Generali Group Trieste had a hard final day to live through to make the second round of the ULEB Cup, but made it look easy with a 73-86 road win at Darussafaka that took perfect advantage of a simultaneous loss by Elan Chalon at first-place Krka Novo Mesto. Both Trieste and Chalon finished in fourth place in Group C at 4-6, but Trieste advanced by firtue of having won both their regular season face-to-face meetings. Nate Erdmann and Terrance Roberson pumped in 22 points each to pace Trieste in Istanbul. Roberto Casoli added 12 points, Andrea Camata 11 and Roberson 11 rebounds for a double-double. Trieste outrebounded their hosts 24-41. Darussafaka, which finished last at 2-8, got 21 points from Erdem Turetken and 12 each from Cevher Ozer, Rich Frahm and Vincent Jones, who doubled his effort with 11 rebounds.
Darussafaka started the game as fast as possible, taking early leads on consecutive three-pointers from guard Cuneyt Erden and Frahm. Soon, Erden hit another triple to give Darussafaka its best lead at 17-10. But Trieste, which needed the victory more than Darussafaka, was not giving up the fight. Erdmann had an inside drive at in the final 2 minutes to level the score at 17-17 and a three-pointer before it finished to decide the first quarter in Trieste's favor, 17-20. In the second period, Darussafaka keep on using early shots while Trieste controlled the rebounds and used them to play fastbreaks and lengthen its lead. Before the end of the half, Erdmann and Sinisa Kelecevic found easy baskets inside Darussafaka's lane and Trieste led 36-44 after 20 minutes.
Trieste started the third period with the knowledge of what it was close to winning and looked to Roberson to lead it there. His drives and three-pointers stopped any thought of a Darussafaka comeback as Trieste's edge became 15 points, 44-59, on an Erdmann triple after 24 minutes. The rest of this quarter Trieste spent escaping, but Darussafaka was able to at least stabalize the deficit at 55-68 as it ended. The last period, Trieste seemed stressed despite having a 13-point margin, but still remained in control of the score. With 6 minutes left, another Erdmann's three made it 61-76. Trieste started to breathe easy. Darussafaka tried its best to catch up, but its best effort could only reduce the difference to 13 points at the end, 73-86. The night belonged to the visitors and so did a trip to the next round.
Friday, January 17, 2003