Cantu takes care of Khimki for first win
Mapooro Cantu took care of visiting BC Khimki Moscow Region 67-54 at PalaDesio for its first win in Group A of the Turkish Airlines Euroleague. Khimki was the aggressor early, but the hosts used assumed control after a 13-0 second-quarter run and never trailed again. The Cantu defense held Khimki to just 11 points in each of the final three quarters. Cantu and Khimki join a three-way tie for fourth place in group A with 2-1 records. Khimki, which was without head coach Rimas Kurtinaitis due to a death in his family, struggled with its shooting and made just 4 of 19 three-point shots (21.0%). Assistant coach Andrija Gavrilovic led Khimki in his place. Cantu also outrebounded Khimki 40-26. Pietro Aradori paced the winners with 13 points and 8 rebounds, while Jerry Smith added 10. Vitaly Fridzon led all Khimki scorers with 10 points.
First quarter: Khimki’s strong play in the paint paves way to early lead
Nicolas Mazzarino knocked down a three-pointer on the game’s first possession to open the scoring. Fridzon got Khimki on the scoreboard before Maarty Leunen drained Cantu’s second triple. K.C. Rivers and Fridzon heated up from behind the arc to even the score at 10-10. Zoran Planinic found James Augustine in the paint to give the visitors their first lead midway through the quarter. Kreso Loncar capped a 0-7 Khimki run. Aradori tried to ignite the hosts with a mid-range jumper, but Khimki kept rolling as Augustine whipped a superb pass to Sergey Monya for an impressive slam. Monya added a jumper to make it 12-19 before Aradori score again. Petteri Koponen drained a long jumper, which left the score at 14-21 through 10 minutes.
Second quarter: Cantu makes its move with 13 unanswered points
Paul Davis padded the Khimki lead before Aradori countered with a three-pointer from the corner. Marko Scekic really got going with free throws followed by a basket inside. Jeff Brooks continued the charge as he grabbed a rebound and went coast to coast for a basket plus Dimitriy Khvostov’s third foul to tie the game at 23-23. Leunen added a triple before an Aradori free throw capped a 13-0 charge. Loncar ended a four-plus minute scoring drought for the visitors to keep things close at 27-25. Scekic added 2 more free throws for the hosts. Augustine took a dish from Planinic for an easy bucket. Fridzon soon drew Khimki within 1 with his second three of the game. Smith from the line and Loncar in in the paint traded scores. However Loncar was slapped with a technical foul for complaining. That resulted in 2 free throws made by Mazzarino, which left Cantu ahead 35-32 at the break.
Third quarter: Cantu heats up and pulls away
Some great ball movement set Smith up for an open jumper to start the second half. Khimki responded through Rivers. Marco Cusin fought his way for a basket-plus-foul as the Eagles cheered on loudly. The Loncar/Agustine duo closed the gap to 40-38, however Leunen responded with a clutch triple to keep the hosts ahead. Rivers answered, but Cantu made its move as Jonathan Tabu nailed a triple. Aradori soon added another and when Brooks drove to the hoop for a layup, the hosts led by double figures, 51-41. Khimki struggled with its shooting and was unable to claw its way closer. After a free throw each by Planinic and Fridzon, Alex Tyus scored at the buzzer to lift Cantu to 55-43 through three quarter.
Fourth quarter: Cantu finishes without trouble
Khimki came out for the fourth quarter ready to fight its way back. Planinic scored and Egor Vyaltsev connected from behind the arc. Smith penetrated to keep Cantu in control at 58-48. Cantu looked to shorten the game with long possessions, while Khimki started to feel the pressure and forced a few threes. When Manu Markoishvili netted a three with four minutes left, the lead had reached 13. Loncar fouled out soon after and Leunen’s perfectly placed pass to Smith for basket-plus-foul practically sealed the outcome. Fridzon also fouled out in the closing minutes as Cantu was able to smile long before the final buzzer.
Friday, October 26, 2012