| Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv handed Lottomatica Roma its first loss and joined a three-way tie for first place in Group C with a 90-92 overtime win at the Palalottomatica in the Italian capital on Thursday. A pair of Chuck Eidson free throws with 15.3 seconds left in overtime proved to be the difference after Ibby Jaaber failed to score on the last possession. Maccabi joined Roma and Caja Laboral atop Group C with 3-1 records. The Israeli champs host Maroussi in Week 5, while Lottomatica visits Union Olimpija. Alan Anderson went from zero to hero in the closing seconds of regulation, first missing a runner in the lane to tie it, but after Jaaber failed to ice the game from the line, Anderson spotted Andrew Wisniewski for the game-tying triple that forced the extra session. Anderson also scored the go-ahead basket in overtime, before Kennedy Winston hit a big triple to tie the score. But in the end, Roma came up short in the last 15 seconds as its perfect record disappeared. Anderson led the winners with 27 points – 1 short of his career high. Eidson added 14 points and 8 rebounds, Wisniewski scored 13 and dished 6 assists, Doron Perkins had 11 points and Stephane Lasme finished with 10 points, 4 steals and 2 blocks. Winston led Roma with 21 points, Jaaber recorded 20 points, 7 rebounds and 4 steals, Andre Hutson scored 14, Ricky Minard 13 and Andrea Crosariol had 9 points, 7 boards and 3 blocks in defeat.
Lasme, Anderson and Yaniv Green got Maccabi off to a quick 0-4 start. Then, Eidson found Lasme for a pick-and-roll slam to make it 1-6 before Roma finally found the net with a basket-plus-free throw by Hutson. Lasme was back with a loose-ball basket inside before Jaaber pulled up for a triple that steadied the hosts. By the time that Crosariol tipped in a miss, Roma had its first lead, 9-8. Winston kept the home fans happy with a step-back jumper on the baseline at 11-8. After a timeout, subs Minard and D’Or Fischer traded baskets before the defenses took over. A big block by Fischer stopped Roma at the rim, while a fastbreak layup by Anderson was discounted for charging. Jaaber and Jacopo Giachetti broke the drought for Roma, but Eidson responded with a three-point basket-plus-one in traffic to keep Maccabi in striking distance at 17-15. Perkins knotted the game at 17-17 with a pair of free throws in the closing seconds of the quarter.
Anderson restored Maccabi’s lead with a baseline jumper and then a Eidson steal led to an Anderson slam and a 4-point cushion. Crosariol sank a pair of free throws to keep Roma close. Crosariol soon spotted a cutting Winston to tie the score, but Eidson responded with a triple. Anderson added a basket and Guy Pnini assisted to Fischer for a rim-rocking slam as Maccabi rushed to a 21-28 lead. Despite a Roma timeout, Anderson sank a pair of free throws to push the lead to 9. Roma fought back as Herve Toure sank a three-pointer, Jaaber stripped Perkins and threw down a slam and Toure passed crosscourt to Hutson for a dunk that made it 28-30. Maccabi head coach Pini Gershon changed his lineup, bringing back Lasme, who ended the yellow-and-blue drought. However free throws by Hutson and Minard made it a 1-point game. Rodrigo de la Fuente then put Lottomatica back on top with 2 more free throws. David Bluthenthal came cold off the bench to fire in a three-pointer that gave his team a 33-35 lead at the break.
Maccabi tried two point guards to open the second half with Perkins playing alongside Wisniewski and it paid off as the latter hit a long jumper. Minard bettered that with a three from the corner, but Perkins went in for a layup. Toure knotted the game at 39-39 with a triple, but soon found himself on the bench with 4 fouls. Winston put Roma ahead with a strike from downtown, but it was soon tied after Wisniewski dished to Perkins. Crosariol converted a three-point play and Jaaber made a free throw before Winston rifled in a triple for a 49-42 lead. Anderson came to Maccabi’s rescue with a three, but Crosariol muscled his way inside for a basket. Fischer attacked the basket for an important Maccabi basket only to see Jaaber erase it with a three. Hutson made 2 free throws before Bluthenthal hit a jumper. Winston rose up to give Roma its biggest lead yet, 9 points, until a Wisniewski free throw made it 59-51 at the end of the third quarter.
Wisniewski and Giachetti went head to head to start the fourth quarter, with the Maccabi guard managing to pull his team within 3 after a basket-plus-foul and a layup in transition. Minard drove for a basket to restore Roma’s confidence. Lasme blocked a Jaaber effort to fire Maccabi up and Pnini and Anderson followed with back-to-back threes to give Maccabi a 63-64 lead. Anderson threaded the needle for a fast break assist to Lasme, but he soon fouled out. Minard made one free throw and then Hutson 2 for Roma to tie the game at 66-66. Jaaber made a brilliant behind-the-back pass to Hutson, who was fouled by Bluthenthal and made 2 free throws to put his team ahead with 1:28 remaining. Toure increased the lead to 69-66 with a free throw with 32 seconds remaining. After a Maccabi timeout, Anderson went to the line and made 2 with 27 seconds left. Only 4 seconds passed before Maccabi sent Minard to the line and he made 2. Eidson made 2 more to bring Maccabi within 71-70 with 20 seconds to play. Jaaber was next to the line with 16 seconds remaining and he flinched first, making only 1. But Anderson missed a shot to tie the game in the paint. Jaaber, back at the line with 9 seconds to play, again made only 1. Anderson grabbed the rebound and spotted an open Wisniewski in the corner for a triple to tie the game at 73-73 with 1.9 seconds on the clock. Toure missed at the buzzer, sending the game to overtime.
Anderson attacked the basket and tipped in his own miss, but Minard scored at the other end. Hutson found a cutting Jaaber, who drew Wisniewski's fifth foul. This time Jaaber made both free throws. He added 2 more on the next possession to put Lottomatica up 4. Eidson drew Toure's fifth foul and sank 2 free throws. Then Hutson fouled out and Bluthenthal tied the score from the line. Anderson stepped up with a three-point play that put Maccabi on top, followed by a steal that resulted in an unsportsmanlike foul. After 2 more free throws, Maccabi led 80-84. Winston kept Roma close with a jumper, but Eidson countered with a wild reverse, Winston carried Lottomatica again, but Perkins threw down an Eidson miss with two hands. Jaaber made it 87-88 with a three with 40 seconds remaining. Perkins slipped through the Lottomatica defense for a layup, but the red-hot Winston drilled a three over Eidson to tie the game at 90-90 with 21.8 seconds to go. Giachetti sent Eidson to the line with 15.3 seconds left and he sank both. Roma called a timeout and went to Jaaber, but he was double teamed and forced a long three that missed as Maccabi celebrated the win.
Thursday, November 12, 2009