A long-time rivalry lived another telling chapter Thursday in Pesaro as Skipper Bologna beat Scavolini on the road 71-90 in Group E after a convincing fourth quarter in which they held their hosts to just eight points. Skipper kept its slim Final Four hopes alive with the victory as both teams now have records of 2-3 and face decisive games with group co-leaders Benetton (3-2) and Barcelona (3-2) next week. Should Skipper stop Benetton in Bologna and Scavolini steal one from Barcelona in Barcelona, the result will be a four-way tie with a points tiebreaker deciding the group's representative in the Final Four. Anthony Goldwire led all scorers with 24, while Greg Fucka added 14, Andrea Meneghin, Marco Milic and Davor Marcelic 12 each. Joe Blair led Scavolini with 13 points, Marko Tusek and Melvin Booker each had 12, and Silvio Gigena netted 10.
Marko Tusek started the game on fire bagging the first six points for Scavolini for a quick 6-2 lead early in the match. Skipper came back however as Marco Milic tied it at 11-11 after stealing the ball on a Scavolini out of bounds. The game was close and Skipper took its first lead with two minutes to go in the period, 15-16, on a long distance bomb from Andrea Meneghin. The quarter ended at 19-20 in favor of the guests with the two defenses thus fartaking on the starring roles.
Skipper started the second quarter with a 0-6 run and jumped out to a slim advantage in the opening minutes, but Scavolini rebounded immediately with two three-pointers by Booker and Maggioli and cut it back to one at 25-26. The game was physical and the offenses did not have an easy time finding baskets. Midway through the period however, the game suddenly changed tempo. The offenses became productive, Michele Maggioli scored again from behind the arc and Milic stole a ball and slammed it home on the fast break. Skipper maintained its advantage but Scavolini would not give up its hopes of qualifying for the Final Four and remained close till the last two and half minutes when Davor Marcelic posted five straight points for his team's biggest lead at 34-43. The hosts ended the half trailing by nine, 37-46, after a three-pointer off a pick and roll by Anthony Goldwire. Marko Tusek, Andrea Mendghin and Davor Marcelic each went into the break scoring 10 points.
Scavolini made an outstanding run to start the second half with 3 three-pointers, two of them by Andrea Pecile who was on fire, and after three minutes, the hosts had tied it at 46-46. BPA Palas exploded on a shining dunk by Blair over Meneghin giving the lead back to Scavolini, 52-50. The teams then buckled down and played tougher defense, as the offenses exchanged 2-point advantages. On the final possession of the quarter, Anthony Goldwire nailed a mid-range jumper to give Skipper a 59-63 lead.
The last period started with poor execution at both ends. The offenses turned the ball over, while the defenses waged battle under the boards following low percentage shooting from the field by the two teams. Skipper however mantained its lead with the help of Marko Milic drives to the basket and threes from Goldwire which helped close out a 0-7 run that extended the guests' margin to 66-74. Skipper's run was the turning point in the game as they began grabbing all the rebounds and prevented Scavolini from finding any good opportunites on offense. The guests went up 67-79 with 3:06 to go on a huge dunk by Fucka and controlled the remainder of the game for the 19-point victory.
Wednesday, April 3, 2002