BC Kalev/Cramo wrote a new page in club history by downing Panionios On Telecoms 81-68 in its ULEB Cup debut at Sako Arena in Tallin, Estonia on Tuesday. Kalev took a first step to reach the elimination rounds in Group G while Panionios needs to improve right way to keep its chances alive and make it to the next round. Gregor Arbet paced the winners with 21 points. Travis Reed added 17 while Kristjan Kangur had 15 points and 8 rebounds for Kalev, the first-ever Estonian team in the competition. Veteran center Giannis Giannoulis led Panionios with 16 points, Ivan Zoroski added 13 while Jerry McNamata had 10 for the guests, who returned to the competition after a one-year absence. Reed and Arbet led Kalev in a strong start that allowed the hosts to get a 30-12 lead after 10 minutes. Even when Giannoulis tried to get Panionios back in the game, Kalev managed to keep a double-digit lead almost all the way. Once again Giannoulis got Panionios within 71-63, but a 8-0 run that Kangur capped with a three-point play helped Kalev to seal the outcome and cruise to a well-deserved win.
Arbet scored Kalev's first-ever points in the ULEB Cup while Rait Keerles added a layup for a 4-2 lead. Antanas Kavaliauskas scored in the paint but an outstanding Arbet led a 8-0 run that Reed capped with a triple, good for a 12-4 Kalev lead. Dusan Sakota answered from downtown and Kavaliauskas added a layup but Reed was now on fire, boosting his team's margin to double digits, 21-10. Reed kept pacing Kalev and found some help from Arbet to boost Kalev's lead to 30-12 after 10 minutes. Nikos Angelopoulos and Giannoulis tried to ignit the Panionios comeback in the second quarter, but Arbet and Kangur kept Kalev ahead, 34-18. Ioannis Kalampokis stroke from downtown while Giannoulis kept shining in the paint, but Kalev kept a double-digit lead, 38-27, after a big basket by Valmo Kriisa. McNamara followed a three-pointer while a final basket to give Panionios some hope, 40-32, but Kangur beat the buzzer with a triple for a 43-32 Kalev edge at halftime. Sakota opened the second half with a triple but Arbet had 5 points in a 7-0 run that put Kalev out of trouble at 50-35. Giannoulis singlehandedly tried to keep Panionios in the game, but a three-pointer by Arbet and another basket by Keerles kept Kalev in charge, 55-41. Panionios found a go-to guy in Zoroski, who had 4 points in a 0-6 run that gave Panionios some options at 58-51. It didn't last long, however, as Reed and the ever-present Arbet boosted the hosts' lead to 66-53 after 30 minutes. Kalev opted to slow down the game tempo in the fourth quarter. Meanwhile, a put-back basket by Viiask kept the hosts way ahead, 68-56, with 7 minutes to go. Panionios never recovered, as free throws by Giannoulis got the guests within 71-63 with 3 minutes remaining. Reed and Kangur stepped up with consecutive three-point plays, allowing all Kalev fans to celebrate a historical first-ever win in the ULEB Cup.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007