Banvit downs Bilbao, qualifies to eighthfinals
In a do-or-die battle that went down to the wire in Group G, Banvit Bandirma qualified to the Eurocup eighthfinals by downing Dominion Bilbao Basket 73-65 at home on Wednesday. Banvit finished Group G second with a 4-2 record and will face EA7 Emporio Armani Milan in the eighthfinals while Bilbao was third at 3-3. Courtney Fortson led the winners with 23 points. Dominique Johnson added 18 while Adrien Moerman had 11 and grabbed 15 rebounds for Banvit. Clevin Hannah led Bilbao with 14 points. Georgios Bogris led Bilbao added 12 and 10 rebounds while Alex Mumbru had 11 points for the guests. Banvit had a strong start and a jumper by Johnson gave the hosts a 9-3 lead. Bogris and Alex Ruoff stepped up to tie the game, 14-14, late in the first quarter. Johnson and Fortson fueled a 13-0 run that made Banvit get a 27-14 margin. Axel Hervelle and Mumbru allowed Bilbao to get within 34-27 at halftime. Bogris brought Bilbao within 40-39 soon after the break but an outstanding Fortson restored a 48-39 Banvit lead. A 2-13 run that Aleix Suarez capped with a triple gave Bilbao its first lead of the game, 50-52, after 30 minutes. Hannah gave Bilbao its last lead, 52-55. Moerman and Johnson took over in a 16-2 run that allowed Banvit to keep fighting for Eurocup glory.
Gasper Vidmar got Banvit going with a two-handed dunk and Fortson added a running jumper for a 4-0 lead. Hannah and Fortson exchanged three-pointers and a jumper by Johnson boosted the hosts' lead to 9-3. Bogris hit a close shot which Vidmar matched with free throws. Suarez and Johnson traded shots from downtown and a layup by Bogris kept Bilbao within 14-10. Ruoff followed free throws with a floating layup to tie it at 14-14. A.J. Slaughter nailed a fallaway jumper while Jackie Carmichael and Fortson helped Banvit restore a 19-14 lead after 10 minutes. Johnson struck twice from downtown early in the second quarter to force Bilbao to call timeout at 25-14. Fortson split free throws, as Bilbao had been scoreless for 4 minutes already. Hervelle rescued the guests with a layup and a free throw by Mumbru gave Bilbao hope at 26-17. Dairis Bertans hit a three-pointer and Mumbru copied him to bring Bilbao back to life, 26-23. Carmichael nailed a one-handed floater that Hervelle matched with a put-back slam. Moerman scored in penetration and a driving basket by Slaughter boosted the hosts' lead to 32-25. Vidmar scored again and free throws by Mumbru fixed the halftime score at 34-27.
Mumbru buried a three-pointer immediately after the break and a layup by Bogris brought Bilbao as close as 34-32. Johnson took over with a fast break layup and Vidmar matched Bogris's baseline jumper with a close basket for a 38-34 Banvit lead. Suarez struck from downtown and Bogris scored in the low post but an outstanding Fortson singlehandedly kept the hosts ahead, 43-39. Fortson kept pacing Banvit with a wild triple and a close basket to make Bilbao stop the game at 48-39. Bogris rescued the guests with consecutive layups but a put-back basket by Carmichael kept the hosts way ahead, 50-43. Bertans took over with back-to-back layups, Ruoff scored down low and a three-pointer by Suarez gave Bilbao its first lead, 50-52, after 30 minutes. Moerman stepped up for Banvit early in the fourth quarter but a big triple by Hannah put the guests back ahead, 52-55. Johnson answered from downtown and a layup by Moerman restored a 57-55 Banvit lead with 7 minutes left. Ruoff buried a turnaround jumper but Fortson matched it with free throws and a critical triple by Moerman made Bilbao stop the game at 62-57. A jumper by Johnson sealed the outcome, 64-57, in the next-to-last minute, as Bilbao never recovered.
Wednesday, February 10, 2016