DKV Joventut rejoined the Top 16 race in Group C by downing Tau Ceramica 105-100 in Badalona, Spain on Thursday night. Joventut had its best game so far this season to improve to 2-3 in the standings. Meanwhile, Tau Ceramica went down to 3-2 and ties for second place in Group C. Edu Hernandez-Sonseca paced the winners with 24 points on 12-for-12 free throws and 10 rebounds. Demond Mallet added 17 points, Pau Ribas had 12 while Henk Norel got 10 for Joventut. Tiago Splitter led Tau with 23 points. Igor Rakocevic and Mirza Teletovic each added 18 while Pablo Prigioni and Sergi Vidal had 11 apiece for the guests. Splitter and Fernando San Emeterio took over in the first quarter to make Tau get a 15-26 margin after 10 minutes. Joventut found its go-to guy in Mallet and Ferran Laviña, who fueled a 14-0 run that helped the hosts to get a 51-43 halftime margin. Hernandez-Sonseca and an outstanding Norel shined late in the third quarter, allowing Joventut to boost its margin to 84-69 after 30 minutes. An outstanding Teletovic singlehandedly brought Tau within 100-97 with 2 minutes to go but Joventut stayed focused and sealed the outcome from the foul line.
Mallet got Joventut going with a four-meter jumper that Rakocevic erased with free throws. Joventut placed Laviña in the starting lineup to go against Prigioni. Splitter scored down low but a layup by Luka Bogdanovic tied it at 4-4. Splitter kept pacing Tau with consecutive baskets in the low post, as Rakocevic had troubles against Bracey Wright. Norel took over with a put-back dunk that Splitter improved with an outstanding layup-plus-foul for a 6-11 Tau margin. Will McDonald made free throws, as Joventut had already entered the foul bonus. Simas Jasaitis stepped up with a put-back layup that Pau Ribas followed with a five-meter jumper to bring Joventut back to life, 10-13. Tau could not get Splitter involved now but San Emeterio took over with three consecutive layups, good for a 10-19 margin. Jasaitis made free throws that Splitter matched with a reverse layup. San Emeterio kept pacing Tau with free throws while Pere Tomas and Sergi Vidal traded triples to fix the score at 15-26 after 10 minutes.
Joventut improved its offense right at the start of the second quarter, as Mallet sank a three-pointer while Jasaitis buried a jumper off the dribble to get the crowd involved at 20-26. Vidal nailed a three-pointer but Norel answered with a layup and Wright sank a free throws - his first point - to keep DKV within 23-29. Mustafa Shakur scored off a backdoor pass from Vidal but Wright answered with a close jumper. Rakocevic joined the three-point shootout but Mallet and Bogdanovic answered from downtown to bring the hosts even closer, 31-34. Laviña scored in penetration and Mallet added a fast break layup off a Tau timeout to complete the hosts' comeback, 35-34. Hernandez-Sonseca dunked it and added free throws to cap a 14-0 run, as Splitter stepped up for Tau with a foul shot. Mallet buried a long jumper that Teletovic improved with a triple. Ribas answered from downtown while Hernandez-Sonseca gave DKV a 46-38 margin. Jan Jagla fired in a triple but Splitter followed free throws with a three-point play. Mallet scored in transition for a 51-43 Joventut lead at the break.
Rakocevic took over with an off-balance layup-plus-foul right after the break. Laviña scored twice in penetration, as Splitter now had problems to beat Hernandez-Sonseca. Rakocevic sank an open jumper that McDonald followed with a fast break dunk to get Tau back in track, 55-50. An unstoppable Laviña added another layup that Rakocevic matched with foul shots. Mallet took over with his third three-pointer that Hernandez-Sonseca followed with a layup-plus-foul to give DKV some fresh air at 63-54. Jagla shined with a power layup and Ribas scored again but Prigioni struck twice from downtown to get Tau within 67-60. Hernandez-Sonseca followed free throws with an easy basket in a 6-0 Joventut run that Jagla capped with a fast break basket to make Tau call timeout at 73-60. Vidal and McDonald hit free throws but a corner triple by Tomas made it a 14-point game, 76-62. Norel provided a highlight with a power dunk and then followed Ribas' fast break layup with a three-point play, good for a 84-69 Joventut margin after three quarters.
Ribas scored in transition early in the fourth quarter, as the guests kept committing turnovers. Meanwhile, a layup by Bogdanovic broke the game open, 88-69. Teletovic and Splitter tried to change things with free throws but Joventut was already using long possessions to run the game clock down. Meanwhile, Prigioni and Vidal struck from downtown to bring Tau back in the game, 88-79. Joventut called timeout and Hernandez-Sonseca rescued the hosts with another basket but Rakocevic ans Splitter kept Tau within 90-83. Mallet left the game with an injury while Hernandez-Sonseca and Rakocevic traded foul shots. Tau did not improve its defense right when it mattered while Hernandez-Sonseca took over with a three-point play and added free throws for a 98-87 lead with 4 minutes to go. Teletovic buried a jumper and added a triple to give Tau some hope, 98-92. Wright shined with a tough basket that Teletovic matched with a reverse layup and added a seven-meter bomb for a 100-97 Tau deficit with 2 minutes remaining. Wright and Hernandez-Sonseca made free throws to seal the outcome, as Tau did not recoved, allowing all Joventut fans to celebrate a big win.
Thursday, November 27, 2008