After more than a month without a victory of any kind, Idea Slask Wroclaw took a big step up from the Group C basement on Tuesday with its first home win of the season, a 75-73 thriller against visiting Adecco Asvel of France. The victory tied the two teams at 3-6 for a share of sixth place with Partizan Belgrade. A driving two-pointer by Dainius Adomaitis in the last half-minute sealed the victory for the Polish champs, who had led for 30 minutes, but saw Asvel come on strong with an 0-10 run at the end. Adomaitis, with 12 points, was among four Idea scorers in double figures. Andrius Giedraitis hit for 16 to lead the winners, Maceij Zielinski added 15 and Kestutis Marciulionis 10. Playing with two point guards to start the game, Marciulionis and Robert Skibiniewski, Idea finished with more assists (14 to 8) and fewer turnovers (9 to 14) than their guests. Asvel got 22 points from Stevin Smith, a catalyst of that final, unsuccessful run. Robert Guylas added 14 and Sasha Giffa 10.
Asvel began the game in fine form, with Guylas trolling underneath for 6 early points and the guest leading 17-21 after 10 minutes. That, however, is when Idea came alive. An Adomaitis layup early in the second quarter gave the hosts a 22-21 lead, then he and Giedraitis kept driving and shooting until the run reached 14-2 and the lead 31-23. Asvel was missing shot after shot, even dunks, until Gulyas hit free throws to stop the slide. Harold Mrazek popped a three-pointer for a 31-28 scoreboard. It read 33-30 a minute later when Dominik Tomczyk gave Idea another surge, hitting back-to-back triples for a 39-30 local lead. Mrazek was able to reach back for his own triple before the half ended with Idea up 39-33.
The second half was still close, with Idea clinging to a 51-47 edge midway through, when the locals made another big move. A Skibiniewski free throw started things innocently enough, then Zielinski went to the hoop for 3 consecutive baskets that boosted the lead into double digits, 58-47. In the last quarter, Idea's lead hit a high of 62-49 when Asvel decided to put its last chance in the hands of a veteran. Davor Marcelic hit his second and third long-distance shots of the game to knock 6 points off the deficit to a manageable 62-55 with 7 minutes remaining. Giffa then added a layup and Smith a jump shot, completeing a 0-10 run and pulling Asvel as close as 62-59. Zielinski stepped up and hit a three-pointer to stop the slide and added a layup that left the scoreboard at 67-61 with 4 minutes left. Then came another big shot from deep, authored by Marciulionis, good for a 70-62 Idea lead. But Smith wasn't done. His layup and three-pointer, the latter off a steal by Giffa, cut the deficit back down to 70-67 before Aleksander Koul dunked for Slask with barely a minute left. Gulyas opened the final minute with a pair of free throws for 72-69. Alvin Jones followed making 1 of 2 free throws for Slask, but Giffa got loose for a dunk. It was 73-71. Adomaitis reappeared now for the key driving shot to make it 75-71, meaning that Smith's layup at the end didn't change the result. Slask had its first home win of the season.
Wednesday, December 18, 2002