Pamesa Valencia stopped visiting Zadar 105-84
Pamesa Valencia will have 21 points to defend next week in Croatia thanks to the 105-84 blowout home win it took Wednesday against visiting KK Zadar in the first leg of their two-game quarterfinal series. Pamesa stole the show in the second half behind an unbelievable performance by Pedro Robles, who hit for 28 points coming off the bench by making an incredible 8 of 10 three-pointers. Robles was the game's top scorer, but was well supported by his teammates. Pamesa shot a stunning 18-for-29 overall from the three-point arc, putting four more players in double digits: Fabricio Oberto and Alejandro Montecchia, who nailed 16 each, Victor Luengo and Federico Kammerichs with 13 each. Though registered just a day earlier, Michael McDonald led Zadar with 19 points. He was followed by Mladen Erjavec and Marko Popovic with 14 each, while Damir Tvrdic and Michael Meeks contributed 12 each.
Pamesa started the game with great intensity, hitting three-pointers in the first minute to post an 8-0 run, the first of many solid leads. The advantage soon reached double digits at 16-6 thanks to another long shot, by Victor Luengo. Pamesa was blowing out Zadar in each section of the court when Kammerichs pushed the lead to 16 points, 26-10, with a couple of free throws. Thanks to Meeks, however, the Croatian guests did not sink despite being down 12 points, 28-16, at the end of the first quarter. Meeks hit 9 points to keep his team in the game. Soon, as Pamesa's hot shooting subsided a little, Marko Popovic and Mladen Erjavec lit up one shot after another to reduce the gap furhter. Montecchia hit an important jumper to make it 32-24 for Pamesa, but Zadar was a rising tide and came back to within just 3 points, 35-32. Luengo and Robles gave Pamesa the little flurry at the end of the second quarter, and with the help of a heavy turnover by Marko Samanic of Zadar, the hosts reached intermission with 7 points to defend, 51-44.
The two teams came back with completely different attitudes in the third quarter. Zadar started slow, and experienced Pamesa did not forgive the guests any mistakes. The hosts landed a heavy blow with a huge 18-9 run thanks to Robles and Dejan Tomasevic, lifting the lead to almost 20 points again at 69-50. Mladen Erjavec and Samanic tried to stop the slide and right before the end of the third quarter reduced the gap to 12 points, 78-66. To erase any doubts, Oberto led Pamesa with a 4-0 run at the beginning of the last period to 82-66. Robles gave another push to his team, hitting more threes to reach 25 points in 23 minutes on the floor. His eighth swish from downtown put the lead at 99-81 and seemed to stop Zadar in its tracks. The visitors would not score again, while Pamesa pumped in 6 more points at the finish, just in case they come in handy next week in the rematch.
Tuesday, February 25, 2003