Late Show Sees Sofia Beat Panionios

22.11.2006

PBC CSKA Sofia proved on Wednesday they are not just making up the numbers in the EuroCup by winning a thrilling overtime contest at home against previously unbeaten Panionios.

The Bulgarians suffered defeats in their opening two Group G games, falling at home to Ural Great Perm and away to Turk Telekom, but they prevailed 86-83 over the visitors from Greece.

Gregory Danielson scored 24 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in a winning cause.

Sofia opened up a 26-17 advantage with 6:12 to go in the first half after reeling off seven consecutive points, capped by Dimitar Angelov's lay-up. He failed to convert a three-point play, however.

The lead grew to 34-21 on Yordan Bozov's jump shot, but the Greeks fought back and went to half-time trailing only 36-29, with a pair of Kirk Winston free throws the last points of the period.

Winston, who had 23 points in the game, started the third quarter with a three-pointer and after Andre Hutson made a pair of free throws and then dunked, Winston struck again from long range for a 41-40 Panionios lead.

Neither side would go ahead by more than three points the rest of the quarter.

Only when Dragan Dojcin's jumper rip the nets did Panionios take a five-point edge at 59-54.

Vladislav Dragojlovic made one of two at the stripe to make it a six-point lead, yet Sofia came storming back and went back in front at 65-62 on a Danielson three-ball with 4:13 to play.

Efstratios Perperoglou got hot inside the final three minutes, making a three-pointer and then sinking four free throws, the last two of which gave the visitors a 73-71 lead.

Panionios weren't able to protect the lead.

Nikolaos Chatzis was whistled for a foul on Danielson with six seconds remaining, and the center sank two to level the scores before Panagiotis Kafkis missed a three at the buzzer.

In overtime, Dimitar Mirakovski emerged as the hero.

Having made just one three-pointer in his previous two games, the guard from FYR Macedonia nailed two three-balls in a row for an 80-77 edge with 2:07 to play.

The teams traded points the remainder of the period, but Sofia always stayed in front.

The final blow did not come until the end, and it happened after Bozov made two free throws to stretch the lead to 86-83 with 10 seconds to go.

Israel Sheinfeld fouled Winston - a move that prevented Winston or another Panionios player from launching a potential game-tying three-pointer.

Winston missed both shots at the stripe Sofia celebrated their first win.

Free throw shooting woes hurt Panionios. They finished 16 of 28 (57.1%) for the contest.


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