BC FMP retained at least a share of first place in Group B and took a big step toward the elimination rounds by beating Anwil Wloclawek 78-85 on the road Tuesday. FMP is now 5-1 with only four regular seasons games left. Anwil, meanwhile, dropped to endangered status at 1-5, although it remains close to all-important fourth place. FMP took control in the middle of the first quarter and led by as many as 19 in the third. Anwil was able to cut the gap to 3 points near the end, but the rally ran out of steam. Branko Cvetkovis led the winners with 21 points. Zoran Erceg added 10 for FMP, which ruled in rebounds by 29-37 thanks to 9 from Dragan Labovic and 8 from Predrag Samardziski. Mark Dickel paced Anwil with 24 points, 4 assists and 4 steals. Bartlomiej Woloszyn added 13 for the hosts.
Dickel opened the game with a layup, but FMP went ahead on the next possession, which ended with a triple by Nemanja Protic. The teams played each other basket for basket after that, but FMP was much more efficient from beyond the arc and built a 10-15 advantage when Marko Djerasimovic drilled the visitors' third three-pointer in the seventh minute. Anwil called on Mladen Sokic for a response, and he came off he bench to hit a pair of bombs from downtown to keep the hosts in touch, although FMP still led 17-19 after the first quarter. To start the second one, the visitors forced the game inside, where Erceg made a couple of layups, while Samardzinski and Aleksandar Rasic added points from the line in a 2-9 run to a 19-28 lead. Woloszyn finally spoke up for Anwil, but just briefly. The guests still controlled the scoreboard although Dickel tried to keep Anwil in the game with triples. FMP easily escaped for double-digit leads as high as 23-37 and 26-41 thanks to easy points from fastbreaks. Anwil committed many unforced tournouvers until finally Gatis Jahovics offered some help for Dickel and the hosts cut the gap to single digits, before Cvetkovic closed the half with a triple to make it 34-46.
Jahovic and Dickel were still on target for Anwil early in the third quarter, but they could do more than keep FMP's lead in the single digits for awhile. With the score showing 40-50, however, the visitors scored 9 consecutive points to escape for good. They dominated both boards and, forcing the game inside, drew some fouls. Marko Djerasimovic closed the run with a layup for 40-59 lead before Andrzej Pluta finally scored from the line for Anwil. The hosts found their rhythm again and cut the advantage to 54-65 following Dickel's triple at the end of the third quarter. Both teams played basket for basket early in the fourth quarter, though the guests kept a safe advantage. Woloszyn, Nikola Otasewicz and Viktor Grudzinski were on target for Anwil, while on the other side Rasic responded with a triple and Labovic with free throws. Dickel's fourth triple of the evening make it a nine-point game again, 65-74. Just when it seemed the hosts were not able to do much more, after a couple of timeouts in the closing minutes, Woloszyn and Dickel sparked a final try by combining on 7 consecutive points to cut the gap to 74-79 in the last minute. Pluta added 4 free throws, but it all was too late and FMP survived with a 78-85 victory.
Tuesday, December 5, 2006