Kinder Bologna didn't want to play a third game in its first-round Euroleague playoff series against Adecco Estudiantes of Madrid, but at times before winning on Thursday night, it seemed not to want to play Game Two, either. Although it had to sweat out a few three-point tries by the home team down the stretch, Kinder succeeded in winning 80-85 on the road and wrapping up the series in the minimum two games. The Euroleague's top-seeded playoff team must now wait to see whom it will play from the single first-round series, PAOK-Union Olimpija, that is going to a third game.
Guards Antoine Rigaudeau and Marko Jaric were again the offensive catalysts for Kinder, scoring 17 and 16 points, respectively, all the more important since center Rashard Griffith struggled to score 8 points in 20 minutes. With Griffith having an off night, Dave Andersen's 11 points and 8 rebounds in 19 minutes proved a big boost to Kinder's game under the basket. Meanwhile, Estudiantes was led, as always, by power forward Alfonso Reyes with 23 points and 9 rebounds, single-handedly keeping his team close at times. The other player who made the game tighter than anyone expected was Pedro Robles, who scored 19 points mainly on outside shooting while subbing for the injured Nenad Markovic.
Ettore Messina Although the game never looked remotely like the 43-point Game 1 blowout in Bologna, Kinder may have gotten a little complacent after going ahead 15 points in the first half. But before Kinder could enjoy it, Estudiantes was back within 2 at halftime, 45-47. Kinder was able to stretch that back out to 12 points 58-70 over the course of the third quarter. Still, Estudiantes wouldn't give in. The hosts had a couple shots at pulling within a single point in the middle of the fourth quarter, but each time that opportunity came, somebody from Kinder answered first, most notably Rigaudeau on a three-pointer from the corner that made it 73-81. That was all the breathing space that Kinder needed so it could go ahead and breathe easy while waiting to find out its next opponent.
Thursday, February 8, 2001