Laboral Kutxa downs Efes for its first road win
Laboral Kutxa Vitoria defeated Anadolu Efes Istanbul 84-87 in a thriller at Abdi Ipekci Arena to put the two teams into a tie for fourth place in Top 16 Group F with 4-4 records. Efes managed to hold a tiebreaker over Laboral, which it defeated by 5 in the Top 16 opener in Spain. The victory was Laboral’s first on the road in the Top 16. Fernando San Emeterio scored 22 points and Colton Iverson posted 17 points and 11 rebounds to pace the winners. Davis Bertans added 14 points on 4-of-6 three-point shooting. Laboral dominated early and led by as many as 18 in the second quarter before settling for a 17-30 halftime advantage. Matt Janning and Thomas Heurtel played key roles in Efes’s third-quarter comeback, which was completed when Nenad Krstic’s slam made it 63-62. A 0-8 fourth-quarter run put the visitors back up by 10. Efes rallied to get within one possession in the final minute, but came up empty on its final possession. Dario Saric scored 18 to lead Efes, Heurtel added 17, Krstic 16, Stratos Perperoglou 12 and Janning 11.
First quarter: Threes by Bertans, San Emeterio propel Laboral
Bertans opened the scoring for the visitors before Krstic got Efes on the board. Iverson scored a pair of baskets in the paint – a slam on the offensive glass and a hook shot – before Fabien Causuer’s fast break layup made it 2-9. Darius Adams stole the ball from Heurtel and drove for a layup and a 2-12 lead. Cedi Osman bought inside for Efes’s second basket, but Bertans extended the Laboral lead with a three-pointer. Toko Shengelia’s layup made it 4-17. Things didn’t get better for Efes when Krstic missed twice from the line. Saric scored inside to make it 6-17 midway through the quarter. Fresh off the bench, Stephane Lasme rose high to block an Iverson slam before Perperoglou nailed a three from the corner. San Emeterio’s step-back three-pointer restored a double-digit Laboral advantage, 9-20. After the Laboral swingman’s next triple, the lead was 14. Janning drove to the hoop for a layup and soon after added a pair of free throws. Mirza Begic took an offensive rebound and was fouled in the closing seconds of the quarter. He made the resulting 2 free throws for a 13-25 Laboral lead.
Second quarter: Despite Krstic’s efforts, visitors extend lead
Krstic completed the ultimate bwin Euroleague Fantasy Challenge play – offensive rebound, basket, foul drawn and free throw made. A San Emeterio jumper kept the visitors in control. Ben Hansbrough’s first shot was a triple for a 16-30 difference. Krstic added 2 more free throws for Efes; Kim Tillie made 1 of 2 for Laboral at the other end. Lasme got on the scoreboard with a foul-line jumper. San Emeterio reached 10 individual points and Iverson scored on the offensive glass to make it 20-35. Lasme drove to the rim for a layup only to see Iverson turn another missed Laboral shot into a dunk. After the TV timeout, Krstic split free throws, but Bertans’s third three created a 17-point cushion. Krstic fought for a basket inside and his 10th individual point. Saric buried a pair of free throws and Bertans matched him. After Mike James drove for a tough layup, Saric hit a baseline jumper. Bertans silenced the arena with another triple for a 29-47 lead. After a timeout, Heurtel scored a pair of runners to get the crowd involved. A Hansbrough three left Laboral with a 33-50 halftime lead.
Third quarter: Heurtel, Janning carry Efes all the way back
Free throws by Janning and Saric sandwiched a Shengelia-to-Iverson alley-oop slam in the first minute of the second half. Lasme rejected Iverson and Janning connected on a three as the arena came to life. Draper’s defense hounded Adams into a turnover and a missed shot. Bertans was called for a technical – his fourth foul – four minutes into the quarter. Perperoglou made the resulting foul shot and Saric buried a three to cap a 9-0 run to bring his team within 44-52. Iverson ended the run with a dunk, but the momentum was all Efes’s. Lasme scored inside and Janning on the break to make it 48-54. A San Emeterio three revived the visitors. Begic rejected Perperoglou on one end and split free throws at the other to restore a double-digit advantage. Heurtel sank a short jumper and James countered with a layup. Perperoglou drilled a three to close the gap to 54-60. Heurtel made a 4-point game with 2 free throws. San Emeterio countered with foul shots, but Heurtel buried a three-pointer and Draper produced a steal and layup to bring the hosts within 1. Krstic’s slam gave Efes its first lead of the night, 63-62. San Emeterio ran for a basket-plus-foul in transition in the final seconds of the quarter to restore a Laboral lead, 63-65.
Heurtel tied it with a long jumper in the first minute of the quarter. Double technical were called on Heurtel and Adams. Tillie’s jumper put the visitors back on top, but Heurtel soon found Krstic for a slam. Adams and Begic gave Laboral a 4-point edge, but Heurtel quickly halved that. Causeur took charge with a long jumper, a steal and a layup to make it 69-75. Iverson added free throws and – after an offensive foul on Lasme – Adams lofted an alley-oop pass that Iverson converted to restore a 10-point difference. Krstic and Saric made free throws to give Efes hope. Iverson and Saric swapped points from the line. A Perperoglou triple with less than three minutes to go made it 78-82 as the crowd got loud again. Heurtel drove for a tough layup. Causeur split free throws, but Saric missed a three from the corner and Shengelia spun past Saric for a layup that made it 80-85 with 53 seconds remaining. Perperoglou scored a tough basket inside and after James’s turnover, Saric made it a 1-point game. San Emeterio went to the line with 21 seconds left and converted twice to make it 84-87. Draper missed a three from the corner, but Shengelia stepped out of bounds with the rebound. Heurtel threw the ensuing inbounds pass away. In the closing seconds, Efes managed to stop Laboral from scoring to keep the potential head-to-head tiebreaker between them.
Friday, February 27, 2015