Benetton Crush Apoel


Benetton Basket Bwin demolished Apoel 97-55 in the first leg of the Eurocup Qualifier on Tuesday in Cyprus.

The home side held on for 15 minutes, but then Benetton simply blew Apoel away, practically guaranteeing the Italians a place in the Eurocup.

Benetton's victory was a team effort with 26 assists leading to 70% shooting from two-point range.

Greg Brunner recorded a game-high 19 points to go with 9 rebounds for Benetton. Massimo Bulleri had 13 points and 5 assists, while Stefan Markovic dished out 8 assists of his own.

Charron Fisher tallied 17 points for Apoel. Ian Hanavan and Augustinas Virtus scored 10 apiece in the loss.

Benetton got out to a 7-2 lead powered by 5 quick points by Brunner. Mirko Kovac's two-plus-one kept Apoel close early, but the visitors went ahead 15-9 on a lay-up by Hrvoje Peric and ended the opening quarter up 17-12 thanks to a dunk by Donatas Motiejunas.

Devin Smith pushed Benetton to a 10 point advantage (22-12) with a three-pointer early in the second period. Apoel responded with a 13-2 margin capped with a three-pointer by Jeremiah Davis to regain the lead momentarily at 25-24 with over five to go before halftime.

Benetton then turned up its defense and outscored Apoel 22-2, including 6 points by Smith and 5 by Bulleri, over the remainder of the quarter to go into halftime up a comfortable 46-27.

The visitors kept pouring it on in the second half.

Benetton went up 53-30 on a Ryan Toolson three-pointer four minutes into the third and then entered the final stanza up 68-41 after Jakub Wojciechowski scored four straight to end the third.

Benetton scored the first 11 points of the fourth to ensure a wide point cushion for the second game of the tie in Italy on October 6.


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