Montepaschi stayed undefeated by clobbering Cibona 80-57
Montepaschi Siena remained undefeated after three games in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague regular season thanks to another win, this time at home, againt
Cibona by 80-57 in a Group C game played Wednesday. The hosts dominated the first quarter, but in the second, Cibona came back to cut the deficit down to
three points, 38-35. However, Montepaschi woke up in the third period and in the last quarter, the hosts stormed with a 16-2 late run that broke the game
open. The win allows Montepaschi to stay atop Group C with a 3-0 record while Cibona drops to 0-3 and will need to rebound soon in order to retain options to make the Top 16. Rimas Kaukenas led the winners with his 16 points, Bo McCalebb had 14 and three players chipped in with 12 points each: Milovan Rakovic, Ksistof Lavrinovic and David Moss. For Cibona, Drago Pasalic led all scorers with 17 points, Mario Delas added 13 and Tomislav Zubcic contributed 11.
Milovan Rakovic had the first say for the hosts, opening the score with his layups. Pietro Aradori joined the Montepaschi party in the paint, where the hosts
were dominating in offense, with a three-point play that made it 7-0. Cibona was strugglin in offense, even missing open shots, while Siena attacked the
basket with aggressiveness as Shaun Stonerook fed Bo McCalebb for the 9-0 after four minutes. Drago Pasalic finally found a spot on the wing for the three to
give the first points for Cibona, and that seemed to be the wake up call the guests needed. Four straight points between Rok Stipcevic and Pasalic made it
11-7, but Cibona, despite having other good options in offense, didn't culminate its momentum. McCalebb knew the only way to break the new trend was attcking
the basket, and he took the reins of his team with four straight points for the 15-7. When Ksistof Lavrinovic and David Moss appeared for Siena, their 6-0
run put the first double-digit lead on the scoreboard, 21-10, but Stipcevic swirled in the last play to score almost on the buzzer for Cibona and male it 21
-13 after 10 minutes.
Moss opened the second quarter with a bomb from beyond the arc and Rimas Kaukenas soon joined in for a 26-13 for Siena. Mario Delas replied with his own
three to get Cibona going, but Montepaschi was in control. With patience in offense, the ball moved at ease, but the hosts had problems to finalize the plays
while Delas sent another warning with his second triple for 28-21. He was on fire in offense for Cibona and the deficit seemed to diminish by the minute
until Montepaschi called for a much needed timeout. The 12 offensive rebounds of the total 13 it grabbed, were keeping Siena on the driver's seat while
Cibona was struggling with only one steal against nine turnovers. All in all, it was not the worst scenario that Cibona could have been facing when Bojan
Bogdanovic scored from the line for 29-24. Siena was not giving up however as Lavrinovic had the steal thanks to midcourt defense on Bogdanovic to run and
slam to wake Siena up. Both teams exchanged a few quick baskets to let the score progress, but Montepaschi was still holding the upper hand as Kaukenas
didn't have any problems to bury buckets for 38-28. Goran Vrbanc replied fast with his own three and Leon Radosevic followed suite for another close 38-33.
The deficit was trimmed to 38-35 with Tomislav Zubcic free throws, but Rakovic slammed the ball to put an end to the first half with a 40-35 Siena edge.
A 4-0 run was the start of Siena into the second half but Pasalic's three-point play for Cibona put things back in place, 44-38 to start again. Moss started
the quarter with a hot wrist, blasting a three for 49-38 and McCalebb soon joined in for a new Siena double-digit lead. It was a rough moment for Cibona with
turnovers that allowed Siena to have second options to look for the basket. Montepaschi was controlling the tempo this time with almost no opposition, in
moments similar to those of the first quarter, as the hosts managed now a 14-point lead of 56-42. The steals-turnovers ratio didn't improve for Cibona (1-15)
and it was only with Pasalic free throws that the guests managed to get to the end of the third period trailing by 57-44.
Zubcic opened the last period for Cibona with a three that had to launch the guests back into the game. Kaukenas made sure that didn't happen for the time
being, and that launched Montepaschi into a 10-2 burst that ended at 71-51 with another bomb by Stonerook with 4:30 remaining. Lavrinovic poured more salt in
the wound of Cibona by running and slamming to bring the house down. The hosts never ceased to defend and that brought more fast baskets to climb to the 16-2
run for 77-51 in a clear sign that Cibona was not willing to win this game anymore. Delas finally stopped the bleeding from the charity line, but with less
than two minutes to go, it was clear that Montepaschi was remaining undefeated for one more week.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010