A sparkling contribution from Eric Williams was the highlight for a rampant Scavolini Pesaro as they trashed visiting Antwerp Giants by 92-76 to lay down a marker in the first game of their quarter-final series.
|Eric Williams once more was a beast down low for the Italians|
Williams produced a dazzling 22 points in just 23 minutes to set the tone in a whirlwind opening that left the visitors stunned.
Having scored the first five points of the game, Belgian joy was short-lived as the home team finally got off the mark and duly recorded an 11-0 start to take control.
They never looked back and in a blistering first quarter, racked up 28 points to take a 13 point lead into the second quarter.
While it looked ominous for Antwerp, they could at least rely on Brandon Gay to show some impressive resistance.
His fine work helped them get back to single digits at 41-33 but the Italian side finished the half with a big three-pointer by Dusan Sakota to lead 48-37 as the teams headed for the locker rooms.
It had looked like Antwerp might hang around but they fell apart during the closing stages of the third quarter and found themselves 74-55 behind.
While Antwerp tried their best to add some respectability to the score to take confidence into the second game on their home floor, they could do little to make any serious inroads.
Christophe Beghin matched the contribution of Williams with 22 points but the stuttering performance of the Giants was highlighted by a paltry five assists in the game.
Scavolini Pesaro head coach Luca Del Monte:
"the most important thing is to reset after this game one. We won and that is good, but now we will be focused on game two when we will start once again from zero. We needed a few minutes to adjust to their game, as they were without some key players, but we managed to control the tempo of the game and not to lose the advantage. On thursday I expect a completely different game.
Scavolini guard Marques Green:
"we definitely did our job, we wanted to put pressure on them. I'm satisfied with the game we played. We definitely want to close this round on thursday in Antwerp."
Antwerp head coach Eddy Castels:
"we came here to play against a very good team, and they had a lot of pressure due to a lack of results in the last games of the Italian league. And they used it very well. Of course we could have played better but with half of the team out it was not going to be easy. Especially in defence we didn't perform as we can. We'll try to make it better next thursday on our court."
Antwerp player Christophe Beghin:
"we tried to play with high intensity but we couldn't make it as we wanted. It is hard against teams like Scavolini to go down 15 points and always recover. It is even more difficult when half of the team is out. We will restart everything from zero next thursday."