Union Olimpija of Slovenia waited 20 minutes to work its magic in England on Thursday, leaving host Kinder London Towers to wonder what happened over halftime of became a 58-91 blowout win by the visitors. For the first two quarters, while the visitors flirted with sizable leads but the locas matched them, London had reason to believe. Then, however, the Slovenians put on a third-quarter clinic the likes of which few teams ever have the bad luck to suffer. The score for those 10 minutes was 9-35, at which point Union Olimpija could count a second win in as many tries in Group B, while London had to admit to a second blowout loss in as many tries. The winners had balanced, even discreet scoring, including Jiri Welsch with 15 points, Haris Mujezinovic with 13, Jasmin Hukic with 12, Tunji Awojobi and Jurica Golemac with 11 each. John White and Terrell Myers had 17 each for London, Phil Hickey 11.
London had led 7-5 with the help of 5 points from Hickey, but the Slovenian champs ripped through the Towers defence on the break. Vlado Iliijevski hit a three and Haris Mujezinovic had six points in a streak that lifte Olimpija to a 20-11 lead at the end of the first quarter. But Towers came back strongly in the second quarter. Trailing 27-14, Towers scorched a 10-0 run, including threes from Terrell Myers and Silas Cheung. When John White finally came alive with two free throws and a three-pointer, Towers trailed by two and benchman Wayne Henry hit a pair of baskets to tie the game at 36-36 at halftime. Myers and Hickey lead the Towers scorers with 9 points each and Cheung has added 5. Jasmin Hukic scored 10 points, all in the second quarter, and Mukezinovic 8, all from the first quarter, for Olimpija.
The second half started strong for the visitors. Threes from Stipe Modric, Vlado Ilijevski and Jiri Welsch gave Ljubljana a 40-58 lead, and and it only got worse for the Towers after that. They lost the third quarter 35-9, missing the influential Cheung with a shoulder injury, and managed only six points in the first six minutes of the fourth, by which time they were down 85-51. Olimpija had turned it up a notch and the hosts could not follow.
Thursday, October 18, 2001