A battle to stay in touch with the top of Group A went the way of visiting Hemofarm Vrsac when it downed host Brose Baskets 64-71 in Bamberg, Germany on Tuesday. By raising its record to 2-2, Hemofarm gained a third-place tie with Gran Canaria, while Bamberg fell to 1-3 and last place alongside AEK. Hemofarm took over a close game soon after halftime and resisted all of Bamberg's attempts to change things the rest of the way. Predrag Suput was the big gun for the visitors with 22 points, while Velimir Radinovic added 15 and Miljan Rakic 13 off the bench. Milenko Topic played all 40 minutes for Hemofarm, posting points, 8 rebounds and 5 steals. Bamberg's top scorer was substitute Robert Garrett with 12 points, and only K'Zell Wesson joined him in double figures with 10, although Vincent Yarbrough pulled as many rebounds.
Hemofarm started the game committed to dumping the ball to their big men and Velimir Radinovic was the beneficiary early, scoring all of the visitors' points as they opened a 4-7 lead. Adam Harrington buried a three-pointer to tie the score and an inside basket by K'Zell Wesson gave the hosts their first lead at 9-7. Radinovic left the game injured after 4 minutes and was replaced by Vladan Vukosavljevic, who evened the game at 9-9. Hemofarm pulled ahead again, 9-15, on back-to-back three-pointers by Predrag Suput and Milenko Topic. Bamberg coach Dirk Bauermann had his troops turn up the defensive pressure to pull within 15-17, but 3 free throws by Miljan Rakic opened a 16-20 advantage for Hemofarm after the first quarter. The second was even more defensive, with points coming few and far between . Fenn closed the gap to 20-22 with a driving layup off a Zimmerman feed. Next, Robert Garrett's three-point play put Bamberg back ahead 23-22 after 17 minutes. Topic's jumper and free throws put visiting coach Miroslav Nikolic's squad back in front, and Suput took advantage of a mismatch down low against Zimmerman to give Hemofarm a 24-28 half-time lead.
Wesson scored the first 4 points of the second half to even the game for Bamberg, only to see Suput respond with a long-range bomb. Just the same, Wesson scored again and Bamberg opened a 35-31 lead on Harrington's three-pointer. Suput converted a three-point play and Radinovic again was too strong down low in scoring 4 straight points to open a new 37-42 advantage for Hemofarm. Zimmerman's dunk on the break brought Bamberg to within 41-42. But Suput scored inside and Miljan Rakic drained a triple on the third-quarter buzzer for a 41-47 Hemofarm lead. Rakic and Suput both hit three-pointers from the corner as Hemofarm began pulling away, 43-53, in the final quarter. Bamberg were able to buckle down defensively, stopping the guests on 5 consecutive possessions to pull within 51-53 on three-point shots by Vincent Yarbrough and Garrett. Radinovic's tip-in broke the scoring drought for Hemofarm, however, and the guests again shot ahead 53-60 after Rakic's three-pointer from the corner with 2:44 remaining. Collins's driving layup got Bamberg as close as 57-60 later. Hemofarm proved sure of itself once the foul shooting started, making 8 of 10 in the final minute to secure a key victory.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006