Pamesa Valencia improved to 7-2 and set a do-or-die showdown to win Group D next week by edging Azovmash Mariupol 73-74 in
Ukraine on Tuesday. Pamesa locked the second spot in Group D but faces Khimki, first at 8-1, in Valencia next week. Pamesa
will become the Group D champion if it beats Khimki by at least 3 points. Meanwhile, Azovmash dropped to 5-4 and could
mathematically advance to the elimination rounds as soon as today if the Deutsche Bank Skyliners beat Sluc Nancy. Victor Claver led the winners with 16 points on 4-for-6 three-pointers. Albert Oliver and Shammond Williams each added 14, Stanko Barac had 11 while Ruben Douglas got 10 for Pamesa. Tyus Edney had 18 points for Azovmash, Panagiotis Liadelis got 16 while Rodney Buford added 14. Pamesa shined in the first half, hitting 10-for-17 three-pointers to get a 34-49 margin. As many as four players stroke at least twice from downtown, including Alex Urtasun, whose second triple gave his team a 15-point halftime lead. Back-to-back three-pointers by Williams made it a 20-point game, 39-59, midway through the third quarter. Azovmash switched to zone defense while Buford, Edney and Liadelis brought the hosts back in the game, 62-65. Free throws by Barac and Oliver, as well as a big triple by Claver already in the final minute helped Pamesa to seal the outcome down the stretch, as the hosts' wild late rally came too late.
Edney got Azovmash going, as Pamesa needed 6 shots to get its first points on a fast break layup by Douglas. Claver, Williams
and Douglas stroke from downtown for a 6-11 Pamesa edge. Serhiy Lishchuk and Liadelis brought Azovmash within 12-13 but a dunk by Claver and fired in another three-pointer while Williams beat the buzzer with a wild jumper for a 16-20 Pamesa edge after 10 minutes. Douglas and Liadelis traded triples early in the second quarter while Buford tied the game at 23-23. Douglas and Claver kept pacing Pamesa while Oliver buried back-to-back bombs from downtown for a 25-34 lead. Azovmash called
timeout while Liadelis and Buford stepped up to get the hosts within 31-38. Urtasun sank a triple while Oliver added a
layup-plus-foul to make it a 13-point game, 31-44. Once again Urtasun nailed Pamesa's 10th three-pointer for a 34-49 halftime
margin. Yahor Meshcharakou buried a triple right after the break while Buford added a turnaround jumper to give Azovmash some hope at 39-49. Pamesa found a go-to guy in Williams, who had 8 points in a 0-10 run that broke the game open, 39-59. Azovmash called timeout and switched to a very effective zone defense. Meanwhile, Yevgeniy Podorvannyy and Liadelis brought Azovmash within 46-59 after 30 minutes. A put-back basket by Edney capped a 9-0 run that got the hosts even closer, 48-59. Pamesa went scoreless for 5 minutes until Barac buried a triple, but Robert Archibald and Liadelis brought Azovmash within single digits, 54-62, with 6 minutes to go. Williams and Douglas made free throws but Buford, Edney and Liadelis got the hosts back in the game, 62-65. Barac and Oliver made critical free throws while Archibald scored for a 64-68 deficit with 1:10 to go. Claver fired in a big three-pointer that allowed Pamesa to cruise to an important win. Edney led a wild Azovmash rally but his three-pointer only got the hosts within 73-74 at the buzzer.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008