AEK decidedly defeat San Lorenzo and are the first finalists
RIO DE JANEIRO (Brazil) – Greece’s AEK struck with authority and now have their sights set on the title after comfortably defeating Argentina’s San Lorenzo, 86-64, in the first Semi-Finals game of the FIBA Intercontinental Cup taking place in the Arena Carioca 1 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Basketball Champions League champions advanced to the Final, which will be disputed on Sunday.
Small forwards Delroy James and Dusan Sakota commandeered the attack of the squad led by Luca Banchi, by scoring 15 points each from the bench. As for San Lorenzo, the current DIRECTV Liga de las Américas champions, Dar Tucker contributed 17 units and Joel Anthony 14 with nine rebounds and six blocks.
Turning Point: AEK took command since the final part of the first quarter, with the contribution in the attack by Sakota and Giannoulis Larentzakis. During the second period, with a great rotation and defensive intensity, they imposed their game while James, Vince Hunter and Howard Sant-Ross scored the most points to build a 27-13 quarter run, leading the first half, 45-26. San Lorenzo mounted a small comeback, closing in to a twelve-point difference in the third quarter (54-68), but in the end, the Europeans once again dominated the game due to their defense and long-distance shooting. A three-pointer by Sakota, with 2:50 minutes left on the clock put the exclamation point in the great AEK victory.
Game Hero: James shot 50% from the bench, with15 points —and eight rebounds.
Stats don’t lie: The Greeks shot 12/26 in three-pointers (46%), while San Lorenzo struggled with 3/19. The Argentines had 20 turnovers that turned into 35 points for AEK. The Basketball Champions League champion dominated 28 to seven in second chance points and scored 49 against 23 bench points by their adversaries.
The Bottom Line: The early lead during the first half allowed AEK to have control of the game against a San Lorenzo team that never found their rhythm. This Sunday, AEK will face Flamengo for FIBA Intercontinental Cup glory.