The shooters for Adecco Estudiantes of Madrid were going to explode sometime, and on Tuesday it happened almost immediately after the main man for visiting Generali Group Trieste, ULEB Cup leading scorer Nate Erdmann, went to the bench with an injury after 2 minutes of play. The result was a runaway 121-76 blowout in which Adecco Estudiantes rekindled its hopes of making big noise in Group C. The point total for Adecco Estudiantes was a record for the new competition, exceeding the 117 that Ural Great scored in Week 2. The 45-point margin of victory was better by 5 than the 40-point win registered moments earlier by Zeleznik in Group B. Corey Brewer led six Adecco Estudiantes scorers in double figures with 23 points. German Gabriel added 22, Nikola Loncar 21, Andres Amiso 16, Felipe Reyes 12 and Nacho Azofra 11. The winners made 14 of 29 three-pointers, but all of those made came in the first three quarters and most of the misses in the last one, when the outcome had been long decided. For Trieste, whose record dropped to 1-3, Terrence Roberson took up the slack with 22 points. Sinisa Kelecevic added 15, Samuele Podesta 13 and Roberto Casoli 12.
The evening started badly for the visitors when Erdmann went to the bench after two minutes, having already shot once and made it. The ULEB Cup's top shootist until now had broken two teeth in an Italian League game on Sunday and could not continue now. Still, from what went on in the first 10 minutes, no one would have predicted the eventual outcome. Estudiantes was scoring well, yes, but Triest got some early baskets from Kelecevic and Roberson to stay within shouting distance at 28-20 after the first quarter.
But like a switch was flipped to start the second quarter, the shots the Madrid team had been missing in its first ULEB Cup games started dropping like rain now. And it rained hard on Trieste. Loncar, Iker Iturbe and Amiso started hitting from deep and didn't stop until they pulled into halftime with a pair of three-pointer each. As a team, Estudiantes had hit 9 of 16 threes in the first 20 minutes. With the defense locking down Trieste at the other end, Estudiantes had almost as many points on threes (27) as Trieste had altogether (33). The guests, meanwhile, had only attempted 7 from behind the arc, making only 1. Brewer had one of those downtowners for Estudiantes, but was also getting to the line to make 5 of 6 free throws. Reyes was doing his thing inside as usual, with 9 points and 4 rebounds in just 11 minutes, while Gabriel was right behind him with 7 points. But it was the shooters, especially Andres Miso, who made the difference. He already had 10 points at the half, more than in the previous three games combined, and was matched by Loncar and Brewer. The score was already out of hand, 58-33.
The second half was more of the same, with the lead first hitting 30 points, at 67-37, on a Gabriel layup, and then pushing higher as Loncar got going with 3 more shots from downtown amid 11 consecutive points he made himself. He was joined in three-pointers by Azofra with a pair of his own and for the first time the lead topped 40 points, at 81-39. The third quarter ended 87-47 and the fourth became just a question of seeing which records might fall.
Tuesday, November 5, 2002
Jorge Muñoa, Madrid