Azovmash Mariupol advanced to the second round in its first ULEB Cup season by registering a 63-72 road win over Deutsche Bank Skyliners in Frankfurt, Germany on Tuesday. Azovmash finished with a 6-4 record, good for third place in Group D. The Skyuliners came out empty once again and finished as one of three 0-10 teams in the competition. Panagiotis Liadelis scored 21 points to pace Azovmash. He had help from Serhiy Lishchuk, with 14 points and 4 blocked shots, while Yevgeniy Podorvannyy and Robert Archibald added 13 points each and Tyus Edney 10. The Skyliners were led by Ilian Evtimov with 22 points and Immy McKinney with 14 points as the only double-digit scorers. Derrick Allen added 8 points and 10 rebounds.
The Skyliners opened the scoring on consecutive jumpers by Allen. Azovmash, however, responded with a 2-9 run. Maksym Shtein came off the bench for the Skyliners and made his presence felt on both ends of the floor as the hosts used a 6-0 run to force Azovmash's first timeout with 12-9 on the scoreboard. Edney got to the foul line 6 times, making 5 of his free throws, to put the guests in front again at the end of the first quarter, 15-16. After consecutive blocked shots by Azovmash, the home team put the first points of the second quarter in with a short jump shot by Koko Archibong, followed by a fastbreak layup by Allen. Azovmash's temporary head coach Sergey Zavalin took a timeout, after which Liadelis and Evtimov exchanged three-pointers as both teams went toe-to-toe with lead changes on every successful attack. Lishchuk was working hard on defense and recorded back-to-back blocked shots on Allen, while Podorvannyy tied the score at 28-28. Archibong's free throws, however, gave the Skyliners a new lead, 35-31, after 20 minutes played. Azovmash tied the score quickly and went in front 41-42 on a Podorvannyy three-pointer early in the second half. The Skyliners fought their way back to lead 46-44 after McKinney found the bottom of the net from behind the arc midway through the third quarter. From then on, it was all Azovmash, however. Liadelis hit a high-arcing layup at the buzzer, freezing the score at 47-55 at the end of the third quarter. Both teams could hardly hit the basket in the first 5 minutes of the last quarter, in part because of intensified defensive efforts. The difference on the scoreboard remained, however, as Azovmash cruised into the second round of ULEB Cup, ending the Skyliners' season without any single win on 63-72 after the final whistle.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008