Skipper Fortitudo Bologna set its Euroleague ship aright on Thursday with the kind of commanding victory that its fans, accustomed to dominance, had been waiting for. The final score was 109-79 and the victim was Buducnost of Yugoslavia, which never came back from a second-quarter blast by their hosts. Gregor Fucka led Skipper as usual with 19 points, but he had a lot of help, including Vasco Eftimov and Marko Milic with 17 each, Giacomo Galanda with 16, Gianluca Basile with 14 and Andrea Meneghin with 11. Buducnost had little response after Skipper scored 35 points in a first-half span of 10 minutes to take control. Skipper raised its Group C record to 1-1, while Buducnost fell to 0-2. Buducnost got 19 points out of Vladimir Kuzmanovic and 14 from Nikola Jestratijevic, playing in his first game of the season.
The first quarter proved one for lovers of defense as only six baskets were scored between both teams over the first 8 minutes, after which Buducnost had a 7-9 lead. It would have been more if Buducnost had hit free throws. Skipper was depending on Fucka, but the shake-up started with captain Claudio Pilutti, with a key triple against Buducnost's defensive mistake and an assist on a Fucka dunk. Buducnost hung on and Kuzmanovic was able to re-tie the game, but Gianluca Basile scored a triple at the buzzer. Skipper lad 17-14 after 10 minutes.
Skipper came out for the second quarter with a different attitude. The anxious offenses of the first quarter were left on the bench. Matteo Boniciolli's team moved the ball well and found open shots with Basile first and then with Galanda. Fortitudo made the break in the middle of the second quarter. The keys to that great period were Galanda and Basile exploiting the good ball movement. Meneghin started a little bit nervous, but got into the game with a triple from the corner. That was one of 6 three-pointers for Skipper in the quarter as Buducnost chose to double-team Fucka and let Galanda shoot from three on two occasions. Vukcevic was the only visitor able to hang on in the second period, but the real key was the visitors lack of defense, that allowed Skipper to score more than 40 points in 12 minutes to lead 52-35 at the half.
The third quarter just saw Skipper expand on that lead, now adding the fastbreak to its weapons, with Milic and Galanda finishing off each mistake by Buducnost. Milic added a three-pointer, Galanda a hook shot and Skipper reached its widest margin, 80-48. The game as such was over already Skipper coasted into the final quarter leading 82-53.
Thursday, October 18, 2001