What was supposed to be a showdown turned into a spectacular blowout on Wednesday in Bologna, Italy as Climamio thrilled its fans with a first-quarter offensive explosion en route to an easy 92-71 home win over dangerous Efes Pilsen. The victory counted double as Climamio now is the only undefeated team left in Group A after two weeks of play, while Efes falls to 1-1. A barrage of 9 three-point shots vaulted Climamio ahead 37-11 after one quarter, and the home team never lost concentration the rest of the way, leading by a high of 33 in the final quarter. Milos Vujanic buried 4 of Climamio's 17 three-pointers for the game to finish with 18 points. Gianluca Basile added 5 triples for all of his 15 points, a figure matched by Marco Belinelli and Ruben Douglas. For Efes, Ender Arslan dropped 12 points, Henry Domercant and Ermal Kuqo 11 each.
Despite watching Domercant open the game with a triple for Efes, Climamio turned around and put on one of the most awesome first-quarter performances ever seen in the Euroleague. The hosts got the lead back immediately, and what a lead it was! Vujanic was huge, landed 2 big shots from beyond the arc after Lorbek's two-pointer to give Climamio an 8-3 edge in 3 minutes. Mustafa Abi tried to cut into the difference for Efes, but then Climamio rolled up a monster 15-0 run in the next 4 minutes- Vujanic hit his third triple, Martin Rancik scored off a rebound and Basile drilled shot from deep as Climamio flew away to an unexpected 23-5 lead in just 6 minutes. Efes, meanwhile, was going through 8 minutes without a basket until Nikola Prkacin finally found the bottom of the net with 6 second to in the halftime. By that time, Climamio had racked up a whole lot of records, including 9 of 13 three-pointers made and an incredible 37-11 lead after just 10 minutes.
With the game seemingly in its hands and the crowd going crazy, Climamio started the second quarter slowly, scoing just 5 points in 4 minutes, although those included the team's 10th triple, by Ruben Douglas. Efes looked for a lift from Ermal Kuqo and Alper Ylmaz, but their 4 points didn't lead to a big reaction. Climamio's man-to-man defense proved too much still for Efes as the lead approached 30 points now, at 44-15. Still trailing by 27 points, 47-20, midway through the quarter, Efes coach Oktay Mahmuti turned to his 17-year-old shooter, Cenk Akyol, who sparked a 1-9 that included a three-pointer from Willie Solomon, too. Climamio seemed to stumble abit with missed foul shots and a turnover, but Vujanic banished that feeling with a three-pointer on the second-quarter buzzer to restore a 22-point lead, 53-31, at the break.
Ender Arslan opened the third quarter with a drive and a triple, his first baskets of the game, but those didn't start any Efes comeback, either. Climbing on the back of Rancik on the inside, Climamio built up a 7-0 run with a pirouette basket by Douglas and a tremendous triple from Basile. The lead was restored to 27 points, 66-39, after 25 minutes. If Efes was going to do something, it had to start soon, but it was Climamio who kept up the pressure, stealing and running the fastbreak as Vujanic and Marco Belinelli pushed the lead near 30 again, 72-43. Basile soon landed Climamio's 14th triple, this one against an Efes zone, as the third quarter ended 75-49.
Climamio controlled the game calmly in the final quarter, watching Belinelli score from downtown as the lead hit its maximum, 85-52, in minute 35. Yilmaz and particularly Arlsan tried to fight but the Paladozza crowd was already in party mode as Climamio emptied its bench. In last 2 minutes, Kuqo sank a triple and finished fastbreak, then Yilmaz added a shot from downtown before Belinelli ended it from the same distance for a final score of 92-71.
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
Marco Martelli, Bologna