Hemofarm Stada made it to the Eurocup Final Eight!
Hemofarm advanced to the big event in Turin, Italy by edging Pamesa Valencia 66-62 in Vrsac, Serbia on Tuesday night. Pamesa and Hemofarm tied atop the Last 16 Group K final standings, each with a 4-2 record. Pamesa finished first due to its 65-60 home win against Hemofarm in Last 16 Week 2. As such, Pamesa will face BC Khimki in the Eurocup quarterfinals while Hemofarm will battle against Group I champion Dynamo Moscow. Miljan Pavkovic paced the winners with 18 points on 6-for-11 three-pointers. Bojan Krstovic added 10 points for Hemofarm. Bozhidar Avramov led Pamesa with 18 points off the bench. Kosta Perovic added 15 while Albert Miralles got 11 for the guests, that overcame an early 31-22 deficit behind an outstanding Avramov. Miralles had 7 points immediately after the break while Avramov gave the guests their biggest margin, 38-49. Milos Borisov and an unstoppable Pavkovic brought Hemofarm back to life, 48-53, at the end of the third quarter. Borisov led a 11-0 run that put Hemofarm ahead for good, 59-53. Perovic brought Pamesa within 64-62 with over a minute to go but free throws by Marton Bader sealed the outcome down the stretch.
Pamesa coach Neven Spahija shocked everyone by placing Victor Claver - his first game since early December - in the starting lineup. Nebojsa Joksimovic got Hemofarm going with a five-meter jumper while Krstovic struck from downtown for a 5-0 lead. Rafa Martinez and Milan Macvan traded triples while back-to-back layups by Perovic kept Pamesa within 8-7. Krstovic and Macvan took over with consecutive layups while Krstovic buried his second three-pointer for a 15-7 Hemofarm margin. Perovic scored twice around the basket but free throws by Krstovic kept the hosts way ahead, 17-11. Albert Oliver nailed one from downtown while Joksimovic and Flo Pietrus exchanged driving layups. Bader and Macvan hit free throws but Kenny Gregory kept Pamesa within 23-18. Miralles took over with a dunk that Pavkovic bettered with a seven-meter bomb that boosted the hosts' lead to 27-20 after 10 minutes. Gregory scored in the low post early in the second quarter but Borisov buried a corner triple for a 31-22 Hemofarm lead. Avramov answered from downtown, as Pamesa was way more aggressive in defense now with Pietrus and Miralles together on court. Vule Avdalovic nailed a three-pointer to bring the guests back to life, 31-28. Avramov took over with a big triple and a driving layup to make Hemofarm call timeout at 34-33. Free throws by an unstoppable Avramov completed Pamesa's comeback, 34-35. Oliver fed Gregory for a wild dunk that Milivoje Bozovic erased with a layup. A free throw by Perovic fixed the halftime score at 36-38.
Miralles shined with a put-back layup immediately after the break but a fast break basket by Joksimovic kept Hemofarm within 38-40. Miralles kept pacing Pamesa while another layup and a fast break basket to boost the guests' lead to 38-45. Avramov stepped up with back-to-back jumpers that broke the game open, 38-49, after a 0-9 run. Pavkovic rescued Hemofarm with consecutive triples - exactly from the same spot - while a layup by Macvan got the hosts as close as 46-49. Miralles scored again in the paint while Avramov buried a six-meer shot to give Pamesa some fresh air, 48-53, at the end of the third quarter. Bader scored early in the fourth period while Borisov dunked it of a steal to get the crowd involved at 52-53. Pavkovic sank his fifth three-pointer and even when Pamesa called timeout, Borisov buried a corner triple for a 58-53 score. Borisov capped an 11-0 run with a free throw, as the guests had been scoreless for more than 4 minutes Perovic sank a foul shot. Avramov provided a highlight with a driving layup but yet another triple by Pavkovic made it a six-point game, 63-56, with 4 minutes remaining. Perovic and Jose Simeon made free throws to give Pamesa some hope, 62-59. Bader took over with a critical put-back dunk that Perovic bettered with a layup-plus-foul, 64-62, with 1:26 to go. Bader hit free throws while Avramov and Simeon missed from downtown. Perovic missed a four-chance layup to make all Hemofarm fans celebrate that their team had clinched a Final Eight spot!
Tuesday, March 10, 2009