Telekom Baskets Bonn won the battle but may have lost the war as it defeated visiting Ural Great 72-64 in Group A on Tuesday. Had it held onto the 15-point margin it led by with 1 minute to play, Bonn would depend on itself in order to advance to the next round. Now both teams are 4-5 and Ural holds the point difference advantage. Bonn must win on the road and the Russian champs lose at home next week in order for the German team to beat Ural into the next round. Chris Anstey and Eddie Shannon, scoring the game's final 7 points, gave Ural the point differential it needed after having won the first-round leg against Bonn by 12 points. Terrence Rencher scored 9 of his team-high 22 points in the final quarter for Bonn. Aleksandar Nadjfeji added 15 for the winners, Branko Klepac and Brad Traina 10 each. For Ural, Anstey posted 25 points and 13 rebounds in just 29 minutes, while Shannon added 16 points.
Anstey took over early for Ural, scoring 8 of his team's points, including a three-pointer, en route to a 10-10 tie halfway through the first quarter. By contrast, each of the Bonn scorers had contributed 2 points to the home team total at that moment, but Alexander Nadjfeji's 3 rebounds were certainly helping Bonn keep Anstey from doing more damage. Ural kept crashing the offensive boards anyway, however. Martin Muursepp had a putback and Valentin Kubrakov an offensive board that resulted in Nadjfeji's brother Stefan coming up with a second-chance three-pointer to give the visitors a lead of 12-16. Anstey got another basket and Shannon added a three-pointer as Ural finished off the quarter win more strong defense to take a 14-21 lead after 10 minutes.
The brothers Nadjfeji kept at each other in the second quarter, trading back-to-back layups in one sequence, but Ural kept getting the better of Bonn. Kubrakov and Anstey added buckets as the lead soared into double digits at 16-28. A dunk by Aleksandar Radojevic of Bonn was answered by another basket from Anstey, now up to 14 points in 15 minutes. Likewise, Terrence Rencher's three-pointer to drop the deficit under 10 points, 21-30, was met with a layup by Shannon at the other end. Bonn had not scored much in the previous 10 minutes, but that was about to change. Aleksandar Nadjfeji rallied his team with a three-point play and a layup to spark a 15-2 run to the lead. Rencher scored 4 more of those points, Branko Klepac tied it at 34-34, then Olouma Nnamaka pushed Bonn ahead at 36-34. Gintaras Kadziulis tied for Ural to end the bleeding, but Rencher got loose for a half-ending layup and a 38-36 Bonn lead.
Bonn picked up where it left off, with everyone going against Anstey. Klepac scored again and Brad Traina added a three-pointer as the Bonn lead reached 44-38. Anstey and Kadziulis both hit a pair of free throws to keep Ural close, but a Radojevic layup made it 48-42 for Bonn as heavy defense cut down almost completely on scoring for both teams. Almost 3 minutes of scoring futility ended with Bryan Brown scoring for Telekom and the locals ahead 50-43. Muursepp again stepped up for Ural with a three-point play in a 3-7 run that finished with Shannon's layup making it 53-51. Rencher ended the slide with a layup for Bonn that preserved a four-point lead, 55-51, after 30 minutes.
Bonn's defense did one job to start the final quarter and Rencher did another. His 2 three-pointers fueled a 9-3 Bonn run to a double-digit lead of 64-53 after 35 minutes. Anstey now reappeared for Ural, but he was not enough. That defense and Rencher's three-point play with less than 2 minutes left boosted Bonn to a 70-57 lead and a new life in the Group A race. Two free throws by Traina made it 72-57, but Bonn lost its concentration in the final minute, letting Shannon and Anstey combine for the game's final 7 points. Ural had not qualified, but at least had made up the point difference in its favor, due to its previous 12-point win in Perm. Now, it would go back home to was left to hope that a win on its home floor in Perm in the final week will be good enough to advance to the second round.
Tuesday, January 7, 2003