Pamesa Valencia won a duel for control of Group C by beating Idea Slask in Wroclaw, 85-88, on Thursday in one of the biggest games in recent Polish basketball history. The local fans were disappointed, however, as Antoine Rigaudeau scored 9 of his 19 points in the final quarter to take the guests to a 4-0 record in the group, while Slask fell to 3-1. The Polish team that has been the surprise of the Euroleague had a chance to tie on the final play, but its best scorer, Lynn Greer, committed a key turnover that sealed the outcome. Fabricio Oberto scored 21 points and grabbed 9 rebounds for Pamesa, which played without center Dejan Tomasevic. Asier Garcia had a key role for Pamesa with 17 points on 5-for-5 three-pointers, while Dimos Dikoudis chipped in 12 points, most of them late in the game. Greer led all scorers with 29 points on 10-for-18 field goals for Slask, adding 6 assists. Adam Wojcik had 21 points while Tamel Tein had 17.
The hosts from Slask opened the game with their usual alternating defenses, with Pamesa attacked with fast offenses. Nevertheless, Greer was the major concern for Pamesa. He opened the game with a layup and soon added a three-pointer to give Slask an early lead, 8-4. Pamesa started looking for their frontcourt players and found the answer in Oberto, who made 6 of the next 8 points for the guests to tie the game at 12-12. Slask stopped struggling and used a 7-0 run in which Greer scored another triple while Tein and Wojcik added layups to give the hosts a five-point lead, 19-14, after 8 minutes. Rigaudeau appeared to score 4 points in a 0-6 run to give Pamesa the lead, but Maciej Zielinski, with a three-pointer, put the hosts ahead, 22-20, after one quarter.
In the second quarter, Pamesa used quick offenses to avoid Slask's defensive strategies. Dominik Tomczyk made 2 free throws to make it 24-20. Pamesa managed to tie the game at 24-24 with a jumper by Asier Garcia and a put-back by Jose Antonio Paraiso, but Greer found his rhythm again. He followed a three-pointer by Zielinski with 5 consecutive points, giving Slask an eight-point lead, 32-24. Garcia, enjoying his role as Pamesa's secret weapon, answered from downtown for Pamesa with back-to-back three-pointers, powering a 2-10 run which brought the guests back into the game, 34-34. But Pamesa went scoreless for 4 minutes then, while Tein made another three, Zielinski added a layup and Greer added 2 free throws for a 41-34 Slask lead. Dikoudis with a three-point play and Garcia with his third three-pointer now brought Pamesa back to within 41-40, at halftime.
Pamesa switched to a 2-3 zone defense in the second half, and after Ryan Randle scored for Slask against it, another three by Garcia ignited a 2-11 run by the visitors. Rigaudeau and Victor Luengo scored 4 points apiece as Pamesa seized a 46-51 lead. Wojcik stepped up big-time then, scoring the next 10 Slask points, making a three-point play to tie the game at 56-56, and adding a three-pointer right after to give the hosts the lead, 61-58. Dikoudis and Oberto added 3 free throws in the final minutes, but both Tein and Michal Ignerski made layups to keep the hosts in front 65-61 after three quarters.
Greer opened the final quarter with a three-pointer, but Pamesa's switch to a man-to-man defense keyed a 7-0 run to tie the game, 68-68. Soon after that, a three-pointer by Rigaudeau gave Pamesa the lead, 70-71. Both Greer and Rigaudeau were difficult for the other team's defense to deal with. Wojcik hit 2 free throws to put Slask in front briefly, but Oberto dunked, Kammerichs made a layup and Popovic connected on a three-pointer to put Pamesa ahead by 6 points, 72-78. Back-to-back baskets by Dikoudis helped Pamesa keep its lead, 76-82, entering the final 2 minutes. Greer's layup followed by a three-point play from Tomczyk soon brought Slask within a point, 81-82. Then after a Pamesa turnover, Greer scored an easy layup to give Slask the lead, 83-82, with less than a minute to play. But Rigaudeau scored a two-meter jumper off the board, Oberto had a key steal, feeding Kammerichs for a fast break dunk and that quickly, Pamesa was ahead again, 83-86, with 30 seconds to play. Greer was fouled to avoid a three-pointer, hitting both free throws to make it 85-86. Three non-shooting fouls followed, until Rigaudeau finally went to the line with 5.8 seconds on the clock. He hit both shots, forcing Greer to look for a three-pointer in hopes of tying, but he lost the ball and Pamesa was the only team to walk off the court undefeated still.
Wednesday, November 26, 2003
Andrzej Jaworski, Wroclaw