AEK strike first blow against Strasbourg
FIBA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE - QUARTER FINALS (LEG 1)
|AEK||78 - 69||Strasbourg|
|(23 - 15)
(41 - 33)
(55 - 57)
(78 - 69)
A dominant fourth quarter propelled AEK to an early advantage in their quarterfinal tie with Strasbourg…
AEK rallied from two points down at the start of the fourth quarter en route to a 78-69 defeat of Strasbourg in Tuesday night’s first leg of the FIBA Basketball Champions League quarterfinal clash.
AEK surged ahead in the tie heading into next week’s return leg in France with a nine-point edge. A difficult third quarter almost blew AEK’s chances of any lead at the interval of the tie, but a 23-12 run in the final frame paved the way for AEK’s advantage ahead of the trip to France.
Kevin Punter led AEK with 15 points on the night, while Manny Harris and Dusan Sakota both added 12 points each for the Enosi.
Strasbourg, who neat AEK twice in the group stage by a combined margin of victory of just three points, were led by a duo of 15-point scorers in Zack Wright and Louis Labeyrie. However, it was AEK’s depth scoring that helped the Athenians late in the game as AEK will travel to France with some insurance.
On a night that the attendance record for a FIBA Champions League game was broken, AEK certainly made home advantage count early on. AEK started brilliantly in the first quarter as Dragan Sakota’s men opened up a seven-point lead in the first frame; an advantage that would hold until halftime (41-33).
Strasbourg clawed back in the third quarters as the French side took the lead on the heels of a 24-14 run in the frame to set-up a tense final frame in the Greek capital.
AEK’s shooters found their groove in the final frame to retake the lead in the final frame, before a late flurry of scoring padded AEK’s lead as the tie shifts to France for next Wednesday’s return leg.
AEK will hope to not lose focus of their continental mission as the Enosi prepare to face Olympiacos in Piraeus on Sunday before making the trip to France next week.