This evening Bnei-Hasharon hosted the Demon Astronauts in Group C of the FIBA Europe League. Tonight's game was a match-up between the fourth and fifth placed teams within the group.
At the start of the first quarter the Astronauts nailed two quick three-pointers to take a 6-0 lead. Bnei fought back though, behind 10 points from Alvin Young to take an 18-16 lead after the first ten minutes of play.
In the second quarter Joseph Spinks came alive, draining a three-pointer and hitting two free-throws to give the visitors a seven-point advantage early on. Young (10 points in first half) battled back offensively to bring his team within four points, but Spinks' domination on the boards (9 rebounds in first half) put the Astronauts up by six at the half.
Play throughout the third quarter remained tight. Young continued with his aggressive offensive play and was assisted by Guy Pniny and Aaron Lucas. However Gintautas Vileita's strong shooting coupled with Spinks' strong play, put the visitors up by four as they headed into the final ten minutes.
Spinks' offensive action at the start of the fourth quarter helped Amsterdam go on a ten-point run. 90 seconds later Bnei was able to end their scoring drought with a three-pointer from Lucas. The next five minutes were hard fought and saw the visitors maintain a nine-point lead.
With two and a half minutes to go in the game, Bnei clawed their way back with a pair of free-throws by Pniny and two lay-ups by Young to come within four points. With just over a minute left, Lucas missed two free-throws but Pniny ripped down the offensive rebound and passed back to Lucas who converted the lay-up.
Down by only a point with 17 seconds remaining, Bnei's Young received his fourth and fifth foul on a combination of a personal foul and technical foul. From then on the visitors from spent the rest of the game at the free-throw line and squeaked out a three-point road victory.
Top scorers for Bnei were Young with 31 points, Lucas with 15, and Pniny with 10 points and nine rebounds. The Astronauts were led by Spinks' 25 points, 11 rebounds, and four assists. Vileita chipped in 17 points on 57% shooting.
"My team played very good defence tonight.
Bnei played well but we controlled of the game, in particular we dominated both in defence and offense in the "low post" zone."
"We had huge problems with defence rebounds.
The Demon Astronauts were physically stronger. We had a lack of confidence in offense.
I'm happy that the two youngest players as Engel and Oren played good games."