Herbalife Gran Canaria sent a message that echoed all around the competition by overwhelming Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem 108-61 at home in Group H on Wednesday.
Gran Canaria was mathematically first and Hapoel was out before the start of the game. Gran Canaria finished Group H with a 5-1 record and will face Limoges CSP in the eighthfinals. Hapoel was the only team that finished the Last 32 with a 0-6 record. Pablo Aguilar led the winners with 19 points. Alen Omic added 18 and 17 rebounds (tying the all-time Last 32 record for most boards in a game), Anzejs Pasecniks had 16 points, Brad Newley got 14 while D.J. Seeley contributed 13 for Gran Canaria. Josh Duncan led Hapoel with 14 points. Donta Smith added 13 while D’or Fischer got 10 for the guests. Pasecniks had 12 points in the opening 6 minutes to make Gran Canaria get a 22-5 margin. Gran Canaria boosted its margin to 31-12 after 10 minutes and then again to 58-25 at halftime. Nothing changed after the break, as Gran Canaria led 83-46 after 30 minutes and had plenty of time to celebrate another home win.
Aguilar got Gran Canaria going with a put-back basket while Pasecniks followed a tip-in with a layup for a 6-0 lead. E.J. Rowland struck from downtown and Lior Eliyahu added his trademark floater but an outstanding Pasecniks kept Gran Canaria way ahead, 10-5. Aguilar and Sasu Salin took over with back-to-back triples that made Hapoel call timeout at 16-5. Pasecniks scored again, and again to make it a 15-point game, 20-5. Albert Oliver send a couple of assists to Aguilar, Omic made free throws and Kevin Pangos soon broke the game open, 30-7. Smith and Duncan brought Hapoel a bit closer, 31-12, after 10 minutes. Seeley shined with a big basket early in the second quarter and Omic scored down low for a 35-12 Gran Canaria lead. Smith scored again but Seeley did better with a three-pointer and Omic added an off-balance basket to make Hapoel call timeout at 40-14. Smith nailed a three-pointer and Fischer found his first points but back-to-back triples by Xavi Rabaseda and Seeley kept Gran Canaria way ahead, 46-19. Fischer and Smith kept pacing Hapoel but the guests only managed to trade baskets. Pasecniks returned to the floor and joined forces with Omic to boost the hosts’ margin to 56-23. Oliver hit a jump hook to give Gran Canaria a 58-25 lead at halftime.
Yotam Halperin scored soon after the break but Pasecniks answered with a layup off a steal and Aguilar added 5 quick points to give Gran Canaria a 36-point margin, 65-29. Smith and Newley exchanged baskets and even when Eliyahu stepped up for Hapoel, both teams kept scoring fluently now. Pangos fed Aguilar for an alleyoop slam that made Hapoel stop the game at 75-37. Oriol Pauli buried a long three-pointer, Aguilar also struck from downtown and a fadeaway jumper by Omic boosted Gran Canaria’s lead to 83-41, which Duncan singlehandedly cut to 83-46 after 30 minutes. The outcome was clear and Gran Canaria tried to keep offering showtime to its fans. Omic shined with a three-point play, Newley hit a three-pointer and so did Pangos for a 93-46 lead. Omic scored again and a three-pointer by Eulis Baez made Gran Canaria reach the 100-point mark, 100-48, with 4 minutes left. Nothing changed after that, and a one-handed dunk off a steal by Newley allowed Gran Canaria to seal a big win in style.