Ehe Bitci Baskonia fell in his second weekly commitment in the Euroleague at the Buesa Arena against a CSKA from Moscow who, although he was ahead on the scoreboard for 39 minutes and managed to enjoy a 15-point advantage in various phases of the match, had to use free throws in the last two minutes to secure the loot. The people from Vitoria accused a poor care of the ball (20 losses) and their mistake in the first twenty minutes (9/34 in field goals), which led them to wear and tear that ended up taking its toll in the moments in which the Baskonians were approached (67-72, min.30). Steven Enoch, with a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds, once again stood out in the local ranks. On the Russian side, the trident made up of Shengelia, Voigtmann and Clyburn (47 points between them) was decisive.
Although Baldwin IV and Enoch connected for the first alley-oop of the game, the Baskonistas missed the next 7 pitches to give CSKA a first 2-6 lead after the first four minutes of play. Spahija’s time-out didn’t help either, as an old acquaintance in Vitoria, Johannes Voigtmann, joined Shved to take command of the Russian team after the break. Three consecutive triples by the German shot at Itoudis’ men, who took advantage of the large number of losses (7) and the mistake in the shooting of the locals (3/15 in field goals) to end the first quarter with a partial of 5- 15 (8-23, min. 10).
With Nnoko in the position of five, the Vitorians improved in the rebound and in defense. Fontecchio scored the first two baskets of the quarter, later Marinkovic joining from the triple to regain the temperature in the stands of the Buesa (15-26, min. 14). The Russians held the pull with Clyburn damaging the paint, holding a double-digit lead midway through the second quarter (17-30, min. 16). An 8-0 run led by Giedraitis and Enoch returned the excitement to the match (25-30, min. 18), although several consecutive errors by the Alava in the form of losses and free throws sent the game to the locker room with a deficit of 9 points, 26-35.
The game got tougher after the break. Giedraitis and Lundberg exchanged baskets but their points were the only ones scored by both sides in almost 3 minutes of play. A triple from Granger uncorked the bottle of the Alava, who with a tray and a huge mate from Enoch came within just 3 points (35-38) after 25 minutes. Although those of Spahija had a possession to tie, the reaction could not be completed, mainly due to the problems in the direction of play. Granger’s fouls, Peters’ losses and Baldwin IV’s inconsistency opened the door for a new visiting team that left the game 41-54 late in the third quarter.
The outcome seemed to be ahead after a triple by Toko Shengelia that once again placed a maximum advantage of 15 points for the visitors, 44-59, with eight minutes to play. The Itoudis men held the steering wheel firmly, leaning on Clyburn’s superiority over all their peers. Those of Spahija did not give up, and with the help of a very successful Granger from the triple -and with four personal fouls-, they were scratching differences little by little until they were only two possessions, 67-73, with about three minutes for the end. An inside basket after an offensive rebound by Bolomboy, together with a triple and two missed free throws by Fontecchio, finally gave the initiative to CSKA. Free throws from Shved and Grigonis finally closed the game in the closing seconds.
Technical data sheet:
74 – Battles of the Basque Country (8 + 18 + 15 + 33): Baldwin (18), Granger (12), Giedraitis (11), Sedekerskis (3) and Enoch (14) -starting five-, Lamar Peters (1), Fontecchio (9), Nnoko (3) and Marinkovic (3).
80- CSKA Mosc (23 + 12 + 19 + 26): Shved (6), Lundberg (11), Kurbanov (2), Shengelia (15), Voigtmann (16) -cinco inicial-, Bolomboy (2), Ukhov (2), Hackett (-), Antonov (-), Clyburn (16), Milutinov (3) and Grigonis (7).