Already eliminated Virtus Rome came from behind in the last minute to edge the visiting CAI Zaragoza 83-81 on Tuesday. Zaragoza, which dropped to 5-4 in the third place of Group D, still advanced to the Last 32 in its Eurocup debut by virtue of holding the head-to-head tiebreak advantage over the fourth place Bonn (4-5). Win improves Virtus to 3-6 in the fifth place. Zaragoza led 61-73 in the fourth quarter, but the hosts cut it to 3 points going into the final minute. Jimmy Baron hit a triple to tie it, before Bobby Jones scored a fastbreak layup to give Virtus victory. Baron finished with 21 points on 5 of 8 three- point shooting. Quinton Hosley collected 14 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists, while Phillip Goss contributed with 13 points in win. Damjan Rudez and Giorgi Shermadini had 14 apiece for Zaragoza, while Joseph Jones, Michael Roll and Viktor Sanikidze each chipped in with 10 in defeat.
Triples from Lorenzo D’Ercole and Jones, and couple of Trevor Mbakwe baskets from close range put the hosts up 12-7. Rudez scored 7 points, including a triple as teams were tied 18-18 after 10 minutes. Zaragoza opened the second quarter with 0-8 run, layup-plus-foul from Albert Fontet and a triple from Roll for team’s first lead, 18-26. Baron nailed a triple for the hosts, but Roll and Sanikidze extended it to 25-34. The hosts often went to the foul line, staying within range, and a triple from Goss cut the deficit to 37-43 at halftime. Back-to-back triples from Pedro Llompart extended the lead to 40-53 early in the third quarter, but D’Ercole hit a three-pointer and the hosts went 10 of 10 from the foul line for 56-61 after 30 minutes. Zaragoza extended the lead once again, Rudez made a layup for 61-73, but Baron and Alex Righetti hit triples to come within 71-75, before another three from Baron and a basket from Goss helped cut it to 76-79. Zaragoza had 78-81 in the final minute, but Baron hit his fifth triple, Goss stole the ball and Jones made a game-winner. The visitors had chances to tie, but Joseph Jones missed both free throws and later an attempt to send the game into overtime.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013