2000-01PlayoffsGame 12
April 19, 2001 CET: 20:30
Local time: 20:30 PALAMALAGUTI
Rashard Griffith - Kinder Bologna - Finals 2001 - EB00

Stay tuned, basketball fans, because the Euroleague Finals just got real serious. With Rashard Griffith back in the lineup in Game 2, Kinder Bologna bit back this Thursday night with a resounding 94-73 victory against Tau Ceramica that not only evened the best-of-five series at a victory apiece, but promised a full-metal battle from this point forward. Kinder's wounded pride after a Game 1 loss to visiting Tau on Tuesday healed in a hurry thanks to a rain of three-pointers that left Tau looking uphill almost from the games start. With that fierce pride in place again on defense, Kinder needed nothing more strenuous from Griffith than 9 points a 8 rebounds. With its perimeter stars in a shooting contest with each other, hitting (15 of 26 three-pointers), Kinder didn't need much more. Despite early foul trouble, Antoine Rigaudeau was able to make 6 of 7 three pointers he attempted to total 23 points. Four other Kinder scorers hit for double figures: Marko Jaric with 13, David Andersen and Alessandro Abbio with 14, and Emanuel Ginobili with 11. The series shifts now to Tau's homecourt in Vitoria, Spain and a key Game 3 showdown on Tuesday, May 1. The Euroleague Finals are even up again, and tonight all is right in Basket City, Italy.

From the opening tipoff, Kinder converted any pressure it was facing into suffocating defensive pressure on Tau. After Elmer Bennett drove to the hoop for Tau's first two points, he saw little breathing room, let alone shots, for the rest of the quarter. He was under the wraps of a Kinder fullcourt press that raised the tempo and forced Tau into bad shots. Meanwhile, three-pointers started falling at a good rhythm for the home team. Antoine Rigaudeau hit the first, but was quickly seen to the bench with a couple quick fouls. No matter, because Emanuel Ginobili immediately picked up the tack with a back-to-back threes that opened up Kinder's lead to 15-8 and put the Palamalaguti crowd right in the game, too. Those shots also began a six-minute stretch to the end of the quarters during which an emboldened Kinder defense didn't allow Tau anything but free throws. In that stretch, everyone on Kinder was contributing offensively, too, with young forward David Anderson hopping off the bench for a couple nice baskets whil Griffith caught a short rest. Alessandro Abbio drilled his own three-pointer and Ginobili had a three-point drive to the hoop with 6 seconds left as Kinder closed the quarter with double the points of Tau, 32-16.

The big lead did nothing to soften Kinder in the second quarter. Just the opposite. Only Bennett, who was getting loose again, and Alexander, who was getting decent position underneath, kept Tau from getting blown off the floor. But Kinder's point-center combo was just as big, as Griffith hit back-to-back baskets and Marko Jaric drained a three to boost the lead to 20, at 46-26. Tau steadied itself to finish the half, but despite six consecutive points by Mindaugas Timinskas, Abbio and Jaric stepped up to hit consecutive threes and solidify Kinder's halftime lead at 52-35. the warning signs for Tau were as obvious as the three-point shots made for each team: Kinder 8 for 15, Tau 0 for 5. That meant Kinder was getting a lot of good looks, for various capable shooters, while Tau wasn't getting any.

As it turned out, the Kinder least visible in the first half was the one Tau had most to worry about. Back in the starting lineup for the third quarter, Rigaudeau lined up in the corner three different times in the third quarter and hammered home a three-pointer each time. Most of those were against a zone that Tau had been using since late in the second quarter. With Rigaudeau's nine points, despite Tau finding a little more scoring room and accuracy, the lead not only did not budge, but Kinder headed into the final quarter ahead 70-50. One the themes expected to drive the series was already extablished, as Kinder had five players already with 10 points or more - Griffith wasn't one of them - and wave after wave of subs to fortify that defense. If Tau didn't look precisely tired, few of its players looked sharp, either. Laurent Foirest, one of the heroes of the Game 1 upset, was stuck on 0 points, while sub forward Luis Scola had but one. Kinder was firing on all pistons, and with more to begin with, that was making life hard again for Tau.

Antoine Rigaudeau - Kinder Bologna - Finals 2001 - EB00
Thursday, April 19, 2001
Euroleague.net
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Referees: STOKES, RICHARD (ENG), NOWICKI, MAREK (POL), LOVSIN, ANDREJ (SLO)
Attendance: 7046
By Quarter1234
Kinder Bologna32201824
Tau Ceramica16191523
End of Quarter1234
Kinder Bologna32527094
Tau Ceramica16355073
Kinder Bologna
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
6 GINOBILI, EMANUEL 27:00 11 2/3 2/7 1/1 1 4 5 3 1 5     4 3 8
7 ABBIO, ALESSANDRO 30:00 14 0/2 3/4 5/6   6 6 2 1 1     3 4 19
8 BONORA, DAVIDE 16:00 2   0/1 2/4   1 1 1 1 1     4 2 -1
9 JESTRATIJEVIC, NIKOLA DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
12 FROSINI, ALESSANDRO 16:00 3 1/2   1/2 2 5 7     1     5 2 4
13 ANDERSEN, DAVID 31:00 14 5/6   4/4 2 4 6   1 3     3 2 16
14 RIGAUDEAU, ANTOINE 17:00 23 2/4 6/7 1/1   4 4   1 1     4 1 21
15 GRIFFITH, RASHARD 24:00 9 4/8   1/3 1 7 8 1 1     1 3 4 13
18 SMODIS, MATJAZ 9:00 5 1/2 1/2     1 1     1     2 1 2
19 JARIC, MARKO 30:00 13 1/2 3/5 2/2 1 1 2   1 3     2 2 10
Team                   6           6
Totals 200:00 94 16/29 15/26 17/23 7 33 40 7 7 16 0 1 30 21 92
        55.2% 57.7% 73.9%
Head coach: MESSINA, ETTORE
Min: Minutes played; Pts: Points; 2FG M-A: 2-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); 3FG M-A: 3-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); FT M-A: Free Throws (Made-Attempted); Rebounds: O (Offensive), D (Defensive), T (Total); As: Assists; St: Steals; To: Turnovers; Bl: Blocks (Fv: In Favor / Ag: Against); Fouls: Cm (Commited), Rv (Received); PIR: Performance Index Rating
Tau Ceramica
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 SCOLA, LUIS 16:00 7 2/3   3/6 1 2 3     1     4 3 4
5 GARCIA, DANIEL DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
6 BENNETT, ELMER 37:00 10 3/9 0/2 4/6       1 3 5     3 6 2
7 FOIREST, LAURENT 18:00 2 0/1 0/3 2/2                 1 3  
9 VIDAL, SERGI 11:00 5 0/2 1/1 2/4         1       2 2 2
10 TIMINSKAS, MINDAUGAS 21:00 10 2/4 0/1 6/6   2 2   1 2     1 5 12
11 STOMBERGAS, SAULIUS 33:00 12 3/6 2/7   1 1 2   2       3 5 10
12 TOURE, OUMAROU DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
13 ALEXANDER, VICTOR 34:00 17 6/11   5/7 3 5 8   2 3     3 5 19
14 OBERTO, FABRICIO 30:00 10 5/8   0/1 4 4 8 1 1   1   4 1 14
Team             5 5   8           13
Totals 200:00 73 21/44 3/14 22/32 9 14 23 2 10 11 1 0 21 30 63
        47.7% 21.4% 68.8%
Head coach: IVANOVIC, DUSKO
This game has no play by play yet

Head Coaches

MESSINA, ETTORE
Kinder Bologna
"I am satisfied for our team reaction in so short a time. Now, we'll go to Vitoria to win again, and now I think all the pressure is on Tau in Vitoria. We have to thank all the people who have worked with Rashard to bring him back to health with 8 and 9 hours per day, and we have to thank him. Rashard didn't get every rebound, but he got the important ones. He gave confidence to his teammates and to our defense. He also allowed us to get open shots. In the first game, the three-point shots we took were only desperate solutions to confusion on offesne. Tonight, they were natural opportunities that came out of the offense."
IVANOVIC, DUSKO
Tau Ceramica
"They have beat us because they got a big lead quickly, 10 or 15 points. We came out very soft, and that was the big difference between the first and second game. We tried everything, but today it couldn't be. I said after the first game there was no reason for euphoria, and now I don't see any reason to be sad. We're at 1-1 and that's the result we were looking forward to when we came here. If we had lost the first game and won this one, we'd be extremely happy right now. Now we have two home games, with our excellent fans, the best fans in Spain, and we have a lot of chances to win the title."

Players

GINOBILI, EMANUEL
Kinder Bologna
"Griffith gave us a lot of help. He gave us trust in ourselves. We were really angry for how we played in Game 1. Tonight, we've had a different approach, real aggressive and more intense from the beginning of the game. If we keep playing them this way, we cannot lose and we can go to Vitoria to win both."
ABBIO, ALESSANDRO
Kinder Bologna
"We didn't do anything special tonight. We just tried to recover after the first game. We played with the intensity we needed and we tied it 1-1 despite the difficulties. We play differently with Rashard in there, but the other night wasn't just his absence, but our fault too. We played like a team again, a real good inside-outside game. Now we they have 10 days to think, and we have 10 days to play in the Italian League and the Italian Cup finals. So we've put some doubts in Tau's mind for now. In Vitoria there will be battles, but we're going to try to win both, not just one."
RIGAUDEAU, ANTOINE
Kinder Bologna
"It was an important win. We played like a team after playing alone in the first game."
GRIFFITH, RASHARD
Kinder Bologna
"It was no good watching my team lose the other night. I wanted to play. Tonight I made my contribution but my team has played a great game. I have come here to win a championship and a Euroleague and I don't want to leave without victories. Tau is strong defensive team. We know that in Vitoria there will be two tough games, but we go there to win at least one and come back home to our own place for the fifth one. We have great supporters, cheering us all game long. That gives us enthusiasm, and I hope to win something for them, too. We played good fullcourt pressure, not to steal the ball, but to steal seconds on the clock from their offesne."
FOIREST, LAURENT
Tau Ceramica
"Nobody has won anything yet. We're at 1-1 and that's what we wanted out of these two games. But now we have to go home and make that count."
ALEXANDER, VICTOR
Tau Ceramica
"The situation is simple. They played well and we played badly. But we're at 1-1 and we're going home with the general result that we wanted coming in, and with a lot of hope. We have to forget the games in Bologna now. Each game is a new story. And it's true that Griffith helped Kinder a lot."
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