In a clash for control of Group D, Aris beat Cedevita by 85-76 on Tuesday night and improved to 3-1, thanks to a 16-4 run in the first half that they never looked back from and some clutch play down the stretch, when Cedevita made a final push. Aris shot 68% from two-point range and was paced by Kostas Charalampidis’s 16 points. P.J. Tucker added 15 points and grabbed 6 rebounds, Kostas Sloukas scored 11 and dished out 7 assists and Christos Tapoutos scored 10 and grabbed 8 rebounds, while Dejan Borovnjak also netted 10 points. Aris heads to Ukraine to meet BC Azovmash in Week 5. For Cedevita, it was mainly a two-man show, with Trent Plaisted and Damjan Rudez accounting for 45 of the 76 points. Rudez led the way with 23 and Plaisted tallied 22 while corralling 6 rebounds. Robert Troha finished with 11points and 6 assists. Cedevita, which slipped to 2-2 in Group D, travels to Israel next to face Hapoel Gilboa Galil.
Aris started out strong with a couple of dunks and two triples as its first scores, while Cedevita answered with aggressive moves by Rudez for a tight 7-6 start. Seven unanswered point by the hosts quickly put them in the driver’s seat after that and both teams started trading triples, with Tomislav Petrovic, Nikos Hatzivrettas and Rudez all getting in on the action, as the second quarter was reached at a 22-20 advantage for the hosts. Plaised went to work inside and tied it for Cedevita to start the period, Borovnjak and Franko Kastropil traded layups and Rudez dunked his 11th point home for a 24-26 Cedevita lead. But a 16-4 Aris run ensued, fueled by 8 Charalampidis points and some stifling defense that forced up to 4 Cedevita turnovers and 5 missed three-point shots. As the half ended fittingly with two straight visiting turnovers, it did so with a 40-30 Aris advantage.
Vedran Princ gave Cedevita some hop in its step with a triple to start the third quarter, but Aris quickly answered with a Borovnjak layup and Tapoutos’s own long-range shot. The hosts stalled somewhat after that and Rudez and Plaisted carried Cedevita with four straight scores and cut the lead to 45-40. Sloukas then got into the triple fest for Aris and Hatzivretas joined him to stretch it again to 53-42 as Rudez netted his 17th point and Tapoutos got going with a dunk. But a 1-9 run by the visitors with 6 Plaisted points cut the gap to 5 before the quarter ended with 2 straight layups by the hosts and a 64-55 score. With Plaisted hitting the offensive boards consistently and the Cedevita defense forcing two quick turnovers, it became a 3-point affair before Bobby Brown stretched it back to 69-63 with his three of the night. The visitors never stopped clawing away with their go-to guys, Plaisted and Rudez, and a layup by the latter got them at the minimum difference: 70-69. Tucker then missed a layup, but made another and Charalampidis followed suit for Aris. Rudez penetrated and scored again and Tucker split free throws before Vladimir Krstic’s triple again tightened things up at 75-74 with less than a minute to play. With the clock winding down, Tucker forced another trip to the line and missed one of two, opening the window for Cedevita to tie or win it, but Princ missed his layup attempt and Charalampidis iced the game by hitting 2 free throws Rudez missed a desperation three on the next possession and successive trips to the line just made the win a bit larger for Aris at 85-76.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010