Estudiantes boosted its survival options in Group C on TUesday by beating Chalon on the road, 72-78. The hosts fought back to maintain the team balanced, but in the final minutes, the determination of the Spaniards was key for the win. Corey Brewer led the winners with 16 points while Felipe Reyes and Carlos Jimenez netted 14 apiece. For the French team, recently signed Tim Nees nailed 15 points, Udonis Haslem added 13 and Stanley Jackson contributed 11. The win improves Estudiantes' record to 3-3 for the third place in the group while Chalon drops to 2-4 tied with Trieste.
The individual actions would put coach Pepu Hernandez's team ahead for good in the last three minutes, but in the first quarter, German Gabriel and Jimenez -7 points in the first quarter- and a tough defense over Laurent Pluvy and Casey Calvary, left the Spaniards 4 points ahead after 10 minutes, 20-24. The first reaction of the hosts arrived soon as Estudiantes failed to score due to problems in the static offensive plays, and Chalon jumped ahead in minute 14, 29-28. With Brewer and Nacho Azofra on court, and the contribution of Rafael Vidaurreta put an end to that situation. Two threes by Brewer left the guests ahead, 39-40, at the break.
After resumption it was Reyes' turn under the boards, as his rebounding abilities opened spaces in the paint for his team, but at the same time, Calvary re-appeared in offense just in time to leave his team one point down after the decisive quarter, 58-59. Jackson scored 7 straight points that would make the way of Chalon to the win easier with a 65-62 and 4 minutes to go. But Estudiantes' accuracy from the 6.25 line was crucial, mainly thanks to Iker Iturbe, Jimenz and Azofra for a 72-76 and 1 minute to go. The experience of the Spaniards was enough in the final plays to take the win to Madrid and increase options in the ULEB Cup.
Tuesday, December 3, 2002