Climamio Bologna kept its slim chances of reaching the Top 16 alive with a 78-90 win over RheinEnergie Cologne on Wednesday at the Phillipshave Arena in Düsseldorf, Germany. Stefano Mancinelli scored 18 as Climamio improved to 3-8 in Group A this season, just one win less than fifth place Prokom Trefl Sopot, which faces Dynamo Moscow on the road on Thursday. RheinEnergie, which played its final home game of the season, lost its fifth straight game and dropped to 2-9. The German champs must win at Prokom next week to keep any hypothetical chance of advancing to the next stage intact. RheinEnergie kept it close for much of the game, but tired late, as Bologna opened the fourth quarter with a 4-12 game and held on the rest of the way. David Bluthenthal and Tyus Edney added 17 each for Climamio. Edney also dished 7 assists. Marco Belinelli drained three threes on his way to 13 and James Thomas scored 12 and grabbed 7 rebounds. Center Marcin Gortat had 19 points and 12 rebounds – both season-highs – to lead the hosts, while Devin Green, Immanuel McElroy and Demond Mallet scored 16 each. McElroy also dished 6 assists and Janar Talts grabbed a season-high 9 rebounds.
Featuring a small lineup, Cologne looked for its points on outside shots in the early going. After Mancinelli hit a jump shot for the first score of the game for Bologna, Green and Gortat answered with jumpers of their own for the hosts. Bluthenthal scored in the low post against the smaller McElroy, and Gortat tipped in a miss by Mallet for the lead. McElroy hit one of two free throws and a jumper by Mallet made it 9-4. After Mancinelli hit a three for Bologna, McElroy got inside for a tough layup, and a three-pointer in transition by Mallet forced a timeout by Bologna. Down 14-7, Climamio came charging back with a Bluthenthal three. After Green's nifty layup inside for Cologne, Belinelli hit his first shot after many misses, banking in a three. Daniele Cavaliero followed with another hit from downtown. Edney punished RheinEnergie for an errant pass with an easy layup, and Cavaliero found Vassil Evtimov inside. But another three by Mallet kept the score close at 19-21 going into the second quarter.
Cologne opened the second period with 5 quick points via a layup by Gortat and a three-pointer by Talts. But Bologna answered the call, going on a 9-0 run fueled by Bluthenthal and Mancinelli. Down 24-30, Mallet ended the drought with a layup. Evtimov got open under the basket for an easy lay-in. After McElroy's tip-in, Climamio used good ball movement to get open shots against Cologne's zone defense, as Edney and Mancinelli hit one three-pointer each for the guests. After scores by Gortat and Bluthenthal, McElroy was fouled as he hit a jump shot, and completed the and-one. Mallet hit a technical free throw, and McElroy found Gortat for an alley-oop in transition to make it 36-40. Belinelli and Bluthenthal provided four points for Bologna, while Gortat scored on a driving layup for Cologne. Mancinelli continued his scoring inside with another hook shot, but little-used youngster Philip Schwethelm hit a three to make it 42-45 at the break.
Climamio emerged from the locker room determined to get inside. Thomas and Bluthenthal muscled their way inside time and time again, and even Edney penetrated easily for a layup. While Gortat kept his team in the game with his own baskets down low, Bluthenthal's hook shot made it 46-55. But Cologne came roaring back with jump shots by McElroy and Green. After Green found McElroy on the fastbreak, Mallet hit a three from the corner to tie the game at 55-55. But with emotions running high, Cologne kept turning the ball over, while Edney and Belinelli coolly sank a pair of three-pointers. Green earned three points the old-fashioned way, followed by another make from downtown for Belinelli. With time running out, Mallet missed a jumper, but Green gathered the offensive board and hit the fade-away at the buzzer, cutting the deficit to 60-64 after 30 minutes.
With fatigue beginning to set in for the decimated Cologne team, Bologna used a 4-12 run to gain the upper hand. After yet another hook shot by Mancinelli and a three by Belinelli, Edney got inside for three layups in a row, hitting the last one plus the foul and the ensuing free throw. Backup guard Jonathan Strasser kept Cologne within reach with two three-pointers, but two more layups by Belinelli gave the guests a 69-80 lead with three minutes to go. A three by Devin Green and a layup by Schwethelm came too late for Cologne to come back, as Bologna held on to the lead for the win, 78-90.
Wednesday, January 10, 2007