Brindisi edges Reggio Emilia in all-Italian showdown
Enel Basket Brindisi made history by picking up its first ever Eurocup victory on Wednesday night, a dramatic 86-81 decision over fellow Italian side Grissin Bon Reggio Emilia. Win improved Brindisi to 1-5 in a share of the fifth place, keeping its Last 32 hopes alive, while Reggio Emilia dropped to 3-3 in the fourth place. Teams traded leads throughout the second half and midway into the fourth quarter, before Adrian Banks and Durand Scott put the hosts in lead for good, and Djordje Gagic sealed the win from the free throw line. Banks scored 25 points to lead in victory. Alex Harris had 18 points, Kenneth Kadji collected 13 points plus 8 rebounds, while Andrea Zerini and Gagic had 11 points apiece. Pietro Aradori paced the visitors with 18 points and 7 rebounds. Achille Polonara added 15, while Amadeo Della Valle netted 14 points. Rimantas Kaukenas finished with 11 and Darjus Lavrinovic with 10 points in defeat.
Stefano Gentile and Polonara combined for 9 points to fuel the visitors’ 2-13 run to start the game. The hosts struggled offensively for 8 minutes, before a triple from Banks cut it to 9-15. Ojars Silins hit from downtown to end the first quarter at 11-20, but Marco Cardillo hit a three in the opening minute of the second, and a three-point play from Kadji cut it to 19-22. Lavrinovic and Polonara scored for the visitors, while Harris kept Brindisi in range. A three-pointer and a three-point play from Aradori kept Reggio Emilia in front, and made it 30-36, but a basket from Kadji, and five more points, including a basket-plus-foul from Harris made it 37-38. In the final 20 seconds, Aradori and Harris traded triples, making it 40-41 at halftime.
Banks’ triple gave the hosts 45-41, but Aradori, Polonara and a consecutive three-pointers from Della Valle put Reggio Emilia back in front, 47-51. Brindisi’s Harris and Banks combined to go 7-for-8 from the foul line while Gentile and Kaukenas kept the visitor with a slim margin. Aradori and Zerini traded triples, and Polonara added one of his own, 59-61. Zerini’s baskets made it 63-63 after three quarters, and teams continued to exchange blows in the fourth. Zerini and Harris scored more for Brindisi, Silins and Lavrinovic for the visitors, 67-67. Kadji had 5 points, including a basket-plus-foul for the hosts, but Della Valle and Kaukenas knocked down shots from long range for Reggio Emilia, helping it to 74-75 midway through the fourth. Banks and Scott put Brindisi back in front, before Polonara and Scott traded baskets to make it 81-77 entering the final minute. But Gagic stepped up on defense, making a steal then sinking 3 of 4 free throws in the final 41 seconds, securing a historic victory.
Wednesday, November 18, 2015