Maroussi Costa Coffee used a cross-town road game in Athens to pull off another road win by a commanding 59-71 at Panellinios on Tuesday to stay tied for first place in Group I. Maroussi and Dynamo Moscow are both 2-0 and share first place, while Panellinios dropped to 0-2 with BC Khimki Moscow Region. Maroussi set the pace with a 0-9 start after the opening tipoff and only let the hosts from Panellinios taste the lead for brief minutes thereafter. When Panellinios closed to within 54-59 late in the game, Konstantinos Charalampidis was there for the visitors to knock down a pair of huge triples and take the win back to Maroussi. Charalampidis led the winners with 17 points, while Jarod Stevenson followed with 13 points and Billy Keys 11. Panellinios got 18 points from Anthony Grundy, 12 from Jurica Golemac and 10 from Ivan Radenovic. Maroussi's giant 37-23 rebounding advantage was led by Keys, a point guard, who pulled 7 boards.
Maroussi started in high gear, racing to an impressive 0-9 start backed by 5 points from Mavrokefalides. Panellinios head coach Elias Zouros opted to call for a timeout just 3 minutes into the game. Soon after, Golemac ended the drought for the hosts with back-to-back baskets and then Grundy unleashed a triple to trim the lead to 7-9. Dimitris Mavroeidis picked up the scoring slack to keep Maroussi in charge, 9-13, but Grundy hit another triple to make it a one-point game. Still, the guests took advantage of frequent trips to the foul line and, with Andreas Glyniadakis dominating the paint, Maroussi stayed ahead 18-23 after 10 minutes. Ivan Radenovic opened the second quarter with a three-point play and a triple, single-handedly vaulting Panellinios to its first lead, 24-23. The hosts had now picked up their defensive intensity, too, having switched to an asphyxiating full-court press at times, but Maroussi did not back down. Kostas Kaimakoglou and Pat Calathes led the counter-offensive, allowing the guests to bounce back ahead, 27-31. Grundy knocked his third triple and few possessions later teammate Giorgos Kalaitzis copied him to fix the score at 35-35. As Maroussi started to face trouble offensively, Stevan Nadjfeji scored 3 points to put Panellinios ahead 39-35. Then, with the clock ticking down, Calathes drove to the basket to score a morale-boosting layup and bring Maroussi within 39-37 at halftime.
The second half got underway with Golemac and Jarod Stevenson trading triples. Glyniadakis tied the game with a hook shot and, as Panellinios committed 4 turnovers in 3 minutes, soon Maroussi regained the lead, 42-44. Grundy and Brad Newley failed to connect from downtown as Panellinios was held scoreless for almost 6 minutes. By the time Keys sank a contested triple, Maroussi had built a 42-49 advantage. Finally, Golemac hit a free throw, however Panellinios could not push the tempo in order to find any rhythm offensively. That ended, however, when Grundy stepped up and wreaked havoc on his opponents with twin layups and an assist to Golemac that sliced the margin to 49-51 at the end of the third quarter. Both teams came out determined to fight tooth and nail in the final 10 minutes, but Maroussi broke ahead by 49-57 on 6 points shared by Stevenson and Glyniadakis. Radenovic answered back on a layup, but could get no closer right away. Maroussi was struggling in offense as well, even though Panellinios defensive specialist Manolis Papamakarios had fouled out, so the hosts closed the gap to 54-59. Then, with 2:30 remaining, Charalampidis came up big, letting go a wild triple to beat the shot-clock buzzer and forge a 54-62 advantage for Maroussi. Grundy drove to the hoop, only to be bettered by Charalampidis, who buried another three-pointer to seal the outcome and give his team a precious Group I road win.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Epameinondas Tsakalos, Athens