Scavolini Pesaro joined the race for the quarterfinal playoffs in Group E when it outlasted visiting Winterthur FC Barcelona 71-70 for its first Top 16 victory on Thursday. Juan Carlos Navarro missed a game-winning three-point attempt at the final buzzer, leaving Alessandro Frosini's late free throw to serve as the decisive point. Scavolini, Barcelona and Real Madrid all have 1-2 records now, meaning their battle to reach the next round will likely last until the sixth and final Top 16 game. Marko Milic was the key player for the winners, pouring in 19 points. Hanno Mottola came off the bench to score 15 and top gun Charles Smith added 12 for Scavolini. Devin Davis paced Barcelona with 17 points, while Vlado Ilievski added 16, Navarro and Bodiroga 11 each, and Andrija Zizic 10 for the guests.
Milic opened the scoring with a bank shot and Penn got a backdoor basket, but Ilievski soon drove to tie 4-4. Smith dished his second assist to a dunking Tomas Ress but Barcelona overtook the inside, scoring three times under the basket to seize a 6-11 advantage. Mottola early entered the game and posted a four-point play to cut that difference to a point before Bodiroga, thanks to a marvellous move, estabilished a new five-point lead, 10-15. Smith struggled against Rodrigo De la Fuente's defense and Scavolini couldn't get on track offensively in general. Mottola missed a pair of short-range shots just before Zizic scored from the line for Barcelona's highest lead yet, 10-17. Smith found his first floater and Milic dunked to help Scavolini to stay within 14-19 after 10 minutes.
Milic kept his momentum going with the first basket of the second quarter as Scavolini's defense concentrated on stopping Barcelona inside. The visitors went scoreless for 3 minutes until Navarro suddenly found 5 points in a row to set an eight-point advantage, at 18-26, midway through the quarter. Barcelona switched to 2-3 zone defense, but was hurt by Mottola's put-back of an offensive rebound. Navarro, on the other end, streaked to the basket for a 20-28 lead. Scavolini needed Penn's first triple and another dunk by Milic to cut the difference to 25-28. Robert Archibald then scored back-to-back baskets and, after a three-pointer by Ilievski, again from the line before Penn's last fastbreak layup had Scavolini back within 32-33 at halftime.
Milic slammed in an offensive rebound to start the second half by giving Scavolini its first lead since the game's early minutes shot. Zizic and Bodiroga had other ideas, and pushed Barcelona back in front, 34-37. Milic couldn't be denied however, and his poured in 5 straight points while Bodiroga was stalled by double-teams from the Scavolini defense. Barcelona went 3 minutes without a basket, allowing Scavolini to take a four-point lead, 43-39. Soon, despite Archibald's fourth foul, the hosts went up 50-41 as Smith stole and dunked before Mottola scored with his back to the basket. Davis sustained Barcelona with 6 points in 2 minutes to make it 50-45. Smith and Navarro exchanged triples, but Milic flew to the rim for another put-back to set the scoreboard at 55-48 after three quarters.
Ress nailed an huge three-pointer to put Scavolini ahead 58-50 early in the fourth quarter, before Davis again brought Barcelona back, with 5 points that made it 61-59. Archibald and Mottola broke Scavolini's scoring drought to seize a new seven-point edge at 66-59, but Ilievski sank an incredible three and Archibald fouled out with a flagrant one. Fucka didn't missed the foul shots and Barcelona was brought to within 66-65 on another free throw, by Bodiroga. Mottola scored from inside to make it 68-65 with 2 minutes to go and Frosini dunked for a 70-66 scoreboard after Navarro missed a foul shot. Down by 4 with 1:22 to play, Ilievski and Bodiroga made 4 of 4 free throws to tie 70-70. Frosini was fouled next, making only 1 of 2 free shots, but that was enough for a 71-70 Scavolin advantage that proved good enough for victory, the first for Scavolini in the Top 16.
Thursday, March 10, 2005