Girona Crush Virtus Behind First Half Rampage

24 January 2007

Akasvayu Girona produced an astonishing first-half display to set up a convincing 106-74 win in the battle of the two unbeaten sides in EuroCup Group L.

The Spanish side played some breathtaking basketball in the first two quarters to roar into a 71-33 lead against their stunned opponents who are joint top of Italy's Lega A.

Virtus saved their honour by clawing back a little of the deficit in the second half but still suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of Akasvayu who improved to 3-0.

Girona were on top virtually from the outset as they raced out to a 3-0 lead and quickly pulled away to 15-4 against their Italian opponents.

They were up 31-18 at the end of the first quarter and continued to dominate in the second to take a 71-33 advantage into halftime.

At the midway point Gregor Fucka already had 14 points and four rebounds while Dainius Salenga had 12 and Marko Marinovic 11 for the Spaniards.

Marc Gasol had seven points and five rebounds in the first stanza in what
had been an awesome first half for the hosts.

Girona had converted 15-of-21 inside the arc, 7-of-9 from three-point range and 20-of-21 from the charity stripe.

They had outrebounded the Italian based side 20-8.

"It was an unforgettable first half," said Salenga. 

"We came out fully concentrated, we put away our shots well and were solid in defense. We're growing as a team every day and this game is evidence of that fact."

"I always believe in my players but they surprised even me," confessed Girona coach Svetislav Pesic.

"The first 20 minutes was basketball I can be proud of. Bologona is a massive team but we played a massive game."

Not surprisingly, the Spanish eased off a little in the third quarter with the Italians saving face a little by taking the third quarter 21-12 but Girona still had what looked an unassailable 29-point cushion going into the final period.

They extended it by three points in the final period and Fucka ended the game with 22 points and seven boards, both game-high efforts.

Salenga (18), Marinovic (16), Ariel McDonald (13) and Gasol (11) also finished with double-digit tallies for Girona.

"I only have compliments for Girona," said Virtus Bologna coach Zare Markovski. 

"The percentage of their two-pointers shows everything because of how they played with fast breaks. We just hoped Bologna would be better."

For Virtus, Kris Lang was top scorer with 15 points, while Brett Blizzard added 14 and Travis Best 13.

"Congratulations to Akasvayu who played great the first two quarters," said Best.

"Girona is a team with some good players and today we weren't on top of our game despite trying to pull it back in the third."



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