Cibona Zagreb has shaken off an early challenge from Telindus Oostende of Belgium and registered its second victory in Group C, 85-76. Cibona is now 2-1 in the group while Oostende drops to 0-3. Reggie Freeman was the big gun for Cibona tonight, scoring 25 points and keying a 15-0 third-quarter run that broke the game open. It took Cibona VIP that long to figure out Oostende and another 5 minutes into the fourth to seal the deal. Zoran Planinic added 18 ponts for the winners, Niksa Prkacin 13, Calvin Bowman 12 and Aleksandar Olunskyy 10. Bowman led an incredible 48-26 rebounding advantage for Cibona with 14. Ralph Biggs had a big game for the visitors, 25 points, 8 rebounds, 5 steals, but it was never going to be enough against such a huge rebounding disadvantage.
The home team was never in the danger of losingthe game, but neither did Cibona look like the team thatrolled so many giants just a few weeks ago. Except for in the opening five minutes of the third quarter, of course. That's when Cibona did away with any ambition that Telindus Oostende came with to Zagreb. The decisive 15-0 break allowed the home team to lead by 19 points, 59-40. Freeman had 13 of those 15 points, including a trio of three-pointers.
It says something that Oostende was then able to race back with a 10-25 run of its own to within 69-65, with consecutive baskets by Adnrius Geidraitis and Ralph Biggs. But that would be the visitors' high point in the final quarter. By then the damage was done, and Cibona held firm in the last four minutes. A rebounding advantage of 48-26, with an incredible difference of 21-3 on offense, said it all. Few teams could withstand that difference home or away, and the result was Oostende's third loss.
Wednesday, October 24, 2001