Adecco Estudiantes took care of business by putting a 77-59 hurting on Metis Varese
Adecco Estudiantes won 77-59 at home in Palacio Vistalegre in the first game of its two-leg quarterfinal against Metis Varese on Tuesday. The final deficit of 18 points amounts to a lot for Varese to cover when the two teams meet next week in the second game. Estudiantes improved its lead in the second part of the game minute by minute with an amazing performance by power forward Felipe Reyes, who was the scoring leader of the night with 26 points and 10 rebounds. Estudiantes dominated under the boards, pulling down 37 boards (20 on offense), and also forced Varese to commit 19 turnovers. The winners had two other players score in double digits, Carlos Jimenez with 11 points and Adam Keefe with 10. Metis Varese had 14 points by Paolo Conti and 13 by Andrea Meneghin, but nobody else scored more than 7 points.
The guests started strong and took an early 3-8 lead with two straight mid-range jumpers posted by Conti, but Reyes scored 6 of the next 8 points for Estudiantes to give his team a 9-8 lead after 6 minutes. The Spaniards continued their run with a three-pointer by Jimenez, but after a Varese timeout, guard Rusty Larue reduced the deficit to 12-10. Estudinates reached its 16-10 again before Meneghin from long distance reduced it 16-13. After a hot last minute, Corey Brewer scored twice from the line to give to his team a 21-12 after 10 minutes.
Varese's captain, Francesco Vescovi, scored 5 straight points to start the second period, and his team rallied to 21-17, but Estudiantes made a 6-0 run to reach a double-digit lead, 27-17, on free throws of Andres Miso after 16 minutes. In this second period the defenses forced the two teams to shoot poorly, but in the last minute the offenses went on fire and Reyes scored the final basket for the 36-27 Estudiantes advantage at the intermission. Reyes and Conti were the only players in double digits after 20 minutes, netting 10 points apiece. Estudiantes was dominating under the glasses grabbing 9 offensive boards but shooting just 39% on field goals. Varese had already turned over 11 balls and thus trailed despite its decent 46% on field goals.
Reyes, unstoppable for Italian defense, posted the lay up for the largest advantage in the game, 40-29, 3 minutes into the third quarter, but Varese didn't give up, scoring twice in a few seconds with Boris Gorenc and Rusty LaRue. The crowd pushed the home team to what seemed the decisive break as Brewer increased the Spanish lead to 51-36. The guests couldn't find the way to the basket, accumulated several more turnovers, so that when Reyes slamming the ball in the Italian basket for his 21st point, he gave a 54-36 lead to his team after a 10-0 run. The period finished with 56-43 on the scoreboard after Meneghin netted a three close to the buzzer.
In the first 3 minutes of the last period, Pavel Podkolzin scored a lone free throw for Varese, while both teams missed a lot of shots. Still the best player of the night, Reyes, scored the first bucket for the 58-44. Estudiantes lengthened the lead 65-46 and when Varese seemed to be ready to collapse one more time, its most experienced player, Meneghin, scored from behind the arc for 65-49 with 5 minutes to go. The game was completely managed by Spaniards, who were able in the last minutes to keep thier advantage over 15 points, rejecting all Varese's attempts to be closer.
Tuesday, February 25, 2003