A back-and-forth defensive thriller full of star turns marked this opening game in Group D, and when the dust had settled at Hala Mistrzow in Wloclawek, Poland, visiting Azovmash Mariupol had a 66-70 road victory over Anwil Wlocawek. The ULEB Cup first-timers from Ukraine gave Anwil, entering its third season in the competition, all it could handle on its own floor. Anwil jumped ahead by as many as 9 points in the first quarter, but Azovmash turned that around in the second and fought point for point until the finish. Experienced scorer Panagiotis Liadellis was the big gun for Azovmash with 20 points from the perimeter, while Serhiy Lishchuk put on a show inside with 15 points, 13 rebounds and 4 blocks. Another veteran, Tyus Edney, added 13 points for the winners. Gerrod Henderson posted a huge double-double of 17 points and 11 assists to lead Anwil. Zbigniew Bialek followed with 16 points, while Andrzej Pluta and Alex Dunn added 11 each.
Azovmash got behind its big-name veterans, Edney and Liadelis, to take its first lead at 2-6 shortly after tipoff. Lishchik raised that to 5-10 for the visitors before Anwil struck back with 17 of the game's next 20 points. Bialek and Pluta led that charge with three-pointers each while Henderseon dished assists left and right as Anwil pulled ahead 22-16 after 10 minutes. Azovmash had already begun its turnaround, however, and throughout the second quarter used Lishchuk's control of the inside to flip the scoreboard until it was ahead 36-37 at the half. The third quarter was just as even, with Azovmash leading by one more point, 52-54, after 30 minutes. That set up a dramatic final quarter, during which any point was hard to come by, but Azovmash squeaked out enough to hold on for victory.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007