Hemofarm Stada Vrsac took a big step towards the second stage of the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Qualifying Rounds after beating Israeli champion Hapoel Gilboa/Galil Elyon 84-97 in the first leg of the opening round in Tel Aviv, Israel on Tuesday evening. Milan Macvan, the 2010 Eurocup Rising Star trophy winner, showed he can produce also on the big stage and produced 31 points on 81% shooting from the field leading to an index rating of 34 in his first Euroleague appearance. He was joined by Bojan Krstovic who scored 22 points – 13 of them in the second half including 6 three pointers at 75% accuracy. Hemofarm enjoyed a great start and held a 15-point lead in the first quarter, but the locals recovered before the break and took over the game in the third quarter, when Galil built an 8-point lead. However Hemofarm answered with a 2-20 run to win. Macvan and Krstovic stepped up with 22 points in the closing quarter, which Hemofarm won 12-30. Boris Savovic added 10 points for the winners. Tyler Wilkerson scored 20 in 20 minutes for the losing side, followed by 18 from Jack McClinton, 15 from Gal Mekel and 11 from Warren Carter.
Hemofarm was the dominating force right from the tip as Macvan scored 8 quick points to give the visitors a 4-14 lead after only five minutes. Krstovic hit his second three pointer to make it 5-19, but before the game was gone, Galil woke up. Leo Lyons came off the bench to contribute and Wilkerson scored his first point and added a three pointer to push his team to 10 points in total. Rodney Green added another hit from long distance, but Hemofarm had Marko Sutalo, who scored his first 2 points to finish the first quarter with a 16-26 lead. Macvan and Sutalo continued to make things happen, but Wilkerson with points and a big block made it 38-45 before Green stole the ball and finished with a dunk to excite the fans. McClinton, with an off-the-dribble three-pointer on the fast break, made it 43-45 and the first half finished with the hosts behind only 45-47.
Both teams were shy about scoring in the first minutes of the third quarter, but Hemofarm did a good job on the offensive rebound to stay on top. That didn't last for long. Mekel stepped up with points and fed Lyons and Wilkerson for points around the rim. The latter dunked twice to make it 62-58 lead, but Hemofarm went back to its old weapon and scored from outside. Mekel added 5 more points to make it 69-61 score before McClinton scored from behind the arc and set the gap at 72-64, matching the biggest lead for the home side. Hemofarm scored the last 3 points of the period, but only started their big run. Krsotvic with another corner three opened the deciding quarter and Macvan with two baskets around the rim tied the score at 74-74. The run continued and stopped only after a double-digit gap was established, 74-84 after a crazy three-point play by Krstovic that capped a 2-20 run. Wilkerson with hustle moves around the rim removed some of the gap, but Macvan was on fire once and possession after possession made good things happen with the ball to set the gap on 80-91 with 90 seconds to play and essentially decide the game and bestow his team a big advantage before the return leg.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010