Lottomatica Roma bested Olimpija 76-87
Lottomatica Roma held off a late Union Olimpija charge for a 76-87 win at Stozice Arena on Wednesday, giving the visitors their first win of the Top 16 and snapping a five-game losing streak in the Euroleague. Nihad Djedovic scored 20 and grabbed 4 steals to lead the winners. It was an up-and-down game that saw Roma score 10 points in the first three minutes to take control before Olimpija started the second quarter 10-0 to zoom ahead. Roma simple took over in the second half, slowly lifting its lead to double digits in the third quarter and peaking at 19 in the fourth. The hosts reeled off 12 unanswered points in the closing minutes to get within 6 before a Charles Smith triple essentially sealed the outcome. Darius Washington added 15 points for head coach Saso Filipovski’s men, Gigi Datome had 13 before fouling out late and Nemanja Gordic and Vladimir Dasic netted 10 each. Kenny Gregory paced Olimpija with 18, Saso Ozbolt scored 15, Vlado Ilievski had 14 points and 5 assists and Giorgi Shermadini tallied 10 points and 3 blocks. The two teams now both have 1-4 records in Group F and will finish their Turkish Airlines Euroleague runs next week.
Dasic opened the scoring for Roma before Ozbolt gave Olimpija its first lead with a triple. Roma got going as Washington fed Djedovic, Andrea Crosariol also scored in the paint and Washington took a steal to the hole to make it 4-10. Head coach Jure Zdovc called timeout to talk things over and his team responded as Goran Jagodnik penetrated to create space for Shermadini and then dropped the ball off for a two-handed flush. Jagodnik gut the gap to 2 before Washington teamed with Charles Smith for a pair of layups to keep Roma ahead. Kevinn Pinkney came off the bench and got to the line for 2 free throws and Gregory shined with a steal and slam. Gordic and Smith still boosted the Roma lead to 8 before Gregory made it 14-20 after 10 minutes.
Ilievski opened the second quarter with a triple and Ozbolt followed in suit to tie the score at 20-20. Ilievski got going and brought the crowd to its feet with a layup, steal and off-the-backboard pass to Shermadini for a fast break slam to cap a 10-0 start to the quarter. Datome came through for the visitors with a three-pointer, but Gregory and Ozbolt answered before Shermadini fought on the offensive glass for 2 more points to make it 31-23. Ali Traore and Djedovic narrowed the gap for the visitors. Ilievski revived a stalled play with an underhanded toss to Gregory for an alley-oop layin. Djedovic got lucky when his triple went in off the glass and Washington pulled up for a jumper to bring his team within 1. But the shots kept falling as Ilievski drained a three. Jagodnik nailed another and then took a dish from Damir Markota to push the lead to 7, but Washington drilled a three in the closing seconds to make it 41-37 at the break.
Djedovic carried Roma back at the start of the second half with a short jumper and then a steal after which he drew an unsportsmanlike foul from Ozbolt, who stopped him from behind. Djedovic made 1 free throw and then Dasic did the same to tie the score at 41-41. Datome rose high through the lane for a surprising one-handed jam that put Lottomatica ahead 42-43. Pinkney nailed a three from the corner for Olimpija’s first basket after more than three-and-a-half minutes, but the Roma momentum continued with a Datome three, a Djedovic steal and layup and a Washington pull-up jumper in transition for a 0-7 spurt that left Zdovc calling for timeout and screaming at his players. But Djedovic stayed hot and despite Gregory’s best efforts, he and Crosariol lifted the visitors to 47-56. Shermadini got 2 back at the line, but a Crosariol block led to a Djedovic fast-break layup. Smith added another 2 from the line to lift Lottomatica to its first double-digit lead. Jan Span fed Shermadini for a pretty slam and the Olimpija center rejected Dasic at the other end as the home crowd shouted its approval. Span scored 2 from the line, but Gordic pulled up from behind the arc to beat the buzzer and make it 55-65 with only 10 minutes left.
Datome from downtown and Djedovic with his 20th point tried to take Olimpija out of the game by raising the deficit to 15. Traore even put the Romans up 16 before Gregory dropped in a hook shot. Gordic and Dasic surrounded Ilievski free throws with triples as the lead reached 61-78. An Olimpija timeout didn’t help as Traore put his team up 19. Ilievski penetrated for a layup and later turned in a highlight with a pass behind him to a cutting Gregory. Ilievski came through again to make it 67-80. Ozbolt brought a round of cheers with a triple to breathe excitement into the game with two-and-a-half minutes to play. Ozbolt then drew Datome’s fifth foul and sank 3 free throws to cap a 12-0 run. Vladimer Boisa stoped the bleeding with 2 free throws, but Gregory went through Smith for a basket-plus-foul to narrow the gap to 76-82. Shermadini rejected Washington, but the rebound went out of bounds to Roma, after which Smith sank a clutch triple to put the visitors up 9 with a minute left, essentially sealing the outcome.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011