Herbalife Gran Canaria rallied late to hold off Avtodor Saratov 85-92 to improve to 3-1 in Group H.
Then it waited for the outcome of the game in the Israeli capital and upon learning that Strasbourg had defeated Jerusalem, Gran Canaria could already celebrate a berth in the eighthfinals. Gran Canaria started strong and led by 14 after 10 minutes and 18 in the second, but the hosts used a 9-0 run to stay alive. Still it was 35-44 at halftime. Jeremy Chappell scored 6 points in a 10-0 third-quarter run that gave Avtodor the lead for the first time, 61-57. After several lead changes, a 12-1 surge, which included a pair of Paul Stoll threes gave the hosts a promising 82-75 lead, but Gran Canaria reeled off a 0-10 run led by Sasu Salin to regain the lead for good. Salin added two more baskets and a key assist to close it out in the final two minutes. Salin finished with 19 points, D.J. Seeley scored 14, Sitapha Savane 13, Alen Omic posted 12 points and 7 rebounds, Brad Newley added 11 points and Albert Oliver delivered 9 points and 10 assists for the winners. Travis Peterson led Avtodor with 19 points, Jeremy Chappell had 17 and Jeff Brooks and Paul Stoll added 12 points each in defeat.
After Savane opened the scoring, Chappell got Avtodor on the scoreboard. But Savane blocked Chappell’s next shot and Newley sandwiched a pair of baskets around a Salin triple for a 2-9 Gran Canaria start. Despite baskets for the hosts by Brooks and Peterson, Oliver nailed a three-pointer and Savane converted a three-point play for a double-digit cushion, 6-17. Artem Zabelin got going for the hosts, however Omic scored three baskets in the last two minutes of the quarter to make it 12-26 after 10 minutes. Peterson started the second quarter with a triple before Omic scored again. Seeley scored twice and Pablo Aguilar nailed a triple in a 0-7 Gran Canaria spurt that made it 17-35 midway through the quarter. Brooks and Chappell teamed up for a 7-0 Avtodor response. Then the hosts reeled off a 9-0 run in which Peterson hit a three and Chappell a basket-plus-foul to narrow the gap to 35-59. Oliver nailed a triple and Omic scored after a steal to put the visitors up 35-44 at the break.
Stoll got going in the third quarter and traded shots with Eulis Baez and Salin. Peterson added a three-point play and a three-pointer to bring Avtodor within 46-50, but Newley responded from downtown. Peterson’s fourth three of the game drew the hosts within 51-53, but Oliver and Salin kept Gran Canaria on top. However Stoll dished a pair of assists and Chappell scored 6 points in a 10-0 run that gave Avtodor the lead for the first time, 61-57. Seeley came back with a pair of baskets and Oriol Pauli added a basket-plus-foul. Brooks’s put back brought the home team within 63-64 through three quarters. Seeley started the fourth quarter with a three, but Reggie Williams made his first for Avtodor, which went ahead 70-67. Omic pushed the visitors ahead and Seeley put Gran Canaria up 4 with another triple, but back-to-back threes by Stoll and Williams made it 76-74. Chappell and Stoll hit next for an 82-75 advantage with four minutes remaining. With its back to the wall, Gran Canaria reeled off a 0-10 run; Salin tied it from the line and then buried a three for an 82-85 edge with two minutes to go. Klimenko tied it again with a basket-plus-foul. However Salin put Gran Canaria ahead once more and then helped break the press for a Savane layup with 37 seconds left. Chappell missed a critical three and Salin sealed the win.