Caja Laboral by 66-53 over CSKA
Caja Laboral survived a do-or-die situation and stayed in the fight to make it to the Final Four by downing CSKA Moscow 66-53 in Vitoria, Spain in Game 3 of their best-of-five Quarterfinal Playoff series on Tuesday. CSKA leads the series 2-1 but Laboral hosts Game 4 on Thursday. Tiago Splitter led the winners with 15 points. Fernando San Emeterio added 14 while Walter Herrmann and Mirza Teletovic each had 10 for Laboral. Viktor Khryapa led CSKA with 9 points. Laboral opened the game with a 8-0 run and Splitter allowed the hosts to stay way ahead, 16-18, late in the first quarter. Khryapa and J.R. Holden stepped up in the second quarter and an easy basket by Sasha Kaun got the guests within 26-24. Splitter and Carl English fueled a 7-0 run that gave Laboral a 33-24 margin immediately after the break. CSKA found a go-to guy in Andrey Vorontsevich, who singlehandedly brought the guests within 42-41 after 30 minutes. Herrmann led a 9-0 run that gave Laboral its first double-digit lead, 51-41. CSKA kept trying but Teletovic and San Emeterio allowed Laboral to seal the outcome minutes before the final buzzer. CSKA wore black ribbons on their jerseys in honor of the terrorist victims in Moscow on Monday
English got Laboral going with a three-pointer and Teletovic quickly struck from downtown for a 6-0 lead. CSKA struggled to score in the opening minute and an outstanding, off-balance reverse layup by San Emeterio forced the guests to call timeout at 8-0. CSKA tried to improve its ball circulation with Holden at point guard, who fed Khryapa for an open triple. Laboral kept trying to get Splitter involved but CSKA managed to double-team him every time. Sean Singletary took over with a driving layup that Trajan Langdon bettered with a three-point play. Khryapa fed Kaun for a dunk that got the guests within 10-8. Splitter scored down low and San Emeterio added free throws, as CSKA tried to open the court with Khryapa and Andrey Vorontsevich together on court. Laboral was all over the place in defense, with great intensity, and a layup by Splitter restored a 16-8 lead. Ramunas Siskauskas and Kaun split free throws off a timeout, as CSKA had fully adjusted its man-to-man defense. Laboral went scoreless for 3 minutes and foul shots by Holden brought CSKA within 16-12 after 10 minutes.
CSKA kept trying to change the game momentum with outstanding defense, as Laboral struggled to find good options despite using Brad Oleson and Herrmann as both wings. CSKA had started to miss open shots but kept Laboral scoreless since Splitter went to the bench 6 minutes earlier. A free throw by Siskauskas made it a three-point game, 16-13, but CSKA had already entered the foul bonus. Oleson got the crowd involved with a fast break dunk off a steal, as Laboral improved its offense with Splitter back on court. He hit 2-of-4 free throws but Anton Ponkrashov kept CSKA within 19-15. Splitter and Ponkrashov traded layups, as CSKA raised its intensity in defense with Khryapa and Pops Mensah-Bonsu under the boards. Singletary hit free throws that Kaun erased with a backdoor layup, as Laboral played more aggressive once the guests entered the foul bonus. Holden silenced the crowd with a rainbow triple to keep CSKA as close as 24-22. Splitter shined with an outstanding dunk in traffic but Kaun matched it with a big basket in the low post. Huertas stepped up with a layup and fed English for a buzzer-beating corner triple to boost the hosts' lead to 31-24 at halftime.
Splitter scored in the low post immediately after the break, as Laboral forced CSKA to go scoreless for more than 2 minutes. Zoran Planinic stepped up with a driving layup in transition but CSKA struggled to find Siskauskas involved. Langdon struck from downtown, however, to give CSKA some hope at 34-29. Laboral called timeout once its offense became predictable, trying to find more options than Splitter in the low post. San Emeterio delivered with a driving layup that Siskauskas improved with a three-pointer. Teletovic split free throws and Laboral stayed focused in defense, now allowing open shots and forcing CSKA to use long possessions. The game turned into a physical battle and CSKA felt more comfortable with Holden back on the floor. Vorontsevich downed an open three-pointer and soon added a six-meter jumper to make CSKA tie the game for the first time since the opening tip, 37-37. Splitter and Siskauskas traded layups and a three-pointer by Herrmann restored a 42-39 Laboral edge. Vorontsevich scored again to bring CSKA within 42-41 after 30 minutes
Herrmann, now playing power forward, made free throws early in the fourth quarter, as CSKA lacked patience in offense. San Emeterio soon added a seven-meter bomb to set the crowd on fire at 47-41. CSKA could not run its offense through Khryapa due to Herrmann's good defensive job and Kaun fouled out with over 8 minutes left. San Emeterio split free throws and a three-pointer by Herrmann capped a 9-0 run and boosted the hosts' lead to double digits, 51-41, making CSKA call timeout. Khryapa downed a triple and a fallaway jumper by Holden gave CSKA some hope at 51-46. Herrmann shined with a driving layup and Singletary copied him soon after that to keep Laboral way ahead, 55-46. Khryapa collected a steal and raced downcourt for a dunk but Teletovic answered with a jumper and beat the shot clock buzzer with a fallaway shot that sealed the outcome, 59-48, with 3 minutes left. CSKA kept trying but Laboral stayed aggressive in defense and had started to use long possessions to run the clock down. A layup by San Emeterio allowed all Laboral fans that their team kept its chances to reach the 2010 Final Four.
Monday, March 29, 2010