By Johnny Askounis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Tremendous defensive effort in the second half earned Igokea m:tel the win, 75-64, over PAOK mateco in the delayed Basketball Champions League Regular Season Gameday 6 contest held Wednesday.
San Diego State product Deshawn Stephens matched his season-high with 19 points and also pulled down nine rebounds. Fellow American imports James Robinson and Markel Starks contributed ten points each.
A 16-3 sprint early in the third quarter generated the first double-digit lead for the visiting side at PAOK Sports Arena. Going up by 22 points in the fourth quarter proved enough to wrap up Group E at 3-3 and force the hosts down to 2-4.
With head coach Dragan Bajic sidelined due to a health issue, assistant Marko Barac was in charge for the second game in a row. He had guided Igokea to 7-6 in AdmiralBet ABA League last Sunday.
Limiting the Greek side to eight points in the third quarter led to claiming the second seed in Group E. The Bosnian side will take on Filou Oostende with the home-court advantage in a best-of-three Play-In series scheduled to start next week. PAOK settling for third place and missing the opportunity for the home-court advantage will instead face SIG Strasbourg.
Jermaine Love tallied a game-high 20 points in the losing effort. Marvin Jones registered nine points and Vlado Jankovic followed with eight points. Antreas Christodoulou and Malcolm Griffin remained out for the team coached by Aris Lykogiannis, which domestically carries a 3-6 W-L record in the Stoiximan Basket League.
Postgame press conference:
Photo Credit: Basketball Champions League