Anadolu Efes bested Belgacom Spirou 62-66
Anadolu Efes gave its Top 16 chances a serious boost with a 62-66 victory over Belgacom Spirou at the SpirouDome in Charleroi, Belgium, on Wednesday night. All-Euroleague forward Dusko Savanovic scored 16 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as Efes won for the second week in a row and improved to 4-3 in Group C. The visitors jumped out to an early lead and never looked back. Efes was up by 17 early in the third quarter. Demond Mallet scored 12 third-quarter points to keep the hosts’ hopes alive and Spirou rallied in the final minute, but never came within a shot of even tying the score. Stanko Barac added 12 points and 3 blocks for the winners and Sasha Vujacic scored 10. Mallet paced Spirou with 21 points and Andre Riddick produced 9 points and 10 rebounds. Spirou lost its fifth straight game since beating Efes in Istanbul in October and dropped to 1-6.
Efes started the game just as it wanted with Stanko Barac converting a three-point play and then Sasha Vujacic nailing a triple. Demond Mallet broke the ice for the hosts after three minutes. Toko Shengelia drew a third foul from Ersan Ilyasova just five minutes into the game and the Efes forward took a seat on the bench. Mallet banked in a runner to narrow the gap to 5-8. Vujacic stretched the Efes lead only to see Mallet answer back from downtown. Barac took a nice pass from Kerem Tunceri and rose for a slam before Vujacic found Dusko Savanovic cutting through the lane for a basket-plus-foul and an 8-17 advantage. Justin Hamilton scored the next 5 points – including a triple off the glass – to revive the hosts. Free throws by Cenk Akyol and Andre Riddick left the scoreboard at 14-18 after 10 minutes.
A clock malfunction delayed the start of the second quarter and when play resumed, it took two more minutes before Savanovic banked in a shot. Andre Riddick thrilled the fans with an emphatic two-hand follow-dunk, but Savanovic found Vujacic to stretch the lead to 16-22. The visitors remained the aggressor as Esteban Batista scored inside and Savanovic from the line to make it a 10-point lead. Christophe Beghin ended the Spirou slide, but following the TV timeout, Vlado Ilievski banked in a three on the 24-second clock buzzer to make it 18-32. Jiri Welsch tried to narrow the gap for the hosts and Beghin went through Batista for a basket-plus-foul. The hosts’ defense caused trouble for Efes, but Spirou was unable to capitalize at the other end. Akyol came through with a triple from the corner as Efes took a 22-37 lead into the break.
Andre Riddick scored at one end and blocked a shot at the other, but a Tunceri triple extended the visitors’ lead to 17. A Chris Hill layup and a Riddick tip-in brought the Charleroi fans back into the game. Mallet rained in a three and then sank a floater in the lane to close the gap to 32-42. Barac countered with a jumper, but Hill kept the Spirou momentum going with a triple. Savanovic came to the rescue with a pair of baskets, but Mallet snapped back with a three-pointer. Savanovic added 2 from the line, but Mallet’s triple at the buzzer made it 43-52 heading into the fourth quarter.
Hill opened the fourth with a long two-pointer. Vujacic matched him nearly two minutes later. Spirou missed several makeable shots, but Efes failed to take advantage. After a timeout, great ball movement by Efes produced a Sinan Guler triple for a 45-57 lead. Riddick dunked and a steal by Hill led Mallet to an open layup. After Ilyasova free throws, Spirou got within 52-59 on a Hamilton triple. But Akyol knocked down a key three to put the lead at double figures again with three minutes remaining. A three-chance possession netted Spirou a long jumper from Hill, but Ilyasova scored at the other end and then Hill fouled out. Caleb Green made it 58-65 from the line with 1:02 to go, but time was of the essence. Welsch made it a 5-point game with 34.2 seconds left. Spirou sent Savanovic to the line and he missed twice, but a ball-handling violation on Green doomed the home team’s chances. And Vujacic iced the win from the line.
Wednesday, November 30, 2011