| Winning the battle wasn't enough to win the war in Last 16 Group K on Tuesday as Panellinios BC downed visiting Bizkaia Bilbao 77-70, which was not enough of a difference to keep the visitors from keeping the advantage in their tie for first place. Both teams finished 4-2 and were already qualified for the Quarterfinals before Tuesday's game, but Bilbao's 20-point win in their first meeting held up for first place and the advantage of playing the second game of the semifinals at home. Bilbao will face CEZ Nymburk of the Czech Republic in the quarters, while Panellinios meets up with another Spanish team, Gran Canaria 2014. A 15-6 run that bridged the last two quarters proved decisive for Panellinios, which never came close to the 20-point difference it would have needed to win the group. Devin Smith led the way with 18 points for the Greek side, while Ian Vougioukas added 14, Djuro Ostojic 12 and Roderick Blakney 10. Javi Salgado contributed 12 points and 6 assists for Bilbao, Axel Hervell bagged 11 points and Jerome Moiso drilled 10.
After Smith opened the scoring and Vougioukas made it 4-0, but Hervelle scored 5 in a row gave for Bilbao's first lead, 4-8. Smith from downtown put Panellinios back ahead at 12-10 midway through the quarter. Alex Mumbru tied 15-15 from the foul line for Bilbao before Smith and Jerome Moiso exchanged dunkks, but a final 4-0 run with baskets from Chris Warren and Janis Blums gave to the guests a 19-21 advantage after 10 minutes. Bilbao's run did not stop there, either. The visitors extended the difference to 19-26 with Blums and his three-pointer Chris Owens kept Panellinios close enough that Djuro Ostojic's free throw drew the hosts within 25-26, but Salgado with a triple and Marko Banic in the paint let the visitors escape again. Damir Markota for Bilbao and Giorgios Kalaitzis for Panellinios traded triples before Owens put in another, giving Panellinios a new lead on 38-36. Moiso immediately tied but a three-point play by Vougioukas was enough for a 41-40 Panellinios edge at halftime.
Once back from the locker room, Smith extended that difference to 45-40 before Vougioukas made back-to-back layups at 49-42. Moiso interrupted the Panellinios momentum before mid-range jumpers by Javi Rodriguez and Blums off-set free throws and a layup by Vougioukas to keep Bilbao as close as 54-50. That set the stage for Banic to tie it up, 54-54, assisted by Salgado, but Blakney led a burst to a 60-56 cushion for Panellinios as the third quarter finished. Manolis Papamakarios closed a 8-2 run with the hosts ahead 66-58 early in the final quarter, Salgado and Ostojic exchanged free throws, before a Kostas Charalampidis fastbreak basket made it 71-62 with 3 minutes left. Mumbru scored twice from the foul line, Owens from the mid range, and Salgado from beyond the arc for a 73-68 scoreboard entering the final minute. Charalampidis drove all the way and Hervelle missed the last attempt from downtown, leaving the win to the hosts, even though Bilbao maintained the first-place points differential for itself.
Tuesday, March 09, 2010