Gran Canaria Grupo Dunas sent a message that echoed all around Group G by downing BC Kalev / Cramo 67-80 in Tallinn, Estonia on Tuesday night. Both teams now tie atop the Group G standings with a 2-1 record, as Kalev was the only team unbeaten in this group after 2 games. Carl English led the winners with 21 points while Roberto Guerra added 11 for Gran Canaria. Kristjan Kangur had 15 points for Kalev, Travis Reed added 14 while Howard Frier got 12 for the hosts. Gran Canaria started the game on fire, as Chris Massie capped a 5-17 opening run. Kalev never recovered, as Gran Canaria kept a 12-24 lead after 10 minutes while a 4-17 run in which English had 12 points broke the game open, 21-48, late in the second quarter. Kalev never recovered in the second half, as three-point accuracy and outstanding defense helped Gran Canaria to keep a 44-68 margin after 30 minutes, enough to seal the outcome. Even when Kalev got within 65-77 with less than 2 minutes to go, the hosts could not complete their comeback.
Joel Freeland and English fueled a 1-6 opening run for Gran Canaria. Rait Keerles and Kangur tried to get Kalev going but a triple by Mario Fernandez sparked a 0-11 run in which five different players scored for the guests. A basket by Massie boosted Gran Canaria's lead to 5-17 after 7 minutes. Sergio Perez stroke from downtown, Kornel David made free throws and Guerra added a final basket to make the guests keep a 12-24 margin after 10 minutes. Kalev kept struggling to score early in the second quarter. Meanwhile, Gran Canaria found a go-to guy in English, who had 12 points in a game-breaking 4-17 run that Fernandez capped with his second triple to make it a 28-point game, 21-49. Gregor Arbet answered from downtown for a 24-49 halftime score. Kalev needed a quick comeback after the break to keep its chances alive but English fired in one from downtown and Fernandez scored again to keep Gran Canaria way ahead, 27-53. Arbet hit a triple and Kangur added a three-point play, but Kalev only managed to trade baskets now, 34-57. Jim Moran stepped up with back-to-back baskets while Marcus Norris capped the third quarter with a huge triple for a 44-68 Gran Canaria margin after 30 minutes. The outcome was already clear and both teams fought for points differential now, a critical factor in multiple-way ties. Gran Canaria kept following its game plan, with strong defense and a patient offense. Back-to-back triples by Kangur got Kalev within 56-74, and even when Gran Canaria called timeout, Frier brought the hosts even closer, 65-77. It happened to be too little, too late for Kalev, as Gran Canaria returned home with a valuable road win.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007