This is the live blog from Charleroi Spiroudome about the ULEB Cup game between Spirou and Akasvayu. To follow the game, just read more.
Two quick baskets by Girona to start the game dominating inside. But the Spirous come back with 2 nice fast breaks. Still Marc Gasol is already using his force inside to draw fouls and take rebounds.
What a bad defense now by Charleroi, two guys jumping for the block and nobody blocking on the rebound. Two points. Missed open three then and big three by Ariel McDonald. 6-13Spirou throwing around bad passes and Girona playing slowly inside with Vroman and Gasol. Charleroi only scores on Fastbreaks actually.
The momentum is changing, Charleroi scores a three and Girona is missing inside.
Time out: 2min23 to play 17-18
Nothing changes, Girona is still missing on the front and Charleroi starts to play better in the offense. However a ball handling error and a lost ball now. There seem to be quite a few fans from Spain here as I hear for the first time Girona Girona from the stands.
Now the veteran Darryl Middleton is entering the court with 44 years of age. And another fast break for Spirou who go up with 3 points. The arena explodes one a three pointer at the buzzer by Wes Wilkinson, the 2m08 forward from the USA. Score after the first quarter 24-18 for the Belgians in a nearly sold out arena.
Q2 starts with a miss from three point land of Wilkinson. And finally Girona can hit a shot with a three ball from Montanez. And Jackson Vroman is working inside to go for a score. Vroman is actually the man inside. He scored 7 points in the first quarter and he actually gets the ball on every possession.
Pedro Martinez, the Spanish coach starts to complain at the official desk after an unsportsmanlike foul of Darryl Middleton. But the scores stays close, Spirou is leading 28 24 and 6 minutes 30 to go in the second quarter. Roel Moors steals the ball now out of Cvetkovic’s hands and Adam Hall scores on the other side on a strong drive with the foul. Spirou is increasing its lead a little bit to 6 points.
Technical foul for Montanez now, the Spanish team is not so happy with the refs. But what is happening now? One ref is already giving FTs to shot to Justin Hamilton who scores the first one, but the other ref is cancelling it as he was still explaining the T to the benches.
Already a second carrying call for Charleroi. Wilkinson goes back to the bench and is replaced by Len Matela. Time out for Spirou at 32-26 with exactly 5 minutes to go in Q2.
Marc Gasol is not very present for the moment. He just received a ball down low and was totally open but did not recognize the situation and waited with the back to basket for a defender to come. Then he tried some kind of hook which he missed.
Great no look dish now for Victor Sada to Vroman who is still the absolute top scorer of the game but Adam Hall is answering with a big three. Marc Gasol, what is going on? Another missed open layup.
Open three ball for Justin Hamilton, and he nails it to maintain the lead to 8 points. Jonathan Tabu, a 22 year old guard is entering the court for the Belgians. And finally a score for Marc Gasol with a sort of one handed hook from the baseline.
Time out for Spirou with 1min24 left and the score is 42-38.
The atmosphere in the arena is really nice. It not an aggressive crowd. The whole show is managed very well with a very professional dance team, always musical jingles and chants by the fan clubs.
Last attack of Girona has been stopped with a big block on a layup.
Back to the game, Girona comes out well with a three, a two and a crazy And 1 basket when Charleroi only scores two. And two FTs by Marc Girona a 4 point lead early in the third quarter. Their defense is getting better and Charleroi has a lot of trouble to find good shots.
And another fast break brings the Belgians back into the game where Adam Hall scores with the foul. Another steal by Justin Hamilton on the middle line and he hammers down a thunderous two handed dunk. But Jackson Vroman is still huge inside and scores another bucket.
Ohhh, Marc missing every layup but now he hits a huge three pointer where you can see his nice shooting mechanics for a big guy. 53-57 and 4minutes14 to go. Charleroi just tried to go for the Play of the week with a huge alley-oop attempt which has been missed as the pass from midcourt was a bit too high.
And another rejection by Andre Riddick who is doing a huge job in the paint on rebounds and intimidation with his athleticism. The game stays close at 54-57.
Ohh, now the arena is going very loud on a offensive foul call on Adam Hall where he scored. This could have been an And 1 to tie the game but the ball goes to the Spaniards. Time Out 54-57 1minute22 to go.
Marc Gasol gets the ball on the first attack after the timeout but he was forcing too much inside and gets a charge call on a too much used should to force the way to the basket. You can also see the lack of athleticism of the Spanish center as he regularly is having good position on the offensive board but the more athletic forwards are grabbing the rebounds just in front of him. Three pointer by Adam Hall to tie the game at 57.
End of the third quarter, 57-58. Money time is coming. Actually I see nobody who is standing out of both teams in order to predict the end of the game. Charleroi relying a lot on athleticism and steals to run the break when Girona is trying to play more physical inside.
Charleroi starts the last quarter with Bucket and foul for Wes Wilkinson from the baseline. Marc Gasol is however doing his job on the defensive end with 8 rebounds so far. He is on the bench right now to take a rest for the last minutes. Charleroi uses this to score inside.
Beghin is starting to use his size now inside and scores on an offensive rebound because of the missing help. Charleroi is still forcing the fast break, even if Roel Moors just missed a difficult layup. 63-62 for Spirou and Tabu is preparing to come back to the game in the place of Justin Hamilton. Quite a risky change in such a crucial moment of the game by coach Eddy Casteels.
Marc Gasol comes back to the court for Jackson Vroman who was not so present anymore in the 2nd half. Big defensive play now by Wes Wilkinson who taps on the ball on a block shot attempt and Ivan Radenovic goes for a traveling. Tabu has to force a shot and gets the rookie lose ball foul call on the missed shot rebound attempt.
Nice pass from Tabu for Riddick who gets blocked but he manages to pass out the ball for Wilkinson with the three ball. Tabu goes back to the bench for Justin Hamilton. Time out Girona at the score of 65-62 with 4minutes32 to go.
The move to bring Tabu was risky but it paid off, Hamilton had two minutes of rest and Tabu was doing his job defensively on McDonald. Offensively, he was at the origin of the last basket of his team. The crowd is heating up now as the crunch time is starting.
Bad choice, out of the time out a 24 seconds violation. Has this been planned by the coach, I don’t know? And the big bucket by Tremmel Darden to increase the lead. Vroman is back but he sees his shot flying to the stands as he got rejected.
Charleroi is over the team fouls and there are still 3min42 left, this might be important. Moors penetrates get fouled but no call, on the break, Vroman scores on a nice back to the basket move with the foul. And he makes the FT.
Time out for Charleroi at an even score of 67-67 and 2mins57 left. The Belgians have inbound under the basket and 3 seconds left on the shot clock. Missed shot by Wilkinson after the TO.
Huge rebound now as the last minutes starts for Wilkinson. And Adam Hall misses the pass. Score on the fast break by McDonald. Time out for the Belgians at 67-70 with 47seconds left.
Hamilton goes to the line and makes only one, it is getting difficult for Charleroi but Gasol gets blocked. Missed fast break but Adam Hall but everybody goes hard to the rebound and Hall gets a foul call on a put back attempt on Gasol. 2FTs to come.
The first one is really short and the second one goes through the net. 69-70 with 20sec and timeout for Girona. On the free throw, Hall was throwing the ball away after the first miss and one of the Spanish rebounders considered that as his second free throw attempt and complained at the ref that this was the second shot. Come on…
Charleroi needs a foul or a steal and they go directly for a foul. Jackson Vroman comes back for the defense while Arriel McDonald connects both free throws. And Charleroi is doing a strange decision as they are 3pts back going for a penetration move and loosing the ball. 8secs left, 69-72 for Girona and Spanish ball after the timeout.
Adam Hall commits his fifth foul and McDonald nails two more FTs and the game is over as one the missed shot no whistle has been blown and both teams are on the ball. Kids are running to the court to catch some autographs.
FINAL SCORE 71-74