In this evening's Group B match up of the FIBA Europe League, Ionikos traveled to the Ukraine to take on Azovmash. In sticking to tradition, the home team yet again started out slow and found themselves down by five points after two minutes of play thanks to two three-pointers by Georgios Giannouzakos.
After a couple of successful substitutions by Coach Serhiy Zavalin (Azovmash), the home team was able to take a two-point lead in the middle of the quarter. By the end of the first quarter, they had increased their advantage to six points (27-21).
Azovmash carried their momentum into the second quarter, and built up a 15-point lead over the guests (42-27). At this point Coach Zeygolis (Ionikos) signaled for a timeout in hopes of refocusing his team. Whether it was his inspiring words or the fact that Azovmash's dance team performed the national Greek dance, the guests came out hot and dropped nine points in a minute and a half of play. The home team was unable to answer this run, and saw their lead trimmed to six points (51-45) at the end of the first half.
In the second half of play Azovmash was led by center Arthur Long. He was a large factor on defense, where he left little room for the Greek inside players to maneuver. The highlight of his offensive game was when he went coast to coast after making a defensive steal, and finished off the play with an authoritative dunk.
Ionikos was able to hang in the game due to their productive outside shooting (13-24), but in the fourth quarter the Greeks tired and lost by a score of 95-88.