Maroussi Costa Coffee controlled the tempo to sail to a 71-58 victory over Khimki in Athens and start the Last 16 in style. The hosts used a 9-0-streak midway through the last quarter to run away from the visitors, who had cut it to 55-52. And Maroussi never looked back. Andreas Glyniadakis dominated the paint with 21 points and 9 rebounds, while Jarod Stevenson posted 16 points, Billy Keys added 11 and Kostas Haralambidis had 10 for the winners. Carlos Delfino scored 10 points, but on a poor 1-for-7 from two-point-range, whereas Teemu Rannikko and Kelly McCarty also reached double digits with 12 and 10 points, respectively, for Khimki in a losing effort.
Maroussi got off to a 7-2 start by punishing Khimki both from inside and outside with Loukas Mavrokefalidis, Dimitris Mavroeidis and Keys. Timofey Mozgov connected for 6 straight points to bring the guests within 11-8 and Jorge Garbajosa trimmed it to 13-12 before the first quarter ended 15-12 in favor of the hosts. Maroussi continued to control the tempo without managing to build a good difference, though. Delfino made it 17-16 from the free-throw line, before Glyniadakis dominated the paint for 4 consecutive points to bring it to 21-16 for Maroussi. Stevenson nailed a three-pointer, but Delfino answered back in the same way, before the teams went to the lockers for halftime at 28-25.
Stevenson opened fire after the break to nail back-to-back triples for Maroussi. When Glyniadakis connected, too, the hosts had built a 36-25 margin, leaving Khimki without points for four minutes. With points from Garbajosa, the guests cut it to 39-32, but it remained obvious that the hosts were still in charge. Keys netted a three-pointer for a 49-37 Maroussi lead, the biggest yet, and the score stood at 49-39 after 30 minutes. But, Khimki was not ready to surrender; Teemu Rannikko and Delfino combined for 8 points to make it 51-47. Rannikko was in the zone now, nailing another triple to reach 8 points in five minutes in the last quarter and bring Khimki within 53-50. Maroussi kept it nerve though and Glyniadakis and Kaimakoglou helped for a 9-point run and a 64-52 safety cushion with less than three minutes still to play. Khimki’s poor decision making continued as Maroussi celebrated a 71-58 win to start the Last16.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Stelios Kyriakoglou, Athens