Kataja's 24-Hour Trip To The Top

06 March 2013
Jermaine Flowers (Joensuun Kataja)
Jermaine Flowers has been in great form lately for Joensuun Kataja

If managing to win two back-to-back games on the road is a feat worthy of a good team, then doing so in the space of 24 hours could be worthy of a team that is destined to do big things.

Joensuun Kataja aim to complete such an accomplishment on Wednesday night, in their quest to go top of the Finnish Korisliiga standings.

The EuroChallenge quarter-finalists had between two and four games in hand over any other team in the domestic league and scheduling restrictions meant they would have to start making up for lost ground as soon as possible.

In practical terms the consequence was that during this week, when they have no obligations in the EuroChallenge, they would have to play two games on the road, on consecutive days.

On Tuesday evening, Kataja won away at eighth-placed UU-Korihait 76-68, despite trailing by four points at the start of the fourth quarter.

Kataja turned it up a notch on defence in the decisive final frame and shut down their hosts, giving up only eight points in the period while they scored 22 on the other end of the floor.

The comeback would probably not have been possible without the contribution of small forward Jermaine Flowers, who reminded everyone once again just how instrumental he is to his team's success this season, both domestically and in Europe.

The MVP of the final week of action in the EuroChallenge Last 16 finished with 22 points on 10-for-15 shooting from the floor to lead all scorers and he also led the game in rebounds, with nine boards.

Young Finnish international Antti Kanervo, who has gone from strength to strength this season, chipped in with 16 points while power forward Daniel Coleman, who's had a significant impact since joining the team during the winter break, had 13 points.

The Tuesday victory lifted Kataja to 25-6 and second place on the table, and if they win again on Wednesday they could overtake KTP-Basket at the top.

The league leaders are currently at 26-8 and play host to Tampereen Pyrintö on Wednesday.

Kataja are facing Lapuan Korikobrat, who are tenth in the standings, and their game tips off at 18:30, exactly 24 hours after Tuesday's tip-off.



4. Sean May (Paris Levallois)
No stopping Sean May as the center fueled Paris Levallois to the next round of the cup

Paris Levallois are through to the quarter-finals of the French Cup, courtesy of an 80-71 away victory over Rouen on Tuesday night.

The Pro B (second division) side started better and led 23-21 at the first buzzer but the guests soon balanced proceedings and then took control of the encounter behind a strong third quarter performance, which gave them a 16-point cushion going into the final period.

Center Sean May wreaked havoc in Rouen's paint, leading all scorers with 24 points on 10-for-14 shooting from the field and added four rebounds.

Shooting guard John Cox contributed 17 points and two assists, while 21-year-old French forward Louis Labeyrie led the team in rebounds, with eight boards, to go with his nine points.

Sidelined through injury forward Jawad Williams as well as new signing Julius Hodge did not feature in the game, but certainly the latter is expected to take to the floor when the Parisians host Cholet in Pro A action on Saturday night.

Paris will take on third division side Sorgues in the quarter-finals of the domestic cup competition.



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