Cajasol defeats 84-71 Panellinios in Top-16’s fifth round. Ivanov and Triguere were the best men in the local team while american centers Smith and Francis tried hard for Panellinios. Cajasol stays on top of the group L.
In spite a very bad beginning, Cajasol soon reacted. After a miraculous win on Sunday, it was a difficult game for the team to play, given the good moment they’re in and the fact that Panellinios was not supposed to be a hard rival. As usual, it was Tarq Kirksay who gave the first step on defense. Then all the team went with him. This way, they started to control the game. Torin Francis and Steve Smith did a great job being the only ones who scored for Panellinios in the first quarter, trying to avoid a bigger difference on the score (21-17).
In the second quarter, though, both americans went to bench to have a rest and Cajasol took advantage of it, managing to get a good advantage, up to 16 points. Triguero dunked again and again while Calloway ordered his team to run the floor every time. But then, Plaza’s team relaxed and Panellinios, still working on defense, reduced the difference to only 5 points byt the end of the first half, thanks to Bailey’s leadership.
The beginning of the second half was kind of a copy of the previous quarter. Panellinios was on fire and they even managed to lead the score by two points. Smith scored for his team, shooting too many times, while it was Satoranski who tried to encourage Cajasol. In a certain moment, the game seemed a fight between these two players. And who won? Kaloyan Ivanov. He played some great minutes, giving Cajasol a new (and definitive) advantage by 11 points that they would never lose in the end.
Although Panellinios always tried in the last quarter, it was a losing effort. Just to mention, great last basket by Urtasun to set the score on 84-71. Next week Cajasol will play on the road against Benetton Treviso for the first place of the group L.