Laboral Kutxa gets largest win of season at Efes
Laboral Kutxa Vitoria rolled to its largest win of the season by routing Anadolu Efes Istanbul 79-105 on Thursday night at Abdi Ipekci Arena. Tibor Pleiss scored 20 to lead a Vitoria attack that saw all but one player score a basket for Coach Sergio Scariolo. The win lifted Laboral into seventh place in Group E with a 3-9 record, while Efes dropped to bottom of the table at 2-10. Neither team can qualify for the playoffs. Efes was within 5 after a high-scoring first quarter, but the visitors pulled away to lead 42-55 at halftime and Efes never got closer than 9 the rest of the way. The visitors piled it on in the fourth and led by as many as 29 before the final buzzer. Fernando San Emeterio added 16 points for the winners and Fabien Causeur and Andres Nocioni each scored 13. Kerem Gonlum led five Efes scorers in double figures with 13 points. Zoran Planinic scored 12, Dusko Savanovic and Deniz Kilicli netted 11 each and Jamon Gordon tallied 10 points and 9 assists in defeat.
First quarter: Pleiss, San Emeterio fuel strong Vitoria start
The visitors made their gameplan clear early, shooting from the perimeter and looking for Pleiss inside. The big man made it 0-4 before Kilicli got Efes on the scoreboard. San Emeterio drilled a three-pointer, but Gordon’s basket-plus-foul kept the hosts close. Pleiss added free throws and Leo Mainoldi connected from downtown to make it 5-12. Savanovic scored with a nifty reverse layup, but Causeur hooked up with Pleiss for a two-handed jam. Kostas Vasileiadis heated up with a pair of three and a layup in between to bring Efes within 15-16. Pleiss got to the line again to keep Laboral in front, but Gordon fed Kilicli twice – the second time with a behind-the-back pass for a three-point play – as Efes took its first lead. Gordon dunked on the break to cap a 7-0 run for a 22-18 lead. San Emeterio revived the visitors with a floater before Pleiss tied it. Gordon set up Savanovic for a slam, however back-to-back threes from San Emetrio and Mainoldi recreated a small cushion for Vitoria. Ilimane Diop, in for Pleiss, boosted the lead to 7 from the line. Planinic led Gonlum for an alley-oop layup that made it 26-31.
Second quarter: Laboral takes lead to double figures
Gordon’s full-court pass to Milko Bjleica gave him 6 assists in less than nine minutes on the floor. Bjelica created space and fed Gonlum for a slam to draw within 2. Adam Hanga stole a pass from Bjelica and passed to Diop for an easy layup that made it 32-37. Birkan Batuk knocked down a three at the other end. Nocioni got on the scoreboard with a short jumper for Vitoria. Hanga boosted the Laboral lead to 36-44 with a three midway through the quarter. Planinic immediately answered in kind. Pleiss free throws and Nocinio’s tip in of his own miss stretched Vitoria’s advantage to 9. Thomas Heurtel scored 3 points over two possessions and San Emeterio dunked in a missed Causeur layup to cap a 0-9 charge that made it 39-53. Gordon played the pick and roll well with Gonlum resulting in a layup for the big man. Nocioni scored again before Gonlum split free throws to leave 42-55 on the board at the break.
Third quarter: Planinic closes gap to 9, but visitors bounce back
Batuk, on the offensive glass, and San Emeterio, with a layup, opened the scoring for their respective teams. Gonlum’s tip in and a Planinic layup helped close the gap to single digits as Efes held Vitoria scoreless for nearly four minutes. But a layup by San Emeterio and a steal and slam from Heurtel put Laboral back in control, 48-61. Some pretty Efes passing resulted in a Gonlum layup. San Emeterio’s long pass gave Causeur an uncontested layup. Bjelica and Diop traded baskets. Causeur heated up with a pair of baskets for a 15-point lead. Planinic sank free throws before Nocioni fed Hanga inside for a layup. Savanovic brought Efes within 59-73 from the line.
Fourth quarter: Vitoria leads by as many as 29 en route to victory
Causeuer opened scored a three-point play as the lead ballooned to 17. Kilicli answered with a basket plus foul. Pleiss sandwiched a pair of baskets around a Savanovic three. Kilicli reached double figures in points for the first time in his career and shortly after another Savanovic triple gave the fans something to cheer about. However Pleiss scored with ease inside and later sank free throws to reach 20 individual points. Nocioni scored 5 straight points – a three and a follow-basket – to take Vitoria’s lead into the 20s. Hanga completed a 0-11 Laboral run thatmade it 69-93 and settled the outcome with five minutes to go. Gordon ended the Efes drought before Pepe Poeta’s triple gave Laboral a 25-point lead. Pleiss fouled out with four minutes remaining, but there simply wasn’t enough time for a comeback. Vitoria reached triple digits on a Heurtel jumper and its lead peaked at 73-102 after another bucket from the same guard. Cedi Osman and Gordon scored late threes as Laboral walked away with a road win.
Thursday, March 27, 2014