Banvit BK sent a message that echoed all around the competition by edging Le Mans 78-70 in both teams' Group A opener on Tuesday. Banvit registered its first-ever Eurocup win in its debut game and took sports revenge of its loss against Le Mans in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Qualifying Rounds in September. Keith Simmons led the winners with 16 points. Vladimir Golubovic added 14 on 7-of-8 two-pointers while Chuck Davis and Mutlu Akpinar each had 12 for Banvit. JP Batista led Le Mans with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Antoine Diot added 12 while Charles Kahudi and Ben Dewar each had 11 for the guests. A 14-0 run allowed Benvit to get the lead for good, 20-16, early in the second quarter. Banvit boosted its margin to 37-30 at halftime and then again to 61-49 with 8 minutes left. Batista brought Le Mans within 71-67 but David and Baris Ermis stepped up in crunch time to make Banvit seal a well-deserved win.
Diot got Le Mans going with a layup and soon struck from downtown for a 2-5 edge. Davis sank a jumper but Batista and Dewar fueled a 0-7 run that boosted the guests' lead to 4-12. Davis kept pacing Banvit but a free throw by Ryvon Covile and a big triple by Kahudi gave Le Mans its first double-digit lead, 6-16. Banvit improved its defense, as Ermis and Simmons stepped up to get the hosts within 10-16. Golubovic shined with consecutive baskets and soon added a dunk to tie the game, 16-16, at the end of the first quarter. Le Mans went scoreless for more than 6 minutes, while back-to-back layups by Ermis and Erol Can Cinko capped a 14-0 run. Batista tried to change things with consecutive put-back layups but Golubovic dunked it again and Cinko struck from downtown for a 25-20 Banvit lead. Golubovic scored again but Alex Acker and Diot kept Le Mans within 27-24. Lance Williams sank a jumper and followed Simmons' dunk with a layup to force Le Mans to call timeout at 33-24. Kahudi struck twice from downtown but Davis and Williams restored a seven-point Banvit lead, 37-30, at halftime.
Dewar struck from downtown immediately after the break but Simmons followed a put-back basket with a triple for a 42-33 score. A three-pointer by Akpinar soon gave Banvit its first double-digit lead, 45-35. Le Mans found a go-to guy in Batista, who had 4 points in a 0-6 run that brought his team back to life, 45-41. Golubovic stepped up with a layup and Davis added free throws to give Banvit some freash air at 49-41. Thierry Rupert scored off a steal but Akpinar bettered that with a three-point play. Le Mans could not find the way to the basket while Bora Pacun and Simmons made it a 12-point game, 56-44. Rupert scored again and a three-pointer by Acker got Le Mans within 56-49 after 30 minutes. Simmons took over with a jumper and a triple that boosted Banvit's lead to 61-49 with 8 minutes left. Kahudi and Diot tried to change things for Le Mans and a jumper by Dewar gave his team some hope at 63-57. Akpinar downed consecutive triples and a put-back layup by Golubovic seemed to seal the outcome, 71-62, with under 3 minutes left. Batista and Acker, however, got Le Mans as close as 71-67. A dunk by Davis and a three-pointer by Ermis allowed all Banvit fans to celebrate a big home win.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010