Despite its slow start, Peristeri of Athens remains in shouting distance of a top-four position in Group B this Thursday night after downing visiting London Towers 99-75. The victory raised Peristeri's record to 2-3, just a victory behind fourth place. London, which was within five points in the second half, fell to 0-5. In a battle of point guards, Byron Dinkins led Peristeri with 23 points, 19 of those in the first half, while Terrell Myers scored 27 for London, 20 of those before the break. Giorgos Pantazopoulos put up 17 more for the winners, Adam Wojcik 16, Kostas Tsartsaris 11 and Thanassis Efthimiou 10. For London, Phil Hickey added 15 points and Brett Eppehimer 11, though Peristeri shut him down after two quick three-pointers.
The early lead Peristeri took at the beginning of the game, 10-4, was not enough to guarantee an easy evening. London managed to balance the game and to go ahead, 12-13, due to consecutive three-pointers scored by Brett Eppehimer, after another high-arching three made by Terrel Myers. Kostas Tsartsaris tied the game (16-16), in the seventh minute, Byron Dinkins put Peristeri three ahead, at 19-16, and the home team concluded the first period leading by 26-17. Adam Wocjik had already scored 12 points, an impressive tomahawk dunk included.
The second period started with spectacular baskets, made by Dinkins, who helped Peristeri maintain a gap of between 5 and 7 points. Good defense on Eppehimer allowed Myers to be the king of the Towers on offense by scoring 20 points at the first half. Peristeri started to play decent defense and to execute well, good for a double-figure lead of 42-30 with 4:00 left. One minute before the end of the first half, Peristeri opened up the margin even wider, to 51-35, and ended up going into intermission ahead 53-40. By that time Myers and Dinkins led their teams in scoring, with 20 and 19 points respectively.
In the third quarter, a turnover committed by Wojcik and another three-pointer made by John White allowed London to cut the margin to only 5 points, 55-50, but Peristeri didn't let them to be more competitive. Giorgos Pantazopoulos from the perimeter and Michael Andersen under the boards came on strong against the zone defense London coach Lino Frattin decided to use. The result was a 9-0 Peristeri, good enough to open lead to 64-50. That seemed to be the key point of the game, as the lead soared to 76-61 at the end of the third quarter.
There were no surprises at the epilogue of the game. The fourth quarter, a totally typical one, allowed coach Argiris Pedoulakis to deliver some minutes and Euroleague opportunities to young and inexperienced players. Thanassis Efthimiou managed to finish the game in double figures despite limited playing time. The only thing Peristeri failed at was reaching 100 points as Alexis Papadatos and Yannis Mitropoulos missed two consecutive shots in the attempt.
Thursday, November 8, 2001