Montepaschi Siena routed Lietuvos Rytas 90-72
Montepaschi Siena became the second Turkish Airlines Euroleague team to advance to the Top 16 this season - both from the same group - with a no-doubt-about-it 90-72 victory at home over visiting Lietuvos Rytas on Wednesday. Siena and Fenerbahce Ulker, the other Top 16 qualifier, are tied for first place in Group C with 6-1 records and three games left in the regular season. They meet in Siena in Week 9. L. Rytas fell to 1-6 and in danger of elimination. On Wednesday, Siena took control from the start and never let L. Rytas up for air, only letting the lead drop below double digits for brief moments. Rimantas Kaukenas led five Siena scorers in double digits with 17 points. Bo McCalebb did it all, with 15 points, 4 rebounds, 5 steals and 4 assists. David Moss and Ksistof Lavrinovic added 12 points each and Milovan Rakovic 10. For L. Rytas, Milko Bjelica scored 17 points in 37 minutes. Martynas Gecevicius followed him with 14 points, Jonas Valanciunas with 12 and Arturas Jomantas with 11.
Bjelica started the scoreboard rolling for the visitors with free throws. Rakovic did so for Siena with a turnaround to which he added 2 more baskets as the hosts quickly doubled L. Rytas at 12-6. The Siena defense kept giving L. Rytas problems until Cemal Nalga got loose twice inside to make it 14-10. Tomas Ress answered from downtown and Lavrinovic alone inside to re-open a wide 19-10 lead, forcing an L. Rytas timeout. Ress, left open again, added another triple and Kaukenas downed a one-hand runner as the lead ballooned to 24-10. Jomantas hit free throws and Valanciunas a layup fed to him by Sarunas Jasikevicius, but Siena picked apart the zone for a triple by McCalebb, who then dunked to leave a huge 31-16 Siena lead after 10 minutes.
Dueling triples by Bjelica and Marco Carraretto opened the second quarter. Lavrinovic went inside and outside for 5 points in a row as the lead climbed to 38-21. Bejlica and Jasikevicius got 6 points back quickly for the visitors, and when Jomantas put back a second offensive rebound to make it 40-31, Siena took a timeout to talk it over. David Moss came out and landed a triple for the hosts, Lavrinovic hit a running hook and McCalebb a layup to safeguard the home lead at 48-33 after two quarters.
Jomantas and Gecevicius traded baskets with Rakovic and Kaukenas to start the second half, but the latter kept scoring and Moss joined him as the lead again soared to 56-37, the biggest of the game until then. Gecevicius tried to make headway for the guests, but great defense leading to dunks by McCalebb and Moss pushed the difference to 20 points, 62-42. Valanciunas reappeared for L. Rtyas, but it wasn't until Jomantas buried a triple and free throws to finish the quarter that the difference was lowered a bit to 68-51.
Siena was content to trade baskets with L. Rytas early in the final quarter. Moss kept adding to his total with a triple, soon copied by Pietro Aradori among his 5 points in a row to make it 78-57. Newley struck from downtown for the guests, too, but they could hardly make a dent, and in fact, Siena went to its veterans Kaukenas and Rakovic to push the lead even higher, 82-62. All that remained was for the Montepaschi fans to celebrate passage to the Top 16 and dream of big matches ahead.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010