Though it is probably too late, a second win arrived for Jabones Pardo Fuenlabrada on Tuesday as it defeated fellow Spanish rival DKV Joventut 78-73. The guests dominated the first half, but in the second Fuenlabrada reacted, producing a tight thriller that in the end was won by the hosts. As such, Fuenlabrada improves to 2-6 in Group A, while Joventut drops to 4-4, and makes its options for the second round decrease. Despite a poor first quarter, Walter Herrmann was the best scorer for Fuenlabrada one more time with 16 points. Jesus Fernandez and Berni Hernandez added 13 each, while David Wood posted 11. For the losers, Maceo Baston led his team with 20 points, Juan Alberto Espil tallied 12 and Paco Vazquez added 11.
The game started with both teams shooting low percentages, and when the score was 10-9, Jesus Fernandez and Berni Hernandez had scored 4 points each, while for Joventut, the scoring was shared by all the five starters. A dunk by Zan Tabak for 13-15 triggered something in Herrmann, who scored his first basket in the game then, an important fact for the hosts as he is one of their best scorers. A quick jumper by Juan Alberto Espil and two free throws by Baston made it 15-21, however, and the fans in Fuenlabrada expected the worst. After 10 minutes the score was 18-23. In the second quarter, the percentages inproved for both sides as Fuenlabrada had 48% by the break and Joventut 50%. Two straight threes by Wood and Richard Scott for the hosts pulled Fuenlabrada within 26-27, but they never would be able to take the lead. First Antonio Bueno with 4 straight points, and later Paco Vazquez hitting for three, maintained Joventut ahead by 33-37. Another three by Wood forced the first Joventut timeout. The rebounding was being done mainly on defense, with only 3 offensive rebounds for Fuenlabrada and 1 for Joventut. The guests jumped ahead 36-41 in the last minute of the quarter, as the hosts suffered too much from their 10 turnovers in the half. At the break, the deficit was cut to 3 points, 38-41.
Early in the third quarter, a layup by Scott put Fuenlabrada ahead again, 46-45, and from that point, both teams would pursue each other on the scoreboard, taking turns in the lead. Joventut started to commit too many turnovers, but Baston hit from the charity line for a 50-56 lead that started to look steady. But the hosts came back again, and a three by Herrmann, who by then had become the main gun for the hosts one more time, and a jumper by Hernandez made it 57-56 after 30 minutes. A dunk by Fernandez for 62-58 gave wings to Fuenlabrada, but Joventut replied with a 0-6 run with Baston being the player that kept his team in the game. Yet another three by Fernandez neutralized the deficit again for Fuenlabrada. Joventut already had 20 turnovers, but a confident Baston was accurate from the free throw linefor 69-68 with 2 minutes to go. A three by Espil tied the duel at 71-71 in minute 39, but Wood, first from the free throw line and later from the paint, gave a 75-73 edge for the hosts with seconds remaining. Jose Antunez had a crucial steal at the same time that Carles Marco fouled him. Antunez only scored one free throw for 76-73, but Baston fouled him again, and he was bach to the line to hit both this time for a good 78-73 lead.
Tuesday, December 17, 2002