2002-03Regular SeasonRound 3
October 23, 2002 CET: 00:00
Local time: 00:00 ABDI IPEKCI SPORTS HALL

It took quite a comeback, but Ulker has knocked Adecco Asvel from the ranks of the undefeated with a 65-63 decision at home in Istanbul on Wednesday in Group C. A game that Asvel led by 20 late in the second quarter turned slowly towards the home team after that, much to the relief and delight of 5,000 spectators at Abdi Ipekci Sports Hall. Ulker's big three scorers - Joseph Blair, Melvin Booker and Virginius Praskevicius - did not have a basket between them in the first quarter, but they were there to lead the victory rally. Praskevicius hit the go-ahead basket with more than a minute left, Booker added an insurance basket and Blair made a big block to prevent Asvel from getting any closer. Blair finished with another double double, 22 points and 11 rebounds. Booker added 13 points and Praskevicius 12 points and 6 rebounds. For Asvel, Robert Gulyas came off the bench for 16 points and 5 rebounds, while Stevin Smith, Thierry Gadou and Davor Marcelic had 9 each. Both teams are now 2-1, behind undefeated CSKA (3-0) in Group C.

Asvel had a perfect start to the game, taking down defensive rebounds and fastbreaking through an early 0-10 run. The blast was highlighted by back-to-back three-pointers from Marcelic and an inside basket by Bonato that gave the visitors an 11-point lead, 3-14 after 6 minutes. Ulker, on the other hand, could not make any shots, and some of them were easy. It held at those 3 points for a full 8 minutes, and indeed would only get one basket to fall all quarter, that by Kerem Gonlum. The only other Ulker points came on 5 free throws. Meanwhile, Asvel kept rolling to a 7-18 lead and that was without the help of their leading scorer the previous two games, Smith. He finally got to the line with 2 seconds remaining and made both his shots to top off Asvel's big first quarter at 7-20.

Ulker needed to react quickly in the second quarter, and when each of its main scoring trio - Blair, Booker and Praskevicius - got his first basket, things were looking up for the home fans at 13-20. Asvel would go almost 4 minutes without scoring at all, but that gave Ulker a bit of false security. Soon enough, Asvel was off and running again, this time on a 0-15 blitz that featured all new contributors: center Robert Guylas with 6 points inside, Harold Mrazek on a three-pointer, Simon Petrov at the foul line, Andre Owens on a jumper and Vasco Evtimov with a layup that made it 15-35. Worst of all for Ulker was that Asvel needed little more than 3 minutes to do so much damage. But now it was the home side's turn to counterpunch. Ulker rattled off the next 8 points taking advantage of some aggressive defense to cut the deficit to 23-35 on 3 free throws by Serkan Erdogan. A Smith three-pointer was answered with a dunk by Blair and the Asvel lead stood at 27-38 when 20 minutes were complete.

The Ulker comeback happened quickly after halftime, as Tutku Acik nailed a three-pointer and 2 free throws around a Blair dunk and a Booker layup for 9-0 run to start the third quarter. Asvel had to hold on from there despite the absence of Gulyas, who had foul trouble. Thierry Gadou kept the visitors alive with consecutive baskets. A triple by Booker drew Ulker within 47-49 and then Erdogan's fastbreak basket pulled the home team all the way back to just 1 point down, 49-50, going into the final quarter.

In that last quarter, both sides seemed nervous as the scoring stalled, in part due to an Asvel zone intended to slow down Ulker's hot hands. Praskevicius broke things open, however, with a three-pointer that tied the game 52-52, then Booker lobbed a perfect alley-oop to Blair for a 54-52 Ulker lead with 7 minutes to go. They would be breathtaking minutes for both sides. Bonato's foul shots with under 3 minutes left equalled the score again, 59-59. But then Praskevicius made the go-ahead jumper for 61-59. After Gadou missed the first of 2 free throws, Booker made Asvel pay by coming down court and nailing a jump shot for 63-60. Blair then blocked Gadou's shot attempt underneath with 18 seconds left and, though Owens scored last with a three for Asvel, Booker had already finished the win at the foul line for Ulker.

Wednesday, October 23, 2002
Euroleague.net
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Referees: RADIC, DANKO; FACCHINI, FABIO; JOVCIC, MILIVOJE
Attendance: 5000
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Asvel Basket20181213
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Asvel Basket20385063
Ulker
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 ERDOGAN, SERKAN 17:00 5 1/2 0/1 3/3           1     2 1 1
5 BOOKER, MELVIN 35:00 13 4/5 1/6 2/2   1 1 3 1 2   1 4 3 8
6 ABI, MUSTAFA DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
7 PACHULIA, ZAZA DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
8 GOLJOVIC, MILJAN 14:00 2   0/2 2/2   1 1 1         2 1 1
9 ERDENAY, HAKKI HARUN 10:00 2 0/3 0/2 2/2         1         1 -1
10 BLAIR, JOSEPH 40:00 22 10/16   2/5 3 8 11   2 1 2   3 9 33
11 ACIK, TUTKU 18:00 5 0/1 1/3 2/2         1       2 2 3
12 GONLUM, KEREM 9:00 2 1/5     5 3 8           3 1 4
13 SOLAK, FATIH DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
14 YILDIRIM, HALUK 26:00 2 1/2 0/2     2 2 5 3 2 1   4 1 5
15 PRASKEVICIUS, VIRGINIJUS 31:00 12 3/4 2/6   2 4 6 2   1     1   13
Team                     3         -3
Totals 200:00 65 20/38 4/22 13/16 10 19 29 11 8 10 3 1 21 19 64
        52.6% 18.2% 81.3%
Head coach: ONGOREN, MEVLUT
Min: Minutes played; Pts: Points; 2FG M-A: 2-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); 3FG M-A: 3-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); FT M-A: Free Throws (Made-Attempted); Rebounds: O (Offensive), D (Defensive), T (Total); As: Assists; St: Steals; To: Turnovers; Bl: Blocks (Fv: In Favor / Ag: Against); Fouls: Cm (Commited), Rv (Received); PIR: Performance Index Rating
Asvel Basket
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 TOURE, HERVE DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
5 OWENS, ANDRE 21:00 5 1/1 1/3 0/2   3 3 4 2 1     2 2 9
6 SMITH, STEVIN 30:00 9 2/3 1/3 2/2   1 1 4 1 3     2 3 10
7 GADOU, THIERRY 30:00 9 4/9 0/1 1/3 1 3 4     3   3 1 4 2
8 BONATO, YANN 21:00 4 1/1   2/2   2 2 2   4     4 2 2
9 MRAZEK, HAROLD 18:00 6   2/4               1   2 3 6
10 PETROV, SIMON 7:00 2     2/2       1 1         1 5
11 MARCELIC, DAVOR 23:00 9 1/2 2/4 1/2 1 3 4     1       2 10
12 GIFFA, SANYA 10:00   0/3 0/1   2 1 3     1     2   -4
14 GULYAS, ROBERT 25:00 16 8/12   0/1 1 4 5     1     4 3 14
15 EVTIMOV, VASSIL 15:00 3 1/6   1/2 2 5 7     4     2 1 -1
Team           1 1 2               2
Totals 200:00 63 18/37 6/16 9/16 8 23 31 11 4 18 1 3 19 21 55
        48.6% 37.5% 56.3%
Head coach: HERVE, PHILIPPE
This game has no play by play yet

Head Coaches

ONGOREN, MEVLUT
Ulker
"This was a game for us to win. We did not play well, especially in the first half, we missed too many close range shots. And as a result of that, Asvel had too many fastbreaks to score. But in the second half, we took the control of the game. We also took too many many risks in shooting. Tutku Acik and Kerem Gonlum did a good job to help the team from the bench. we are happy that we beat Asvel despite playing bad. They are a very strong team and we had a great win."
HERVE, PHILIPPE
Asvel Basket
"The responsibility of the loss lies on me and my players. We controlled the first and second quarters of the match very well. But without any reason, we lost control of the match starting the third quarter. We made lots of technical faults during these periods. And if you do those many faults against an Istanbul team, chances are, you will lose. Gulyas got into early foul trouble while Ulker played very easy inside. I can say that the refrees called bad decisions, especially for us."

Players

ACIK, TUTKU
Ulker
"We played very bad in the first half. But we never gave up the fight until the end. We were 20 points behind, but we were still fighting for the win. We had the first win at home, and I'm sure we will have more with these noisy spectators in the Abdi Ipekci Sports Hall."
GULYAS, ROBERT
Asvel Basket
"Unfortunately, we lost a game that we could win. I was into early foul trouble and I had to stay many minutes on the bench. That helped Blair to score more. But it was not only my fault, it was all the team's fault. Especially the fourth foul that I was called, was a mistake of the refrees."
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