Juventus outlast Rock for bronze

UTENA – The last award of the season was handed out in Utena, where Juventus overcame a big disadvantage to triumph to fall just short in the bronze final with a 62-51 (14-18; 14-6; 18-10; 16-18) victory over Tartu Rock.

 

The Estonians had won the first game at home 72-63 after a big comeback and Juventus needed a double-digit advantage today to make sure the trophy stayed in Utena.

Tartu Rock opened the game with a couple of easy baskets to establish a six point lead. While the margin kept swinging high and low, it was apparent that Tartu was the more organized side in the first quarter. While the margin was only four points, the 13-point aggregate deficit looked menacing.

The small break didn’t seem to help Juventus much, as the offense remained stagnant. Luckily, their opponents didn’t have much firepower on the offensive end either; and after 3 minutes it was a 20-16 lead for Tartu. However, the tables quickly turned and by the end of the half, the home team was only down by 5 on the combined score-sheet.

Juventus opened the quarter with a series of successful plays on both ends of the court and were suddenly up by double-digits. Tartu ended up being on the outside looking in on the combined score-sheet after three quarters, as they faced a combined three-point deficit entering the final ten minutes.

It was a neck-to-neck fourth quarter, as the two sides traded bucket for bucket, the margin balancing between 8 and 10 points. With 30 seconds to go, Rashaun Broadus couldn't convert on the and-one and Tartu Rock answered back, jumping ahead by one with a mid-range jumper.

The home team managed to convert a tough shot and Tartu had 11 seconds to answer back. However, their last attempt went just wide.