|15 November 2005|
BC Zadar had a remarkable turnaround in the third quarter at Gran Canaria on Tuesday to win 78-75 for their first EuroCup triumph.
The victory keeps alive the Croatian team's slim hopes of reaching the next phase of the competition, and the fact that it came against Gran Canaria is an eye-opener.
The Spanish side came into the game fresh off their upset of Tau Ceramica at the Fernando Buesa Arena in the ACB.
Gran Canaria had also been undefeated in the EuroCup until now.
The Croatian team, narrowly beaten at home by the Canary Islanders in the first week of the competition, trailed 30-25 immediately after half-time following a basket from the Spanish team's Harper Williams.
But Todor Gecevski, who led all scorers with 24 points, then ignited an 8-0 spurt for Zadar with a lay-up.
Dean Oliver's basket capped the run and gave Zadar a 33-30 lead.
Jason Klein brought the hosts back with his dunk putting them in front at 34-33, but Zadar center Frano Colak gave his side the lead with a tap-in off a miss from Gecevski.
A flurry of point scoring followed.
Gecevski and Colak made back-to-back jump shots, and though Gonzalo Martinez reduced the arrears for Gran Canaria with a three-pointer to make it 39-37 in Zadar's favour, Julius Johnson buried a three-pointer for the Croatian team.
And a three-point play the old fashioned way from Gecevski meant Zadar had a 45-37 lead.
By the end of the third quarter, the Croatian team led 59-49 and they were on their way to victory.
RheinEnergie Köln and Gran Canaria are top of Group B with three wins in four games, while Zadar and Basket Groot Leuven are both 1-3.