By Antigoni Zachari / [email protected]
A historic run continued for Frutti Extra Bursaspor, which outlasted MoraBanc Andorra in the semifinal and grabbed an 85-68 victory to advance to its first-ever 7DAYS EuroCup championship game. Bursaspor is the third Turkish team to reach the final of the competition over the last six seasons (Galatasaray in 2016, Darussafaka in 2017).
Andrew Andrews scored 20 points to pace red-hot Bursa, Onuralp Bitim added 18 points, Derek Needham had 13 and Kevarrius Hayes dominated the boards for a career-high of 16, to go along with 11 points.
An intense first half with plenty of changes in the lead saw Bursa sitting at the driver’s seat after 20 minutes, leading by four points (38-34). Back to back threes by David Dudzinski (12 points), Andrews and Bitim gave the Turkish side a 10-point edge early in the third quarter and the hosts seemed to be thrown out of focus.
The visitors kept pouring threes to extend their lead up to 17 points and despite Andorra’s short comeback, they still held on to a 63-56 lead after 30 minutes and never looked back in the final period.
Oriol Pauli scored 11 of his 16 points in the first half to pace Andorra and David Jelinek followed with 11 points, as the team bid goodbye in front of their home crowd.
Bursaspor will face the winner of the second semifinal between Valencia Basket and Virtus Segafredo Bologna (May 4, 20:30 CET) for a chance to close the season with a fairytale ending.
Photo credit: EuroCup
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