The dream of a Top 16 team in Poland moved tantalyzingly closer on Thursday as Idea Slask Wroclaw beat visiting Adecco Asvel 84-75 in a Group C game at Wroclaw. Idea's second consecutive home win raised it into a three-way tie for second place with a 6-4 record, the same as Benetton Treviso and Pamesa Valencia. Meanwhile, Asvel falls to 2-8 and is almost out of contention for the Top 16. Slask took control of the game midway through the second quarter and never looked back. Lynn Greer led the winners with 28 points, including 10 of 10 free throws, 5 rebounds and 5 assists. Adam Wojcik added 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting, while Dominik Tomczyk had 10 points and 7 rebounds for the hosts. Karim Souchu, with 23 points on 9 of 13 two-pointers, was Asvel's top scorer. Robert Gulyas had 15 points and 7 rebounds while Maurice Taylor added 11 for the guests.
Slask had a strong start, as Michal Ignerski's layup and a jumper by Greer provided a 6-2 lead. Asvel struggled on offense, missing its first 6 shots until Andre Owens drilled a three-pointer to make it 6-5. Still, Slask's defensive work paid off. Asvel went scoreless for 2 minutes while a Wojcik jumper ignited a 7-0 Slask run that ended with a three-pointer by Ignerski and a 13-5 local lead. An Asvel timeout then proved beneficial as a three-point play by Gulyas and easy baskets by Souchu and David Frigout got the guests within 15-12. Asvel even managed to tie the game at 20-20 on a three-pointer by Taylor, before Greer's 2 foul shots gave Slask a 22-20 lead after 10 minutes.
Slask opened the second quarter with a 7-0 run in which Tamel Tein scored back-to-back layups to extend the lead to 29-20. Asvel did not give up, and fired back with a 2-8 run in which Makan Dioumassi and Gulyas had 4 points apiece, making it 31-28. Slask looked to its stars, Greer and Wojcik, and they responded with 5 points each in a 10-2 run that forged the game's first double-digit advantage, 41-30. Gulyas was the only one scoring consistently for Asvel, but Slask was unstoppable. Dominik Tomczyk drilled a shot from beyond the arc, and Greer, who had 17 points and 4 assists in the first half, made a mid-range jumper, enough to help the hosts to extend the lead to 48-35 at halftime.
The teams exchanged baskets early in the third quarter until Gulyas, with 4 consecutive points, got Asvel within 11 points, 54-43. Idea was not effective on offense, but its defense kept it in command of the game. A three-pointer by Taylor brought Asvel within 10, 57-47, midway through this period, and later Souchu went on fire, scoring 5 points in less than 2 minutes. The guests finally got the lead down to single digits, 63-55, after foul shots by Frigout, and then Sacha Giffa drilled a three-pointer to make it a five-point game, 63-58. But Greer again had his say, from downtown, as Idea held a 66-58 lead after 30 minutes.
Wojcik and Tomczyk helped to keep Slask's lead safe lead early in the fourth quarter, and a three-point play by Maciej Zielinski extended it to 72-61 with 6 minutes to go. Asvel did not manage to stop Slask's offense and could only carry on exchanging baskets with the hosts. Eventually, a three-pointer by Robert Kosciuk and a dunk by Ryan Randle let Idea enter the final 3 minutes up by 12 points, 79-67. The outcome was clear. Souchu's 6 points helped Asvel reduce the deficit, but not keep Slask from its sixth Group C victory.
Thursday, January 22, 2004
Andrzej Jaworski, Wroclaw