Azovmash Mariupol started the 2008-09 Eurocup season in style by edging Kalise Gran Canaria 92-90 after overtime, in Mariupol, Ukraine, on Tuesday night. Sitapha Savane sent the game to the extra session blocking the potential game-winning shot from Dijon Thompson after Marc Salyers and Carl English exchanged three-pointers in the last minute to tie the game on 77-77. A 13-5 run beginning the overtime pushed the match on the hosts’ side when Salyers scored from downtown to make it 90-82. English and James Augustine tried to rally, but their baskets weren¹t enough to win the match. Khalid El-Amin led the way for the winners with 23 points and 7 assists, Tomas Van den Spiegel added 21 with 6 rebounds, Salyers had 6 of his 16 in the extra session with 7 boards and Dijon Thompson contributed with 14 and 9. English had 28 points for Gran Canaria with 5 assists, Melvin Sanders nailed 20 and Augustine added 11 with 6 rebounds. Azovmash will travel to France for its next game against Asvel Basket, while Kalise Gran Canaria will host Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius in Week 2.
Van den Spiegel opened the game with back-to-back layups giving a 4-0 margin to Azovmash. A basket from downtown by Oleksander Skutyelnik extended the difference to 10-4 after four minutes before Josh Fisher capped a 0-6 run for the guests to get their first advantage, 10-11, forcing coach Memi Becirovic to call timeout. The hosts stepped up with a different approach to produce a 11-1 run highlighted by 9 points from El-Amin, while Thompson fixed a 23-14 cushion after 10 minutes. English led a 2-8 charge for the guests early in the second quarter to get within 25-22. Van den Spiegel scored three inside baskets in a row, answered by 2 three-pointers from Sanders to stay on 33-28 through midway the quarter. Albert Moncasi with a mid-range jumper put Gran Canaria closer and Sanders again from beyond the arc tied things at 39-39. Azovmash scored 7 points before Augustine answered on the buzzer to make it 46-41 at halftime.
Savane tied again the contest at 50-50 early in the third quarter and English from mid range put Gran Canaria ahead. The teams exchanged leads six times and tied three others, in a balanced game with both sides trying to take the momentum. Van den Spiegel scoring a pair from the foul line to make it 63-60, and after Mario Fernandez found easy points, Nsomwu Uchenna made it 66-62 after 30 minutes. Gran Canaria didn’t give up and Sanders again tied the score at 66-66. Nsomwu then hit a layup, but English hit a three. However two consecutive layups by El-Amin gave a 74-69 cushion to Azovmash with two-and-a-half minutes left. English and Sanders amassed 5 points to tie it one more time at 74-74. Salyers and English exchanged triples in the last minute, then Savane blocked the potential winning shot of Thompson, sending the game to the overtime.
Salyers opened the extra session by completing a three-point play, and Van den Spiegel pushed Azovmash to 82-77, while Thompson added a free throw to stay on 83-77. Salyers again from long distance gave a 90-82 margin to the hosts. Two consecutive rockets by English kept Gran Canaria alive at 90-88, but then El-Amin sealed the game from the foul line for Azovmash.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008