Turk Telekom leaves Trento with first win
Turk Telekom Ankara claimed its first win of the 7DAYS EuroCup season by beating Dolomiti Energia Trento 77-81 in an entertaining, back-and-forth clash on Tuesday at BLM Group Arena. T.J. Campbell tied a club record with 7 three-pointers en route to a career-high 23 points to pace the winners. Sylven Landesberg posted 16 points and 5 assists, Vladimir Stimac tallied 13 points and 11 rebounds and Ender Arslan scored 11 as Turk Telekom took its record to 1-3, while dropping Trento to the same. Diego Flaccadori paced Trento with 17 points, Dustin Hogue produced 14 points, 9 rebounds and 3 steals and Toto Forray and Davide Pascolo added 10 points each. Forray also delivered 6 assists and collected 3 steals.
Turk Telekom did not miss a shot in the game's first five minutes, during which it started the game on a 0-14 tear with the six baskets all assisted. Flaccadori got Trento on the scoreboard with a free throw and his layup later closed the gap to 8-17. However, back-to-back threes by Andrea Mezzanotte and Devyn Marble highlighted a 10-0 Trento surge to finish the quarter that made it 18-24. The hosts continued the rally in the second quarter, slowly clawing their way back and getting to 32-33 at halftime on a Nikola Radicevic layup. Pascolo and Hogue dominated in the third quarter, combining for 9 points in a 12-2 run that gave Trento its first lead, 46-42. Marble extended the margin to 7 before Turk Telekom bounced back through triples by Campbell and Arslan to get to 54-53 through three quarters. Campbell knocked down a pair of threes to start the fourth quarter as the visitors regained control. Free throws by Kaya Peker, Landesberg and Stimac padded the difference and an Arslan three made it 60-69 with five minutes to go. Trento regrouped for a final run, but head coach Maurizio Buscaglia was ejected for a second technical foul with 2:07 to play and the hosts ran out of steam.
T.J. Campbell was more than just Turk Telekom's top scorer, but he made the key baskets to lift his team when they needed him most. Campbell hit a pair of threes to start the fourth quarter that gave Turk Telekom the lead for good and helped seal the win with his final triple that made it 69-78 with two minutes remaining. Campbell has seen his scoring output rise in every game so far this season and his 7 threes tied Demond Mallet and Willie Deane for the most in club history.
A step forward for a Trento star
Although the final score is a demoralizing one for Trento, the club can take some solace from another big game from rising star Diego Flaccadori. Not only did he produce strong numbers – 17 points, 5 rebounds and a performance index rating of 22, which all represent the second-highest of his career – but Flaccadori showed poise in rescuing his team from an early 14-point deficit. The 22-year-old guard is quickly becoming a player Trento can count on.
The old guard rides again
Turk Telekom could not have eked out the win without major contributions from veterans 35-year-old Ender Arslan and 38-year-old Kaya Peker off the bench. The former scored 11 in 28 minutes off the bench while the latter had 9 points in 15 minutes, using his physicality to wear down the Trento big men. They combined for half of the team's 22 fouls drawn – and went 6 for 6 from the line – even though they played less than a quarter of the team's minutes.
Trento looks to get back on track next week with a tough Tuesday trip to former champion Valencia Basket. Turk Telekom begins its run of home games on Wednesday when it hosts Partizan NIS Belgrade.
Tuesday, October 23, 2018