Dynamo Moscow remained on the path to the Top 16 with an 80-101 win over Climamio Bologna at Land Rover Arena in Bologna, Italy, on Thursday night. Dynamo improved to 6-4 in Group A, joining Efes Pilsen for a share of third place in the group. Meanwhile, Climamio dropped to 2-8, seeing its hopes of reaching the next stage dwindle away. Antonis Fotsis led five Dynamo scorers in double figures with 20 points, Travis Hansen added 18, Bojan Popovic 16, Lazaros Papadopoulos 14 and Eddie Gill 11 points and 6 assists. For the hosts, Marco Belinelli matched his career-high with 23 points, Stefano Mancinelli set career-highs with 20 points and 10 steals and Vassil Evtimov added 12 points and 9 rebounds. Center James Thomas had 7 points and a season-low 3 rebounds, losing his league-lead in that category. Climamio stayed in the game for the first half through Belinelli and Mancinelli, but Dynamo, led by Fotsis, pulled away in the third and went on to win for the third time in four games.
Both teams started went inside early, but it was Hansen who got things started for Dynamo. Mancinelli responded with 5 consecutive points, but Popovic and Hansen pushed the visitors to a 5-8 lead. A Popovic layup and two free throws from Hansen capped a 0-10 run for Dynamo. Belinelli drew two fouls from Hansen, and Evtimov scored underneath to get the crowd roaring. Hansen kept cool, netting his own basket to maintain a 7-point. When David Bluthental took the floor, Belinelli welcomed him with a fallback three to make it 12-16. Belinelli was the big gun for Climamio now, firing in a second straight triple and when he missed a layup, his mate Mancinelli was on hand to dunk it back in and regain the lead for the hosts. A three by Popovic was then met by a bucket from Belinelli. He then got his third three with 13 seconds to go, but Popovic tied it from the line at 22 each after 10 minutes.
Belinelli continued his three-point festival at the start of the second quarter, but Hansen answered with a brilliant dunk and a three to get the guests in front again, 25-26. It was not Climamio versus Dynamo, but Hansen versus Belinelli now, with another one for the American from downtown. And when Fotsis followed suit, the visitors had taken a 7-point advantage, 27-34. Bologna reacted straight away with 4 quick points, including a Tyus Edney layup off a pretty pass from Evtimov. Fotsis tapped one in, but Evtimov popped in a nice hook on the other hand to keep his team within 35-39. Climamio coach Ergin Ataman ordered a full-court press during a timeout, but it had little effect. Dynamo was in the foul bonus now and took full advantage, building a 37-45 lead. Sergey Bykov seemed to do very well defending Belinelli, but even he was helpless when the Bologna star dropped an impossible fallback jumper to cut the deficit to 4. Yuri Vasiliev netted his free throws, but the last word went to Mancinelli with a buzzer-beater from down town after quick ball circulation, good for a 44-47 halftime score.
Technical problems delayed the start of the second half, but when it resumed, Mancinelli was ready with steal and layup. Dynamo continued to draw fouls as Valisiev netted two free throws. Papadopoulos, shut down in the first half, responded to a Mancinelli penetration. Bologna took the lead for the first time in ages when Thomas got into the act, 54-53. Everybody thought it was Bologna’s night when Evtimov throw the ball in the air and it miraculously went in. It really seemed to be Evtimov’s day as he went through the traffic and fed Thomas brilliantly for a two-had jam, which resulted in an Ivkovic timeout. Sergei Monya silenced the crowd with a triple and when Fotsis added his own and a dunk in transition, the hosts found themselves with an 8-point deficit, 59-67. A three-point play from Papadopoulos capped a game-breaking 10-0 run for the visitors. All hopes was again on Belinelli’s shoulders as he nailed a triple. However Papadopoulos was on fire, putting his team up 12. Two Evtimov free throw closed the third quarter with a mountain to climb for Bologna entering the last 10 minutes.
Thomas showed his team was not done by ferociously dunking, but Fotsis did the same. Papadopoulos started to put the game away and the scoreboard showed 65-82 after two free throws from Gill. Fotsis then threw down a splendid alley-oop, sending the Bologna players to listen to Ataman. It did not change the course of the game, as the only unanswered question left was if Dynamo would reach the 100-point mark. It wouldn as the garbage time eventually led to an 80-101 score.
Thursday, January 4, 2007