| Power Electronics Valencia registered its first win in Last 16 Group J by edging Unics 68-72 in Kazan, Russia on Tuesday night. Both teams tie in Group J at 1-1, keeping all chances to make it to the Quarterfinals. Unics registered back-to-back home loss in European club competitions for the first time since November 1998. Rafa Martinez led the winners with 22 points. Kosta Perovic and Nando De Colo each added 13 for Power VLC. Terrell Lyday led Unics with 17 points. Kresimir Loncar added 14, Vladimir Veremeenko had 13 while Marko Popovic got 10 for the hosts. Perovic, De Colo and Thomas Kelati fueled a 0-9 run that allowed Power VLC to get its first double-digit lead, 15-26, early in the second quarter. Loncar and Lyday shined late in the first half to bring Unics within 31-36 at the break. An alleyoop dunk by Florent Pietrus gave Power VLC its biggest lead, 36-50, midway through the third quarter. Veremeenko had 8 unanswered points, including an 11-meter buzzer-beating triple, to get Unics within 50-58 after 30 minutes. Unics managed to get within 56-60 with 5 minuts to go but Martinez, De Colo and Matt Nielsen shined in crunch time to make Power VLC get a very important road win.
Martinez got Power VLC going with free throws that Loncar erased with an easy layup. Igor Zamanskiy scored in transition but an off-balance jump hook by
Nielsen tied it at 4-4. Popovic sank free throws but Unics entered the foul bonus really early in the first quarter. A three-pointer by Martinez gave Power
VLC its first lead, 6-8. Loncar scored down low but Martinez and a dunk by Serhiy Lishchuk kept the guests ahead, 8-11. Maciej Lampe and Perovic traded free throws and Unics improved once Lyday and Saulius Stombergas stepped on court, bringing the hosts within 12-14. Victor Claver and Stombergas traded three-pointers but a dunk by Perovic ignited a 0-7 run that De Colo capped with his own shot from downtown for a 15-24 Power VLC lead after 10 minutes. Kelati beat the buzzer with a driving layup early in the second quarter that Lyday erased with a power basket. Unics kept missing open shots and a jumper by Perovic made it an 11-point game, 17-28. Veremeenko got the crowd involved with a huge dunk off a steal and soon added an alleyoop layup to make Power VLC call timeout at 22-28. Perovic rescued the guests with free throws and Nielsen added a turnaround jumper to restore a double-digit Power VLC lead, 22-32. Loncar stepped up with consecutive baskets and Lyday added a driving layup to bring Unics within 31-36 at halftime.
Coach Neven Spahija placed Lishchuk and Nielsen together on court early in the third quarter, each with 3 fouls. Unics immediately opted to get its big men involved in the low post. Martinez and De Colo struck from downtown to boost the guests' lead to 33-42. Lyday downed a three-pointer but Martinez and De Colo fueled a 0-8 run highlighted by Flo Pietrus' alleyoop dunk for a 36-50 Power VLC margin. Lyday nailed his second triple and Popovic added a layup-plus-foul to bring Unics back to life, 42-50. Martinez and Kelati stepped up with back-to-back three-pointers, as Unics struggled in defense and allowed many points in transition. Veremeenko followed an open triple with an alleyoop layup and soon added a 11-meter bomb from almost midcourt to give Unics some hope, 50-58, after 30 minutes. Stombergas sank free throws early in the fourth quarter, as Power VLC had been scoreless for almost 4 minutes now. Lishchuk stepped up with a two-handed dunk but Loncar scored twice in the paint for a 56-60 Unics deficit with over 5 minutes left. De Colo downed a triple off a Power VLC timeout and Martinez added free throws but Popovic kept Unics within 60-65 with 3 minutes to go. Lyday struck from downtown but free throws by Martinez and a driving layup by Nielsen sealed the outcom, 63-70. Unics kept trying but it was too little, too late for the hosts.
Tuesday, February 02, 2010