Spirou Basket trumped Unicaja 79-74
Spirou Charleroi won its second game this season at home, this time against Unicaja, on Thursday night by 79-74 in Group B. It is the first time ever that Charleroi wins two straight Euroleague games. In a fast-paced duel, the hosts started dominating but Unicaja came back little by little. Finally, in the final quarter, a 14-1 with Daniel Santiago as the main star, allowed the hosts to survive and win its second game for a 2-4 record. Charleroi is now tied with Brose Baskets for fifth place, only one win away from Lottomatica Roma and Unicaja, both 3-3. Mallet led the winners with 21 points, Santiago had 15 and 8 boards and Brent Wright contributed 12 for the winners. For Unicaja, Joel Freeland had 14 points and Saul Blanco added 11.
Five straight points by Demond Mallet opened the game for Spirou Basket until Saul Blanco replied for Unicaja. Mallet went fast for his seventh point to put
the starting 9-2 on the scoreboard, and Dan Santiago joined him to score from below the glass to keep the hosts going. At this point, a 3-9 Unicaja run
started with Giorgios Printezis' three and capped by Joel Freeland that made it 14-11 in a new start for the guests. Mallet soon went for his 10th point, but
Freeland held the hosts back with points again and Uros Tripkovic faked for the three to make it 17-16. Chris Hill would have time to close the first quarter
with Charleroi leading 19-16.
The second quarter started with a 4-0 run by Joseph Gomis and Hill but Panchi Barrera stopped it with free throws. Spirou was in a sweet offensive moment to
keep adding points, but this time Unicaja didn't fall for it until Brian Greene hit a three for the 30-22. Greene and Brent Wright were the main scorers for
the hosts now in a great atmosphere at the Spiroudome. Wright slammed the ball with two hands to give Spirou a maximum lead of 37-28. Archibald replied in
the same manner for Unicaja but the best percentage from beyond the arc was keeping the hosts in control. A good offensive rebound by Mallet allowed Greene
to score an open jumper that let Spirou pull away again when it looked like Unicaja was getting close. In the end of the first half, Saul Blanco appeared for
a buzzer beater that left Unicaja at a 41-35 distance from the hosts.
The third quarter started with a 0-5 Unicaja run capped by Roderick Blakney's free throw to make it a one-point game, 41-40. Justin Hamilton came to the
rescue with a three and Wright soon finished the fastbreak to make it 46-42. Blanco replied with an open three in a fast-paced game that was giving a good
time to the packed house. Both teams were running too much now and that brought mistakes on both sides, until finally Hamilton denied Unicaja the chance to
get ahead. Carlo Jimenez didn't take that lightly and tied the game at 48-48 with a three. Finally, Freeland had a great move for a turnaround jumper to pu
Unicaja finally ahead, 48-50. Charleroi never backed down however, and another fast transition saw Mallet feeding Dwayne Broyles for the three-point play
adding to that a technical foul on Jimenez that made him walk out of the game. All the free throws went in for 54-50, but Berni Rodriguez acted quickly after
good circulation by Unicaja for an open three. Fans in the stands dind't dare to blink their eyes in case they missed something as the quarter enterd its
last 30 seconds with a big shot by Tripkovic that made it 56-55. In the last possession, Mallet tripped and Barrera stole and ran to make it 56-57 after 30
A steal by Hill and a pass for Mallet for the open three opened the last quarter for Charleroi, but Berni soon copied him to stop any early attempts by the hosts to try to conquer the game. Mallet picked the glove from the ground and poured yet another three-pointer for the hosts to make it 62-60. After an Archibald bucket, Berni appeared for another triple to make it 62-66 as it was a crucial moment for both teams. With Wright back on court, Charleroi started to receive contribution soon and on the other end, the hosts gave another turn at the defense screw to force a 24-second violation on Unicaja. The scoring run went up to 6-0 as the hosts jumped ahead again and Santiago drove everyone crazy with a three-point play for 71-66. Printezis broke the 9-0 from the free throw line but Santiago stroke back with yet another three-point play for 74-67. Bad decisions in offense were condemning Unicaja now as Charleroi was clearly enjoying a sweet moment when the game entered the last two minutes. A defensive mistake by Unicaja allowed Mallet to drive with no opposition for 76-67 as Guillem Rubio replied with a fast three. After a Charleroi miss, Blanco hit two free throws to make it 76-72. With 20 seconds to go, Broyles went to the line to also hit both. Time was running out for Unicaja: 14 seconds and free throws. Blakney scored both for the 78-74. Some seconds passed before Mallet was fouled and also went to the line, to score only one this time. There was not much time left and Unicaja didn't manage to score anymore as the Spiroudome exploded in joy for the second straight win of the season.
Thursday, November 25, 2010