By Stefan Djordjevic/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Achille Polonara led the way with 18 points for the victors while Rokas Giedraitis scored 14 in addition to Alec Peters and Luca Vildoza’s 11 points each.
“I felt good because we needed this win, especially on our home court. We want to finish a nice year for us. The most important [three-point shot] was the last one, so I am very happy for the win. It is a great way to finish the year. It was a tough month of December for us, because we played a lot of games, but we finished the year very well,” Polonara said after the game.
Although it seemed as though Valencia had all the answers to beat Baskonia after a 25-9 start, the home team stayed alive (47-39) and made a full comeback by the end of the third quarter (58-55).
The sides went at it throughout the final period with Baskonia keeping the momentum for a slight advantage which eventually pushed them to the win with Polonara banking in a crucial three with less than two minutes left. Nikola Kalinic had a hail mary chance for Valencia in the final seconds but he fell short.
Neither team was finding shots from the three-point territory, hitting only around 25% of them but Baskonia made a few down the stretch to sway the momentum to their side. Their control of the boards also secured a number of second chances that paid off and beat up a solid defensive effort by Valencia.
Baskonia now holds an 8-8 record while Valencia stands at 10-7.
“I think we played really well for 30 minutes, and maybe exceptionally in the last 20 minutes. Only in the first 10 minutes, we didn’t play how we prepared and how we normally play. I am happy because every player put 100%, or more than 100%, to win this game. We beat Valencia, a big team, very dangerous on offense. We had a clear idea of what we must do, but didn’t do it in the first 10 minutes, but after that, we did what we prepared. This is key. Our objective is to be in the playoffs and win the EuroLeague. We are still down, but have time to go up,” coach Dusko Ivanovic noted.