Virtus Roma, which downed Brose Baskets 83-65
Virtus Roma cruised to an 83-65 victory over Brose Baskets Bamberg on Wednesday in the Italian capital, marking the fifth straight year that the club has won its Euroleague home opener. Roma took the lead for good in the opening minutes, but did need to withstand a 1-12 Bamberg blitz shortly before halftime to stay ahead. However Roma regained control in the third quarter, which it finished with a Luca Vitali-led 10-0 run and increased the lead to 19 in the fourth quarter as it celebrated the victory. Charles Smith led a well-balanced Roma attack with 16 points, while Darius Washington produced 13 points and 5 assists, Vitali scored 11 and Vladimir Dasic and Jacopo Giachetti had 10 each. Andrea Crosariol was instrumental in the first half when he scored all of his 8 points. Roma head to Belgium next week to face Spirou Basket. Newcomer Kyle Hines led Bamberg with 20 points, Brian Roberts added 14 and Casey Jacobsen 12. The German champs’ suffered greatly due to 3-of-17 three-point shooting. It won’t get easier for Bamberg with a date with Olympiacos on the schedule next.
Both teams missed on their opening possessions before Predrag Suput got Bamberg going. Soon Jacobsen added a basket for the visitors, but Washington followed with a pair of free throws to get Roma on the scoreboard. Crosariol drew Tibor Pleiss’s second foul and tied the game at 6-6 from the line. Smith soon gave the hosts their first lead and Crosariol and Washington pumped it to 12-7. Hines made an impact for Bamberg with two baskets, but Smith soon nailed a three to keep Roma ahead. Hines battled for an offensive rebound and then found a cutting Jacobsen for a score, but a Luca Vitali free throw and 2 more from Giachetti kept the hosts in charge. Roberts cut the gap to 20-16 with a triple on the final play of the first quarter.
Herve Toure nailed a three and Washington added a steal and layup that stretched the home team’s lead to 9. Hines battled for another bucket on the offensive glass as his strength made him a force, but Crosariol used his size to score at the other end. Crosariol flicked an offensive rebound to Dasic, giving Roma its first double-digit lead, 31-20. Jacobsen responded with a three only for Crosariol to kick it to an open Dasic for a basket from downtown. Josh Heytvelt came off the bench to sink a jumper for his first Euroleague points. Bamberg did not falter and a three-point play by Roberts and a triple from Anton Gavel in the corner cut the gap to 36-30. Robert penetrated and dished to a cutting Rey Terry and then penetrated for his own basket before Pleiss sank 2 free throws to complete a 1-12 charge. Giachetti fed Ali Traore in the closing seconds of the half to give the hosts a 39-36 lead at halftime.
Roma looked sharp at the start of the second half as Smith scored in transition, but a slam from Hines kept things close. Washington used his speed to get a layup that put the hosts back up 6. After a Bamberg timeout, Washington knocked down a three-pointer and Nihad Djedovic scored to as the lead soared to 11. Points from Hines and Jacobsen were not enough to mount a serious charge from the visitors. Vitali and Djedovic helped push the Roma advantage to a new high, 14. Smith tacked on a triple in the last minute of the quarter to conclude a 10-0 run that made it 63-46 with 10 minutes left to play.
Roberts forced his way inside for a basket hoping to ignite a Brose Baskets run, but instead Vitali connected for a three-pointer and an 18-point Roma lead. Pleiss fed Maurice Stuckey for the latter’s first Euroleague basket, but Dasic scored to lift Roma to a 19-point lead. Bamberg tried using pressure to get back in the game and a triple by Terry made it 70-55, however Giachetti responded in kind at the other end as the outcome became clear. Hines and Roberts managed to cut the gap to 12, but Roma was never in any real danger and a three from Smith was the nail in the coffin as Roma won its season opener for the second straight season.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010