| Lottomatica led early and then held off a tough Maroussi BC down the stretch to get a hard-earned 71-83 win in Group C on Wednesday. On the strength of the road victory, Lottomatica remained the only undefeated team in the group with a prefect 3-0 record while Maroussi dropped to 1-2. Kennedy Winston stepped up big, with both Luca Vitali and Luigi Datome injured, to lead Lottomatica with 16 points. Point guard Ibby Jaaber scored 14 points and dished out 7 assists, Andre Hutson chipped in with 13 points and Angelo Gigli tallied 10. Jamon Lucas paced Maroussi with 15 points to go with 4 steals. Billy Keys robbed 4 balls of his own while notching 11 points. Big men Kostas Kaimakoglou and Jared Homan added 13 and 11 points, respectively, in the losing effort. Lottomatica opened up a 12-point lead in the second quarter, and even though Maroussi was able to get to within 3 points on various occasions, Roma always stepped up to defend its advantage and held on to win.
Winston drained a wide-open three-pointer to start the game for Lottomatica, but Levon Kendall matched him immediately with a triple of this own. Lucas sliced into the lane to get a floater to fall and Kendall added a jumper to give Maroussi an early 7-2 lead. Hutson tipped in a miss by Winston, but Homan answered with a baseline jumper. Gigli then dunked in transition, but Homan stepped up again and worked in the paint for a score. Ricky Minard scored off an offensive rebound for Lottomatica before the TV timeout and then again after the stoppage to tie the score at 11-11. Winston hit a tough turn-around jumper and moments later finished a fastbreak to put Lottomatica ahead 13-15. In the closing minutes of the quarter, Jaaber fed a cutting Hutson for a layup-plus-foul, sparking a 0-9 run followed by back-to-back three-pointers by Herve Toure and Jaaber as Lottomatica went into the second quarter up 17-27.
The two teams started the second quarter trading baskets. Rodigro de la Fuente came off the Lottomatica bench to make a layup and Dimitrios Mavroeidis dunked for the home team. Another reserve, Andrea Crosariol, bracketed a bucket by Marios Batis with two slams, but Lucas drained a three-pointer to get the Lottomatica lead under 10 points. Moments later Winston notched his 10th point of the encounter with a deep three from the top of the key. Kaimakoglou responded for the hosts with a 7-0 run. The center made 2 foul shots, a three-pointer and a difficult layup to pull Maroussi back into the game. Lottomatica answered with a 0-7 spurt of its own. Hutson scored inside, Minard put back another offensive board and de la Fuente nailed a triple to push Lottomatica back ahead, 33-45. Kaimakoglou and Homan each added a free throw and Lucas picked Minard’s pocket and coasted in for the easy 2 points to force a Lottomatica timeout. De la Fuente assisted Hutson for 2 points, but Keys saw his jumper bounce in and seconds later the Maroussi point guard got another steal that Homan dunked home to send Maroussi into the half down 41-47.
Gigli started the third quarter with 5 quick points off a dunk and a three-point play, but Maroussi never lost its offensive flow and went on an 8-0 run. Homan scored inside, Keys made a layup, Batis added 2 free throws and Homan fed a streaking Lucas for a dunk and his 15th point of the evening to cut the Lottomatica lead to 51-54. Out of a Lottomatica timeout, Gigli hit a big three-pointer from the wing to give his team some breathing room. Homan then worked down low for 2 points, but Lottomatica got 4 points from the line to go back ahead by 8 points before Keys hit a hanging jump shot in the paint. Jaaber drained a deep three-pointer with a defender in his face, but Mavroeidis bettered him by scoring an impossible layup plus a free throw. Jaaber threaded his way through the lane to send Lottomatica in to the final period up 59-66.
Both teams went cold in the opening moments of the fourth quarter till de la Fuente hit 2 from the foul line and Keys swished a three-pointer from the wing. The defenses tightened up, stifling their opponents’ attack. Kaimakoglou finally broke the quiet spell by draining a three-pointer and getting his team once again within 3 points. Jaaber answered for Lottomatica when he robbed Keys of the ball and cruised in for the layup. Kaimakoglou, feeling in the zone, scored in the post, and Toure used the glass to get his jumper to go down. The next trip down, Winston nailed a three-pointer to give Lottomatica a 67-75 lead. Mavroeidis made a pair of free throws, but Lottomatica shut his team down until Batis made a layup with 1:40 to play to get within 71-77. Lottomatica made its free throws in the closing seconds to ensure the 71-83 victory.
Wednesday, November 04, 2009