Efes Pilsen downed Power Electronics Valencia 79-63
Efes Pilsen registered its first win in Turkish Airlines Euroleague Group D by downing Power Electronics Valencia 79-63 in front of 8,300 fans at Sinan Erdem Arena in Istanbul, Turkey on Wednesday night. Efes improved to 1-1 in Group D while Valencia dropped to 0-2. Igor Rakocevic led the winners with 20 points. Bootsy Thornton added 19, Kerem Tunceri had 16 while Bostjan Nachbar had 11 for Efes. Thornton added 10 rebounds for a double-double. Dusko Savanovic led Valencis with 15 points. Serhiy Lishchuk added 12 while Robertas Javtokas had 10 for the guests. All five Valencia starters scored in a 2-12 opening run that kept the guests ahead for the best part of the first half. Tunceri and Thornton stepped up late in the second quarter to make Efes get a 34-29 lead at the break. Tunceri and Thornton struck from downtown in an 8-0 run that boosted Efes' lead to 46-37 late in the third quarter. The hosts boosted their margin to 57-43 soon after that and did not have major problems to keep full control of the game until the final buzzer.
Javtokas got Valencia going with a jump hook, as Efes tried to speed up the game tempo from the very beginning. Efes went scoreless in the opening 2
minutes, however, and a driving layup by Rafa Martinez gave Valencia a 0-4 lead. Tunceri stepped up with a baseline jumper that Victor Claver bettered with a
three-pointer, good for a 2-7 score. Despite powering the offensive board, Efes kept struggling to find open shots while and easy basket by Javtokas and a
big triple by Savanovic boosted the guests' lead to double digits, 2-12. Tunceri and Javtokas traded layups and Thornton scored in penetration
to get the crowd involved at 6-14. Rakocevic scored in penetration but a follow-up basket by Javtokas kept Valencia out of trouble, 8-16. Thornton kept
pacing Efes with a put-back layup and Nachbar added free throws to get Efes within 12-16. Efes had improved its ball circulation with Nikola Vujcic
on court and Thornton beat the buzzer with another put-back basket that made it a two-point game, 14-16, after 10 minutes.
Lishchuk struck from downtown early in the second quarter, as Efes tried Sinan Guler to guard backup point guard Jose Simeon. Efes did not find its game rhythm but Vujcic took over with free throws and his trademark jump hook for a 18-20 deficit. Valencia had troubles to beat Efes' full court pressure. Nachbar sank a jumper to tie the game, 20-20, midway through the second quarter. Fernandez gave Valencia some fresh air with a wild layup-plus-foul and a free throw by Lishchuk restored a 20-24 Valencia lead. Thornton did not miss from the foul line and Tunceri sank a corner three-pointer to complete the hosts' comeback, 25-24. Valencia kept running its offense through Lishchuk and a put-back layup by Florent Pietrus put the guests back ahead, 27-28. Rakocevic hit free throws and a power basket by Thornton forced Valencia to call timeout at 31-28. Lishchuk and Vujcic traded free throws but Tunceri beat the buzzer with a driving basket to fix the halftime score at 34-29.
Savanovic dunked it immediately after the break, as Valencia started to play more physical at both ends. Efes could not find the way to the basket and a layup by Javtokas got the guests within 34-33. Tunceri tried to change things with free throws and Rakocevic added a driving layup to keep Efes out of trouble, 38-33. Savanovic sank a jumper and Martinez added a fast break layup but Efes had its own go-to guy in Thornton. He followed a three-pointer with a driving basket and fed Tunceri for a running triple in an 8-0 run that boosted the hosts' lead to 46-37. Cook and Savanovic stepped up with free throws but an acrobatic basket by Thornton and a fallaway jumper by Tunceri restored a 50-41 Efes lead. Nachbar shined with a put-back layup and soon added a triple that made it a 12-point game, 55-43. Lawrence Roberts and Martinez traded free throws for a 57-45 score after three quarters.
Valencia needed a quick comeback to return to the game and Lishchuk tried to ignite it with a power layup. Roberts matched it with a power layup but a baseline jumper by Claver kept Valencia within 59-49 with 8 minutes left. Nachbar sank free throws and even when Cook scored in transition, Rakocevic downed a wild three-pointer that boosted Efes' lead to 64-51. Valencia tried to speed up its offense but a fast break layup by Rakocevic sealed the outcome, 66-51. The guests tried a more dynamic frontcourt with Savanovic and Lishchuk together on court, who scored down low to make Efes call timeout at 68-55. Efes tried to run the game clock down by using long possessions. Rakocevic sank free throws and buried a catch-and-shoot three-pointer that sent the crowd to their feet, 73-55. Everything was said and done already, as Efes had registered its first win while Valencia has to bounce back right away to improve its chances to reach the Top 16.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010