Montepaschi Siena registered its first Group B road win of the Euroleague season in a big way, thrashing Adecco Asvel 54-78 on the road in Villeurbanne, France, on Wednesday night. Montepaschi's record rose to 5-3 record, good for at least a piece of second place. Asvel, meanwhile, dropped to 2-6 and will need help to make the Top 16. Montepaschi opened the game with a 2-19 run and never looked back, using strong defense and good shot selection, including 12 of 21 three-pointers, to cruise to an easier-than-expected victory. Giacomo Galanda led the winners with 17 points on 5 of 6 three-pointers, Roberto Chiacig added 12 points on 5-for-7 shooting and 8 rebounds, while David Vanterpool registered a big double-double with 11 points and 11 assists. Terrell Lyday had 12 points for Asvel, while Herve Toure added 11 for the hosts.
Montepaschi started the game at full speed, as Chiacig scored twice while Galanda fired in a pair of triples from downtown for a quick 0-10 lead. Asvel could not find the basket, while Vanterpool fed Chiacig to cap a 0-12 opening run. Toure finally scored free throws for the hosts, but Montepaschi was playing close to perfection at both ends as Carlton Myers made an uncontested three, while Vanterpool gave a behind-the-back pass to Vrbica Stefanov for a 2-19 lead Tomislav Ruzic made Asvel's first basket then, sparking a 7-2 run capped by Harold Mrazek's three-pointer and a 9-21 scoreboard. Montepaschi finished the quarter just as strong, however, as Stefanov scored now from beyond the arc and Bootsy Thornton added free throws to a 14-27 advantage.
Both teams struggled to score early in the second quarter until Stephane Pelle made a layup in penetration for Asvel. Vanterpool got Montepaschi back on track, finding Mindaugas Zukauskas and Michalis Kakiouzis for back-to-back corner three-pointers, forcing Asvel to call timeout at 16-33. Vanterpool then made a big three on the shot clock buzzer to cap a 0-9 run to a 16-36 advantage. Montepaschi's defense allowed just 2 points in almost 6 minutes until Lyday fired in a four-meter jumper, which Kakiouzis immediately answered with a triple. Ben Eze added a power dunk for a 18-41 Montepaschi margin before Asvel finished the half with a 7-0 run capped by Toure's three at the buzzer to cut the difference to 25-41 at halftime.
Huseyin Besok opened the third quarter with a left-handed jump hook, but little else changed. Chiacig scored near the basket and Vanterpool on a short bank shot for a 27-45 Siena lead. Asvel finally found the way to break the guests' defense, as Lyday drilled a three and Pelle added an easy layup, but the hosts only managed to exchange baskets for a while. A three-point play by Vanterpool pushed Montepaschi's margin to 32-51. Eze stepped up with a two-handed slam and Stefanov added a fastbreak layup, while Asvel found no easy shots as the quarter ended with the guests in complete control at 34-60.
The outcome was clear, but Montepaschi was not done at all. Galanda made his fourth three-pointer and a closer basket for a mammouth 36-65 lead. Lyday tried to make Asvel rally with 5 quick points, but now it was a question of cosmetics. Soon Mrazek hit from downtown and Toure added his second dunk of the quarter to cap a 14-5 run that cut the margin to 50-70 after 37 minutes. Soon, Montepaschi finished off in style a game it had dominated since the opening tip to put its road troubles behind it for good.
Wednesday, December 22, 2004
Yvan Tabellion, Villeurbanne