Home or away doesn't seem to matter when Kinder Bologna plays basketball. Kinder was as dominant as ever on Thursday in Greece as it downed host Peristeri 59-87 to take over sole possession of first place in Group B. At 4-0, Kinder is one of only two undefeated teams, along with Panathianikos of Group C, left out of 32 that started the Euroleague one month ago. Peristeri falls to 1-3. The surprise was not that Kinder could win, but that it should do so by 28 points against a team that upset Barcelona on the road a week after Kinder also won there. Kinder took this game by the throat with a 10-27 second-quarter run and let its defense do the rest. That intense man-to-man pressure and the fastbreak that came with each Peristeri miss were the weapons for Bologna. Alessando Abbio led the winners with 15 points, Manu Ginobili added 14, David Andersen and Sani Becirovic 13 each, and Matjaz Smodis 12. The defending Euroleague champs had Rashard Griffith for only 16 minutes due to foul trouble. Adam Wojcic had 18 points for Peristeri and Michael Anderson 13. Peristeri was hurt with a 3-for-19 performance from behind the three-point arc, where Kinder made 8 of 16 attempts.
Rashard Griffith committed two fouls on Kinder's first few possessions, so it was left to Peristeri guard Byron Dinkins to score the first basket after more than three minutes from behind the arc. That turned out to be a key moment, in fact, because Dinkins, the veteran leader of last week's upset of Barcelona, didn't make another shot from the field and ended up with 7 points, 0 assists and 4 turnovers in 24 minutes. That is what Kinder's defense does even to veterans. Meanwhile, Griffith committed his third foul after just four minutes. A great number of mistakes began the game for both teams and the referees called many fouls. Peristeri tried to control the tempo of the game and all the 10 Kinder players saw action during the first period. Alexis Papadatos scored on the buzzer and on the scoreboard there was the 21-22 for Kinder.
The Euroleague champions kept on running to begin the second period and scored two easy fastbreaks with big men David Andersen and Matjaz Smodis during an 0-8 run to a 21-30 lead. Kinder continued to run with an incredible quickness while Peristeri struggled against the visitors set defense, but Adam Wojcik was on fire and kept his team in the game with three straight baskets. But now it was time for the veteran Abbio, with 7 points in a row, and for Smodis, who made 2 three-pointers to finish the first half with an 18-point Kinder advantage, 31-49. Abbio had 15 points, Smodis 10 and Wojcik 11 and Peristeri was shooting badly form the arc (1 for 10).
During the third period, Kinder's advantage grew to 30 points, 35-65, and that was with Griffith not scoring a basket to that point. Peristeri had committed 16 turnovers by the end of the third quarter and had connected on only 2 of 14 from the three points line, while Kinder had made 7 of 15. Finally Griffith scored two free throws after 32 minutes and with his basket all the Kinder players had scored. The game went to the end with Peristeri making mistakes and Kinder giving time even to young guys like Paolo Barlera and Carlo Ferri.
Thursday, November 1, 2001