Elan Bearnais Pau-Orthez registered its first-ever ULEB Cup win by edging Benetton Basket Tamoil 89-84 in Group H on Tuesday. Pau improved to 1-1 and took a step forwards to the elimination rounds. Meanwhile, Benetton dropped to 0-2 and needs to start winning right away in order to keep its elimination rounds hopes alive. Terence Dials led the winners with 18 points and even when he was the only Pau player in double digits, Shaun Fein, Thierry Rupert, Max Stanic and David Young each added 9 for the hosts. Lionel Chalmers led Benetton with 23 points, Rodrigo De La Fuente added 13, Mario Austin had 12 and Tomasso Fantoni 11. Pau led for the best part of the game, getting a 40-39 halftime edge and boosting it to 78-65 midway through the fourth quarter. Chalmers led the Benetton comeback, but free throw accuracy allowed Pau to hold off that rally and add a historical first-ever ULEB Cup win.
Dials got Pau going in a 6-1 opening run that Antoine Mendy capped with a triple. Nana Mensah-Bonsu and Fantoni stepped up for Benetton, but Mendy and Max Stanic still kep Pau ahead, 12-5. De La Fuente stroke twice from downtown in a 0-10 run that he capped with a basket for a 12-15 Benetton edge. A layup by Ludovic Vaty and a final triple by Fein allowed Pau to regain the lead, 22-19, after 10 minutes. Vaty and Curtis Withers added to a 12-0 run that Young capped with a three-pointer that boosted the hosts' margin to double digits, 29-19. Mensah-Bonsu kept working in the paint and Chalmers fired in his first triple to give Benetton some hope, 31-27. Dials kept pacing Pau but Fantoni scored from downtown to get Benetton eve closer, 38-37. Rupert and Chalmers fixed the halftime score at 40-39. Pau opened the third quarter with a 6-0 run that Fein capped with a triple but Austin and De La Fuente kept Benetton close, 46-44. Rupert and Dials led a 8-0 run Pau lead for a 54-44 margin, as Benetton failed to find answers in offense. Withers and Young boosted the hosts' margin to 70-58 after 30 minutes. Mendy allowed Pau to enjoy its biggest lead, 78-65, midway through the final period. Chalmers and Matteo Soragna tried to get Benetton back in the game, 82-75. A three-pointer by Giuliano Maresca got the guests even closer, 85-80, already in the final minute. Free throws by Fein and Stanic allowed Pau to register a big win.
Pau-Orthez head coach Olivier Cousin
"With both teams looking for confidence and victory, the beginning
of the game was important. Our agressiveness was one of
the main elementsof the game, and we found in Stanic
the chief of the team. Tonight the victory is a great
satisfaction for us and for our fans."
Pau-Orthez forward Maximiliano Stanic
"I am very happy tonight and it was necesary in our
situation to win. We played together on both sides of the
court. Playing basketball is easier when you move the
ball and when you look for open positions."
Benetton Tamoil head coach Francesco Vitucci
"We are in a difficult
situation and we have too many fisical problems to
compete with a team like Pau-Orthez, above all playing
away. Our bench must be more efficient."
Tuesday, November 13, 2007