Galatasaray Cafe Crown of Turkey kept pace in a hot race for the Group C lead by pulling off a thrilling 81-83 road victory ovwer CSU Asesoft with the game's last shot in Ploiesti, Romania on Wednesday. Cuneyt Erden's tie-breaking final shot meant that Galatasaray now has a 3-1 record, the same as Akasvayu Girona and BC Hemofarm Stada. It also dropped Ploiesti to fifth place at 1-3. Galatasaray trailed only once all game, but after foul shots by Tomas Gaidamavicius tied it up 81-81 for Ploiesti with seconds to go, Erden made his only two-point shot all night decide the outcome. Charles Gaines led the winners with 21 points on 10-for-11 two-point shooting, while Huseyin Besok joined him inside with 15 points and 9 rebounds. Dee Brown added 13 points, Robert Hite 12 and Chris Owens 11 for Galatasaray, which never led by more than 9 points. Bojan Obradovic pumped in 27 points for Ploiesti on 9-for-10 two-point and 9-for-12 free-throw shooting. Gaidamavicius and Rashard Griffith had 12 each and Arvydas Cepulis 11.
Galatasaray got early momentum after tipoff, going to big men Besok and Gaines to establish slim leads. Ploiesti was able to tie at 7-7 on Gaidamavicius, but played from slighly behind until Dee Brown and Gaines scored a pair of baskets each that pushed Galatasaray ahead 19-24 after one quarter. The scoreboard rhythm was repeated in the second quarter, as the visitors got ahead by as much as 7 points, but never escaped. Ploiesti got close at 33-34 with a 6-0 run that Obradovic finished with a jumper. His next one finished the half, too, with Galatasary clinging to a minumum lead of 39-40. So it went in the third quarter, too, as Besok's triple gave the visitors more breathing room and another by Robert Hite made it 43-52 for Galatasaray. Ploiesti resisted falling behind by double digits as Obradovic, Rashard Griffith and Cepulis, with 6 points in 3 minutes, worked to trim the difference to 58-62 after 30 minutes. The hosts remained a step behind on the scoreboard until finally tying again, 66-66, midway through the final quarter on a basket by Griffith and then going ahead 71-69 as Obradovic scored with under 4 minutes left. Cuneyt Erden's three-pointer took the advantage back for Galatasaray, which stayed the same small step ahead of Ploiesti that it had all game, into the closing seconds. That's when Gaidamavicius forged an 81-81 tie at the free throw line and Galatasaray used its last possession to get the ball to Erden, a choice that was worth a key Group C victory to the visitors.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007