ULEB Cup newcomer BC Kalev/Cramo of Estonia is alone at the top of Group G after downing host Asvel Basket of France 91-95 in an overtime thriller on Tuesday. Kalev rallied from double-digit deficits in the first half to lead by as many as 13 in the second before Asvel staged its own game-tying rally. The visitors held Asvel scoreless in the last 2 minutes of overtime, however, to take home the victory to Estonia. Kristjan Kangur paced the winners with 24 points, while Travis Reed pumped in 22, Marlon Parmer 21 and Gregor Arbet 11. Asvel got 27 points from Robert Conley, one of five doube-figure scorers for the hosts. Lamayne Wilson added 16, Laurent Foirest 13, Uchenna Nsomwu and Jeff Varem 10 each.
Triples by Wilson and Conley in the first 2 minutes shot Asvel ahead by 8-2, a lead that hit 13-2 before anyone besides them on either team could score again. Travis Reed and Greg Arbet woke up Kalev until the visitors had closed within 25-19 after 10 minutes. Reed rattled off 5 points early in the second quarter to cut the difference further, and Marlon Parmer got Kalev within one, 29-28, before Yohann Sangare rescued Asvel's offense with a triple that Laurent Foirest later copied to open a double-digit advantage, 39-28. Kristjan Kangur cut into that with 8 quick points for Kalev, but Asvel still held onto a 41-38 advantage at the break. Asvel looked to open a new gap with Jeff Varem's three-point play to start the second half, but Kalev would have not of it as Kangur, Rait Keerles and Valmo Kriisa, the latter with a triple, seized the lead at 46-47. With Arbet joining them, Kalev raced ahead 50-57 midway through the third quarter. Mateo Kedzo added his triple to the surge as Kalev soared ahead 52-65 on the way to a 60-69 edge after 30 minutes. Asvel tried to turn it around with defense to start the final quarter, but could only get within 64-69 before Kriisa broke the ice again for Kalev. By the time Kedzo returned with a triple, the lead was back to double digits, 66-76. Asvel's final charge came in the next-to-last minute, when back-to-back shots from the arc by Conley made it 77-80 and set up a free-throw filled end of regulation time, with conley making 1 of 2 with seconds left to force overtime. Conley gave his team the jump with a triple in the extr period, but Parmer and Kangur put Kalev back in front and the guests held Asvel scoreless in the last 2 minutes to preserve a road win worth its weight in gold.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007