It’s not enough to lead for 39 minutes and 56 seconds, the end is painful anyway. Basile’s last shot from the corner doesn’t go in. EA7 loses in Vitoria an incredible game, a game it led even by 17 points but then scored 20 points in the second half, missing too many rebounds. The foul difference was also crucial in the second half, because Olimpia went into the penalty situation early and Caja Laboral could work better defensively. Top 16 qualification is still on the line. EA7 keeps a one-win lead over Caja Laboral but it’s down 0-2 in head-to-head games. Zalgiris game next Friday is gonna be decisive.
FIRST HALF – Ioannis Bourousis scores twice using lob passes inside, Langford makes a three, EA7 goes up 6-2, then allows two Brad Oleson field goals and a Nocioni drive. At the first time-out it’s 8-8. Caja Laboral goes up then Cook makes a right corner three, Langford a left corner three and Hairston a face-up huge three, Langford again makes two from the line. The biggest lead is 19-12. At the end of firts it’s 19-14 EA7. The margin is getting to seven early in the second but San Emeterio scores five points in a row and when Caja Laboral is down 21-19, coach Scariolo has to take a time-out. In the meanwhile two bigs, Hendrix and Melli have two fouls each. Gianluca Basile scores in transition after Fotsis and Bourousis to give EA7 the first double digit lead, 31-19, entering the last 4 minutes of the half. After a coach Tabak time-out, EA7 goes up by 16 thanks to another 4-0 run and then it’s 17 up, 40-23, when Basile makes two foul shots and Hairston a drive. Nocioni commits his fourth foul (a technical) gettong the crowd into the game. San Emeterio scores, then Lampe, but Fotsis responds with a foot on the line keeping him form making a three. 42-28 EA7.
SECOND HALF – Rebounds are causing a lot of problems in the second half. With Bjelica and Lampe, Caja Laboral is dominating the boards. It closes the margin to six when Rok Stipcevic from the corner makes a huge three, 52-43. After a tough third quaarter, played in the penalty basically from the start and struggling to contain Caja Laboral’s physicality, EA7 is still up by eight, 53-45. A Cook’s three gives back a nine-point lead but Caja Laboral is aggressive and physical. Nocioni with a bank shot brings Vitoria within three with six minutes left in the game. Langford from the right corner responds with a three. But still Vitoria charges back even after Nocioni’s fifth foul. Lampe is kissed by luck when makes an accidental three off the backboard, then he ties up the score from the line with two minutes to go. Cook makes another three but San Emeterio does the same, Oleson after a confused possession (Cook turnover, probably fouled, steal by Langford, maybe it was actually a foul) misses two free throws uncharacteristically but Lampe is the one grabbing the rebound and Heurtel scores driving from the right the winning basket.