Panionios On Telecioms registered its first win in Group D by edging previously undefeated Efes Pilsen 69-78 on the road at the Abdi Ipecki Arena in Istanbul, Turkey, on Wednesday night. Panionios started the second half on a 0-20 tear to take over for good. Lonny Baxter led the winners with 18 points, Ioannis Kalampokis added 17 and Aaron Miles scored 15 and dished 5 assists for Panionios. Kerem Gonlum led Efes with a double-double of 13 points and 12 rebounds. Milos Vujanic scored 11 and Preston Shumpert and Bootsy Thornton each added 10 for the hosts. It was a very balanced first half, in which both teams traded leads until a three-pointer by Kalampokis gave Panionios a 35-36 edge at the break. But Panionos came out of the locker room for the second half fired up and Kalampokis and Baxter allowed Panionios to break the game open. Charles Smith and Gonlum led the hosts' comeback, as Efes got within 65-67 with a minute to go, however free throws by Miles, Baxter, Yannis Georgallis and Kalampokis helped Panionios seal the outcome.
Baxter got Panionios going with a fade-away jumper, which Vujanic erased with a layup for Efes’s first points. Baxter took over with a jump hook as Panionios tried to slow down the game tempo in the opening minutes. Goran Nikolic finished another long possession with a triple for a 2-7 Panionios margin. Cenk Akyol immediately answered from downtown before Vujanic followed with an outstanding driving layup to tie it at 7-7. Georgallis had a huge block on Vujanic, but a follow-up layup by Akyol capped a 7-0 Efes run to give the hosts their first lead, 9-7. Baxter scored again in the low post, but Panionios had already entered the foul bonus. Gonlum converted a put-back basket that Baxter erased with an uncontested dunk for an 11-11 tie. Miles followed a driving layup with free throws before a turnaround jumper by Shumpert kept Efes within 13-15 at the end of the first quarter.
Efes kept struggling to score early in the second quarter, not finding open looks. Meanwhile, Baxter dunked it again for a 13-17 Panionios edge. Gonlum stepped up for Efes and Vujanic added an electric driving layup to tie the game again. Panionios kept following its game plan of getting its big men involved. Levon Kendall came off the bench for an easy basket that Michalis Kakiouzis matched at the other end. Georgallis and Thornton traded triples off a TV timeout before Ender Arslan fired in a seven-meter bomb for a 25-22 Efes lead. Nikolic took over with consecutive jumpers, but a three-point play by Shumpert put the hosts back ahead, 28-26. Kendall made an outstanding power layup, which Arslan bettered with an off-balanced basket. Kalampokis buried a three-pointer, but newcomer Dwayne Jones and Thornton restored a 33-31 Efes lead. Kendall tied it again, before Shumpert shined with a reverse layup. However Kalampokis struck again from downtown to restore a 35-36 Panionios edge at halftime.
Nikolic took over with a floating layup right after the break and Miles buried a big three-pointer to boost the guests' lead to 35-41. Efes was struggling against Panionios's outstanding defense. Meanwhile, Baxter banked in a close shot and Kalampokis added a jumper to force Efes to call timeout at 35-45. Georgallis stepped up with a fast break layup and free throws by Kalampokis followed to push the lead to 14. Efes had missed 7 shots and committed 3 turnovers in the first six long minutes of the half. At the other end, a three-point play by Baxter capped a game-breaking 0-20 run that gave the guests a 35-52 margin. Vujanic and Kakiouzis stepped up with free throws – Efes' first points of this period – but Baxter dunked it again to keep Panionios way ahead at 38-55. Smith and Shumpert tried to change things for Efes, but Miroslav Raicevic and an outstanding Kalampokis allowed Panionios to keep a 15-point lead, 44-59, after three quarters.
Thornton drilled one from downtown right at the start of the fourth period, but Miles silenced the crowd with a big three-pointer. Efes needed a quick comeback to have a chance and Gonlum tried to ignite it with a dunk and a basket inside that got his team within 51-62. Then Charles Smith sank free throws to get the hosts within single digits. Efes had dramatically improved its defense while a fast break layup by Thornton caused Panionios to call timeout at 55-62 with under seven minutes to go. The game had turned into a physical battle and Efes made the most out of it. Smith got the crowd involved with a wild put-back dunk that capped an 11-0 run to bring Efes back to life, 58-62. Panionios had been scoreless for almost six minutes, but Kalampokis buried a key three-pointer for a 7-point margin with three minutes remaining. Gonlum and Miles traded layups, but a three-point play by Shumpert gave Efes some hope, 63-67. Raicevic missed from downtown while a tip-in by Gonlum made it a 65-67 with 1:10 remaining. Miles sank free throws, which Vujanic matched with a layup with 46 seconds to go. Baxter was next on the foul line, but he missed his second attempt. However Vujanic missed from downtown and free throws by Georgallis and Kalampokis allowed Panionios to seal a well-deserved win.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008