Lottomatica Roma registered its first win in Group C by thrashing Brose Baskets Bamberg 81-57 in the Italian capital on Thursday night in the winners' first home game of the season. Lottomatica improved to 1-3 and now matches Chorale Roanne for sixth place in the standings. Bamberg dropped to 0-4 and is one of just three winless teams left in the competition. Roko Ukic paced the winners with 15 points. Jon Stefansson added 14, Erazem Lorbek posted a double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds while Gregor Fucka and Allan Ray each had 10 points for Lottomatica. Demond Greene had 16 points for Brose Baskets while Predrag Suput and Ademola Okulaja each added 11 for the guests. A 7-0 run that Roberto Gabini capped with a triple allowed Lottomatica to get a 17-10 lead after 10 minutes. Fucka and an unstoppable Stefansson allowed the hosts to boost their margin to 41-25 at halftime. Okulaja and Steffen Hamann tried to get Brose Baskets back in the game, but strong defense and a patient offense orchestrated by Ukic allowed Lottomatica to keep a double-digit lead all the way until the final buzzer.
With the home crowd behind them in a battle of winless teams, Roma began well with Lorbek scoring 4 of the hosts' first 6 points. As Bamberg struggled to find any rhythm on offense, Roma roared as Roberto Gabini's three-ball gave the home side a 16-7 lead after 7 minutes. Bamberg went 4 minutes without scoring before Greene ended the drought with a shot from behind the arc, only for Roma to reply immediately with a Fucka three-point play, giving the hosts a 19-10 advantage after 10 minutes.
Stefansson started the second quarter by reeling off 5 consecutive points as Roma opened up a huge 24-10 breach and threatened to run away from the German visitors. Pedrag Suput stopped Bamberg's slide with a three-pointer. The visitors proceeded to cut the deficit to 29-20 but Roma responded by going on a 12-5 run over the next 3 minutes behind Stefansson and Fucka . The hosts took a 41-25 lead in to the break.
Okulaja's three-point play got things started in the third quarter for Bamberg but Lorbek went to the other end and dunked. However, Roma soon lost their way, turning the ball three times over the next 3 minutes. Steffen Hamann punished the mistakes, scoring 5 of Bamberg's next 7 points to cut the deficit to 45-35. Roma needed a hot hand, and found one in Allan, who kept the hosts in front until a pair of three-pointers with less than 2 minutes left to play in the quarter, boosted the lead all the way back to 64-49 with 10 minutes remaining.
Okulaja's three-pointer at the start of the fourth quarter gave Bamberg some hope but they suffered a blow when Mark Dickel was called for an unsportmanslike foul on Stefansson. Roma took full advantage and extended the lead 68-52.Suput ended a three-minute scoring drought for the visitors with a free throw, but the deal was practically done anyway. Stefansson's three-pointer after a Bamberg turnover saw Roma take a 71-53 lead with 5 minutes remaining and forced coach Dirk Bauermann to call a timeout. As his players came to the bench, he kicked the drawing board out of frustration. Nonetheless, Roma outscored Bamberg 10-4 over the next 5 minutes to ease to a first victory in Group C.
Thursday, November 15, 2007