2001-02Top 16Round 6
April 18, 2002 CET: 00:00
Local time: 00:00 PALADOZZA
Benetton of Treviso made good on a season's worth of stellar basketball when it advanced to the Final Four with an inspired 73-86 road win at Skipper Bologna in the last game of the Top 16 on Thursday. The victory meant that Benetton did not have to worry about Barcelona, with whom it was tied for first place. Instead, the visitors from Treviso led for most of the game and then fended off a fourth-quarter comeback attempt by Skipper. Tyus Edney led the charge with 20 points for Benetton and Jorge Garbajosa added 17. Newcomer Charlie Bell nailed the three-pointer late that stopped Skipper from completing a comeback. That victory meant everything, because Barcelona was winning handily at home against Scavolini. Benetton and Barcelona ended up tied at 4-2, with Benetton advancing on the tie-breaker for point difference between the two. Benetton won their second matchup by 14 points, Barcelona the first by a single point. All of which means Benetton will return to Bologna on Friday, May 3, to face defending champion Kinder Bologna in one semifinal of the Final Four, while Panathinaikos of Athens and Maccabi Tel Aviv face off in the other. The winners will meet for the Euroleague title on Sunday, May 5.

Skipper started the game trying to show that nothing was for free at PalaDozza, and if Benetton wanted the ticket for the Final Four, it would have to earn it on the court. Still, Benetton took the first major lead of the game at 8-16 thanks to a great four-point play by Garbajosa and fastbreaks that came off steals by veteran Riccardo Pittis. Skipper hung in with Davor Marcelic's one-on-one offense, but Treviso had hot hands on offence and hit the three-point jackpot, twice with Marcelo Nicola and once with Sergei Chikalkin. Skipper was forced to switch to a 2-3 zone defence, but Garbajosa's free throw stamped a 10-point lead for Benetton at 15-25. Skipper tried to move the ball, but found only a few fouls to exploit from the line. When newcomer Charlie Bell hit a jumper at the buzzer, it gave Benetton 9 points to defend in the second quarter in the form of an 18-27 advantage.

Skipper was back with man to man defence in the second quarter, and on a couple of good defensive plays, Skipper made a mini-run to put its nose back in the game. Benetton still held a six-point lead 25-31, however, when Bostjan Nachbar turned it on and found, thanks to great teamwork on rebounds, two shots on the break that put his team's lead back to double digits. The tempo of the game got higher and higher, and Benetton found continual success on the boards. exploited the great team boxout. A Skipper junior, Stefano Mancinelli, came out to try to guard Nachbar, but Benetton kept the rhythm of the game and kept its lead safe unil halftime. Many mistakes and turnovers prevented Skipper from coming back, especially at one point when it came within six. One of those led to a fastbreak layup by Massimo Bulleri fixed the score at 36-47 for the half.

Benetton started the third quarter with great concentration and allowed almost nothing to Skipper. Benetton worked at developing its open shots and found Garbajosa three times in a row open behind the three-point line. Boom, boom, boom. Garbajosa nailed all three shots, and Benetton got closer to the Final Four with each shot. Skipper, meanwhile, continued struggling on offense to find anyone except Marko Milic next to the basket. As always, Edney gave great tempo to his team, going one-on-one and opening the court for Nicola and Nachbar to shoot. Chikalkin and Bulleri also sank points that seemed to sentence the outcome, as Benetton ran away to a lead of 19 points, 71-52, after three quarters.

Benetton seemed to own the game, but with its crowd still behind it, Skipper roared back with a remarkable 15-2 run founded on great intensity and highlighted by a three-pointer from the junior, Mancinelli. Suddenly, with Anthony Goldwire spurring on Skipper, Benetton saw its 19-point lead shrunk down to 6 points, 73-67, with 5 minutes to go. Benetton had not scored from the field for 5 minutes, but now Garbajosa emerged again to for a three-point play under the basket. That was negated by Nicola's flagrant foul on Giacomo Galanda, who scored all the 4 points for Skipper to cut the deficit to 73-77. That's when Bell stepped up and iced a triple that was the snapshot of the victory and of Benetton's pass to the Final Four.
Thursday, April 18, 2002
Daniele Baiesi, Bologna
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Referees: JUNGEBRAND, CARL; STOKES, RICHARD; MPOTITSIS, NIKOS
Attendance: 4091
By Quarter1234
Skipper Bologna18181621
Benetton Basket27202415
End of Quarter1234
Skipper Bologna18365273
Benetton Basket27477186
Skipper Bologna
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 GOLDWIRE, ANTHONY 31:00 11 3/10 1/7 2/3 3 3 6 2 2 2   1 2 2 4
7 FUCKA, GREGOR 19:00 11 5/9 0/1 1/3 2 5 7 1 3 3     3 7 16
9 SAVIC, ZORAN 3:00 4 2/3       1 1     2     2    
11 MENEGHIN, ANDREA 13:00 6   2/3         2 1 4 1   4   1
12 MILIC, MARKO 21:00 8 4/6 0/1   3 2 5 2 1 2     2 1 10
13 KOVACIC, EMILIO 30:00 5 2/8   1/2 2 3 5 4     2   1 2 10
15 GALANDA, GIACOMO 28:00 11 2/6 1/4 4/5 3 4 7   2 1   1 4 4 10
17 MANCINELLI, STEFANO 18:00 5 1/2 1/2     1 1           2   2
19 MARCELIC, DAVOR 37:00 12 4/8 1/4 1/2 4 3 7 2 2 2     3 4 14
Team           1 2 3   5           8
Totals 200:00 73 23/52 6/22 9/15 18 24 42 13 16 16 3 2 23 20 75
        44.2% 27.3% 60%
Head coach: BONICIOLLI, MATTEO
Min: Minutes played; Pts: Points; 2FG M-A: 2-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); 3FG M-A: 3-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); FT M-A: Free Throws (Made-Attempted); Rebounds: O (Offensive), D (Defensive), T (Total); As: Assists; St: Steals; To: Turnovers; Bl: Blocks (Fv: In Favor / Ag: Against); Fouls: Cm (Commited), Rv (Received); PIR: Performance Index Rating
Benetton Basket
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 NICOLA, MARCELO 27:00 10 2/3 2/4   1 3 4     3   1 2   5
5 EDNEY, TYUS 31:00 20 6/9 1/3 5/6   1 1 4 1 1     1 6 24
7 PITTIS, RICCARDO 24:00 10 5/9     1 4 5 2 2   1   2 2 16
8 MARCONATO, DENIS 17:00 1 0/1   1/2 1 3 4     2 1   4 2  
9 BULLERI, MASSIMO 16:00 4 2/4 0/1   1 5 6 1 2 1   1 1 1 8
10 CHIKALKIN, SERGEI 19:00 6 0/3 2/2     1 1     2     1 1 2
12 NACHBAR, BOSTJAN 17:00 9 2/4 1/2 2/2 1 2 3 2 3 2   1 3 4 12
14 BELL, CHARLIE 21:00 9 2/4 1/5 2/2   2 2 1   3     2 1 2
15 GARBAJOSA, JORGE 28:00 17 1/2 4/7 3/4 2 7 9 2 5 2     4 6 28
Team           1 3 4   4           8
Totals 200:00 86 20/39 11/24 13/16 8 31 39 12 17 16 2 3 20 23 105
        51.3% 45.8% 81.3%
Head coach: D'ANTONI, MIKE
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Head Coaches

D'ANTONI, MIKE
Benetton Basket
"For us it is a great win. We were scared about winning in the last quarter, when we stopped running on the break. At the end, we got some very important plays from our players that decided the game. We deserved the Final Four, I think that all my players gave a contribution. The key was our defense. We kept them to 73 points and this is very important for us."

Players

MILIC, MARKO
Skipper Bologna
"We started playing good only in the last month, and if you have to win by 30 points the key game it is not the best situation. We let them playing their basketball, we let them run exploiting all the spaces they opened on the court. And we had to avoid it, as they are one of the best offensive teams in Europe."
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