Cantu still alive after beating Madrid
Mapooro Cantu kept its hopes to reach the Top 16 alive for at least one night with an inspiring 76-70 victory at PalaDesio over Real Madrid in Group A action. Manuchar Markoishvili collected 23 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks in helping Cantu improve to 3-6. Cantu, which will be eliminated if Fenerbahce beats Panathinaikos on Friday, got 14 points from Jonathan Tabu, 11 from Maarten Leunen and 10 from Marco Cusin. Real Madrid dropped to 6-3 despite 24 points from Jaycee Carroll, 17 from Sergio Llull and 11 points and 10 rebounds from Felip Reyes.
First quarter: Opening Cantu run answered by late Real surge
Real head coach Pablo Laso was forced to make one change to his starting lineup as they played without top scorer Rudy Fernandez, who was replaced by Carroll alongside Carlos Suarez, Nikola Mirotic, Llull and Mirza Begic. Cantu coach Andrea Trinchieri was without his top leader Pietro Aradori for the second straight game and sent out the same starting five from his team’s last game of Markoishvili, Leunen, Jeff Brooks, Tabu and Cusin. Begic’s free throw gave Real a 0-1 lead but Madrid watched Cantu go on a run with Cusin putting back an offensive rebound for the hosts’ first score. Mapooro got production from all over with Tabu, Brooks, Markoishvili and Leunen scoring to make it 10-1 and forcing Laso to call a timeout. Leunen knocked down a three-pointer to complete the 13-0 run for a 13-1 lead. Llull gave Madrid its first basket of the game with a three-ball at the 4:50 mark of the first quarter. Markoishvili worked hard to keep his team ahead with two free throws to make it 16-6 and four straight foul shots to increase the gap back to 20-10 with just less than two minutes left. Cantu would not score again the rest of the quarter as Reyes sandwiched two inside baskets around two Martynas Pocius free throws before Sergio Rodriguez snatched a ball and converted a fastbreak layup just before the buzzer to bring Madrid within 20-18.
Second quarter: Markoishvili and Carroll continue shootout
Carroll opened the second quarter with a running layup to knot the game at 20-20 and finish the 0-10 run. Tabu gave Cantu back the lead with a three ball but Carroll answered with a long ball of his own. Markoishvili and Carroll made it four straight possessions for both teams with three pointers to even the game at 26-26. Brooks came back down for Cantu and nailed a jumper for a 28-26 lead but picked up his third foul with 7:30 left in the first half. Tabu and Alex Tyus both split two free throws for a 30-26 Cantu lead and Awudu Abass came off the bench for an offensive rebound and putback to make it 32-26. Llull clearly took over for his team with a driving layup and four free throws, but Cusin scored twice inside and Markoishvili added two more free throws as Cantu still led 38-32. The hosts continued to executive offensively with a Leunen jump hook and Cusin jumper to increase the lead to 42-35, causing Laso to call another timeout with less than a minute left in the half. Neither team would score the rest of the way as Cantu went into the break ahead by seven points.
Third quarter: Carroll and Reyes carry Real to finally take lead again
The second half started with Brooks picking up his fourth foul after just eight seconds. Carroll then scored twice inside to bring Madrid within 42-39. Markoishvili answered with a three-ball and a fast break layup to push it back to 47-39. Llull scored yet again and Pocius nailed a three to trim the margin to 47-44. Abass answered with a big three off Cantu’s bench and Tyus tipped in his own miss as the hosts pushed the lead to eight points. And the advantage was 55-46 after a triple by Markoishvili. Carroll nailed another long ball and Madrid got a big boost as Mirotic finally scored his first points with two minutes left in the third quarter and Reyes nailed a straight on three-ball to even the game again 55-55. Llull had a chance to give Real its first lead since the first point but missed a layup but Reyes got the job done with one free throw late for a 55-56 Madrid after three quarters.
Fourth quarter: Tabu comes to help Markoishvili in fourth
Tabu nailed a three-ball to start the fourth quarter for Cantu while Rodriguez evened the game again. Tyus put back an offensive rebound and converted the three-point play for a 63-60 Cantu lead. The lead was down to 63-62 after Rodriguez raced back for a layup after a steal, forcing a Cantu timeout. Tabu responded with a triple for a 66-62 lead and a Cusin slam made it 68-62 with less than five minutes to play. After Real went scoreless for nearly four minutes, Carroll nailed a long ball to trim the deficit to 68-65 with three minutes to play. Cantu grabbed two offensive rebounds on a possession before Leunen drained a long triple as the hosts went ahead 71-65 with 1:30 to play. Cusin made a big block on Llull’s layup attempt and Tabu’s free throws made it 73-65. Llull answered with a long-ball to trim the deficit to 73-68. But Markoishvili iced the game with a layup with 43 seconds left for a 75-68 lead.
Thursday, December 6, 2012