Elan Chalon of France made a key move in the Group B standings when it outdueled FMP with a 60-72 road win in Belgrade, Serbia on Tuesday. It was Chalon's second road win amid a 3-4 record and its second victory over FMP this season, breaking their fourth-place tie. FMP fell to 2-5 and will likely have to win all its remaining games to advance to the next round. Great defense and big shooting by Rowan Barrett, who buried 5 three-pointers among his 19 points, showed the way for Chalon. Shawnta Rogers added 12 points for the winners, while John Ford had 11 and Bryan Bracey 10. FMP got 19 points from Zoran Erceg, 15 from Bojan Krstovic and 11 from Dragan Labovic, but only 15 from the rest of the team. Its 4-for-25 three-point shooting (16%) doomed the hosts.
Bracey paced Chalon to the good start that all road teams look for to change the tone of a game. He scored 7 points with no shots mised as the guests led 16-19 after 10 minutes. For FMP; only Erceg started storng, although he had severl turnovers while scoring 6 early points. At the begining of second quarter, however, Nemanja Protic tied for FMP with a bomb from downtown, but Barrett quickly reestablished Chalon's lead with 2 triples in a row. Labovic gave fresh blood to FMP team but he was outnumbered by Chalon's helpers.
Joachim Echanga and John Ford together sparked a 0-11 run to lift the visitors into double-digit territory at 26-38 as the first half ended. Erceg and Echanga traded baskets right after the break, but Barrett added triple for Chalon as the gap increased to 15 points. Erceg and Krstovic struck back with a 6-0 run, but by that time FMP had already committed 11 turnovers. Chalon preserved its double-digits lead through the middle of the third quarter thanks to bombs from Barrett, up to 4-for-4 so far at the arc. Krstovic scoring his third from downtown gave hope to FMP in minute 27 as the score was 45-52. Barrett stopped that trend with his fifth triple and Chalon led 48-57 after 30 minutes. FMP opened the last quarter cutting the margin to 6 points but Rogers woke up Chalon and led the guests into safe waters at 51-60. FMP had no choice and tried to catch up by shooting from behind the arc. Instead of the hosts, however, it was Bracey who connected as Predrag Samardziski fouled out and FMP lost its only big man under the boards. Chalon led 57-70 with 3 minutes left, needing only patience to finalize an important road win. The visitors from France did just that, and thus stayed very alive in the Group B race to play beyond the regular season.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007