It was a victory against all odds. It looked the slump would continue, Cibona was down and out, James Bennett in the driving seat, scoring, creating and making things happen. Tau Ceramica opened the final quarter 12-2, leading 57:50, 4 minutes before the end of a tough, sometimes ugly, and definitely low-scoring game that featured 40 turnovers. Cibona didn?t score a field goal for the first 6 minutes of the final quarter, almost down and out, but when there was only hope left, James Lee came alive and found a way. He was the man that carried Cibona most of the way, he was the man who saved the night for the Croatian champions. Two points, followed by three points, and Cibona never looked back. Cibona outscored the Spaniards 12-3 in the last 4 minutes. The final blow came from the man that came out of the dark. Three pointer by Boris Dzidic, which gave Cibona lead for good, 61:60. Bennett, the man of the match for Tau Ceramica, missed a three point shot, with 6.2 seconds remaining. Lee scored one free throw, and Bennett missed a chance for the extra time with a fatal turnover. It was a tough and strongly contested defensive match. Tau Ceramica led most of the way in the first half, biggest difference was 6 points, Cibona came back in the third, leading 46:38, but could not maintain the control of the game, to regain it in the last 4 minutes. In a poor shooting game, Cibona continued the slum from the three point range, in the first two Croatian league matches they connected only 7 out of 44. Against Tau Ceramica they made 4-15, but the last one (Dzidic) was on target. Spaniards made only 2 out of 13, missing the last seven.
Wednesday, October 18, 2000