Climamio Bologna travelled back to the good old times and enjoyed its best night of the Euroleague season by defeating Group A leader Tau Ceramica 90-82 on Wednesday. This victory was crucial, too, as it lifted Climamio's record to 4-8, good at least for a lock on sixth place in the group and allowing the team to continue aspiring to the Top 16. Tau saw its 10-game winning streak end, but remains iin first place at 10-2, two victories ahead of second-place Olympiacos, who also lost on Wednesday, with two regular season games left. Climamio's starting five played 34 or more minutes each and all scored 15 points or more. Stefano Mancinelli and David Bluthenthal led the way with 20 points each. Tyus Edney added 16, Marco Belinelli 15 and James Thomas a double-double 16 points and 19 rebounds. Igor Rakocevic had 23 points for Tau, while Luis Scola hit for 18 points, Prigioni 12 and Serkan Erdogan 10. Tau played without regulars Kaya Peker and Fred House, who stayed home sick, while point guard Zoran Planinic suffered a hand injury in the first half and finished the night in the hospital.
Mancinelli got Climamio going with a fastbreak dunk to which Scola replied with a back-to-the-basket move. Climamio pushed ahead 6-2 on Edney free throws and a hesitation drive by Belinelli. Tau looked for Erdogan coming off of screens and he delived with a jumper. Climamio had plenty energy, however, as Edney and Mancinelli ran the court on a 7-1 spurt that sent the hosts ahead 13-5. Out of a Tau timeout, Prigioni took over by feeding Scola and Tiago Splitter for baskets, while stealing on defense as the guests got back to within 15-13. Mancinelli kept pacing the hosts with back-to-back drives, but Prigioni proved too tough to handle s Tau took the lead at 17-19. Bluthenthal and Edney scored buckets to take back the advantage, but Prigioni buried 3 free throws to make it 21-22. James Thomas answered with a jumper for Climamio and fed Edney as the hosts held on at 25-24 after one quarter.
Mirza Teletovic, Rakocevic and Prigioni missed open triples early in the second quarter for Tau, and Climamio took advantage by breaking the game open. Mancinelli’s effort was unmatched as he dished, stole and dunked another fastbreak to push the hosts up 33-26. As Prigioni and Erdogan missed again from outside, Belinelli and Mancinelli found back-to-back buckets for the first double-digit lead of the night, 37-26. A steal by Prigioni and a three-pointer by Teletovic revived Tau at 39-31, however. Teletovic’s second triple brought the guests closer, 41-34. After 15 minutes without substitutions, Climamio coach Ergin Ataman put Robert Fultz and Vasco Evtimov on the court and the chemistry proved just as good as the hosts reached a new 11-point lead, 45-34 after free throws from a technical foul on Tau’s bench. Erdogan and Rakocevic scored 5 unanswered points for the visitors then, but offensive boards helped Climamio to stay up asThomas was unstoppable and Belinelli scored a long jumper to make it 50-43. Edney hit a couple of foul shots after a Tau turnover in the last minute to fix a 52-43 scoreboard at the halftime.
Tau came back on the court without Planinic, who suffered his right hand injury late in the second quarter and left the building for a hospital. Mancinelli’s opening triple gave the hosts their largest lead yet, 55-43, just before Rakocevic hit a three-pointer, too, and Scola scored inside to make it 55-48. A trio of free throws by Rakocevic pulled the guests within 57-51, but Bluthenthal stepped up for Climamio with 5 points in a row to reestablish the double-figure lead, 62-51. When Edney fed Thomas for an easy dunk, Climamio hit a new maximum lead, 64-51. Teletovic helped Tau react with a 0-6 run that Prigioni capped with a huge triple, making it 64-57. Off a Climamio timeout, Bluthenthal hit a three-pointer during the same possession on which James Thomas was called for his fourth foul. Erdogan matched Bluthenthal's shot for Tau, but the last possession belonged to Edney, whose layup made it 69-60 after 30 minutes.
Alain Digbeu’s three-pointer lifted Climamio to a 72-60 lead to open the last quarter. With Thomas resting on bench, the hosts started the period with a small lineup in which Mancinelli and Bluthenthal played as big men. After a couple of good defensive stops by Climamio, Scola scored from inside and Rakocevic hit a triple to make it 74-65. Prigioni’s steal pull Tau within 7 points now, 74-67, but Climamio reacted with a big shot by Bluthenthal to make it 77-67. Off a Tau timeout, each team replied to the other's buckets as Mancinelli and Thomas answered Rakocevic's 5 points in a row. Tau’s last-ditch effort came with Scola scoring back-to-back layups at 82-76. Buthenthal, however, followed a jumper with a three-pointer making it 87-76 with 3 minutes to play. Rakocevic and Scola added points trying to rally the hosts, but it was too late as Thomas fought for all the loose balls and assured a key win to keep Climamio's dream alive.
Wednesday, January 17, 2007