An exciting and thrilling Monday morning match opened Day 2 in the Citta di Roma tournament in Rome, Italy when a Group B clash was decided only after a double-overtime as Benetton Basket Treviso outscored CSKA Moscow 88-82. The games in Rome are one of four qualifying tournaments to decide the identity of the teams in the Nike International Euroleague Tournament to be held during the upcoming Final Four weekend in Paris, France. The win lifts Benetton to a 2-0 record while CSKA dropped to 1-1 before playing later on in the today the games to decide which team will reach the finals game tomorrow evening. Benetton will take on Lottomatica Roma and CSKA will face FMP. Alessandro Gentile scored 40 big points in Benetton's win yesterday and today added 35 but in much less accuracy. Entering the second overtime Gentile had already missed all his 16 attempts from long distance, but stepped up at the right time with his first two three balls to break a 78-78 tie and give his team a safe lead. Next to him on the score sheet were the Croatian Armin Mazic with 19 points and 4 steals and Andrea Quarisa with 12, half of them in the second overtime. CSKA once again dominated the glass, although in a much smaller scale than yesterday, and out-rebounded Benetton 48-37, yet turned the ball over 15 times more than its opponent. Alexander Tikhonin and Andrey Loginov scored 22 points each while Loginov grabbed 17 rebounds and his team-mate pulled 11.
After trailing for almost 40 minutes yesterday CSKA came ready and stormed the court with an early 7-16 lead deep in the first quarter. Mazic and Gentile set the tone in a lead-changing 8-0 Benetton run, but the last word of the first half was spoken by Loginov. The athletic CSKA forward along with a dunk by Tikhonin and a three ball by Mikhail Kulagin capped a 1-10 run to make it 29-37 at the break in favor of CSKA. Gentile continued to miss from the arc and score from the free throw line, but saw Loginov and Tikhonin extend the margin to 51-39 half way in the third, before Mazic stepped up with eight points in a row to cut the difference to two inside the last quarter. CSKA remained on top but saw Gentile score all of Benetton's 8 points in the last five minutes of the fourth, and force an overtime in a 65-65 tie. CSKA seemed more focused in the overtime and sank two bombs from the arc while Gentile continued to miss, but the Italian scorer found himself on the line for three shots, to tie the score at 74-74 and force another overtime. Each side added 4 more points to the total, before finally Gentile hit his first dice from the three point line, and followed with the second hit, to give his team an 86-80 lead. Loginov added another bucket, but Gentile hit twice from the line to secure the win and give Benetton a clear look to the podium.
Monday, December 28, 2009