Herbalife Gran Canaria took a major step forwards to advance to the Eurocup quarterfinals by downing Limoges CSP 65-82 in Beaublanc on Wednesday.
Gran Canaria has a 17-point lead in its two-way series and hosts Game 2 next week. Sasu Salin led the winners with 18 points. D.J. Seeley added 16 while Brad Newley had 15 of 6-of-6 shooting for Gran Canaria. Leo Westermann and Nobel Boungou-Colo led Limoges with 13 points apiece. Salin had the opening 8 points of the game, leading a 0-11 Gran Canaria run. Kevin Pangos struck twice from downtown to keep the guests way ahead, 11-22, after 10 minutes. D.J. Seeley had 6 unanswered points to boost his team’s lead to 11-27. Bo McCalebb and Leo Westermann stepped up for Limoges and a big dunk by Frejus Zerbo brought the hosts within 29-37 at the break. A three-pointer by Will Daniels got Limoges as close as 37-40 but Newley, Salin and Alen Omic combined for 14 points in a 0-16 run that allowed Gran Canaria to get a 44-62 margin after 30 minutes. Nothing changed after that, as a dunk by Xavi Rabaseda made it a 20-point game, 51-71, and Limoges never recovered.
Salin got Gran Canaria going with a five-meter jumper and back-to-back three-pointer that gave his team a 0-8 lead. Albert Oliver took over with a big basket in the low post and a free throw by Eulis Baez boosted the guests’ margin to 0-11. Boungou-Colo stepped up with a fast break layup and McCalebb copied him for a 4-11 Limoges deficit. McCalebb shined with a driving layup that Salin improved with his third three-pointer. Pangos struck twice from downtown and a big dunk off the baseline by Boungou-Colo kept Limoges within 8-20. Free throws by Alen Omic and a three-point play by Ali Traore fixed the score at 11-22 after 10 minutes. Seeley shined with a layup-plus-foul early in the second quarter and soon added a three-pointer that boosted Gran Canaria’s lead to 11-28. McCalebb hit an acrobatic shot and a two-handed slam by Mark Payne brought Limoges a bit closer, 15-28. McCalebb scored in penetration but Newley followed a driving layup with an alleyoop slam that made it a 15-point game, 17-32. Heiko Schaffartzik and Oliver traded three-pointers and a fast break layup by Will Daniels kept the hosts within 22-35. Westermann scored in transition and bettered Seeley’s mid-range jumper with a triple. Zerbo sent the crowd to their feet with a wild slam, bringing Limoges within 29-37 at halftime.
Westermann and Baez traded three-pointers right after the break. Westermann banked in a mid-range jumper to keep pacing Limoges and a triple by Daniels brought the hosts as close as 37-40. Newley and Salin rescued Gran Canaria with back-to-back bombs from downtown and a layup by Omic made Limoges call timeout at 37-48. Baez hit a jumper and Newley scored again to keep Gran Canaria out of trouble at 37-52. Omic shined with a tip-in which Salin followed with a backdoor layup that capped a 0-16 Gran Canaria run. Yakhouba Diawara split free throws and a tip-in by Ousmane Camara brought Limoges within 40-56. Daniels shined with a layup and Payne added free throws but Seeley struck twice from downtown to boost the guests’ lead to 44-62 after 30 minutes. Pablo Aguilar scored down low early in the fourth quarter but Zerbo matched that with a jumper from the elbow and added a layup for a 48-64 score. Westermann hit one from beyond the arc but so did Rabaseda at the other end. Seeley scored in penetration and Rabaseda dunk for a 51-71 Gran Canaria lead. Boungou-Colo made free throws and Zerbo added a three-point play to give Limoges hope at 56-71. Omic answered with a layup and Pangos split free throws but 7 answered points by Boungou-Colo allowed Limoges to get within 63-76. Back-to-back triples by Newley allowed Gran Canaria to seal a big road win in style.