Climamio tightened its hold over Group A by turning back Partizan Pivara MB 103-91 on Wednesday in Bologna to remain undefeated through a quarter of the Euroleague regular season. Led by an impressive performance from Milos Vujanic against his old team, Climamio raised its record to 4-0 and put Partizan in trouble with an 0-4 mark. After Partizan put up an early challenge, Vujanic hit his former teammates with 23 points and 4 assists. Ruben Douglas added 17 points, Erazem Lorbek 14 points, Gianluca Basile 13 and Matjaz Smodis 11 for the winners. Partizan was paced again by Dejan Milojevic, who posted 17 points and 13 rebounds, while point guard Vule Avdalovic finished with 18 points. Blake Stepp added 16 points, Milan Gurovic 11, Luka Bogdanovic and Kosta Perovic 10 each for the guests.
Partizan started as it hoped to, with Avdalovic scoring first and then assisting Perovic for an easy layup. Basile answered with Climamio's first triple, but then Milojevic opened an 2-8 run for his team: Stepp nailed a triple, Perovic scored a difficult jumper and Partizan was ahead 5-12. Basile again, with a bucket-plus-foul, gave Clmiamio a breath before Perovic and Semih Erden pushed the lead to 8 points, 8-16 midway through the quarter. Basile answered again with 3 points, this time from beyond the arc, before Climamio coach Jasmin Repesa called in Smodis, who immediately hit from outside and inside for 5 points in a row and an 18-18 tie after 8 minutes. Partizan didn't flinch, but merely dropped 3 triples - the first by Avdalovic, and 2 more by Bogdanovic - before ending the quarter with a nice advantage, 21-27.
After a Bogdanovic basket to open the second quarter, Belinelli and Vujanic spurred a 10-1 flurry by Climamio with their drives and triples. With his team up 31-28, Milos took over the match from there until halftime. He grabbed a rebound to serve Douglas an easy fastbreak, scored cutting the defense and then assisted Lorbek with a marvelous no-look pass that turned into 3 points. The Climamio run reached 17-1 and its lead climbed to 38-30 before Milan Gurovic and Uros Tripkovic revived Partizan with 2 triples that made the score 40-38. Climamio big man Erazem Lorbek, active under the offensive board, scored 3 points in a row now, but Stepp matched them with one shot. Gianmarco Pozzecco inspired two good possessions offset by free throws from Bogdanovic for a 47-45 scoreboard in minute 18. From there, Douglas hit foul shots and Vujanic a buzzer-beating triple to register Climamio's biggest lead yet, 56-47 at the half.
Stepp nailed the first basket of the second half from downtown, but Climamio established a double-digit lead, 62-50, on a nice move by Douglas. Stepp soon bagged up his fourth triple in as many attempts, but Vujanic resurfaced with a a fastbreak and an assist as the lead hit 66-53 in minute 23. Lorbek kept scoring inside, as did Erden for Partizan, before Vujanic buried 4 straight free throws and Ruben Dougals drew Tripkovic's fifth foul. Milojevic's effort was laudable but Partizan didn't have anything from the others. As such, Climamio flew away with dunks by Stefano Mancinelli, Smodis and Belinelli. For good measure, Vujanic threw in another buzzer-beater, this one from 10 meters, to secure his team a 17-point advantage, 84-67, after 30 minutes.
Avdalovic scored 5 points in a row to open the last quarter, but Lorbek hit from the middle and served Mancinelli for another dunk to show that Climamio wasn't ready to slip. Their team behind 88-72, Stepp drove to the rim to reach 16 points and Milojevic stole for a bucket-plus-free throw, to show that Partizan wasn't giving up, either. But Mancinelli answered with a three-pointer and Martin Rancik scored to mark the highest lead, 93-76. Gurovic's three-pointer plus Milojevic's basket cut the deficit to 12 later, but Douglas calmed any thoughts of a comebck with 2 triples and Belinelli clinched the 100-point figure, which came with Climamio's fourth victory attached.
Wednesday, November 24, 2004