For the second consecutive week, Besiktas Cola Turka took a solid home victory, this one against still-winless Anwil Wloclawek by 74-61 on Tuesday in Group B. An 18-7 fourth quarter score was decisive for the hosts, who had lead by only a single basket, 56-54, after three quarters and trailed by as many as 14 points earlier in the game. In minute 36 however, Cevher Ozer spurred a 9-2 run for Besiktas that sealed the deal. With the win, Besiktas improves to a 2-2 record, tied with Ventspils and Snaidero Udine for third place in Group B, while Anwil drops to 0-4 and remains the only winless team in the ULEB Cup. Ozer and Aubrey Reese posted 16 points apiece, Jamel Thomas added 12 and Erkan Veyseloglu nailed 11. For Anwil, Seid Hajric led the way with his 15 points, Gatis Jahovics added 13 and Andrzej Pluta, 10.
Besiktas began without injured guard Baris Ozcan, but his replacement, Arda Vekiloglu, proved more than ready. Vekiloglu hit 3 of 3 triple tries from behind arc to pace the hosts in the quarter. By the fifth minute, Vekiloglu had nailed a pair of triples to shoot Besiktas ahead 15-12, but Hajric of Anwil levelled the score at 16-16 a minute later. Soon, forward Gatis Lahovics dunked on Besiktas to let Anwil take its first lead, 16-18. But Vekiloglu wasn't done. He made another three-pointer from the right side to retake the lead for Besiktas, 19-18. Jahovics made another layup to draw Anwil close again at 24-22 before but Reese ended the quarter with a tip-in at the buzzer good for a 26-22 Besiktas advantage. Anwil started the second quarter with aggressive defense and forced Besiktas into several mistakes. Besiktas was held to just 2 points in the first 5 minutes of the quarter while Mladen Soskic completed a 0-7 run for Anwil with a jumper that made it 26-29. Veyseloglu ended the Besiktas drought with a fastbreak layup, but it was something of a false alarm. Anwil found the rhythm again and took the control as Jahovics dunked at 30-34 and Pluta punished Besiktas with a three-pointer on a fine assist from Marlon Parmer, extending the lead to 9 points, 30-39. Than it was Bartkomiej Woloszyn’s turn for a three-pointer, this from the left corner, to make it 32-42. Finally, a Jahovics layup ended the first half and Anwil's 6-22 blast with the visitors in charge, 32-44.
Hajric made a huge dunk to open the second half by pushing Anwil to what would prove to be its biggest lead of the game 32-46. Besiktas concentrated on playing better defense and it slowly but surely worked. Meanwhile, Djuro Ostojic's tip-in of a three-point attempt by Reese got the hosts within 41-48. Soon, Jamel Thomas and Reese scored back-to-back three-pointers that cut the difference down to a basket which Thomas was happy to make to forge a 52-52 tie still midway through the third quarter. And when, Jahovics missed 2 free throws, Ozer was more than happy to make 1 of 2 and put Besiktas in the lead again, 53-52. Besiktas finished a 23-8 scoring run with free throws by Reese that were good for a 55-52 advantage that held at 56-54 as Ostojic finished the quarter with a free throw. The fourth quarter opened with Ozer's three-pointer giving Besiktas its best lead yet, 59-54. Both teams struggled to score for several minutes as Besiktas maintained the difference on free throws by Reese in the 35th minute that made the score 63-57. While Anwil continued struggling, Ozer fired up the hosts now with a pair of sudden three-pionters that boosted the Besiktas lead to 10 points. Whe Thomas threw an excellent alley-oop assist to him, Ozer slammed to make it 71-59 in the 37th minute, more than enough for Besiktas to register its second consecutive victory in Group B.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Gokhan Ture, Istanbul