Cedevita Zagreb finished the 2010-11 Eurocup in the Third Place!
Cedevita Zagreb finished the 2010-11 Eurocup with a prestigious win by downing Benetton Basket Bwin in the Third Place Game at Palaverde in Treviso, Italy on Sunday. Cedevita pleased its fans that traveled for the Finals with a marquee victory to end its first season in the Eurocup with style. Corsley Edwards led the winners with 16 points and 9 rebounds and Eurocup MVP Dontaye Draper tallied 10 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists. Cedevita struggled to score in the opening 15 minutes, hitting just 2 of its first 20 shots. Meanwhile, Jakub Wojciechowski and Greg Brunner helped Benetton to a 14-8 lead. Draper and Edwards fueled a 0-7 run that gave the guests a 14-15 lead. Nicolo Cazzolato shined late in the half, but a buzzer-beating jumper by Damjan Rudez kept Cedevita within 23-21 at halftime. A three-pointer by Rudez allowed the guests to regain the lead, 36-37, after three quarters. Benetton led by 4 with three minutes to play, but Cedevita took control after that with three-pointers from Vedran Vukusic and Bracey Wright and strong play inside from Edwards making the difference. Benetton had a chance to win or tie on the final possession, but missed twice and Cedevita celebrated. Brunner had 10 points and 11 rebounds and Motijunas scored 10 and grabbed 8 boards in defeat.
Both teams struggled to score early until Vukusic stepped up with a put-back basket - and the free throw that came with it. Stefan Markovic fed Brunner for a layup, as Cedevita tried to run its offense through Rudez without much success. Brunner kept pacing Benetton with a put-back layup and a jump hook by Hrvoje Peric soon gave his team a 6-3 run. The hosts tried a new frontcourt with Sandro Nicevic and Wojciechowski together on court. Wojciechowski shined with a layup in transition, while Cedevita had been scoreless for more than five minutes already. Wright split free throws and Edwards added a power layup to keep the guests within 8-6. Massimo Bulleri found Wojciechowski for a dunk and Nicevic added an uncontested slam to boost the hosts' margin to 12-6 at the end of the first quarter.
Edwards made free throws early in the second quarter, as Cedevita brought Robert Troha off the bench to guard Peric. The guests, however, had made just 2 of 20 shots thus far and free throws by Motiejunas gave Benetton a 14-8 margin. Draper tried to change things with a driving layup and Troha added a wide open three-pointer - Cedevita's first in 10 attempts - to make the hosts call timeout at 14-13. Edwards took over with a running hook shot that put Cedevita back ahead, 14-15. Benetton could not find the way to the basket for more than four minutes until Devin Smith took over with a put-back layup. Cazzolato followed that with a corner triple that made Cedevita stop the game at 19-15. Marino Bazdaric answered from downtown but Cazzolato kept pacing Benetton with a baseline jumper. Nicevic scored around the basket but a buzzer-beating jumper by Rudez fixed the halftime score at 23-21. The result tied for the third-lowest scoring half in Eurocup history.
Nicevic stepped up with a fast break layup immediately after the break and Smith buried a three-pointer to boost Benetton's lead to 28-21. Cedveita had been scoreless for more than two minutes until Edwards made 3-of 4 free throws. Nicevic kept pacing Benetton with a jump hook, as the hosts kept cutting passing lines in defense. Both teams struggled to score now, exchanging missed shots and turnovers until Wright and Badzaric made foul shots. Brunner and Edwards traded layups, as Cedevita kept trying to speed up the game tempo. Brunner shined with a second-chance layup that made it a five-point game, 34-29. Cedevita used short possessions but open shots did not fall in. Draper took over with a layup-plus-foul in transition. Bulleri sank free throws but Troha bettered that with a three-pointer to get the guests within 36-34. A corner three-pointer by Rudez allowed the guests to regain the lead, 36-37, after 30 minutes.
Motiejunas scored down low early in the fourth quarter and free throws by Peric gave Benetton some fresh air at 40-37. Smith shined with a driving layup that capped a 6-0 run. Edwards scored around the basket, but Brunner made free throws. Wright stepped up with his first three-pointer. Draper soon joined the three-point shootout to put the guests back ahead, 44-45, with under seven minutes left. Vukusic split free throws, but Motiejunas tied the game with a jumper, 46-46. Markovic stepped up with a fast break layup and free throws by Motiejunas made it 50-46 with three minutes to go. Vukusic downed his trademark triple from the top of the key and Edwards added foul shots provided another lead change, 50-51. Motiejunas scored around the basket and Smith matched Vukusic's layup with free throws for a 54-53 score. Draper hit free throws and a three-pointer by Wright sealed the outcome, 54-58, with 14.4 seconds left. Benetton called timeout and Bulleri drilled a running triple with 11.9 seconds left to keep his team alive. Benetton fouled Draper, who missed twice from the line. Edwards fought for the rebound and was fouled, but made just 1 free throw to put his team up 57-59. Benetton raced downcourt and Markovic went for the win from downtown. He missed and Motiejunas grabbed the rebound, but missed an off-balance shot at the buzzer that allowed the Cedevita faithful to celebrate another win in their team's impressive Eurocup debut season.
Sunday, April 17, 2011