PBC Lukoil Academic Sofia took the first win by storm at home on Wednesday by edging Belgacom Spirou Charleroi 93-75 thanks to an impressive display in offense. With this win, Lukoil leads Group B with a 1-0 record while Spirou starts at the bottom of the ladder, 0-1. Mohamed Abukar led the winners with his 23 points behind 4 of 6 threes. Brandon Heath added 16, Bozhidar Avramov and Darryl Watkins posted 15 each and Todor Stoykov bagged 10 for Lukoil. For Belgacom Spirou, Jekel Foster and Derrick Allen led the way with 17 points apiece and Matt Walsh had 12. Lukoil took the first three quarters by storm thanks to great shooting percentages, while Spirou struggled from the arc and saw the hosts pull away until the final buzzer.
Brandon Heath opened fire for the hosts with their first basket of the season and right then, a barrage of points started on
both sides. With good percentages for each team, the scoreboard soon escalated to a 15-15 tie after 4 minutes, with all
points combining several players from both teams. Darryl Watkins, Devin Green and Bozhidar Avramov were in charge for Lukoil
while for Belgacom Spirou, Christophe Beghin was also at the front with his 5 points. Five straight points by Mohamed Abukar
opened the first gap on the score, 26-19, to close the first quarter. In the second period, Lukoil managed to maintain the
gap in the first minutes thanks to Abukar and Heath, but Spirou never backed down. Derrick Allen was trying to lead a
comeback but free throws by Thomas Massamba made it a 10-point game, 37-27. In the following minutes, Lukoil kept increasing
the cushion little by little as Abukar blasted his fourth three in five attempts to make it 55-38 at halftime break.
Heath and Jekel Foster exchanged baskets for both sides at the start of the second half. Matt Walsh was also waking up for Spirou at this moment since he was up to his 10th point for the 57-44, but the guests' 1 of 8 from the arc was becoming a heavy burden to live with while Lukoil was excelling at 5 of 7 in the same aspect. Thus, the difference surpassed the 20-point mark when Watkins scored for the 67-46. The guests tried to stop the avalanche with a timeout but the only thing it could achive until the end of the quarter was to maintain the difference, 79-56, as Heath closed the period with a new three. The scoring pace slowed down at the start of the last period, with Lukoil still leading the way to a 82-56 in minute 33. Veteran scoring machine Todor Stoykov joined Lukoil's party with four straight points to make it 88-61 when it looked like Spirou already accepted the outcome of the game and started thinking already about Week 2. In the end, the hosts triumphed by 93-75.
Wednesday, November 7, 2012