Girona Keep Run Going Against Brave Kalev

31 January 2007

Last week Akasvayu Girona did the job early.

This week they left it late but the result was the same.

A week ago, Akasvayu delivered a stunning first-half performance to beat Virtus Bologna 106-74 - they had led 71-33 at the midway point.

On Wednesday they were trailing to Estonian hosts BC Kalev as the game entered its final period but they rallied for an 83-75 win to take their record to 4-0 in EuroCup Group L.

Catalin Burlacu, with 21 points and five boards, dazzled in defeat for the hosts as did Travis Reed (19 points and six rebounds) while Gregor Arbet scored 11 points.

"We played against a very good team," said Kalev coach Veselin Matic. 

"I'm not happy that we lost but over all I am happy with the way we played tonight".

Akasvayu shared out the points with Ariel McDonald (14), Dainius Salenga (11), Marko Marinovic and Fernando San Emeterio (both 10) all posting double-digits in a victory where they were made to dig deep.

"Both teams played very good defense tonight," said Girona head coach Svetislav Pesic.

"Kalev played very smart offense. It was important for us to win today."

BC Kalev led 41-39 at the end of the first half and made a good start to the third quarter to move into a 56-49 lead after two successful free throws from Valmo Kriisa.

However, Akasvayu responded superbly. McDonald made a jump shot followed by another successful bucket from Salenga.

German Gabriel split two free throws and then Salenga drained a jump shot to bring the score level at 56-56 to take the run to 7-0.

The hosts were unperturbed, however, and Arbet's three-pointer restored their lead before McDonald nailed a jump shot and one free throw to level it up again.

Kriisa's three-pointer kept the hosts' noses in front although Gabriel's jump shot, the last score of the third quarter, ensured BC Kalev led only 62-61 at the end of the third quarter.

Reed nailed a free throw at the start of the final quarter to take a 63-61 lead for his side but then Akasvayu took control with Dalibor Bagaric's dunk levelling it before his free throw and McDonald's jump shot gave the Spaniards a 66-63 lead.

Gabriel's jump shot extended that lead to 68-63 but still Kalev were not defeated.

Kristjan Kangur and Catalin Burlacu both nailed baskets for the hosts to make it a one-point game.

A three-pointer from Gabriel gave Akasvayu breathing space and, although Reed replied with a jump shot,  Marinovic, also from distance, extended the Spanish side's lead to five points.

Marinovic converted both throws from the charity stripe to make it 76-69 and although Tanel Kaljula also made two free throws to bring it back to five points, Gregor Fucka effectively ended the contest with a bucket with one minute and 16 seconds to play.

San Emeterio added insult to injury from downtown although Joosep Toome replied from closer range.

Marinovic nailed two more from the stripe and Tanel Sokk drained one for BC Kalev from inside the paint to make the final score 83-75.



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