Opel Skyliners of Frankfurt will not be the team that lets London Towers ruin its hopes of making the Euroleague Top 16. The Skyliners made sure of that with a 77-94 win at London on Thursday to preserve their piece of a three-way tie for second place in Group B. All three of those 7-3 teams - Frankfurt, Barcelona and Union Olimpija - registered road wins in Week 10. Once again, one of the hottest new players in Europe, Marcus Goree, showed the way for Frankfurt. The small forward poured in 28 points for the winners and added 8 rebounds to a 46-31 advantae on the boards for the visitors. Chad Austin kicked in 17 points and 7 assists for Frankfurt, Virgil Stanescu and Pascal Roller 12 points each. London, which fell to 0-10 and few games left for winning a first one, got 19 ponts from Terrell Myers, but only six of those in the second half, when his team was still within four points of Frankfurt.
Towers took their recent fine shooting form into the game with Terrell Myers hitting their first 10 points, including two three-pointers, as the Londoners took an early 10-8 lead against two baskets from Chad Austin and a three from Roller. Roller's second shot from downtown, with 2:30 remaining in the quarter, gave Frankfurt a 19-17 lead, but Ronnie Baker and Myers both drove for two to restore the Towers lead before Virgil Stanescu equalised at 21-21 prior to the buzzer. Myers already had 12 for London, Roller and Austi had 10 each for Frankfurt.
Two baskets by Goree gave Frankfurt the lead at the start of the second quarter, 27-23. Trouble for Towers came with John White's third foul with 7:15 remaining of the half - the American had just notched his first basket. Huge dunks from Goree and Lokhmanchuk extended the lead to 31-25 before Eppehimer's three-point play kept Towers in touch at 5:00. A Myers free throw, a tip-in from Silas Cheung and a spin for two from Stuart Robbins tied the score at 33-33, but Frankfurt replied with a dunk from Goree and two on the break from Austin. Roller's three ignited a further 8-0 run which included another smash from Goree, as Frankfurt took a 38-47 halftime lead. Goree had 12 points in the quarter for 15 on the half and Austin had 13. Myers led the Towers with 13 points and Eppehimer had 9.
Frankfurt started the second half with dunks from Lokhmanchuk and Goree before White replied with a three for 51-41 Skyliners. Lokhmanchuk and Jeff Kent then hit a three for each team before Eppehimer's two drives got Towers back to within 50-54. But Lokhmanchuk nailed another three and Frankfurt had breathing room once again at 57-50 with 5:33 remaining. The Ukrainian then drew a crucial fourth foul on White and hit one of his two free throws. Goree's three-pointer took him to 18 points and Frankfurt to 50-61. London's attack of third quarter-itis was worsened helped by a bench technicalthat contributed to a 10-0 Frankfurt run spurred by five points from Stanescu. The visitors led 55-73 after three quarters.
Cheung hit a three at the start of the fourth to bring hopes of a Towers revival, then Baker, bumped by Roller, added a two. But Goree's pair of threes stabilised Frankfurt at 81-62. This was not to be the first win for London, and Frankfurt was keeping its head up in Group B, tied with an elite pair of competitors for second place with just four games left in the regular season.
Thursday, January 10, 2002