After a tight game between Group A's top- and bottom-ranked teams through halftime, Climamio gave its fans in Bologna a second-half scoring show on the way to a 94-77 victory on Wednesday against visiting Olympiacos. Climamio raised its record to 7-1 and kept a sure hold on first place in the Group, while Olympiacos suffered its sixth straight defeat, falling to 1-7. An onslaught of 58 points after halftime by Climamio proved just too much for Olympiacos to withstand. Climamio rained an amazing 16 of 28 three-point attempts through the net to erase what had been a fine first half by the visitors. Milos Vujanic led the winners with 25 points on 5-for-9 three-point shooting. Besi Martin Rancik added 14 points and Ruben Douglas 10 for the winners, who distributed 15 assists to just 6 for Olympiacos. The visitors got 22 points Ivan Zoroski, 20 from Lavor Postell and 15 from Marques Perry.
The last tme Olympiacos had faced Fortitudo in Bologna was 1999, when Milan Tomic kissed the glass with an 11-meter buzzer beater to win the game. A week before this meeting, however, Tomic left the Reds and Dusan Vukcevic followed him earlier in the week, so nothing certain could be expected from the guests. In the first 4 minutes, Zoroski's drive was the only one basket for the Reds, while Climamio took an early 6-2 lead as Erazem Lorbek cut the lane and slammed. Perry and Zoroski left a timeout and tied the score at 6-6, but Vujanic, Douglas and Matjaz Smodis immediately fired from downton to dig a seven-point advantage, 15-8. Vujanic, with the fourth Climamio triple in a row, sent his team up 18-10. Perry and Postell fought back and, helped by a Zoroski triple, got Olympiacos within 20-17 as the quarter ended.
Perry scored on an easy fastbreak to start the second quarter, and Climamio coach Jasmin Repesa called a timeout to scold his players. The lecture was followed by a dunk from Marco Belinelli, a tap-in by Smodis and a block by Dalibor Bagaric as Climamio bolted ahead 24-19. Olympiacos, however, pricked the hosts' 2-3 zone defense with 5 straight points by Zoroski to take its first lead, 24-25. Big man Elvir Ovcina kept the Reds ahead, ahead 28-31. It took Vujanic to break Olympiacos run as he scored 5 points to tie and assisted Belinelli for a go-ahead three-pointer at 36-33. Zoroski, who was everywhere until then, fired in one last shot to pull Olympiacos within 36-35 at halftme.
The second half was celebrated with a one-team shoot-out. That team was Climamio, of course. The hosts came out and buried 7 of 8 three-pointers to break the game open in the third quarter. Belinelli blasted the first one, then Gianluca Basile copied for his first points. Nonetheless, Lazaros Agadakos and Ovcina score 6 points inside for the Reds, bringing them within 47-43, even after Martin Rancik hit from beyond the arc for Climamio. Basile struck again from the arc for a 51-43 lead quickly extended to double digits, 55-43, when Vujanic drove the lane for a layup. Ioannis Kalampokis broke the 8-0 Climamio run by scoring from inside, but Vujanic and Smodis merely sank Climamio's umpteenth triples for a 61-45 advantage. When Perry and Postell limited the gap to 11 at 61-50, Vujanic - who else? - decided to shoot from downton again, closing his 12-point quarter with Climamio up by 14 points, 66-52.
After falling down by another basket, 68-52, Olympiacos produced a moving effort as Perry and Postell carried the team to within 11 points, 68-57. Soon, however, Stefano Mancinelli and Gianmarco Pozzecco kept Climamio safe by firing in shots for a new maximum lead of 74-57 midway through the quarter. The lead was out of reach, but Postell tried to make Olympiacos breathe again with a three. Unfortunately, Douglas had the same idea and his triple - the 16th for Climamio - helped fix an 18-point gap, 81-63. The victory was capped by Mancinellis alley-hoop dunk, sending the Bologna fans off with another present to cap a great year for their team.
Wednesday, December 22, 2004