Promitheas extends winning streak to four
Promitheas Patras took a big step toward the Top 16 on Wednesday with an 88-77 victory over visiting Maccabi Rishon LeZion at Dimitris Tofalos Arena. Promitheas never trailed after the opening minutes and led by as many as 15, but Rishon rallied late to 77-74. The hosts then reeled off 11 straight points to put the game on ice. It was the fourth straight win for Promitheas, which improved to 5-1 and is now one win away from clinching a Top 16 berth in its maiden EuroCup campaign. Rishon dropped its third straight game in falling to 1-5. Chris Babb led six Promitheas scorers in double figures with 20 points on 4-of-8 three-point shooting. Oleksandr Lypovyy made 4 of 5 from downtown en route to 14 points, Chase Fieler posted 13 points and 9 rebounds and Georgios Bogris, Langston Hall and Leonidas Kaselakis netted 10 points apiece. Alex Hamilton scored 20 for Rishon, Johnathan Williams posted 13 points and 10 rebounds and teenager Noam Dovrat added 12 points.
The teams went back and forth early and the score was knotted 8-8 after 5 minutes. Babb continued his strong start with a three-pointer that ignited a 7-0 spurt for the hosts, however, Hamilton scored twice as Rishon reeled off 7 straight points to even things at 15-15. Fieler's reverse layup lifted Promitheas to a 20-17 edge after 10 minutes. Fieler started the second quarter well and Babb stretched the lead to 28-21. Lypovyy's triple from the corner gave Promitheas a double-digit lead midway through the quarter and prompted a Rishon timeout. The lead reached 15 on a bank shot by Bogris before Williams's tip-in made it 43-30 at the break. The visitors scored the first 5 points of the second half, but could not get much traction as the Promitheas attack continued to roll. Rishon twice got within 7, but Promitheas answered each time. Dovrat's three-pointer on the third-quarter buzzer made it 63-54. Kaselakis beat the shot-clock with a triple with a hand in his face as Promitheas captured the momentum, but Rishon fought back through Hamilton to get within 68-61. Adam Ariel's third-chance three-pointer and another triple by Dovrat made it 69-67 with 6 minutes to play. Octavius Ellis rescued the hosts with 4 points in a 6-0 jolt. Rishon would fight back to within 3 twice, but turnovers by Rishon on three consecutive possessions allowed Promitheas to surge to 86-74 in the penultimate minute and the hosts cruised the rest of the way.
Babb feasts on Rishon again
Chris Babb shared the Round 1 MVP honors this season after scoring 19 points and posting a performance index rating of 29 the last time these teams met. Babb bettered his point total by 1 on Wednesday and also tallied 2 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals for a PIR of 16.
It was all about the shooting in this game. Promitheas was simple more efficient from every range and made more threes and free throws too. The hosts shot 58.8 percent on two-pointers, 47.8% on threes and 75% on free throws. Rishon was 48.9% on two-pointers, 38.1% from downtown and 53.8% from the free-throw line. That told much of the story.
Rishon rallied late to make it 77-74 with 3 minutes remaining and it appeared that the visitors had some momentum. However, after Leonidas Kaselakis made 2 free throws, Johnathan Williams was called for traveling. Then Langston Hall scored for the hosts and Frederic Bourdillon turned the ball over. By the time Jordan Swing fouled Chris Babb and the latter sank the resulting 3 free throws, the margin was up to 10 points and the home fans could relax.
Promitheas goes on the road next week to face AS Monaco with hopes of securing a Top 16 berth. Rishon will host Segafeedo Virtus Bologna as it looks to keep its slim chances of advancing alive.
Wednesday, November 6, 2019