Cibona survived an intense overtime thriller to beat Lottomatica Roma 91-84 and keep its Top 16 chances alive in Group B. Davor Kus's free throws with 25.1 seconds to go in regulation tied the game at 75-75 and forced the extra period. Then Brent Wright and Chris Warren shined in overtime to help Cibona improve to 4-3 in the standings. Meanwhile, Lottomatica dropped to 2-5 and needs a big turnaround in the second half of the regular season to have a shot at the Top 16. Warren led the winners with 22 points and 7 rebounds, including a triple in the final minute of overtime that sealed the outcome. Wright posted a double-double of 17 points and 13 rebounds, while Kus had 17 points on 5-for-6 shooting and Barisa Krasic scored 11 points for Cibona. Dejan Bodiroga had another classy performance on the way to 27 points for Roma. Alex Righetti added 18, Garri posted a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds and Mire Chatman also had 12 points for the visitors, but missed a potential game-winning jumper at the end of regulation. Roma led 58-67 midway through the final period, but Wright led a 15-2 run, which brought Cibona back into the game.
Bodiroga opened the game with a five-meter jumper, but Kus answered from downtown to give Cibona its first lead at 3-2. Chatman stepped up with a driving layup, which David Hawkins followed with a fast break basket in a 0-6 spurt that Bodiroga capped with his trademark jumper to give the visitors a 3-8 lead. Warren scored in the paint and Wright added a driving layup to bring Cibona back to life. Goran Vrbanc fired one in from downtown to put the hosts back on top, but Loukas Mavrokefalidis quickly answered with a layup, which Chatman followed with his first three-pointer, good for a 10-13 Roma lead. Wright and Warren continued to pace Cibona, but Mavrokefalidis and Luca Garri made back-to-back layups to give the visitors a 13-17 edge. Warren buried a jumper and Marijan Mance fired in a triple, and even after Garri shined with a backdoor layup, Kus beat the buzzer with one from downtown that gave Cibona a 21-19 lead after 10 minutes
Garri opened the second quarter with a three-pointer, but Kus scored again to help the hosts regain the lead, 23-22. Kus fed Wright for a fast break basket and then buried his third bomb from downtown, but Bodiroga matched it with a layup-plus-foul. Mance threw in a floater, but Bodiroga finished a patient Roma attack with an open three-pointer and Righetti soon copied him to provide another lead change, 30-33. Krasic hit free throws, but the ever-present Bodiroga answered with a second-chance basket. More foul shots by Marin Rozic and a triple by Krasic forced another Rome timeout at 37-35. Cibona tried a 2-3 zone defense, which Bodiroga broke with a fall-away jumper, but Warren bettered that with a three-point play. Chatman shined with a fast break layup only to see Marton Bader match it for a 42-39 Cibona edge. Free throws by Dimitrios Masmarinos and a reverse layup by Warren fixed the halftime score at 44-41.
Hawkins nailed a triple from the corner to tie the game at 44-44 right after the break. Cibona struggled to score against the Roma zone defense early in the second half, which was puncuated by Dimitrios Marmarinos's big block on Wright. Meanwhile, Righetti hit free throws, added a layup-plus-foul and buried one from downtown after a Cibona timeout to give Roma a 6-point lead.Warren and Alessandro Tonolli traded free throws, but Krasic and Vedran Morovic brought Cibona within 51-54. Roma called timeout, but Cibona had already gained the momentum. Cibona continued to attack the basket, as Wright and Warren made free throws to tie it at 54-54. Righetti buried a critical triple to silence the crowd and soon added foul shots to keep Roma ahead, 54-59. The game had turned into a physical battle and Roma made the most out of it now. Chatman added another fast break layup, which Morovic erased with free throws to bring Cibona within 56-61 after three quarters.
Roma dominated early in the fourth period as Hawkins made free throws and Garri added a fast break basket, causing Cibona call timeout at 56-65. Wright stepped up with a jumper, which Bodiroga copied in the other end. Krasic shined with a driving layup and Cibona started going to Wright, who drew fouls and made 5-of-6 free throws to get Cibona back in the game, 65-67, midway through the final period. Bodiroga beat the shot clock with a floater, but Krasic answered from downtown to make it a one-point game, 68-69. Warren hit a free throw and Rozic shined with a driving layup that gave Cibona a 71-69 edge. Kus capped a 15-2 Cibona run with foul shots, but Bodiroga brought Roma within 73-72 with under 2 minutes remaining. Garri hit free throws for a 73-74 Roma edge with 1:15 to go. Wright missed a tough shot and an offensive rebound allowed Garri to draw a foul and make 1-of-2 foul shots. Kus was next on the free-throw line and made both attempts for a 75-75 tie with 25.1 seconds to go. Chatman missed a five-meter shot off the dribble, sending the game to overtime.
Roma opted for a small lineup with Bodiroga at power forward at the start of the extra period. Warren stepped up with a driving layup, as Cibona gained control. Chatman drew a foul and made 1-of-2 free throws, but the ever-present Kus shined with another basket to give Cibona a 79-76 lead. Warren provided a highlight with a power layup, forcing a Roma timeout at 81-76 with under 3 minutes to go. Bodiroga came to the rescue with a key three-pointer, but Wright made 2 more from the line to keep Cibona ahead, 83-79. Bodiroga hit just one free throw, but so did Wright as Cibona held a 4-point edge with 1:09 to go. The two-time Final Four MVP drew another foul and did not miss this time to get Roma within 84-82 with 58.5 seconds remaining. Warren put Cibona comfortably ahead with a triple against the Roma zone and even when Chatman came back with a power layup, Kus made the critical free throws down the stretch to seal a big Cibona home win.
Thursday, December 7, 2006