Bizkaia Bilbao Basket remained the only unbeaten team in the Eurocup by downing Panellinios 81-61 on Tuesday in Bilbao, Spain. Bilbao is now the exclusive leader of Group K with a 2-0 record, while Panellinios and Brose Baskets are tied at 1-1. Bilbao Visits Brose Baskets in Bamberg next week, while Panellinios hosts Benetton Basket in Athens. Bilbao put together a 24-4 charge that bridged the second and third quarters – highlighted by 9 points from All-Eurocup forward Marko Banic – to go from a 28-28 tie to a 52-32 advantage and never looked back in the second half. Janis Blums paced the winners with 17 points on 5-of-7 shooting from beyond the arc, Jerome Moiso added 16 points, Chris Warren 14, Javi Salgado 12 and Banic 11. Panellinios got 20 points from Ian Vougioukas, 14 from Devin Smith and 10 from Kostas Charalampidis.
Warren opened fire with a deep three for Bilbao, but Britton Johnsen gave a 5-6 advantage to the guests. A Moiso dunk, assisted by Axel Hervelle, put the hosts up 14-9. Smith and Alex Mumbru scored from downtown and Vougioukas and Javi Rodriguez were perfect from the foul line to finish the first quarter at 19-16 for the home team. A left hook from Vougioukas was the first basket in the second quarter. Moiso made another dunk and Smith tied things at 21-21 after a perfect ball move for Panellinios, which led 21-23 after Smith scored 2 easy points on the break. Bilbao led again after Moiso used perfect body control to score a layup and the additional free throw, and extended the cushion to 28-23 through Blums. Rodney Blackney tied things with a three to make it 28-28, but Moiso remained unstoppable dunking an alley-oop from Salgado, who also dished an outstanding pass to Warren for a slam and a 34-28 edge. Djuro Ostojic kept his side on track with a short jumper before Salgado from downtown gave a 37-30 advantage to Bilbao. Banic fixed the halftime score at 41-32 with an easy layup.
Banic scored 7 points early in the third quarter and helped by Warren and Salgado capped a 24-4 run that bridged the quarters to lead 52-32. Charalampidis stopped a Panellinios scoreless drought by hitting from beyond the arc and from mid range to get within 52-37. Markos Kolokas drained another three to finish an 8-0 run and make it 52-40. Banic fueled Bilbao from the foul line, but Vougioukas grabbed an offensive rebound to score and make it 54-44. Back-to-back three pointers from Blums kept Bilbao in charge late in the quarter. Vougioukas and Charalampidis answered to finish the quarter at 60-49. Moiso ran the break to get a slam and a 64-52 lead and Blums from the corner bagged a
three to extend the cushion to 67-52 with six minutes left in the game. Hervelle blocked a dunk attempt by Vougioukas and Blums remained on fire with another three that sealed the game at 70-52. Salgado capped another 12-2 run from deep downtown, making it again a 20-point lead. Vougioukas tried to fuel his side, but Blums sent in another rocket from eight meters, exciting the crowd at Bizkaia Arena before Hervelle scored the
Tuesday, February 2, 2010