Reinking Late Trey Earns Dexia Final Four Spot

26 February 2008

Nate Reinking buried a three-pointer just two seconds from the end to stun CSK-VVS Samara on Tuesday in Russia and put Dexia Mons-Hainaut into the EuroCup Final Four for the first time.

In one of the most dramatic finishes in the competition's history, Great Britain international Reinking struck for an 87-86 victory to clinch a 2-0 win in the quarter-final.

Samara, humiliated 92-66 in Game One, were a different team on Tuesday.

They showed tremendous spirit and pride in front of their own fans and were on the cusp of victory with an 85-84 lead after Dexia forward Andrew Sullivan's turnover with seven seconds remaining.

Marque Perry (CSK-VVS Samara)
Marque Perry had 17 points for Samara but he turned the ball over five times

The home side called timeout to discuss the end-of-game strategy, but that also gave Mons tactician Chris Finch time to prepare his team.

James Cantamessa fouled Sergey Demeshkin in the act of shooting with just one second ticking off the clock and the Russian missed his first attempt from the line.

After making the second for an 86-84 lead, Finch again called timeout.

When play resumed, Reinking was able to launch a ball from long range and buried it for the game-winner.

Reinking, who made four of six from three-point range in the game, was mobbed by his teammates and Finch.

Now the Belgian team is two games away from lifting the EuroCup.

When they're hot, few teams shoot three-pointers like Dexia. They finished 13 of 23 from long range, with Cantamessa also a very impressive four of six.

The sad irony for Samara is that they had converted 18 of 20 at the line before Demeshkin's miss.

Samara's Alex Scales was particularly effective with a game-high 23 points, which included a perfect nine of nine showing at the charity stripe.

He also handed out seven assists and came up with four of his team's eight steals.

Marque Perry had 17 points for Samara but he turned the ball over five times and had no assists.

Where they were beaten soundly was on the boards as Dexia grabbed 45 rebounds to just 30 for the home side.

Samara's biggest lead was late in the first half after a Scales jumper had put them in front at 48-41.

Reinking hit five consecutive free throws - three after being fouled while attempting a shot from behind the arc - as Dexia clawed their way back to 48-46.

The biggest lead either side would enjoy the rest of the way was five when Dexia went on top 62-57 late in the third period.

The lead exchanged hands on several occasions in the fourth quarter, the last time with Reinking's stunner.

Cantamessa's 20 points led Dexia while Ben Ebong had 18 and a game-high 10 rebounds. Cantamessa finished with nine boards.


22.04.2008 - By Yarone Arbel
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