On a night when Group C closed the first half of the season with a bang, perhaps the loudest noise has come in Bologna, where CSKA Moscow defeated host Skipper in overtime 97-99 despite not having its top player, injured forward Mirsad Turkcan, who leads the league in MVP rating. In Turkcan's absence, Alexandre Petrenko was huge in leading CSKA with 26 points. Curtis McCants added 22 and Gordan Giricek 23 for the winners. Gregor Fucka put up 26 and Andreah Meneghin 18 for Skipper. The defeat dropped Skipper down to fifth place with a 3-4 record. It is looking up at both CSKA and Pau-Orthez, tied for third place at 4-3. Skipper led 95-90 with two minutes left in overtime, but CSKA closed out with a 9-2 run, with the scoring split between Dmitri Domani and McCants.
The first break of the game came right after tipoff, thanks to CSKA's 2-3 zone defense, that blocked Skipper's offense enough for a 2-9 lead after 3 minutes, thanks to Giricek's triple and a fastbreak layup by McCants. CSKA lengthened the lead to 14-4 on a McCants' triple. Boniciolli puts Galanda on coirt to open the zone, and key points for Skipper came from the perimeter. Galanda and Meneghin scored two triples, and the run was completed by Galanda once again on a tap-in. Skipper started moving the ball in the right way, and grabbed many offensive rebounds. Fucka sunk another triple to make it 17-20 after 8 minutes. Another run started for CSKA thanks to drive and pass plays by Domani, who found Petrenko first and then Giricek for 5 easy points that gave CSKA the 8 points lead, 20-28, at the end of the quarter.
The defenses were tough in the first minutes of the second quarter, but Miloserdov and Fucka helped pull Skipper within 26-28 . A Miloserdov three gave the home team a 31-30 lead off a great swing pass by Savic. Petrenko and Fucka traded three-point plays, but a couple fastbreaks by McCants and Giricek put CSKA back in front, 34-37. Fucka tied at 40 with a great left handed hook, but then CSKA run on a 6-0 break thanks to two steals. Giricek added a triple with 13 seconds left, but Gianluca Basile was able to mitigate the effect with two free throws. CSKA's lead at the half stood at 45-49.
CSKA outscored Skipper at the beginning of the second half and used a 3-2 zone defense to slow Skipper and burst out to a 49-62 lead which included 8 fastbreak points. Skipper reacted and answered with a 7-0 run in one minute thanks to Fucka, who scored 4 points and made two steals, plus a triple by Claudio Pilutti. That left the scoreboard at 56-64 with 4 minutes to go. CSKA resisted the comeback of Fortitudo, but Skipper found two easy basket by Basile and Fucka and 3 free throws by Galanda. Morgunov scored the hook that gave Moscow a seven-point lead after 30 minutes. Skipper hund on thanks to Meneghin's triples from the corner against the 3-2 zone defence. His third straight bomb from the same place tied things up 75-75 for the last 5 minutes of game. CSKA swung ahead 77-81 on a three-point play by McCants. Milic misses two key FTs, but scored an important lay up on the break for Skipper. McCants was back with the three-pointer (79-84), before Fucka made a pair of free throws (81-84). McCants missed twice in offence, but Milic travelled. Meneghin attempt to tie on a triple with 2 minutes to go died on the iron, but Fucka fought for the rebound and soon Skipper led 85-84. Petrenko tied it from the foulline, but Meneghin missed at the buzzer, sending the teams to overtime at 85-85.
Meneghin opened the overtime with the lay up, and Domani fouled out Pilutti, but made only one fould shot. Fucka scored and Basile sunk a key triple to make it 92-87 for Kinder. Giricek scored a couple of FTs, but Petrenko fouled twice, Savic and then Fucka, who only took advantage of 1 out of 4 free throws. CSKA was still a shot behind at 93-90 when a Giricek foul gave Basile two more free throws for a 95-90 lead. But four four foul shots by Domani, who fouled out Fucka, took back CSKA within one, 95-94, before Basile scored a couple of FTs. McCants scored the key points for CSKA and took back the team on top 97-97 at the end before Milic's miss. McCants ran the break and scored the game-winning points. Vasco Evtimov missed Skipper's final shot at the buzzer.
Thursday, December 6, 2001