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Group:  B | 29.11.2005, 20:15h
Group:  B | 29.11.2005, 20:15h
84-80
20 - 1620 - 2622 - 2122 - 17
20 - 1620 - 2622 - 2122 - 17
Venue: Leuven (BEL) |
Spectators: 1500 |
Referees: Marcello Reatto (ITA), Regis Bardera (FRA), Mindaugas Vecerskis (LTU)

GAME REPORT


Gran Canaria Knocked Out By Leuven

Gran Canaria lost at Basket Groot Leuven 84-80 and crashed out of the EuroCup as BC Zadar defeated RheinEnergie Koln 75-67 to leapfrog the Spaniards into second place in Group B.

The Canary Islanders, one of the ACB's top sides this season a team which had reeled off three straight victories in the European competition, needed a victory on Tuesday to ensure their progression into Round II.

If the two teams finished level with three wins and three defeats, Zadar would advance as they had a +1 advantage in their two showdowns with Gran Canaria.

Marcus Norris (CB Gran Canaria)
Marcus Norris committed a costly turnover for Gran Canaria in the final minute
The Spaniards opted not to take one of their best players to Belgium in Sitapha Savane, and it may have cost them.

Instead of using their Senegalese big man, Gran Canaria gave his foreigner spot to recent signing Kennedy Winston, while handing the other foreigner place to veteran Harper Williams.

Leuven had claimed just one victory in their opening five contests and had no chance of reaching the next phase of the EuroCup, yet they battled as if a title were at stake.

The game was nip-and tuck throughout, and remained that way until the end. Ian Hanavan's three-pointer almost two minutes into the fourth quarter gave Leuven a 70-68 advantage.

Christopher Watson followed with a lay-up for Leuven and then Hanavan made one of two from the line for a 73-68 lead with 6:33 to play.

James Moran replied with a jump shot for Gran Canaria, only for Hanavan to strike right back with another shot from behind the arc to stretch the hosts' lead to 76-70.

Gran Canaria did not cave in, and when Moran hit from long range with 2:45 to play, the visitors trailed 80-78.

Nearly a minute later and Williams had a chance to pull Gran Canaria level after being hit on the arm by Hanavan, but the veteran made just one of two free throws and Leuven led 80-79.

In the last minute, Gran Canaria had their chances to tie or take the lead, but Marcus Norris and Ricardo Fox turned the ball over.

Then, with just four seconds to play, Gran Canaria's Roberto Guerra was called for charging into Steponas Babrauskas.

The 1.94m guard was awarded two free throws and heh made both for an 82-79 lead.

Leuven then opted to foul Norris, and thus prevent Gran Canaria from launching a potential game-tying three-pointer.

Norris would have wanted to make the first and probably miss the second to give his team a chance of grabbing the offensive rebound.

Instead he missed the first, and made the second, leaving the visitors behind at 82-80.

They fouled Tommy Johnson to stop the clock and then prayed for a miss, but the Leuven player sank both free throws to seal the win.

Wim Vuchelen led Leuven with 21 points and Watson weighed in with 20.

Savane, a 2.01m center, had modest numbers in the EuroCup, averaging 10.6 points and 3.2 rebounds, but in the ACB he has been red-hot. In a recent win over Real Madrid, he had 16 points and in a stunning victory at Tau Ceramica, Savane had poured in 23 while pulling down five rebounds.

Winston finished Tuesday with 11 points and two rebounds.

Accumulated statistics

44.4%

28/63
FG
M/A

49.2%

31/63

45.0%

18/40
FG2P
M/A

60.0%

21/35

43.5%

10/23
FG3P
M/A

35.7%

10/28

75.0%

18/24
FT
M/A

66.7%

8/12

35

16/19
RT
RO/RD

36

15/21

13

AS

18

14

TO

19

7

ST

9

0

BS

1

19

PF

21

84

Pts

80

PHOTO GALLERY

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