Stella Azzurra rallied back to beat Benetton Bwin in overtime, 89-95, Wednesday and finished fifth in the Torneo Citta di Roma. With the victory, Stella Azzurra also ended the tournament having won as many games as they lost, 2 apiece, while Stella Benetton also finished with a 2-1 record in Group A, plus the defeat in the final stage. Stella Azzurra, who came back from a 19 point deficit in the third quarter, was paced by Mirco Turel’s 23 points and 7 rebounds, and Matteo Falluca’s 20 points. Mario Delle Cave scored 16 and Carlo Tullio tallied 10 to go with 11 boards for the winners. Benetton was led by Pavlin Ivanov, who scored 33 points, grabbed 13 rebounds, had 4 steals and dished out 5 assists, and Daniele Masoco, who tallied 17, while Raphael Gaspardo added 12 points and 11 boards. The first quarter ended at 22 even, but Benetton put their foot down on defense in the second, limiting Stella Azzurra to 8 points in the period and 25% shooting in the first 20 minutes, entering halftime with a 39-30 lead. Ivanov led the charge for Benetton in the third quarter, in which he scored 13 points, to put his team as far ahead as 19 points, although the final quarter was reached at a 68-55 difference. But Stella did not give up by any means, pulling a 0-7 run to start the fourth, punctuated by a Valerio Vardaro three pointer, and pulling as close as 77-74 with less than 2 minutes left after another 2-10 run had got them back from a 75-64 disadvantage. Down by 5 in the last minute, they were able to tie it, 79-79, with a Turiel triple and an Andrea Rampolla layup, sending the game into overtime, the first of the tournament. The extra period was dominated by Stella Azzurra, who got going with a Fallucca three pointer and got 7 clutch points from Turiel, specifically a triple for the 85-90 score with just over a minute to go.
Wednesday, December 29, 2010