In their last game before the holidays, Opel Skyliners have ratified their unexpectedly fine season and boosted their ambitions for making the Top 16 by decisively knocking off visiting Peristeri 72-55 in a Group B match at Frankfurt on Thursday. As such, Frankfurt stays in the thick of the group contenders at 6-3, joining three other teams with the same record - Barcelona, Ulker Istanbul and Union Olimpija - in second place. Frankfurt was led once again by forward Marcus Goree, who finished with 18 points. Point guard Pascal Roller added 14, center Robert Maras and Alex Lokmanchuk 12 each for the winners. Peristeri got 15 points from Adam Wojcic, 10 each from Mikalis Pelekanos and Kostas Tsartsaris. Peristeri falls to 2-7 and no more than a role of spoiler for the six teams above them trying to squeeze into four Top 16 berths.
Both teams came out slow in the first quarter and didn't hit too many shots. While Frankfurt guard Ibrahim Diarra held Byron Dinkins under control, the team from Greece did not have a real leader on the floor. But somehow Peristeri managed to stay in the game keeping Frankfurt locked in a halfcourt game. The score of 14-13 for Frankfurt after ten minutes showed that Peristeri were still believing in themselves.
The second quarter then was the highlight of the game and Frankfurt jumped on Peristeri and played their usual fastbreak game. Four three-pointers by guard Pascal Roller made the score 42-21 just before halftime and Peristeri just couldn't do anything to stop him. Rebounding was another factor in that period and after Adam Wojcik had to leave early with three fouls, Frankfurt got control under the boards.
In the third, Frankfurt just kept the lead and did not do more than what was neccessary to stay away from Peristeri with a comfortable lead. Forward Alexander Lokhmanchuk scored some nice points for Frankfurt and played real good defense too. In the last minutes of the final quarter Frankfurt even sent all their reserves on the court and the fans cheered for every play as Peristeri's breath was gone.
Thursday, December 20, 2001
Holger Werner, Frankfurt