Akasvayu Girona took an important step forward to reach the elimination rounds in Group C by beating CSU Asesoft Ploiesti 73-65 at home on Tuesday. Akasvayu now ties with Galatasaray Cafe Crown for the top spot in Group C, each with a 4-1 record. Meanwhile, Asesoft dropped to 1-4 and ties for the fifth place with Hanzevast Capitals of Groningen. Arriel McDonald paced the winners with 14 points while Roman Montañez, Fernando San Emeterio and Marc Gasol each added 10 for Akasvayu. Arvydas Cepulis had 22 points for Asesoft, Rashard Griffith posted a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds, Reggie Elliott added 11 points while Bojan Gnjato grabbed 11 boards for the guests. McDonald and Victor Sada allowed Girona to get a 18-9 lead after 10 minutes, while Montañez had 5 points in a 7-0 run that broke the game for good, 34-19. Cepulis and Griffith tired to get Asesoft back in the game, but Girona boosted its lead to 42-24 at halftime and then again to 54-31 midway through the third quarter. Nothing changed in the final period, as Asesoft only rallied once the outcome was clear.
Both teams struggled to score in the early going, as free throws by Jarod Stevenson and a three-pointer by McDonald gave Akasvayu a 6-3 lead after 4 minutes. Cepulis and Griffith kept Ploiesti in the game, but Gasol and McDonald ignited a 10-2 run that Predrag Drobnjak and Sada capped with consecutive baskets, good for a 18-9 Akasvayu lead after 10 minutes. Montañez buried a three-pointer while San Emeterio added consecutive baskets to keep the hosts way ahead, 25-14. Darius Hargrove stepped up with a basket and Cepulis added a three-pointer but only managed to get Ploiesti within 27-19. It didn't last long, however, as Montañez had 5 points in a 7-0 run that broke the game open, 34-19. San Emeterio kept pacing Girona, as the hosts dominated the game now with outstanding defense. Jackson Vroman and Stevenson boosted Akasvayu's lead to 42-24 at halftime. Griffith stepped up with a put-back layup right after the break but Gasol answered from downtown while McDonald added free throws for a 47-26 Akasvayu margin. Ploiesti needed a comeback to return to the game and Reggie Elliott tried to ignit one with a layup and a three-pointer. McDonald shined with a three-pointer while San Emeterio made free throws to make the hosts stay out of trouble at 54-31. Griffith and Cepulis did not find much help around, while foul shots by McDonald and Sada made it a 21-point game, 62-41, after 30 minutes. Akasvayu tried to sit out its best players and give the chance to seldom-used ones such as Ivan Radenovic. Ploiesti only managed to trade baskets, as Cepulis and Elliott got the guests within 71-54 with 3 minutes to go. The outcome was clear and even when Asesoft rallied, Akasvayu had already cruised to a well-deserved win.
Tuesday, December 4, 2007