Blakes rallies Oldenburg over Buducnost
In a highly entertaining game that went down to the wire and wrapped up the 7DAYS EuroCup regular season, EWE Baskets Oldenburg edged visiting Buducnost VOLI Podgorica 102-99 on Wednesday night. Previously-qualified Oldenburg finished Group D in third place with a 6-4 record, while already-eliminated Buducnost finished the regular season with 3-7 record and in fifth place in the group. Buducnost led by 18 in the first quarter and early in the second, but Gerry Blakes shined for the hosts who did not hold a lead until there were 3 minutes left in the game. That's when Blakes hit a pair of threes and in a tight finish, Oldenburg held on to victory. Blakes finished with 31 points on 6-for-10 three-point shooting. Rasid Mahalbasic collected 25 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists and 3 steals, Robin Amaize had 18 points, and Philipp Schwethelm netted 15. Sean Kilpatrick had 24 points for Buducnost, Nikola Ivanovic, Scott Bamforth and Danilo Nikolic added 13 points apiece, Martins Meiers scored 12 and Zoran Nikolic collected 11 points and 7 rebounds in a losing effort.
Buducnost had a dream start to the game with Danilo Nikolic, Kilpatrick and Ivanovic hitting consecutive triples. Danilo Nikolic added a three-point play as the visitors needed less than 4 minutes to grab a 4-20 lead. The hosts struggled until Blakes got it going, scoring 7 points, including a triple to get within 13-25. The visitors extended it to 16-34 at the start of the second on Petar Popovic's runner. But Blakes and Rasid Mahalbasic kept sparking Oldenburg's offense and after Schwethelm knocked down a triple, Blakes hit one to cut it to 28-38. Braydon Hobbs also nailed a triple that made it 33-40, but Buducnost answered with back-to-back downtown shots from Suad Sehovic and Kilpatrick to restore a double-digit margin. Oldenburg managed to go into halftime with a single-digit deficit, 39-47, after Rickey Paulding scored a last-second fastbreak layup.
Mahalbasic strung together 9 points, including a three-pointer to close the gap some more in the third quarter. Blakes continued from there with a three-point play and a pair of three-pointers, before Schwethelm's triple tied it at 62-62. Buducnost answered with a 0-11 run and entered the final quarter up 64-73. Fueled by triples from Amaize, Oldenburg put together a 10-0 run in less than 2 minutes in the fourth quarter to get back within 74-75. Bamforth and Amaize traded triples and Buducnost remained in front before back-to-back threes from Blakes capped an 11-2 run and put the hosts in front 93-89. Kilpatrick scored 6 straight points to restore a lead for Buducnost, but Schweethelm hit a triple with 38 seconds to go to make it 100-97 and Oldenburg prevailed.
Oldenburg set new club record by hitting 17 three-pointers on 34 attempts. Gerry Blakes tied a pair of individual club records himself with 31 points and 6 triples made.
Unusual for a high-scoring affair, but this game had just three lead changes and all in the final 3 minutes. Buducnost opened the game with a 0-11 run and did not trail for 37 minutes until Oldenburg took a 90-87 lead. Buducnost used a 0-6 run to go up 93-95, but the hosts answered with a 9-2 run to win the game.
Buducnost opened the game with three triples in the first 80 seconds, scored on its first 8 possessions and needed 5 minutes to miss a shot. The team scored 20 points in the opening 4 minutes, however, scored 27 points the rest of the half.
Oldenburg finished Group D in third place and will play in Top 16 Group F together with Umana Reyer Venice, Germani Brescia Leonessa and Promitheas Patras. On the other hand, this was the end of the road for Buducnost.
Wednesday, December 18, 2019