Olympiacos Piraeus took at least a share of the Group A lead on Wednesday with a convincing win over Climamio Bologna, 86-93, at Land Rover Arena in Bologna, Italy. Henry Domercant scored 29 points to lead coach Pini Gershon's side to its second win and first on the road. Olympiacos controlled the tempo and denied Climamio’s attempts to rally. The visitors took a 14-20 lead in the first period and never trailed afterwards, despite numerous Climamio runs. Steffen Hamann fed David Bluthenthal on a backdoor to make it 45-46 early in the third quarter, but Domercant and Olympiacos responded with an 0-7 spurt to take control for good. Sofoklis Schortsianitis dominated underneath with 17 points and 7 rebounds in 16 minutes, while Alex Acker scored 11 and grabbed 8 boards, while Andrija Zizic finished with 11, Panagiotis Vassilopoulos 9 points and 10 rebounds and Scoonie Penn 8 points and 6 assists. Preston Shumpert led Climamio with 21 points, while Vasco Evtimov added 16 points and 8 rebounds. Marco Belinelli and Kristaps Janicenoks had 10 each.
Shumpert got Climamio going with a jumper, which was matched by Vassilopoulos on the other end. Belinelli hit a pair of foul shots before Acker attacked the Climamio zone with a corner triple and Zizic made a long jumper to give the visitors a 4-7 lead. Back-to-back jumpers by Shumpert and Bluthenthal sparked a 7-2 Climamio run, which Belinelli capped with a three-pointer to make it 11-9. Olympiacos, however, fed the ball inside as Zizic scored easy baskets while Domercant drove the lane twice, pushing the guests to 14-20 and forcing Bologna boss Fabrizio Frates to call timeout. After Vassilopoulos dunked on a fastbreak, a three-pointer by Belinelli and a layup from Shumpert brought Climamio within 3, but Domercant froze the crowd with a buzzer-beater triple that gave Olympiacos a 19-25 lead after 10 minutes.
Shumpert continued to score as the second period got underway with consecutive three-pointers that helped Climamio get within 27-29. Schortsianitis became a factor, drawing fouls, nailing free throws and scoring in a one-on-one situation against Bologna’s Evtimov. Olympiacos's lead grew to 27-34 midway through the quarter. An offensive rebounds by Evtimov revived Climamio, but Schortsianits made him pay again as the visitors extended their lead to 30-38 on a Damir Mulaomerovic jumper. Acker’s three-pointer pushed Olympiacos to 32-41, before Climamio answered with 5 quick points from Daniele Cavaliero and Evtimov to trim the gap to 4. Domercant, however, made an easy layup to help give Olympiacos a 38-43 halftime advantage.
Climamio rode on the back of Hamann in the beginning of third quarter. After Vassilopoulos's three-pointer, Hamann scored a jumper, fed Cavaliero for a corner triple and found a Bluthenthal’s backdoor cut to bring Climamio within 45-46. Olympiacos focused and came back with an 0-7 spurt, fueled by Domercant's huge three-pointer and capped by a Zizic layup. Shumpert and Bluthenthal broke the hosts’ drought, but Domercant finished a fastbreak and made it 49-55 midway through the period. Stefano Mancinelli came off the bench to push Climamio to 53-56, but Olympiacos now ruled under the boards and started to run. Fastbreaks by Vassilopoulos and Schortsianitis, who dunked, lifted the Reds before another Domercant three-pointer push the Olympiacos lead to 11 points. Mancinelli, however, nailed a triple which limited the damage to 58-66 after 30 minutes.
Olympiacos opened the fourth quarter looking to seal the win. Domercant’s put-back dunk and Schortsianitis’s power moves helped the visitors increase the lead to 59-73. Another fastbreak dunk from "Baby Shaq" made the rim shake, as it became clear which direction the game was headed in. Free throws from Zizic made it 61-77 with six minutes to play. Domercant’s fourth three-pointer of the night re-established a 16-point edge. Hamann, though, continued to fight for the home team, making foul shots during a 9-2 Climamio run, which Janicenoks capped with a triple, making it 73-82 with three minutes to play. Olympiacos tried to take valuable time off the clock, but suffered turnovers, which Evtimov exploited with a layup to close the gap to 7. However, after three scoreless minutes, Penn made four straight foul shots and drew Hamann’s fifth foul, signaling the home team's end and allowing the Reds to celebrate their second straight Euroleague win.
Thursday, November 2, 2006