Power Electronics Valencia overwhelmed CSKA 82-57
Power Electronics Valencia registered its first Turkish Airlines Euroleague win in more than six years and sent a message that echoed all around Group D by downing Russian powerhouse CSKA Moscow 82-57 at home on Wednesday. Valencia moved up to 1-2 and improved its chances to make it to the Top 16. CSKA dropped to 0-3 and needs to bounce back right away to rejoin the Top 16 race. Valencia handed CSKA its biggest Euroleague loss since the competition started in 2000. It is also CSKA's worst loss in European competitions since January 9, 1997, when it registered a 82-51 road defeat against Olympiacos. Robertas Javtokas led the winners with 15 points. Omar Cook added 14, Victor Claver had 11 while Dusko Savanovic got 10 for Valencia. Trajan Langdon had 16 points for CSKA while Andrey Vorontsevich added 16. Savanovic, Cook and Claver helped Valencia to get a 30-18 lead after 10 minutes. The hosts kept excelling in defense to reach halftime with a 42-29 margin. Cook, Savanovic and Claver - a dominant force in both ends - took over after the break, as Valencia boosted its margin to 65-39 after 30 minutes and never looked back.
Savanovic got Valencia going with a smooth move in the low post and Javtokas added a layup for a 4-0 lead. CSKA struggled to score in the early going and Rafa Martinez sent the crowd to their feet with a fast break layup and a step-back jumper, good for a 8-0 score. Langdon sank a baseline jumper off a timeout but Cook answered from downtown for an 11-2 Valencia lead. J.R. Holden joined the three-point shootout but a jump hook by Javtokas and a five-meter jumper by Cook boosted the hosts' lead to double digits, 15-5. Langdon and an unstoppable Javtokas traded baskets but a put-back layup by Dimitry Sokolov got CSKA closer at 17-9. Langdon sank a big triple that forced the hosts to call timeout at 17-12. Javtokas stepped up with an off-balance hook shot and Martinez, Langdon and Claver struck from downtown for a 25-15 score. Savanovic fed Javtokas for a big dunk and added a jumper but a three-pointer by Vorontsevich kept CSKA within 29-18. A free throw by Serhiy Lishchuk fixed the score at 30-18 after 10 minutes.
Jamont Gordon buried a three-pointer early in the second quarter, as Valencia tried to slow down the game tempo with Nando De Colo running its offense. Sokolov sank free throws but Lishchuk found Florent Pietrus for an easy layup, good for a 32-23 Valencia lead. CSKA had improved its defense, however, stopping Valencia's transition game, but the guests did not find the way to the basket. De Colo made free throws and Lishchuk added a power layup to keep Valencia out of trouble, 36-23. Sergey Bykov hit free throws, as CSKA tried twin point guards with him and Holden on court. Pietrus took over with a dunk but Gordon matched it with a mid-range jumper. Cook took over with a wild driving layup, as CSKA did not find answers in offense. Javtokas scored in the low post but Boban Marjanovic hit free throws for a 42-29 CSKA deficit as both teams headed back to the locker rooms.
CSKA tried to run its offense through Gordon and Langdon immediately after the break but Claver and Martinez, respectivaly, were all over the place in defense. Meanwhile, Cook followed a wild three-pointer with a six-meter shot for a 47-29 Valencia margin. Claver provided a highlight with a huge reverse dunk off a steal that forced CSKA to call timeout at 49-29. Savanovic buried a floating layup in the low post and Claver set the crowd on fire with another reverse dunk, good for a 53-29 Valencia lead. Matjaz Smodis tried to change things with a triple and Langdon added a fallaway jumper to get CSKA within 55-34. Langdon and Smodis kept pacing the guests with free throws but an off-balance jumper by Savanovic restored a 57-38 Valencia lead. Savanovic scored in the low post and Lishchuk took over with a wild fast break layup that made CSKA stop the game at 61-38. De Colo followed free throws with a driving layup to make it a 26-point game, 65-39, after 30 minutes.
The outcome was clear already but both teams were already fighting for points differential, a critical issue in what promises to be a close race to the Top 16. Gordon sank a jumper that Claver matched with free throws. Bykov scored in penetration, as Valencia used twin point guards - De Colo and Jose Simeon - to play with long possessions. Pietrus shined with a three-point play and Lishchuk added a put-back layup, as CSKA struggled to find open looks midway through the fourth quarter. Langdon and De Colo traded jumpers and a free throw by Jeremy Richardson made it a 29-point game, 75-46. Vorontsevich sank a three-pointer but Javtokas answered from downtown - his second triple in 52 Euroleague career games - to set the crowd on fire, 78-49. Everything was said and done already, as all Valencia fans were celebrating a truly historical win. Meanwhile, CSKA is in a dangerous situation and faces a critical game against Union Olimpija next week.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010