Former Central Missouri Mules Spencer Reaves and Jakob Lowrance know a thing or two about winning close games together, going back to their time together in Warrensburg.
So, when the duo and their international squad Juaristia ISB found themselves facing a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter of the LEB Silver Cup championship game — a midseason battle for bragging rights featuring the best team from both the East and West division — against Basquet Girona, they knew what needed to get done
“We were sitting on the bench at the end of the third quarter, the start of the fourth quarter and I am sitting right next to Kob (Lowrance) and he asks, ‘Are you going to be a finisher? Are you going to finish this for us?’ and I was like, I’ve got you,” Reaves said.
Reaves flipped a switch in the final quarter after checking in with eight minutes to play, connected on all five of his 3-pointers the fourth quarter as Juaristi outscored Girona 27-14.
“I had a whole different mindset,” Reaves said. “If I had any open space, just to let it go and that first one in the fourth went in and after that it was like the basket just kept looking a little bit bigger after everyone went in.”
The Newark, Arkansas-native’s sharpshooting sparked a comeback, which ended with Juaristi ISB claiming their first ever Silver Cup 74-69 over Basquet Girona on Saturday, Dec. 28, in Azpeitia, Spain.
Girona led for the majority of the night, grabbing the lead late in the first quarter and holding on to it until Reaves went off.
Reaves and Lowrance, who finished as ISB’s second leading scorer with 20 points, went back-to-back from range to break a 63-63 tie with under three minutes to play after Reave’s barrage of deep balls got ISB back in the game. Reaves sealed the win with one final trey with 52 seconds left to give Juaristi a 72-66 lead.
“That zone I was in, I had only been in, in an actual game, probably two or three times, where whatever you put up, it’s going to go in,” Reaves said.
For his performance, Reave was named the MVP of the game, finishing with 21 points.
“The atmosphere was incredible,” Reaves said. “The fans over here really know how to do it. They are so passionate about their basketball and it is a different kind of passion than there is in the states.”
It was the first Silver Cup win for ISB and the town responded in kind, packing the home town gym for the contest and then lined the streets on Sunday, Dec. 29, in celebration of the win.
“It was like the Spanish version of a championship parade,” Reaves said.
Juaristi currently sits in second place in the West Division with a 9-4 record going into the back half of the season. Reaves, in his second year as a professional, is averaging 16 points a game while Lowrance, who joined ISB this season, is putting up 12.8 points per game and 5.5 rebounds a night.
“(Lowrance) has had a huge impact on the season, the fans here love him, the team loves him, and I love having him here just because of his skill set and him being like a brother to me,” Reaves said.