When it seemed that Le Mans was out of the Last 16 race early, the French team shocked everyone on Tuesday night thanks to an 8-21 burst in the last period that allowed them to jump ahead and take the final win at BC Triumph, 72-87. Triumph had dominated the game for three quarters and Le Mans was never really a threat until the guests rolled in the last period to jump ahead for good in an amazing 14-36 final quarter. Le Mans is now 2-3 in Group B and can still qualify to the Last 16 next week, while BC Triumph drops to also 2-3 and will have to wait until next week, too. The 15-point win allows Le Mans also to overcome the first leg's loss to Triumph by 3 points, to hold an upped hand in case of a likely tie with the Russian team at the end of the regular season. Dewarick Spencer led the winners with 26 points including 4 of 9 threes. Maleye Ndoye added 14, Joao Paulo Batista 12 and Marc Salyers, 10. For Triumph, Brion Rush had 18 points, Konstantin Nesterov added 17, Pavel Sergeev 15 and Vadim Panin had 10.
Brion Rush started the game on fire for BC Triumph as he scored almost 10 points in a row to put his team ahead with a 21-14. Before that, Pavel Sergeev and Konstantin Nesterov had started the game with two
threes for the hosts, but Marc Salyers and his teammates were not surrendering, and despite Triumph's good defense, managed to stay alive with baskets to keep the leads always around the 5 points. Dewarick
Spencer hit a three for Le Mans to make t a 1-point game, 21-20, and he hit another later to tie the game, 23-23 but Sergeev had enough time to hit free throw that closed the first period with a Triumph
partial win, 24-23. Defenses prevailed at the start of the second period and only Triumph managed to score 4 points in 4 minutes to make it a 28-23 game. Le Mans struggled in offense throughout the second
period as it was only in minute 18 that Salyers scored a free throw to make it 30-24. In the remaining two minutes, Vadim Panin led the hosts as Le Mans' only field goal in the quarter arrived from Zach
Wright. At the halftime break, Triumph was dominating 35-29.
The second half started with a 6-0 burst for Triumph behind threes by Nesterov and Paul Miller for a 41-29. Joao Paulo Batista had a 0-5 run of his own to get Le Mans going, and Salyers soon joined in for a
layup that made it 41-36. At this point the scoreboard progressed evenly until Maleye Ndoye connected from downtown for a 46-42 Triumph lead. The hosts reacted fast however, and whn Pavleev buried a new
three, the lead was already at 53-42. Ndoye was back for the attacj with a new triple, and Salyers added a couple of free throws for Le Mans that made it 53-47. It was a good moment for the guests as Spencer
and Thierry Rupert added four more unanswered points for a 53-51. Panin and Egor Vyaltsev stopped the bleeding for Triumph as the third period ended, 58-51. The game turned around in the last period. A 0-9
for starters allowed Le Mans to jump ahead in the lead. Triumph reacted soon enough, but there was no stopping Le Mans. Led by Batista, the guests managed to build a shocking 8-21 run that put the scoreboard
on 65-72 after Ndoye's three. Spencer was the chosen one for Le Mans to keep his team at a safe distance during the last minutes while Triumph tried, in vin, to cut the deficit from the arc. This time, the French team was saved by the bell.
Tuesday, January 5, 2010