Van Rossom’s triple lifts Valencia over Nancy
The Eurocup season opened with a dramatic contest that wasn’t decided until the closing seconds and saw the winningest team in competition history claim victory. Valencia Basket edged SLUC Nancy 71-74 on a late Sam Van Rossom three-pointer. It capped an exciting fourth quarter that featured five lead changes and seven ties and never saw either team lead by more than a basket. Bojan Dubljevic led the winners with 13 points, Van Rossom finished with 12 and Luke Sikma and Jon Stefansson scored 10 points apiece. Benjamin Sene paced the Nancy attack with 13 points and 5 assists, Andy Panko also scored 13, Alando Tucker added 12 and Javon McCrea collected a game-high 11 rebounds. Though Nancy shot well from downtown, making 8 of 15 three-pointers (53.3%), it will rue its missed opportunities from the foul line. Nancy made just 13 of 23 free throws (56.5%).
Stefansson drained a three-pointer for the first points of the 2015-16 Eurocup season. Justin Hamilton’s tip-in made it 0-5 before Panko split free throws to get Nancy on the scoreboard. Two baskets later, the score was tied. Sene gave Nancy its first lead, 9-8, midway through the opening quarter. The game would be tied three more times before Fernando San Emeterio gave the visitors a 17-18 lead after 10 minutes. Sikma opened the second quarter with a triple before Dubljevic put Valencia up 6. Derek Raivio assisted James Bell on a three and then hit one of his own as Nancy tied the game at 23-23. Raivio’s next assist to Bandja Sy gave the hosts the lead. Valencia regained the lead as Dubljevic and Sikma took charge. After Nancy closed the gap to 1, Van Rossom put Valencia up 33-36 at the break.
Nancy scored the first two baskets of the second half to go in front. Then Panko scored 5 in an 8-0 run for a 48-42 cushion. However Dubljevic countered with a triple and after 4 free throws by Vladimir Lucic, Valencia led again. After a series of threes by Panko, Lucic and then Tucker, Nancy was ahead 55-54 through three quarters. Lucic tied things again early in the fourth quarter. The team traded points with the score being even at 56-56, 58-58, 60-60, 65-65 and 67-67. Twice in the final two minutes, San Emeterio gave Valencia a slim lead and both times Nancy responded. Van Rossom nailed a clutch triple with 15 seconds remaining to make it 71-74. Nancy got Bell a shot to tie it, but he missed and Van Rossom corralled the rebound to clinch the victory.
Tuesday, October 13, 2015