Bilbao Basket is a Last 16 from this Tuesday after defeating Turk Telekom at home by 81-75. The win allows Bilbao to stay undefeated with a 4-0 record at the top of Group E, while Turk Telekom drops to 1-3 but still has chances to advance. Bilbao started strong with 8-0 and 13-0 bursts that earned them double-digit leads for most of the game, but in the final period, the guests came back as close as 75-72, even if the hosts managed their advantage well until the final buzzer. Damir Markoya excelled in offense for the winners with his 27 points and 7 rebounds while Renaldas Seibutis posted 17 and Robert Conley joined in with 12. For the guests, Lamayne Wilson paced with 19 points and Demond Mallet added 18 as Turk Telekom shot an inspired 13 of 24 from the arc that wasn't enough against Bilbao's accuracy from the free throw line.
Damir Markota and Renaldas Seibutis combined for threes to make it an 8-0 start for Bilbao Basket until Serkan Erdogan hit a three of his own to start Turk Telekom's scoring after the mandatory timeout. The
instructions proved to be useful for the guests as Demond Mallet found the net from beyond the arc ro put his team within 10-8. The hosts reacted with a 5-0 burst but Mallet and Erdogan insisted on Turk
Telekom staying in the scoreboard, 18-16. Things went donwhil from there however for Turk Telekom as Bilbao managed to spark a 13-0 run starting with Markota's third and fourth triples of the game and
completed with four straight points by Seibutis to close the first period with a commanding 28-16 lead for Bilbao. Seibutis opened the second period with a new Bilbao three increasing the run to 16-0 until
Mallet finally scored for Turk Telekom. Seibutis was on fire however and virtually unstoppable in offense, and only Mallet showed some shy opposition with a new three for him but then Paco Vazquez nailed a
new three for the hosts for a 44-29 lead. Bekir Yarangume woke up with five straight points of his own to make it a 10-point game again, 44-34, forcing Bilbao's timeout. There wasn't time for much more as
both teams hit the lockerrooms with a 46-38 Bilbao advantage.
The second half started more or less in the same way, with Bilbao dominating the situation. Robert Conley was the man now in offense for the hosts while Turk Telekom kept some hope with a new Mallet three
for 56-43 and then Yarangume joined in for a three of his own, 56-46. Markota blasted yet another three to make it his 25th point of the night while Marko Banic scored his first basket to keep Bilbao at a
safe distance, 62-50. Conley and Banic connected for five streight more points with no opposition from the guests until Tutku Acik hit twice form the line and then Lamayne Wilson added a three to make it
68-55 after 30 minutes. Wilson's three capped a 0-7 run for Turk Telekom and a 68-62 score, but Bilbao didn't panick. Banic and Jerome Moiso stepped up for the hosts to keep some valuable points in the lead,
but Wilson blasted a new three where it hurt the most to make it 73-65 in minute 36. Markota came to the rescue for the hosts but Wilson blasted his third straigh three and with each bite, the guests were
one point closer. Missed shots and turnovers of the hosts allowed Turk Telekom tu trim four more points on the scoreboard, 75-72, after Andre Owens scored a layup to force a desperate timeout for Bilbao
Basket, but the hosts stayed calm in the final plays and with the help of the fans secured a home win that was worth a Last 16 berth for Bilbao for the second consectuive year.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009