Gran Canaria Grupo Dunas took a crucial step forwards to reach the elimination rounds in Group A by downing KK Hemofarm 82-73 at home in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain on Tuesday night. Both teams join a three-way tie with Sluc Nancy for the second place in the Group A standings, each with a 4-3 record. Gran Canaria, however, also beat Hemofarm 73-81 in Vrsac, Serbia, so it would have a big advantage in case both teams stay tied at the end of the ULEB Cup regular season. Jackson Vroman paced the winners with 29 points on 13-for-17 shooting. Jimmie Hunter added 16 points and 8 rebounds while Kornel David had 11 points for Gran Canaria. Vladan Vukosavljevic had 16 points for Hemofarm, Miljan Rakic added 14, Nebojsa Joksimovic 13, Predrag Suput 12 and Milenko Topic 11 for the guests. Gran Canaria used a 7-0 run which Vroman capped with a reverse layup to get a 42-39 edge at halftime. Hunter and an outstanding Vroman helped Gran Canaria to boost its margin to 65-47. Hemofarm did not give up and got within 67-61 with 8 minutes to go, but David and the ever-present Vroman allowed the hosts to get a well-deserved win.
Joksimovic opened the game with a three-pointer which Hunter erased with a layup-plus-foul. David scored inside while Hunter buried one from downtown to make Hemofarm call timeout at 8-4. Rajkic buried a jumper but Vroman dunked it for Gran Canaria and Mario Fernandez added a driving layup for a 12-7 lead. Vroman stepped up with a fast break basket but Vukosavljevic scored twice in the paint to get Hemofarm within 17-11. Vroman dunked it but once again Vukosavljevic answered with a close basket. Milos Borisov came off the bench and immediately buried a three-pointer but a fast break layup by Fernandez and an alleyoop dunk by Vroman gave Gran Canaria a 23-19 edge after 10 minutes. Suput nailed a three-pointer early in the second quarter but Joel Freeland hit a long jumper which Moran followed with a corner triple to keep the hosts ahead, 28-22. Joksimovic silenced the crowd with his second bomb from downtown while Rakic ignited a 0-7 run which Suput capped with a jumper to give Hemofarm a 30-32 edge. Marcus Norris hit free throws and Victor Baldo fired in a three-pointer but a huge jumper by Rakic and a layup-plus-foul by Suput kept Hemofarm ahead, 35-37. Joksimovic shined with a fast break layup which Vroman bettered with a three-point play. Hunter scored in transition and Vroman added a reverse layup to make Gran Canaria get a 42-39 halftime edge.
Rakic scored right after the break, but Vroman hit a fallaway jumper and added back-to-back fast break layups to give the hosts a 48-41 lead. Moran capped a 8-0 Gran Canaria run with a fallaway jumper which Suput erased with a layup. Topic stepped up with his first basket but David matched it with a big basket in transition. Vroman shined again with a fast break dunk while Hunter capped a 7-0 run with a mid-range jumper which made Hemofarm call timeout at 58-45. Joksimovic tried to change things with a driving basket which David matched with a reverse layup, igniting a 7-0 run which Hunter capped with a big triple for a 65-47 Gran Canaria margin. Vukosaljevic had 7 points in the final minute to get Hemofarm within 67-54 after three quarters. Rakic hit consecutive triples to cap a 2-14 run which bridged over the last two quarters and made Gran Canaria call timeout at 67-61. Hunter and David came to the rescue with consecutive jumpers and even when Hemofarm called timeout, David hit one from downtown to make it a 13-point game, 74-61, midway through the final period. Topic finally found his rhythm and buried back-to-back triples, but Norris fed Vroman for a dunk and Baldo added a layup to seal the win, 80-67, with under 2 minutes to go. Hemofarm ran out of time and Gran Canaria cruised to a key home win.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006