Budivlenik Kiev escaped from Stozice Arena with a thrilling 83-87 win over Union Olimpija to advance to the Eurocup Eighthfinals after finishing in second place in Group M. Ricky Minard and Blake Ahearn scored the decisive free throws and Janis Strelnieks’s steal helped seal it. Ahearn, Minard and Darjus Lavrinovic scored 18 points each for the winners, while DaJuan Summers netted 17. Deividas Gailius collected 21 points and 10 rebounds for Olimpija, Alen Omic also netted 21, Luka Rupnik chipped in 15 and Dino Muric 13.
Minard’s steal and layup gave an early 2-7 advantage to Budivelnik, that the hosts cut back through Muric put get within 6-8. Minard made back-to-back jumpers to fuel the visitors and Strelnieks capped an 8-0 run to stay ahead 8-16 at the midway point of the quarter, before Jakov Vladovic from downtown made it 13-16. After free throws by Lavrinovic, Vladovic and Ahearn exchanged baskets to fix the score at 17-22 for the visitors after 10 minutes. Dainius Salenga posted a pair from the foul line, then Luka Rupnik and Deividas Gailius pushed Olimpija to within 21-24. Lavrinovic from long distance extended again the margin to 21-29. Rupnik charged the home team by scoring 5 points in a row, but a three-pointer by Summers gave the first double digit margin to Budivelnik, 30-40. After Olimpija nailed free throws, Ahearn answered with a triple. Rupnik, from the foul line, made it 40-45 at halftime.
Olimpija opened the third quarter by tying the score at 45-45 through Gailius. The visiting team tried again to escape with a Summers dunk and Strelnieks free throw, but Muric’s layup and Alex Stephenson’s huge slam put again in front their side, 55-52. Minard’s dunk capped a 7-0 run for the guests to regain control. Then Summers from beyond the arc extended the difference to 56-62. Gailius and Michailis Anisimovas fueled their side with jumpers, before Rupnik made it 62-64 by scoring free throws at the end of the third quarter. Muric tied early in the last quarter. Minard free throws and jumper put again in front the Ukrainians champions 66-70. The teams exchanged baskets to stay very close. Anisimov increased the margin to 71-78, but Gailius scored 5 consecutive points and tied the score at 78-78. Summers netted a shot from five meters for Kiev to go ahead 80-83, then Minard posted free throws, but Sasu Salin kept alive Olimpija from downtown. Ahearn posted 2 free throws before Strelnieks stole the ball from Salin to seal Budivelnik’s victory and qualification.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014