Montepaschi Siena struggled to put away Asseco Prokom Sopot but proved deep enough to hold on for an 80-71 victory at home in its Euroleague opener in Group B. Henry Domercant paced four players in double figures with 15 points while Ksistof Lavrinovic collected 13 points and 13 rebounds, Rimantas Kaukenas added 13 points and Terrell McIntyre chipped in 11 points and seven assists. Simone Pianigiani’s Italian side knocked down 12-of-25 (48%) three-pointers and that proved the difference. Prokom was led by David Logan with 25 points and four assists while Ronnie Burrell added 15 points as the only other player in double digits for Tomas Pacesas’s Polish side, which trailed by just seven points late in the fourth quarter. Daniel Ewing was held to just five points for Sopot.
Free throws by Koko Archibong and Burrell gave Prokom the early 0-3 lead and Siena answered with triples by Marco Carraretto and McIntyre to make it 8-6. Domercant and McIntyre both knocked down long balls and the lead was up to 16-10, forcing Prokom coach Tomas Pacesas to call a time out. Sopot was able to trim the margin to 16-14 on Aleksej Nesovic’s basket. But Kaukenas sparked a 6-0 run to finish the first quarter ahead 22-14.
Lavrinovic opened the second period for the first double-digit lead. Prokom answered with a Logan three-ball and then getting out of the break to close within 24-21 on Przemyslaw Zamojski’s break away layup. The guests struggled to convert a number of good shots and watched Siena open another 10-point gap, 35-25. Archibong and Pat Burke nailed back-to-back triples to trim the deficit to four points. But Morris Finley knocked down two long balls of his own in the final stretch of the first half as the Italians went into the break ahead 43-36.
Lavrinovic started the second half with a triple and Domercant’s steal and break away dunk pushed the gap to 48-36 and Pacesas needed another time out. The Polish side worked its way back into the game and Ewing’s first basket of the game made it 50-42. But Domercant and Lavrinovic connected again from outside and Pianigiani’s men opened their biggest lead of the night at 58-42. Prokom refused to give up and Burrell hit seven straight points for his team including a triple which closed the gap to nine points. But Kaukenas’s jumper left Siena ahead 62-51 after three periods.
Filip Dylewicz scored four points and Ewing drained a three-pointer as the guests worked hard defensively in holding Siena without a basket for nearly five minutes in pulling within 63-58. But Benjamin Eze dunked home an offensive rebound and sandwiched a blocked shot around two foul shots by Lavrinovic and Kaukenas to re-establish a 70-58 advantage. Nesovic knocked down a triple to make it a seven-point game only to see Domercant answer with another long ball at the other end. McIntyre’s foul shots gave Siena a 75-63 cushion but Logan went out shooting hitting two triples in the final 1:20 but it was not enough.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008