The Koeln 99ers survived a tough test in Group B and took a crucial step to reach the elimination rounds by downing Elan Chalon 81-87 in France on Tuesday. The 99ers improved to 4-2 and tie for the second place in Group B with BK Ventspils. Meanwhile, Chalon is now two games behind the 99ers at 2-4. Aleksandar Nadjfeji led the winners with 26 points on 7-for-10 two-pointers, 3-for-5 triples and 7 assists. Immanuel McElroy added 16 points on 6-for-7 two-pointers, Milko Bjelica had 14 while Toby Bailey added 11, 6 rebounds and 6 assists for the 99ers. Moussa Badiane led Chalon with 23 points on 8-for-9 two-pointers. John Ford added 16 while Rowan Barrett had 14 and 7 assists for the hosts, who led 28-21 after 10 minutes and boosted their margin up to 42-31 midway through the second quarter. Bailey and Nadjfeji helped the 99ers to get within 47-44 at halftime. Bjelica buried 3 triples late in the third quarter to make Koeln get a 67-73 edge after 30 minutes. The 99ers controlled the game tempo, while Nadjfeji and McElroy helped the guests to extend their lead to double digits, 75-85, and seal an important road win.
Chalon opened the game with a 6-0 run that Badiane capped with free throws but three-pointers by Bjelica and Bailey helped the 99ers to erase their deficit, 8-8. Nadjfeji and Yassin Idbihi stepped up to make Koeln get a 14-17 edge. It didn't last long, however, as Terquin Mott had 5 points in a 11-2 run in which Barrett and Xavier Corosine stroke from downtown for a 25-19 Chalon margin. Another triple by Joachim Ekanga boosted the hosts' lead to 28-21 after 10 minutes. A four-point play by Barrett gave Chalon a 32-24 margin but the 99ers used a 0-7 run that Misan Nikagbatse capped to bring his team within 32-31. Badiane and Barrett hit a triple apiece in a 10-0 run and boosted the hosts' lead to double digits, 42-31. Bailey and Nadjfeji brought the 99ers back to life, but a final basket by Philippe Braud kept Chalon ahead, 47-44, at halftime. Nikagbatse and a triple by Nadjfeji tied the game, 49-49, right after the break, as both teams started to trade baskets from that point. Badiane and Jermaine Guice stepped up for Chalon but a three-point play by Nadjfeji gave the 99ers a 55-56 edge. Bjelica buried consecutive triples in a 0-8 Koeln run that Nedzad Sinanovic capped with free throws for a 59-66 99ers edge. McElroy and an unstoppable Bjelica allowed Koeln to keep a 67-73 lead after 30 minutes. The guests slowed down the game tempo in the fourth quarter and Chalon found it hard to score. A three-pointer by Nikagbatse gave the 99ers a 69-78 lead. Ford and Badiane stepped up with consecutive baskets but the 99ers called timeout and regained its momentum. Nadjfeji and McElroy boosted the guests' lead to oduble-digits, 75-85, with 2 minutes to go, enough to seal the outcome.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007