| Panellinios bested Bnei Hasharon for its first win in Group D, 85-70, Tuesday behind a stifling team defensive effort and a big night from big man Ivan Radenovic. Panellinios held the visitors to 10 points in each of the last two periods en rote to a convincing win. The hosts finished with 16 steals and forced 24 Bnei Hasharon turnovers. The visitors also shot 2 for 15 from downtown. Radenovic missed just one shot and finished with a Eurocup career-high 22 points. Stevan Nadjfeji also rocked with 20 points and 10 rebounds, while Manolis Papamakarios netted 15 and Brad Newley 10. Richard Roby paced Bnei Hasharon with 18 points, Cookie Belcher scored 13 and Ugonna Onyekwe 11 in defeat. Bnei Hasharon kept it close for 20 minutes and trailed by just 1 at halftime, but had no answer for Panellionios’s intensity in the second half as the cub from Israel dropped to 0-3.
Nadjfeji drove to the basket to get the scoreboard rolling, only to be bettered by Onyekwe who first swatted away Nadjfeji’s layup and then contributed 7 points to give Bnei Hasharon an early 6-11 lead. However, the hosts soon regained the lead, 13-12, thanks to Papamakarios, who knocked down a pair of free throws and a triple against the zone-defense. Then, as Panellinios picked up a bit its defensive intensity, Newley stole the ball from Belcher and flashed his way to the basket for a 17-14 advantage. However, Bnei Hasharon did not back down and Ori Ichaki hit an off-balanced layup to put the guests in front, 18-19, at the end of the first quarter. Nadjfeji picked up the scoring slack to make it 23-20 – he boasted 11 points and 8 boards in 12 minutes – and few possessions later Vladimir Petrovic capped a 6-0 run to fix the score at 31-25. An unsportsmanlike foul by Petrovic allowed Bnei Hasharon to get within 31-29, yet Panellinios found a go-to guy in Radenovic, who dominated inside and kept the hosts in the driver's seat, 37-31. Once again though, Bnei Hasharon clawed its way back and sliced the margin, 41-40, at intermission.
The hosts came out in the second half determined to break the game open and so they did as Panellinios went on a quick 10-0 run that soared the lead to 51-40. Bnei Hasharon was struggling at the offensive end – having committed 18 turnovers in 26 minutes – so the hosts managed to hold a double-digit lead, 60-50. And when Radenovic returned to the floor after some recuperating on the bench, Panellinios built a 64-50 advantage with one period left to play. Roby scored 4 in an attempt to bring Bnei Hasharon to its feet, but Papamakarios nailed a triple and then Georgios Kalaitzis finished a fast break to keep the guests at bay, 71-54. Bnei Hasharon was ineffective from beyond the arc, unlike Newley who unleashed a three-pointer to give Panellinios a 76-60 margin with four minutes to go. Suddenly the hosts relaxed a little too much and Roby capitalized on a technical foul to trim the lead to 76-68. However, that was as close as Bnei Hasharon could get, because Newley answered with a contested triple to seal the outcome of the match and give Panellinios a well-deserved victory.
Tuesday, December 09, 2008