Third Quarter Decisive As Virtus Overcome Galatasaray


Virtus Bolognafiere trailed by eight points early in the second half but turned on the afterburners and blew out Galatasaray Café Crown in their EuroChallenge Top 16 clash.

The Italian club got a balanced scoring attack and terrific defense - especially in the third quarter - in a 104-91 Group J triumph in Istanbul.

Finland international Petteri Koponen and Sharrod Ford each had 17 points for Virtus, with Brazil national team sharpshooter and club captain Guilherme Giovannoni contributing 16.

The 1.65m point guard Earl Boykins finished with 14 points, eight assists and seven rebounds for the winners.

Ntousan Tsalikis-Vouktsevits (11pts) , Brett Blizzard and Alex Righetti (both 10pts) also hit double figures in scoring for Virtus.

The Italians looked to be in trouble nearly two minutes into the second half after a Milan Gurovic basket put Gala on top at 60-52.

The home side then went ice cold over the next six minutes, with Virtus going on a 20-0 run to take command for good.

Roberto Chiacig's three-point play was followed by a Koponen basket to start the decisive spurt.

After Boykins' lay-up cut the deficit to 60-59, Righetti nailed a three-pointer to put Virtus in front for good.

Boykins and Righetti followed with baskets before Ford finished off the rampage with a pair of three-point plays.

Virtus pulled away for a decisive victory.

Hüseyin Besok had 27 points and Antonio Graves 25 for Galatasaray.

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