Climamio Bologna stepped strong into the Top 16 and kept its remarkable winning streak alive by thrashing Ulker 87-69 in Group E on Thursday. Climamio registered its 23rd consecutive home win in the competition and tied with Real Madrid for the top spot in Group E with a 1-0 record. Ulker fell to 0-1, the same as Maccabi Elite. Marco Belinelli led the winners with 16 points, all of which he scored prior to the final quarter. Erazem Lorbek added 15 points, Kiwane Garris and Dalibor Bagaric 11 each, while Stefano Mancinelli scored 10 and grabbed 9 rebounds for Climamio. Jeff Trepagnier had 18 points for Ulker, Marcis Haislip posted a double-double of 17 points and 11 rebounds, Vrbica Stefanov had 14 points and Mirsad Turkcan 12 for the guests. Belinelli hit 4 triples in the opening quarter to give Climamio a 16-13 lead after 10 minutes. Climamio adjusted its offense to extend it margin to 38-30 at halftime and then again to 64-52 after 30 minutes to seal the win long before the final buzzer.
Climamio opened the game showing its 2-3 zone defense and succeeding as Stefanov and Ibrahim Kutluay missed triples for Ulker. That was not the case with Belinelli. He couldn't miss as his back-to-back shots from the arc pushed Climamio ahead 6-3. Ulker circulated the ball well as Turkcan hit his second jumper and Trepagnier scored from inside to give the guests the lead at 6-8. Lorbek missed an open shot that let Stefanov enlarge the gap to 6-10 before Climamio hit back. Another triple by Belinelli and a floater by Garris filled a 5-0 run for the hosts. Then Belinelli was back with his fourth three-pointer for a 16-12 Climamio lead. Ulker took plenty of offensive rebounds now but Haislip and Turckan didn’t make Climamio pay as the first quarter ended 16-13.
Climamio opened the second quarter with layups by Travis Watson and Mancinelli to forge a 20-14 lead. Belinelli hit free throws and Mancinelli scored from the low post to push the lead to 24-14 before Sani Becirovic capped an 11-0 Climamio run with a three-pointer. Trepagnier ended 6 minutes without a basket for Ulker but Nate Green added to Climamio's advantage with a triple that made it 30-16. The lead hit a maximum with Mancinelli scoring to make it 32-16, which is when Haislip reacted with an amazing couple minutes in which his dunk, block and turnaround jumper made it 32-22. The atmoshpere got red-hot when Bagaric dunked and made a free throw to push Climamio up 35-22. Climamio host coach Jasmin Repesa argued a late foul on Stefanov, got hit with consecutive technicals and was ejected. Stefanov hit the 6 straight free throws t make it 35-30, but Climamio got an unexpected spark when Bagaric beat the buzzer with a three-pointer to that left a 38-30 halftime score.
A three-pointer by Lorbek and 3 foul shots by Garris pushed Climamio up by 44-30 after a minute in the third quarter. Robert Gulyas revived Ulker with 5 consecutive points, 44-35, while Lorbek and Haislip traded three-pointers. Climamio posted a 6-0 run when Garris drove the lane and fed Lorbek for an easy layup, 55-40. Haislip’s put-back and alley-hoop dunk helped the guests stay alive, but Belinelli's pull-up shot forced an Ulker timeout on 59-44. Climamio dictated the tempo now even though Stefanov found an open three to make it 59-47. Garris re-estabilished a 15-point edge, 64-49, with foul shots and a triple that Trepagnier could only reduce for Ulker to 64-52 at the end of third quarter.
Watson and Lorbek scored from inside to lift the hosts 69-54 ahead after 3 minutes of the last quarter. Climamio lowered its defense a bit but Ulker found no way to the basket. Soon, Becirovic gave Climamio its highest lead of the night, 75-56, midway through the quarter, when he scored by himself and fed Tomas Ress for a corner jumper. Haislip couldn’t reply from the foul line so it’s up to Trepagnier and Turkcan reduce the gap, 77-65. Lorbek’s hands didn’t tremble as he secured the lead with a three-pointer to bring the hosts up by 15, 80-65. With a three-pointer by Green, Climamio hit a 20-point edge down the stretch and could enjoy its good start in the Top 16 race.
Thursday, February 23, 2006