arc, while Love had another for the guests. But it was Rasic's last one, at the buzzer, that let FMP roll into halftime ahead by 42-41.
FMP kept it going after the break with a quick 10-3 blast in which Labovic scored twice, although Timermanis fired his team's sixth triple to keep Venstpils within striking distance of the lead. FMP played better defense now but missed chances to add to its lead, and of course, Ventspils didn't allow more. Veselovs soon punished the hosts with a three-point play and Love added 4 points to tie the score again 51-51. Veselovs from the line then gave Ventspils a 51-53 lead to cap off a 0-9 run. Rasic and Johnson traded triples but Teodosic paced an 8-0 response by FMP that pushed the hosts back in front, 62-56 after 30 minutes. Ventspils started the fourth quarter with 5 unanswered points that, after a rash of turnovers by both teams, allowed Johnson to put the guests back on top, 64-65, from the foul line. Teodosic soon tied for FMP with a bomb and Krstovic with another shot from the arc brought back the lead to FMP at 70-69. It was developing into a classic as Vairogs answered for Ventspils with his own triple, good for another lead change, although Teodosic launched another bomb to tie the score again. Johnson continued the long-range fun and Venstpils led 73-76 with 3 minutes left. Teodosic now scored with layup and added triple to boost FMP into the lead by 79-76 but Jelic and Johnson with back-to-back three-pointers announced a dramatic ending as Venstpils led 81-84 at the begining of the 40th minute. After a timeout Labovic scored a layup and Love 1 of 2 free throws. Love made 2 fouls in last 10 seconds of the game and FMP had only 1 second for the last attack, but Labovic scored on the buzzer, sending the game to overtime.
Jelic took the responsibility for Ventspils in OT. First, he landed a triple and then both his free throws as the guests bolted ahead 92-96. Rasic scored triple to get FMP close again, although Shannon's insurance free throws kept Ventspils safe at 95-98. FMP tried to tie but all they managed was a single pont from the line from Erceg, his only scoring of the night. Venstpils held onto the victorious margin to the end for a good-as-gold road win in Group B.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006