TIM Maroussi 88 Azovmash 84

20 February 2004

Maroussi overcame some last quarter nerves before finally seeing off Ukrainian side Azovmash Mariupol 88:84. The win gives Maroussi a 2-0 series victory and the reward is a mouth-watering match-up with fellow Greek side Aris Thessaloniki in the eighth-final play-offs.

After 2 strong quarters from the home side it seemed as if the game would never be in doubt. Maroussi were in firm control of matters, outscoring their opponents 50:34 in the first half and leading by 22 halfway through the third period.

As is often the case in basketball, the game was far from over and Maroussi fell asleep and allowing Azovmash right back into the game. With 4 minutes to go the lead had been cut to 3, 76:73 and victory suddenly seemed a long way away.

It was a combination of youth and experience that saw Maroussi prevail. Youth was supplied by Vasileios Spanoulis, a 21 year old guard who made some big shots, along with guard Roderick Blakney. Ukrainian forward Leonid Yaylo hit a 3-pointer to make the score 86:84, but Oliver Popovic made some clutch free throws and Maroussi live to see another day.

Blakney was voted MVP of the game. He scored 16 points and dished 7 assists. Spanoulis finished with 13 points while Andre Hutson top scored with 21.

Yaylo had 16 for Azovmash, who were led by Lorinza Harrington with a game high 30 points.

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