Roseto topped Adecco Estudiantes 80-72
Euro Roseto of Italy survived an important challenge on its own court Tuesday in the first game of ULEB Cup eighthfinals with an 80-72 victory over visiting Adecco Estudiantes of Spain. An 8-0 run to finish the game that featured 5 points from point guard Teemu Rannikko allows Roseto to visit Madrid next week needing only to lose by 7 points or fewer. Juan Manuel Moltedo led the way for Roseto, netting 23 points while making 4 of 7 three-pointers, but all his team had an amazing performance from the arc (13-for-26, 59%). Rannikko contributed 18 points (4-for-7 on threes), Rodney Monroe added 16 (4-for-6) and Diego Fajardo tallied 10 more. For the guests from Spain, Corey Brewer scored 14 points, Felipe Reyes drilled 11, while Nikola Loncar and Adam Keefe scpred 10 apiece.
Roseto started the game without its best scorers; Marko Milic, sidelined for an ankle sprain in the last pracice before playing, and Rodney Monroe. But Moltedo answered well his coach's trust, reaching double-digit scoring already in the first period. Estudiantes started tough on defense and controlling the tempo, the right attitude and mentality for a team which has to play the first game of a double matchups on the road. The visitors took an early 4-8 lead with a layup by Hernan Jasen, but Roseto answered with a 10-3 run that ended with a Miroslav Radosevic long distance shot for a 14-11 lead. Both teams were on fire in the last minutes of the period, Roseto with great accuracy on threes while Brewer put Estudiantes ahead again 23-24 after 10 minutes.
The teams answered each other early in the second quarter, but after Fajardo scored twice from the free throw line for a 34-32 Roseto edge, nobody scored for several minutes, until Rafeal VIdaurreta slammed to tie it 34-34 with 3 minutes until the half. In that span, it was Estudiantes who took the iniciative with 2 consecutive baskets by Nikola Loncar that set the scoreboard at 41-45 as the team's hit the lockers. Loncar was leading the Spaniards with 11 points, while Moltedo had 14 for Roseto.
Rodney Monroe gave his first contributions as Roseto began the third period with a 10-2 run to a 51-47 advantage. The hosts seemed to play tougher defense now, forcing Estudiantes to take bad shots, while under the boards the Italians also improved their boxing out. Roseto mantained a slim lead until the last minute of the quarter, when Ranniko and Monroe scored a triple each to boost the lead to 66-57 after 30 minutes.
The last period started in the same way, Roseto managing the game and Estudiantex chasing, as field goal percentages became poor for both teams and they scored from the line only. Brewer, well-known in Italya fter his shining season with Biella, scord a three-pointer with 4 minutes left to put his team close than ever in the last quarter, 70-68. Carlos Jimenez tied the game on 72-72, but the youngster from Finland, Rannikko, scored his fourth triple to put Roseto ahead 75-72. A few seconds later Monroe scored another long-distance shot, and then Rannikko added two from the line to pad Roseto's advantage for the second game.
Tuesday, February 4, 2003