As expected, Kinder Bologna clinched first place in Group B on Thursday by downing still-winless London Towers 57-96 on the road. An incredible 28-9 third-quarter explosion swept Kinder (11-2) to victory after it had struggled with motivation in the opening 10 minutes. Marko Jaric drove Kinder to the triumph with 24 points, while David Andersen added 14. Ted Allen had 13 for London, which sunk to 0-13 for the season.
Towers rested John White and Kinder was without Rashard Griffith and Sani Becirovic again. Towers had a useful first quarter, paced by Ted Allen's 6 points in a row, which gave them a 10-9 lead over the European champion after five minutes of play. David Andersen had scored the first 5 points for Kinder, who were not out of second gear yet. Two baskets from Matjaz Smodis - the second a brilliant tip-in where he kept the ball alive twice before the decisive strike - gave Kinder a 12-16 lead. Stuard Robbins hit two after a great drive by Silas Cheung, who followed up by hitting a free throw to pull London within 15-16 after 10 minutes.
A lead for the home team came just after the first interval on the first of two baskets from Robbins. Kinder's response was a three-point play and then a three-pointer from Marko Jaric. A three-point play by Allen had Towers stil in it at 22-24, but Kinder were about to hit cruise control. Jaric triggered a 20-8 run, with Rigaudeau and Frosini both hitting 4 points each, which had the champs 44-30 up when Ginobili nailed a three from the corner. David Brikic had another soon after coming on for the first time to give Kinder the second quarter by 33-18 and the halftime lead at 33-49.
Another disastrous third quarter was suffered by the Towers as they were powerless to resist the sheer class of their visitors. Jaric scored 13 points for Kinder and also supplied Andersen with the alley-oop pass for the play of the game so far. Towers took 4 minutes to score, by which time they were 33-60 down. At 40-66 on Eppehimer's first basket, another Kinder run started, mostly from the free throw line with Frosini and Rigaudeau. That was an 11-0 tear. Jaric led all scorers after three quarters with 24 points, but he would not be scoring more. The scoreboard said 42-77 and it was time to rest the Kinder stars.
After the disaster of the third quarter, Towers could take some solace from the fact that Kinder could manage just a single three-pointer from Alessandro Abbio midway through the last one. Two baskets from Phil Hickey gave Towers an 8-0 run, but when Kinder woke up, it was with a vengeance. Smodis scored 7 straight points, Abbio and Davide Bonora added to an 11-0 run at the end, Akrivos hit a three to ensure that Kinder's entire 10 were on the scoresheet.
Thursday, February 7, 2002