Bilbao finished Group B with a flawless record after a thrilling 85-84 win over Spirou Charleroi on Wednesday. Bilbao moves on to Last 16 Group J, where it will face Valencia Basket, CEZ Nymburk and VEF Riga. Spirou bows out of the Eurocup without a win. A 0-13 run to open the second quarter gave Spirou a 16-27 margin, but Bilbao’s 14-3 charge that bridged half time put the home team in front 38-37. Early in the fourth quarter, the home team climbed to 63-56, but Spirou came back to make it exciting. Alas Nikos Zisis scored free throws to win the game. Lamont Hamilton led the winners with 22 points and 7 rebounds, and Nikos Zisis nailed 15, while Matt Walsh drilled 27 points with 14 rebounds and an index rating of 43 for Charleroi, which also had 21 from Jason Fontenet and 13 each from Chris Beghin and Derrick Allen.
Beghin and Allen started things for Spirou, but a long three by Alex Mumbru put the home team ahead 7-6. Hamilton increased the marring to 11-8. Walsh scored free throws to tie things at 14-14, but Fran Pilepic was perfect from the foul line to finish the first quarter on 16-14 for Bilbao. Beghin highlighted a 13-0 run for Charleroi to take a 16-27 margin. Zisis with back-to-back baskets tried to sound the charge for the home team, 21-29. Walsh from beyond the arc gave another double digit lead to Charleroi, 24-32, but a Zisis layup and three-pointer joined with the free throws by Axel Hervelle with a second left made it 33-35 for Spirou at halftime.
Hamilton opened the second half by tying the score at 35-35, and completing a three-point-play gave a 38-37 lead to Bilbao. The lead changed hands twice before Fontanet from the foul line tied it at 43-43. Mumbru hit a three and Fontenet and Hervelle scored, before Roger Grimau’s layup made it 52-47. A Jekel Foster triple and Walsh free throws cut the difference to 54-52. Milovan Rakovic scored 4 from the foul line. Pilepic and Walsh drained jumpers to make it 60-56 for the hosts through three quarters. Rakovic and Grimau extended the margin to 63-56. A Fontenet triple pushed Charleroi closer, 65-61, but Adrian Moerman from beyond the arc extended the difference to 70-61. Foster and Allen tried to keep Spirou close, but Pilepic’s three-pointer made it 73-65. Foster made free throws for 75-70. A layup by Grimau extended the cushion to 79-72 before 4 consecutive free throws by Walsh helped Charleroi to within 79-76. Hamilton scored free throws for 83-79, Fonetent made 4 to tie the game at 83 with 15 seconds left. Zisis scored 2 from the line with 8 seconds left, while Walsh his just one of two and Hamilton grabbed the rebound to seal the win for Bilbao.
Wednesday, December 12, 2012