PGE Turow Zgorzelec stays as the uncontested leader in Group I and is two games ahead everyone else at 6-1 by edging Zadar 77-72 in overtime in Liberec, the Czech Republic on Tuesday night. Turow needs one more win to seal its ticket for the elimination rounds while Zadar dropped to 3-4 and joins a three-way tie for the third place with Strasbourg and Unics Kazan. Thomas Kelati led the winners with 19 points. David Logan and Dragisa Drobnjak each added 12 while Slobodan Ljubotina and Andres Rodriguez had 11 apiece for Turow. Corey Brewer led Zadar with 27 points on 6-for-9 three-pointers. Julius Johnson added 15 while Andrej Stimac had 11 for the guests. Eight players - four per team - scored from beyond the three-point line in the opening quarter. Zadar led 7-20 early but Rodriguez and Kelati got Turow within 23-25 after 10 minutes. Turow found a go-to guy in Kelati, who allowed his team to get a double-digit lead, 45-35. Stimac, Johnson and Brewer joined forced to bring Turow into the game, 49-49. It was a physical battle since that moment, but Brewer followed a put-back basket with a big triple to tie the game, 63-63, and force overtime. Johnson gave Zadar its last lead, 68-69, midway through the extra period. Kelati hit free throws while Logan and Brewer traded triple for a 73-72 score. Logan made 3-for-4 free throws while Zadar went scoreless down the stretch.
Zadar ran its offense through Todor Gecevski in the early going, as had 7 early points to give his team a 7-10 run. Once Turow managed to stop him, Johnson stepped up with a triple and another basket, igniting a 0-10 run that Shamell Stallworth capped with a layup for a 7-20 Zadar lead. Turow adjusted its defense, as four Zadar players had already stroke from downtown. Ljubotina, Logan and Rodriguez joined the three-point shootout in an 11-0 run that got Turow back in the game, 18-20. Brewer followed a triple with free throws, but Kelati also buried a triple to get Turow within 23-25 after 10 minutes. Kelati completed the hosts' comeback with another three-pointer, 26-25. Ljubotina followed free throws with a triple to give the hosts their biggest lead that far, 31-27. Brewer and Jure Lalic stepped up to tie the game again, 33-33. Kelati shined with a three-pointer soon added foul shots, igniting a 7-0 run that Rodriguez capped with a huge triple that boosted Turow's lead to 45-35 at halftime. Gecevski shined with a put-back basket while Stimac followed a triple with a layup-plus-foul to bring Zadar back to life, 47-43, after the break. Witka tried to change things for Turow but Brewer answered from downtown and Johnson scored again for a 49-48 Zadar deficit. Brewer made a free throw to tie the game, 49-49, after a 2-12 run. Kelati buried another triple while Mario Skecic buried back-to-back bombs from downtown for a 58-52 Turow margin after 30 minutes. Johnson tied the game with consecutive triples early in the fourth quarter, 58-58. The game turned into a physical battle, but Kelati stepped up with back-to-back baskets to put Turow ahead, 62-60. Zadar went scoreless for more than 4 minutes until Brewer had a put-back basket. Drobnjak made a free throw but Brewer sank his fifth three-pointer for a 63-63 tie with a minute to go. Brewer drew an offensive foul on Rodriguez but committed a turnover to keep a 63-63 tie at the end of regulation.
Logan stroke from downtown early in the extra period but free throws by Brewer got Zadar within 66-65. Drobnjak and Stimac traded basket while Johnson turned the game into an even bigger thriller by giving Zadar a 68-69 edge. Kelati drew a foul and calmly made free throws while Logan fired in a critical three-pointer to make Zadar call timeout at 73-69. Brewer - who else? - hit a triple, as Turow called timeout at 73-72 already in the final minute. Zadar opted to foul on Logan, who made 1-for-2 free throws. Barac committed a turnover while Logan did not miss this time to seal the outcome.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007