Zadar of Croatia tonight broke its five-game loosing streak in group C by beating Buducnost Podgorica of Yugoslavia 88-79 on a very hot home court. Zadar led the whole way, but Buducnost was threatening until 2 minutes before the end of the game. The key contributors for for Zadar were Davor Marcelic with 25 points and Hrvoje Perincic with 20 points and 11 rebounds. Buducnost had big games from Igor Rakocevic, with 22 points, and Nikola Jestratijevic with 21. Both teams now have score 2-5 and with Krka Telekom share last places in group C.
Zadar started well thanks to baskets made by Perincic and Rumeal Robinson forging a 7-2 lead. On other side ,Vladimir Kuzmanovic and Rakoceic answered back by turning the score around to 9-10 in the sixth minute. Zadar couldn't find its way around the guests' zone defense. A bigger problem for the home coach, Petar Popovic, came with the third personal foul by Robinson in just 5 minutes. Then Davor Marcelic woke up and has put in 5 straight points and gave Zadar its lead back, 15-12. Rakocevic tied with a three-pointer, but not long after, Ime Odouk was dunking twice for a 26-17 Zadar lead after 10 minutes.
The lead shot up to 29-18 with a Tome Ruzic three-pointer, but Kuzmanovic answered quickly for Buducnost. In the 13th min of the game, with the scoreboard at 31-21, Ruzic received a personal foul and coach Popovic a technical foul. Fans threw fireworks on the floor and the game was stopped for about 3 minutes, after which Buducnost made 4 foul shots to pull within 31-25. After Ruzic received his fourth foul, Zadar lost its rhthm as its lead dropped to 30-33. Odouk and Ivan Grgat got some back at the foulline (37-30) but four points from Aleksandar Smiljanic kept the guests in the game at 40-34. Lots of basket trading finished out the half, by which time Jestratijevic was up to four fouls and Zadar's lead was up to 51-43.
Grgat opens the third quarter pushing the lead to 53-43, Kuzmanovic and Vukicevic answer back for 55-50, but Robinson and Perincic get it back to double digits at 60-50. Marcelic extends it to 62-50, the biggest lead of the night, after 26 minutes. Rakocevic stirs up a few points to cut the lead to 62-56 and Zadar has to hold on for a 67-61 edge after three quarters.
Zadar's advantage held but got no bigger as the home team played with foul trouble to Perincic, Ruzic and Oduok but did not get burned. The trading of baskets was punctuated when Marcelic nailed a big three to make it 74-63. Buducnost, with four of its guys a foul away from elimination, too, got four points back and were still within 79-72 with three minutes left. Much of that time passed without a basket until Dejan Radonjic broke the ice with a fastbreak layup for Buducnost. Marcelic answered with 90 seconds to lay, but Jestratijevic brings back Buducnost to within 81-77. He left right away with his fifth foul, however, and Buducnost had to resort to three-point shots, while Zadar got free throws. The home team made their freebies and waltzed away to victory. Unfortunately the fans were not calm and the guests ran to their locker rooms after rocks and fireworks were thrown at them.
Thursday, December 6, 2001
Hrvoje Grandov, Zadar