Benfica hosted the Greek team PAOK and beat them 94-72 on Wednesday in their return to the Champions League, in the match that ended in the second round of Group G.
Benfica were fired up by their home crowd and went all out, taking a 7-0 lead, electrifying the fans who practically filled the Pavelhão da Luz. When the score was 9-1, the Greek coach immediately called a time-out, but it did not happen. It didn’t work out, as five minutes into the game, PAOK still had only one point on the scoreboard and from a free throw.
Moments of offensive waste followed, as both teams showed difficulties in scoring shots. The appearance of Aaron Broussard and Ivan Almeida, doubtful for this match due to their physical condition, sparked the Reds’ attack: both scored and put the Eagles ahead 17-10, but the Greeks closed the distance and finished the first quarter with a losing lead. With only two points (17-15).
The beginning of the second half was marked by five consecutive points from PAOK, which led for the first time (18-17 and 20-17). After that, Terrell Carter scored three consecutive shots under the basket, helping Norberto Alves’ team stay close to the scoreboard (25-25).
With a hat-trick from Dreschel, Benfica took the lead again (32-28), but PAOK’s quick reaction (38-36) “forced” Norberto Alves to call a time-out, at the end of the last minute of the first half. half. In the first half, Benfica trailed by one point (40-41), and Terrell Carter was the top scorer with 12 points, ahead of Ivan Almeida (9) and Trey Drechsel (9). Outside shooting (13/3) was something to improve on in the second half.
In the second half, the first points went to Benfica’s Carter, who continued his control under the basket, and history repeated itself. As at the beginning of the match, Benfica came out with an interesting part, now with a score of 11-0, which confused the Greeks’ strategy (51-41), with the highlight of this stage being Carter, who excited the crowd with baskets with a high artistic touch… for the first time in the match. Benfica led shortly after by 11 points (56-45).
Until the end of the third quarter, with five fouls on both teams, players often went to the free throw line. The Portuguese team, with the efficiency of Ivan Almeida, took advantage of a 13-point lead (61-48). As the trilogy approached its end, PAOK closed the gap and entered the final period losing 68-60.
In the fourth and decisive quarter, Benfica started scoring through Betinho Gomez, and with Carter very active in defense and attack, and a hat-trick from Diogo Gameiro, the Eagles gained a valuable advantage of 13 points (76-63), at 6.30 minutes. From the end of the match. Five minutes before the end, Ivan Almeida hit a long three-point shot that put the Eagles ahead 79-63. Until the end, Benfica managed to achieve an important victory over PAOK with a score of 94-72.
On the individual level, Ivan Almeida shined with 28 points, supported by Terrell Carter (26). See the game sheet here
In the next round, Benfica will host the Israeli team Hapoel Jerusalem, on November 8, in Luz.
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