Valencia loses in Berlin, but cruises to semifinals
Despite losing the second leg of the Eurocup Quarterfinals, Valencia Basket eased past Alba Berlin and into the semifinals of the competition for the third consecutive season. Alba edged Valencia 78-73 in Game 2 on Tuesday, but it was Valencia that held control throughout the two-game series and advanced comfortably on the strength of the 86-54 win in Game 1, with 159-132 aggregate score. Valencia will learn its next opponent Wednesday, and it will be either Hapoel Migdal Jerusalem or Nizhny Novgorod. In Game 2, Valencia started adding to its 32-points cushion, and held 49-59 advantage late in the third quarter. But the Berliners rallied with a 10-0 run, before Reggie Redding scored 12 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter to lead the hosts to victory. Redding also had 8 rebounds, and 7 assists. Cliff Hammonds added 9 points, Levon Kendall collected 8 points plus 10 rebounds, and Leon Radosevic also scored 8 points. Bojan Dubljevic had 14 points for Valencia, Sam Van Rossom netted 10, and Justin Doellman finished with 9 points, 6 rebounds, 6 steals and 4 assists for the visitors.
David Logan and Pau Ribas traded triples to start the scoring, but both teams came out to play defensively. Kendall dominated the boards early, and Redding made it 8-5, before Van Rossom and Doellman sparked a visiting 1-8 run, capped by a put-back from Dubljevic for 9-13. Redding scored twice to help the hosts back to a tie, but Dubljevic scored inside and Oliver Lafayette sank a jumper for 16-19 after 10 minutes. Pablo Aguilar opened the second quarter with a dunk, but Alba replied with a run of 6 straight points, capped with a layup from Radosevic that gave the hosts 22-21. Redding and Kendall kept the Berliners in front, before Radosevic and Vojdan Stojanovski each hit a pair from the foul line for 30-26. But Ribas answered right back with a triple, and while Valencia allowed only a single field goal in the final 6 minutes of the half, jumper from Romain Sato and a fastbreak layup from Van Rossom made it 33-36 at halftime.
A fastbreak dunk from Vladimir Lucic, who returned after a long absence for injury, made it 37-42 early in the third. Radosevic kept Alba in touch, but after Alex King and Rafa Martinez traded three-pointers, a layup from Dubljevic put Valencia up 44-51. Kendall scored from close range, but the visitors were not letting up on defense, before Lafayette and Dubljevic extended it to 47-57. However, the hosts got a spark from Jonas Wohlfarth’s big dunk, and Akeem Vargas raced down the floor to beat the buzzer with a floater, cutting it to 55-59 after three quarters. Wohlfarth and Sven Schultze scored inside to start the fourth for 59-59, but after Lafayette and Redding traded triples, Juan Jose Triguero made it 62-66. However, Hammonds and Redding hit from long range for 72-70, before Redding scored a fastbreak layup-plus-foul to put Alba in front for good. With about a minute to go Kendall made it 77-72, and Logan sealed it with a steal on the other end for Alba to finish its Eurocup campaign on a winning note, and undefeated at home.
Tuesday, March 25, 2014