Turk Telekom had to wait longest, but in the end roared into the Last 16 on the strength of its 61-74 road win at Spirou Basket on Tuesday. Turk Telekom tied 3-3 for second place with Spartak St. Petersburg but enjoyed a head-to-head tiebreak advantage between them. Spartak lost in overtime to undefeated group winner Bilbao Basket in the last game to finish of the regular season. Somewhere in Charleroi, Belgium, a cheer went up at that moment. Turk Telekom had made sure of its end of things by racing in front of Spirou and never looking back the rest of the night. Demond Mallett paced the winners with 24 points, including 6-for-10 three-point shooting. Erwin Dudley followed with 14 points, 9 rebounds and 2 blocks. Bekir Yarangume played all 40 minutes, scoring 13 points and pulling 8 rebounds. For Spirou, a winless 0-6 season ended with Jonathan Tabu scoring 18 points and Chris Hill 13.
Turk Telekom showed it meant business and for all intents won the game with a 0-14 blast after tipoff. Tutku Acik started it with a three-pointer, Kris Lang added a pair of baskets, then Mallet and Dudley finished off the run. Hill finally broke the ice for Spirou with a triple, then promptly hit free throws and another shot from downtown for his own 8-0 run. But 8-14 was as close as Spirou got as Yarangume and Mallet bookended a new 0-10 run with triples as Turk Telekom went up 13-24 after one quarter. Dudley inside and Mallet from deep quickly boosted the difference to 15 points, 13-29, to open the second quarter. There was no stopping Turk Telekom as Yarangume tried to make it a 20-point game, coming within a point of doing so twice as the first half ended 23-42.
Huseyin Besok's layup to start the third quarter achieved the mark of 20, at 23-44, and although Spirou reacted some then, his triple maintained it at 29-49. Tabu and Andre Riddick trimmed the difference to 37-52 for Charleroi, which got late third-quarter layups from Jure Lalic to make it a tad closer, 44-58, after 30 minutes. When Spirou threatened to get within single digits early in the final quarter, when Tabu's layup made it 49-60, Yarangume and Mallet scored the next 5 points. Mallet continued with 5 in a row of his own to make it 54-70 with 5 minutes left, which effectively shifted the visitors' gaze to St. Petersburg, where some time later overtime ended in a way that allowed Turk Telekom to make it to the Last 16.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010