Kinder Bologna has maintained its undefeated record in Group B tonight following a sturdy challenge from Ulker Istanbul that ended with a 68-60 victory for the home team at Palamalaguti. A defensive battle is what the two undefeated rivals settled on and it could be said that Kinder prevailed despite no homecourt advantage in the shooting department. The top scorers were Sani Becirovic with 14 and Emanuel Ginobili with 13 for Kinder. Quadre Lollis scored 16 and Harun Erdeney 13 to lead Ulker. Kinder is now 3-0 in Group B while Ulker falls to 2-1.
Kinder led 17-15 after a tense first quarter of defensive basketball by both teams. No baskets were scored in the first two minutes then foul trouble hit Kinder (2 each for Ginobili and Rigaudeau), but Becirovic coame on and scored a three-pointer that boosted the home team to an 11-5 edge after 5 minutes. But Ulker hung on as Erdenay scored 5 points to take the team back into the game at 14-11, even though Asim Pars was called the third foul. Matjaz Smodis splashed in a three to make it 17-12, but Roberts Stelmahers stole and scored his own triple too.
Quadre Lollis A third foul for Ginobili at the beginning of the second quarter forced Kinder coach Ettore Messina, who was already missing injured guard Marko Jaric, to line up three inside players (Frosini, Griffith and Smodis). Quadre Lollis was getting plenty rebounds as Ulker rose up and tied the game. Kinder was only 2-for-11 from three-point range to that point, and now Ulker took a 19-21 lead thanks to Lollis. Alessandro Abbio's two steals and a triple by Becirovic was good to get back a 25-23 lead, but Kinder continues to have offensive problems. Ulker plays 2-3 zones and a box-and-one (Erdenay against Rigaudeau) and this creates difficulties for Kinder, whose three-point shooters aren't open. Goljovic steals and ties on the break, but Smodis sinks the buzzer triple that gives Kinder a three-point lead, 31-28, at the half.
After the break, Kinder tries to push the tempo higher, but has too many turnovers due to Ulker's physical defense. Ginobili returns for a key triple, however, and then Becirovic ties it on an inside drive. Ulker does not score for 5 minutes after Goljovic's triple makes it 40-41, and is outscored 9-0 thanks to a Rigaudeau three-point play. At 49-41, Erdenay stops the bleeding and scores a great basket, but suddenly turns it over and Abbio rounds his boxscore with a couple of FTs. Kinder leads 51-43 after 30 minutes.
Kinder was still shooting very badly from three-point range (5-for-20), but Ulker was equally bad (3-for-16). Ulker grabbed 12 offensive boards, however, and most of all took care of the tempo. Kinder could run the break, and had plenty of difficulties against Ulker's defence. Neither was it Bologna's night in outside shooting. Ulker plays each possession to the 24th second. Suddenly, Erdenay created two great baskets, but Ginobili answered with a drive and Kinder leads 59-54. Kinder then found 6 key points by Andersen exploiting his height in the low post against Lollis. Ulker turned it over, and Kinder, winning 62-54, got the chance to close the game.
Wednesday, October 24, 2001