An upset of that could be remembered as one of the biggest of the season took place on Thursday in Madrid as Idea Slask Wroclaw, after 48 hours under a new coach, rallied in the fourth quarter for its first win in the Euroleague this season against hosts Real Madrid, 79-85. This game marked the head coaching debut of Slask's Jacek Winnicki, who managed to take his team to a 1-2 record in Group C, just like Real Madrid, who lost its second straight game at home. The game was marked by tough defenses which took the players to the free throw line constantly, especially in the first half. Neither team could put its hands around the game until Dainius Adomaitis emerged in the last quarter to score 10 points in the period that put his team ahead for good. Slask was led by Andrius Giedraitis and his 21 points, while Richard Lugo added 17. The hosts had their best men in Derrick Alston with 23 points, Alberto Herreros with 16 and Lucio Angulo with 12.
The guests started the game seeing how Randy Holcomb monopolized the offensive plays, and Real quickly forged a 12-8 lead, but when Idea Slask started moving the ball, the Polish got back into the game quick, 12-11. From the very first minutes, the hosts turned to a press defense that complicated Slask's options in the offensive end, but when the guests learnt how to move the ball, they started to draw fouls from the rival, until Aleksander Koul tied the game at 15-15 from the free throw line. The fans in Madrid started to get nervous because their team wasn't able to build coherent offensive plays, while on the other end, Slask was making its mind clear little by little. Despite the relative superiority of the guests, the score was 19-19 with one minute to go in the period. Holcomb was still the most visible man for Slask in the offensive end, but his shooting accuracy was not at its best, and that saved Real from being down. Both teams fouled a lot, and that was translated in free throws, as Real Madrid had scored 16 of its 22 points from the charity line. After 10 minutes, the score showed a 22-21 edge for the hosts.
The second quarter started much better, with Miglieniks conducting the guests to a 24-28 lead early into the period. Michael Hawkins replied for Real Madrid with a three, but Idea Slask was still superior in rebounding, and moved the ball easily in the offensive plays, even though most of the balls didn't go in. The hosts started to play with four small players and Derrick Alston as the only big man in the paint, but the percentage from the long range wasn't on Madrid's side either. On one of his constant trips to the free throw line, Alston scored his 11th point to tie the game at 31-31, while Idea Slask went back to confusion in offense, with many turnovers that fortunately for the guests, weren't much productive for Real. With 2 seconds to go, Dominik Tomczyk was called his fourth foul as Hawkins put an end to the half shooting the 33rd free throw for the hosts for a 41-38 edge at the break.
The third quarter took it where the second had left it with both teams not knowing what to do in offense, while defenses were the best part of the game on both sides. Holcomb went to the bench in minute 22 due to his fourth foul. Personal fouls began to become the main prblem for Slask, as it had many players loaded with three fouls, plus three with four, as Miglieniks joined Holcomb and Tomczyk soon. The hosts settled in the free throw line to forge a 5-point lead, 49-44, which was neutralized in two quick fastbreaks of the Polish in less than 30 seconds, 49-48. Richard Lugo was the main reference for the guests in offense, bit he also fell into early foul trouble. Luckily for Idea, Pawel Wiekiera stepped on court to hit 3 of 3 threes in the quarter to put his team ahead again, 55-58. The decision of Lucas Victoriano with the ball in his hands, helped the hosts to stay in the game, and after 30 minutes Slask was ahead by 59-62.
The teams got into the decisive period with threes for both sides by Giedraitis and Alberto Herreros, as the latter emerged as the saving figure of the hosts from the 6.25 line, while at the same time, Tomczyk was fouled out. 5 straight points by Dainius Adomaitis put the Polish back in the game at 70-71, and he added another three soon to tie 73-73, neutralizing the shy burst of the hosts. Adomaitis exploded in the last quarter as he virtually was the only offensive resource for Idea Slask, scoring all his points in the quarter. The game entered the last minute tied at 77-77. After yet another missed free throw by Alston, Holcomb pulled an unvaluable board with 20 seconds to go and 78-79. A quick foul by Real sent Giedraitis to the free throw line, where he scored both attmepts for 78-81 and the last possession for the hosts, which was also cut quickly bi the players of Idea. Victoriano could only score one for 79-81, and Slask was back to the free throw routine, as Giedraitis hit both for 79-83 and 10 seconds to go, good enough for the first win of Idea Slask in this Euroleague.
Thursday, October 24, 2002