Asseco Prokom stunned Caja Laboral 75-81
Asseco Prokom Gdynia send a message that echoed all around the competition by downing Caja Laboral 75-81 in Turkish Airlines Euroleague Group A in Vitoria, Spain on Wednesday night. Both teams tie for fifth place in Group A, each with a 2-5 record and one win away from BC Khimki, fourth at 3-4. Prokom, however, has a tie-break disadvantage against both Khimki and Laboral, that registered its fifth consecutive loss in this group. Ratko Varda led the winners with 16 points. Daniel Ewing added 13 while Adam Lapeta had 11 and 4 blocks for Prokom. Stanko Barac led Laboral with 25 points. Mirza Teletovic added 15 while Fernando San Emeterio got 13 for the hosts, that used a 13-0 run that bridged between both halves to get a 45-34 lead early in the third quarter. Ewing and Lapeta rescued Prokom and a put-back dunk by JR Giddens completed the guests' comeback, 56-57, early in the fourth quarter. Prokom extended its lead to 65-75 with 3 minutes left and held off a late Laboral rally to register a critical road win in come-from-behind fashion.
Prokom tried a surprising starting lineup with Lapeta guarding Stanko Barac and Ewing at shooting guard to go against David Logan, who got Laboral going with a floating layup. Lapeta took over with a dunk-and-foul but a jumper by Marcelinho Huertas restored a 4-3 Laboral edge. Jan Jagla shined with a tip-in but Marcus Haislip erased it with a dunk. Ewing sank a three-pointer in transition and Lapeta dunked it again but Haislip followed a jumper with a shot from downtown to keep Laboral ahead, 11-10. San Emeterio sank a long two-pointer and added a big basket in penetration but a layup by Piotr Szczokta and free throws by Varda kept Prokom within 15-14. San Emeterio kept pacing Laboral with a triple and Barac erased Varda's jump hook with free throws for a 20-16 score. Varda scored again over Barac, who followed a layup with a huge dunk to keep his team ahead, 24-18. A layup by Ronnie Burrell got Prokom within 24-20 after 10 minutes.
Teletovic sank a jumper early in the second quarter but Varda matched it with yet another big basket in the low post. Barac shined with a two-chance layup but a red hot Varda beat the shot clock with a seven-meter bomb and Filip Videnov banked in an acrobatic jumper to make Laboral call timeout at 28-27. Teletovic stepped up for Laboral with a jumper but Jagla buried a three-pointer to tie it at 30-30. Laboral kept struggling to find open shots and a layup by Jagla put Prokom back ahead, 30-32. Laboral tried Nemanja Bjelica at power forward to improve its ball circulation. Lapeta scored in the paint but Teletovic hit 3-of-4 free throws for a 33-34 score. Huertas made free throws, as Laboral stopped allowing easy baskets. Meanwhile, Huertas hit his trademark running jumper to make Prokom call timeout at 37-34. Teletovic took over with an outstanding up-and-under layup to fix the halftime score at 39-34.
Laboral raised its defensive intensity after the break while Barac and Teletovic gave the hosts a 42-34 lead. Prokom did not find the way to the basket and an open three-pointer by San Emeterio forced the guests to call timeout at 45-34 lead, after a 13-0 run. Burrell tried to change things with a put-back layup and Ewing added a floating jumper to give Prokom some hope at 45-38. Giddens beat the shot clock with an off-balance three-pointer, as Prokom had found its game rhythm. A fast break layup by Videnov made Laboral call timeout at 45-43. Barac hit free throws but a dunk by Lapeta and a fast break layup by Burrell completed the guests' comeback, 47-49. Barac took over with a dunk and San Emeterio split free throws but Varda struck from downtown to put the guests back ahead, 50-52. Teletovic stepped up with a tip-in and San Emeterio added free throws to restore a 54-52 Laboral lead. Logan sank a jumper that Ewing improved with a three-point play for a 56-55 score after 30 minutes.
Giddens provided a highlight with a put-back reverse dunk early in the fourth quarter. He soon added free throws for a 56-59 Prokom lead with 8 minutes left. Laboral tried to use longer possessions to find better shots and Barac stepped up with a reverse layup. Ewing took over with a three-pointer and a fast break dunk by Jagla made the crowd start to wonder at 58-64. Brad Oleson tried to change things with a driving layup, as Laboral stopped allowed easy shots. Videnov, however, buried a huge three-pointer for a 60-67 Prokom lead with 4 minutes left. Barac shined with a dunk-and-foul but Lapeta scored down low and Mike Wilks added a fast break layup to make Laboral call timeout at 63-71. Barac and Videnov traded free throws while Wilks sealed the outcome, 65-75, with 3 minutes left. Oleson struck from downtown and Barac added a layup-plus-foul for a 71-77 Laboral deficit with 1:38 left. A put-back basket by Pau Ribas got his team even closer, 73-77, but free throws by Ewing allowed Prokom to celebrate a well-deserved, pivotal road win.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010