Adecco Estudiantes bounced back from a blowout loss in Group A last week by thrashing Olympiacos 87-57 at home in Madrid, Spain, on Thursday night. Estudiantes improved to 3-4 in the group standings and is now tied with Prokom Trefl Sopot for fifth place, while Olympiacos dropped to 1-6, tied for last place. Estudiantes opened the game with a 10-0 run and never looked back, getting a 50-30 margin at halftime and keeping a safe cushion until the final buzzer. Andres Miso led the winners with 14 points. Iker Iturbe and Hernan Jasen each had 13 points, while Ruben Garces posted his third double-double of the season with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Carlos Jimenez added 12 points and 9 rebounds for Estudiantes. Marque Perry had 16 points for the Reds, while Ioannis Kalambokis added 11.
Estudiantes started the game at full speed, as a turnaround jumper by Garces and back-to-back threes by Azofra and Patterson powered the hosts to a 8-0 lead. After an Olympiacos timeout, Garces added a jump hook to cap a 10-0 opening run. Almost 3 minutes passed before Perry made a running jumper to put Olympiacos on the scoreboard and Vukcevic added a bomb from downtown to bring the Reds within 11-6. Estudiantes controlled the boards but the hosts now struggled to score until Sergio Rodriguez stepped on court. He scored a layup and fed Garces for an easy basket to give Estudiantes a 17-8 margin after 7 minutes. Rodriguez carried on slashing to the basket to draw fouls while Iturbe added 9 quick points, including 2 smooth three-pointers, to extend the Estudiantes lead to double digits, 29-16, after 10 minutes.
Nothing changed early in the second quarter, as the Reds struggled against the 3-2 zone defense of Estudiantes. Meanwhile, Rafa Vidaurreta followed Hernan Jasen's three-point play with a two-handed dunk for a 34-17 Estudiantes advantage. Olympiacos improved its defense midway through this period, and Ivan Zoroski drilled a corner triple. Garces stepped up with a put-back layup to put Estudiantes back on track, but Lavor Postell matched that with a fallaway jumper and Perry added free throws to make it a 15-point game at 39-24. Following an Estudiantes timeout, Nikola Loncar fired in a three-pointer for the hosts among the few points scored late in the half. Andres Miso became Estudiantes' go-to guy, however, finding 4 points in a 6-0 finishing run that left the game's biggest lead yet, 50-30, on the halftime scoreboard.
Miso opened the third quarter with an uncontested layup, but Vangelis Sklavos immediately answered from downtown for Olympiacos. The hosts continued dominating the boards enough to keep a safe lead at 54-33. Kalambokis tried to wake the Reds up with a layup, but Carlos Jimenez drilled free throws in a third-chance option for Estudiantes. The Reds improved in offense now, as Jeff Nordgaard and Perry slashed to the basket for easy points, but Olympiacos only managed to exchange baskets until free throws by Kalambokis and a layup by Zoroski brought them within 62-45. Jimenez, who had 8 points in this period, drilled free throws, Iturbe scored off the glass in penetration and Miso added a smart basket to preserve a 68-47 Estudiantes lead after 30 minutes.
The outcome was more than clear as the Reds went scoreless in the opening 5 minutes of the final period. Meanwhile, Garces and Jimenez scored around the basket, Iturbe added a fastbreak layup and Jasen an unconstested layup in a 13-0 run which boosted the hosts' margin to 80-47. Estudiantes used Miso as point guard for the first time this season, while youngster Carlos Suarez made his Euroleague debut and even had the chance to score. As such, Estudiantes cruised to its easiest win of its Euroleague season.
Thursday, December 16, 2004
Carlos Gil, Madrid