Telenet Ostend bested Banvit Bandirma 80-82 on Thursday at Siemens Arena in Vilnius, Lithuania, to advance to the third and final round of the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Qualifying Rounds. The Belgian champs will square off against tournament host Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius in Friday’s final with a spot in Euroleague Regular Season Group D going to the victor. Ostend used a 0-13 fourth quarter charge to take the lead for good and held on through the final seconds, in which Banvit had two real chances to tie it. When Sammy Mejia’s jumper bounced out, Ostend was able to celebrate the win. Ryan Thompson paced the winners with 19 points for the second straight game, Dusan Djordjevic added 14 – including several clutch shots from long range – and rookie Jared Berggren netted 11 in just 14 minutes. Mejia scored 26 and grabbed 11 rebounds in defeat. E.J. Rowland added 15 points, Chuck Davis scored 13 and Drew Gordon 10 for Banvit, which will continue its European campaign this season in the Eurocup.
The Belgian champs came out strong and rode the hot hands of Quentin Serron and Thompson to a 5-10 lead. After Rowland carried Banvit within 1, center Ermal Kuqo took an early seat with his second foul. Nevertheless Mejia put Banvit in front, however Mateusz Ponitka responded for Ostend from downtown, 11-13. Banvit did not let up as Mejia fed Gordon for a two-handed jam and then nailed a triple of his own. The back-and-forth feel to the game continued as Andrija Stipanovic and Veselin Petrovic reeled off a quick 6 points for Ostend. Gordon’s basket with 1.3 seconds left in the first quarter left the teams knotted 21-21 after 10 minutes. Little changed early in the second quarter with the teams trading baskets, though Ostend lost opportunities to forge ahead with some close-range misses. Mejia reached double figures in points as he put Banvit up 31-28. Ostend moved ahead only to see Banvit rally with a Gordon tip-in and a Rowland fast break layup to get to 41-35. Berggren threw down a pair of slams to revive Ostend and trim the deficit to 42-40 at the half.
Kuqo muscled his way inside to score the first points of the second half. Keith Simmons soon drilled a triple as Banvit moved ahead 49-41. Djordjevic responded with an important three for Ostend and Thompson added a basket-plus-foul. Four more free throws from Thompson trimmed the deficit to 53-51, but Banvit turned to Mejia, who carved up the Ostend defense to make it 59-52. Djordjevic responded from behind the arc to keep Ostend in the picture. Thompson remained Ostend’s best weapon and soon his assist to Berggren for a slam evened the score at 61-61. Berggren free throws gave Ostend a narrow 61-63 lead. Mejia converted 4 free throws in the final minute of the third quarter to give Banvit a 65-63 lead. Simmons and Berggren traded buckets early in the fourth quarter before Davis fed Kuqo for an easy score, but Djordjevic nailed another three to make it 71-69. Serron capped a fast break to even the score. A Veselin Petrovic triple completed the comeback and put Ostend up 71-74. Banvit could not find the basket, while at the other end Djordjevic drilled a clutch three that capped a 0-13 charge and gave his team an 8-point lead with just under four minutes to play. After a timeout, Mejia answered with a big three, Simmons hit another and suddenly it was 77-79. A pair of Djordjevic free throws left Ostend up by two possessions with 94 seconds to play. After a timeout, Rowland connected from behind the arc. After each team came up empty on offense, the game came down to the final seconds. Jean Salumu came off the bench for Ostend and was promptly sent to the line with 16.6 seconds left by Davis, who committed his fifth foul. Salumu split free throws to make it 80-82. Rowland fed Gordon, who was fouled by Petrovic – his fifth – with 5.4 seconds to play. Gordon missed the first, and then intentionally missed the second. Banvit regained the ball out of bounds with 3.6 seconds remaining. Mejia got room for a baseline jumper to tie it, but his shot rimmed out and Ostend ran off with the victory.
Thursday, October 3, 2013