Ulker of Instanbul claimed a share of third place in Group B on Thursday by downing London Towers 75-93 on the road in what was not an unexpected result. London, now the only winless team left in the Euroleague, had lost its previous home games by an average of 22 points. Ulker had little trouble in raising its record to 4-3, the same as Barcelona and Union Olimpija. It was Ulker's third road win in five trips this season. London fell to 0-8. Ulker were just too strong, inside and out, for London. The game was nearly decided by halftime, when the visitors led 40-20. London had scored just 6 points in the second quarter. Only Brett Eppehimer, who finished with 29 points, seemed able to shake the Ulker defence. For Ulker, Quadre Lollis (12) and Bud Eley (16) ruled the boards, taking 11 and 9 rebounds respectively. On the perimeter, the man was Miljan Goljovic (28 points) and Harun Erdenay (11) would have scored more, but there was little need for them to be out there beyond half time.
Except for Eppehimer, who scored a pair of threes in his 10 first-quarter points, Towers would be in a sorry state. Towers led 5-4 on Eppehimer's first three, but trailed 19-11 to ar un of five points from Eley before Eppehimer hit his second. Ulker was working the ball inside while Erdenay, Roberts Stelmahers and Goljovic always lurked dangerously on the perimeter. As such, the visitors took early command at Crystal Palace, leading 14-22 after one quarter behind 7 points by Lollis.
Towers were stunned by nine straight Ulker points at the start of the second quarter, five of them from Erdenay. Ulker turned the screw with three points from Eley and four from Erdenay. Meanwhile, the longer the period went, the more amazing Ulker's defense, until the visitors held London to just 6 total points for the whole 10 minutes. It was 40-20 at the half.
After being hit by a bad start to the quarter (4-12), Towers tried to get going with threes from Baker and Eppehimer, but Goljovic's five points in a row were a sobering reminder as the lead approached 30 points at 63-35. Towers saved face with baskets by Silas Cheung, Ronnie Baker and Eppehimer, on the buzzer, but were still down 42-67 at the end of three. In the fourth quarter, the lead actually did reach 30 points, which was quite alright with many of the Turkish fans in the audience.
Thursday, December 13, 2001
Rob Dugdale, London