Bizkaia Bilbao Basket had to overcome early deficits, but once it did it never looked back as the Spanish team defeated Spirou Basket on Tuesday night at home by 90-70. Spirou started like a storm leading by
as many as 10 points, 12-22. But a 14-0 by the hosts turned things completely around and they never looked back again. The win allows Bilbao, already a Last 16 team, secure the top spot in Group E, while
Spirou Basket remains winless at this stage, with a 0-5. Marko Banic led the winners with 14 points, newly signed Axel Hervelle and Robert Conley added 13 each and Janis Blums helped with 10. For Spirou, Wes Wilkinson led all scorers with his 23 points and Justin Hamilton bagged 10.
Wes Wilskinson and JOnathan Tabu buried threes to make it a starting 2-8 for Spirou Basket. Damir Markota scored for Bilbao but the Spirou cruise was on full throttle to build up a 4-14 after Wilkinson's
three-point play forced a timeout of the hosts. Bilbao seemed to get the touch of the game finally, but Spirou didn't slow down and had total control of the score, making the efforts of Alex Mumbru and Axel
Hervell useless for now as the score showed a 12-22. Mumbru stepped up again with a three, and when Banic managed to squeeze in a three-point play to put an end to the first quarter, the score already
reflected a 20-24 Spirou edge. The second quarter however, started the same way as the first one ended, and Bilbao managed to forge an 11-0 run to take the lead for the first time, 31-24, thanks to Hervelle.
Tabu finally broke the spell for Spirou with a three, and Wilkinson soon joined in, but Bilbao was in command and when Robert Conley scored from the line, the hosts dominated 42-30. With free throws for both
sides, the game reached the break with Bilbao dominating by 11 points, 50-39, as Justin Hamilton closed the half with a three.
Spirou Basket seemd to be back in the game after resumption, holding Bilbao attackers and staying in the pace marked by the hosts, but after 4 minutes, the score was still only 53-46. Hervelle and Banic,
however, teamed up again to launch Bilbao one more time and re-gain leads that were around the 15 points, 67-51 in minute 27 after Chris Warren's three. The power of Bilbao close to the basket was paramount
in the difference the scoreboard was showing after 30 minutes, 76-54. Javi Salgado's first points arrived in the last period as he made it 83-60 in a slow quarter regarding the score. Spirou seemed to get Bilbao's game plan again, but now it was already too late. Nick Jacobson appeared for the jumper but the hosts replied with authority to make it 90-67. Wilkinson tried it again with a new three for the guests but with the game entering the last minute, there was little that he could do.
Tuesday, January 5, 2010