PGE Turow Zgorzelec took a major step to make it to the Final Eight in Torino by downing BC Kyiv 59-71 in the first leg of the two-way series in the Ukrainian capital on Tuesday. As such, Turow had a 12-point lead in the series and hosts the second leg in Liberec, the Czech Republic next week. David Logan led the winners with 25 points on 6-for-6 two-pointers. Thomas Kelati added 22 points on 5-for-8 three-pointers, Slobodan Ljubotina had 15 while playmaker Andres Rodriguez pulled down a game-high 9 rebounds. Pooh Jeter had 15 points to lead Kyiv, Manu Markoishvili added 12 while Marcus Faison got 10 for the hosts. Turow opened the game with a 0-10 run and even when Jeter brought his team back to life, Logan soon found his rhythm to gave the guests a 18-24 lead after 10 minutes. A driving basket by Marko Skecic gave Turow a 18-31 margin but Faison and Markoishvili brought the hosts within 25-34 margin at halftime. Logan simple took over in the third quarter to keep Turow ahead while Ljubotina stroke from downtown to make it a 17-point game, 38-55, with 8 minutes to go. An unstoppable Kelati allowed Turow to keep a safe lead in the series all the way until the final buzzer.
Kelati got Turow going with a four-meter jumper and soon stroke from downtown for a 0-5 lead. Kyiv went scoreless for more than 2 minutes, while Ljubotina made free throws and sank a triple from the top of the key to make the hosts call timeout at 0-10. Jeter finished a long three-chance offense with a put-back layup but Kelati dunked it for a 2-12 Turow lead after 4 minutes. Ryan Stack stepped up with a layup-plus-foul that Faison followed with a stop-and-pop triple to bring the hosts back to life, 8-12. Logan that Jeter traded baskets while Ljubotina nailed his second triple to keep Turow ahead, 10-17. Andres Rodriguez shined with a floating jumper and Logan added an acrobatic basket to make it an 11-point game, 10-21. Jeter made free throws and Manu Markoishvili added a six-meter jumper and even Dragisa Drobnjak score inside, Josh Davis beat the buzzer with a layup to bring Kyiv within 18-24 after 10 minutes. The hosts were more aggressive in defense now while Jeter sank a step-back jumper in transition for a 18-24 Kyiv deficit. Logan shined with a floating layup but he didn't find much help around now. Even with that, he sank a triple to restore a 18-29 Turow lead. Scekic shined with a driving basket that capped a 0-7 Turow run. Faison made free throws, Marko Maravic stroke from downtown while a driving layup by Markoishvili made Turow call timeout at 25-31. The game turned into a physical battle but another three-pointer by Kelati gave Turow a 25-34 margin at halftime.
Jeter banked in a mid-range shot right after the break that Kelati erased with a fast break basket, as Kyiv had troubles to score against Turow's improved defense until Markoishvili fired in a corner three-pointer. Turow kept controlling the game tempo through a patient Rodriguez but Markoishvili shined again on a driving layup. Turow now had troubles to score until Logan stroke from downtown to give the guests some fresh air, 32-39. Ljubotina made free throws that Maravic erased with a put-back layup. Kelati drew a foul in transition and made a free throw while Drobnjak fed Ljubotina for a two-handed dunk that Artur Drozdov erased in the other end. Logan took over with a layup-plus-foul and dunked it off a midcourt steal to give Turow a 36-49 margin after 30 minutes. Kyiv improved the game tempo in the fourth quarter while Faison tried to ignit the hosts' comeback with free throws. Logan answered with a seven-meter bomb while Ljubotina buried a corner triple to make it a 17-point game, 38-55. Drozdov joined the three-point shootout and Davis added a jumper in transition to make Turow call timeout at 43-55. Maravic shined with a tip-in but Logan followed free throws with an outstanding driving layup to restore a 14-point Turow lead, 45-59. Faison tried to change things with a three-point play, as both teams fought for decisive points differential now. Kelati nailed a triple but Drozdov and Jeter answered from downtown for a 54-62 Kyiv deficit. A red hot Kelati sank back-to-back triples to make Turow return home with an important lead in the series.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008