Baskonia ends CSKA winning streak in Shengelia return

2021-01-07T22:48:50+00:00 2021-01-08T00:03:26+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

07/Jan/21 22:48

First game back at the Fernando Buesa Arena a bitter one for Tornike Shengelia

By Eurohoops Team/

TD Systems Baskonia nearly dropped a second double-digit lead but barely held on to defeat CSKA Moscow, 95-93, Tuesday at home.

Pierria Henry made the most of Daniel Hackett missing the contest as he orchestrated the EuroLeague Regular Season Round 18 “W” with an 18-point, 10-assist double-double. His 27 PIR was a game-high.

“I feel like it was a team effort. I have to salute my teammates for putting me in a position to make plays, and for them just executing and finishing the plays,” argued Henry regarding his strong outing, “I’m just proud of my teammates for fighting hard and believing in one another.”

Achille Polonara also scored 18 points, including seven in the final quarter. Rokas Giedraitis produced 17 more points, Youssoupha Fall ended up with 16 and Luca Vildoza added 12 in the high-scoring affair.

“We enjoyed playing together on offense, playing tough defense. That’s how we enjoy ourselves, and when everyone is involved we win,” took out Polonara, “We have to keep going like this. We had great motivation before the game and we played with great intensity, a really good game.”

The extended field of players matching against a former team was highlighted by Tornike Shengelia. His first game back at Vitoria-Gasteiz resulted in 13 points, nine rebounds, and six assists.

CSKA dug its way out of an early 15-point hole and almost came back from a 13-point deficit down the stretch. Mike James missing the final shot deemed the second comeback incomplete and left him at a team-high 20 points.

Apart from Hackett, Will Clyburn was also on the injury list for Dimitris Itoudis. A 12-game winning streak snapped sent the Russian outlet to 14-4.

“We came back a lot of times. We were up plus-five in the third quarter. We couldn’t maintain our lead, and then it was a tight game. We had our chances at the end, but it’s not about the last shot,” said the Greek head coach, “I think our defense was not on the level we wanted. We managed to actually score a lot of points in a cold gym, but they did, too.”

After 15 consecutive wins in all competitions and prevailing in 32 out of the 42 previous meetings with Baskonia this century, the team based in Moscow will host Zalgiris Kaunas Wednesday and FC Barcelona Friday.

The hosts bounced back after Tuesday’s loss to ALBA Berlin jumping to 9-9. They will be on the road through the next week taking on Unicaja Malaga Sunday in ACB action, and Fenerbahce Beko Tuesday and Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv Thursday in the approaching EuroLeague double-game week.

“In modern basketball, a 10-point lead is nothing, for anyone, especially if you play against a team like CSKA,” mentioned head coach Dusko Ivanovic, “I think any team needs concentration for 40 minutes, without looking at the score. The only important result is the last one. My players demonstrated that we can play with everybody.”