Scavolini celebrated its return to the Euroleague after two seasons with an important 77-68 home win in Pesaro over one of the most solid teams of the competition, Olimpija Ljubljana. Hanno Mottola led five players into double figures with 19 points for the winners, Marko Milic chipped in 16, Alessandro Frosini and Charles Smith nailed 13 apiece, while Thomas Ress had an amazing night scoring 11 others. Center Dusan Bocevski led all the scorers and tallied 21 for the guests of Olimpija Ljubljana, while Vladimer Boisa was he only other in double figures for the Slovenians, scoring 15.
Without injured point guard Sasha Djordjevic, Scavolini started the game with German Scarone. Marijan Mance opened the scoring with a layup but James Forrest answered for Scavolini with a mid-range jumper. The guests read well a mismatch between Boisa and Smith for a pair of post-up baskets and a 2-6 lead. Milic, going against his old team, scored on a three-point play to put Scavolini ahead, 7-6, but the guests reacted with an 8-0 run as Bocevski was assisted by Saso Ozbolt and Andres Rodriguez after steals. Olimpija led 7-15, but after Milic scored a floating layup, cutting the difference to 13-15, Rodriguez gave to the guests a slim 13-19 margin after 10 minutes.
Scavolini's defense got tougher now, so it took Olimpija 3 minutes to score its first basket of the second quarter, a coast-to-coast run by Badzaric. Ress intimidated in the paint, blocking 2 shots, but Olimpija worked on the offensive glass and Dragisa Drobnjak supplied an eight-points advantage, 19-27, after 15 minutes. Ress's third block launched Scavolini on a 12-0 tear in which Mottola poured in 8 points, including 6 perfect free throws. The duo of Milic and Mottola dominated the quarter, scoring 16 of their team's 22 points. They combined on the last basket too, Milic feeding Mottola, to give Scavolini its best margin of the game so far, 35-28 at halftime.
After halftime, Frosini scored 2 free throws to extend Scavolini's lead to 37-28, ending an 18-1 run that bridged the break. Bocevski now boosted Olimpija with 8 points in a row. The game was already on fire with an exchange of baskets and Olimpija pulling down several offensive boards. Boisa reached double-figure scoring on pair of free throws that got the guests within 43-42, but Smith was there to answer with his second triple of the quarter for Scavolini. A downtown shot nailed by Boisa tied the score, 50-50, after a technical foul on the Scavolini bench. Mottola chipped in 4 of the final 6 points of the quarter for the home team, putting Scavolini in charge at 56-50 after 30 minutes.
Ress was playing a career game as he slammed and converted the additional free throw for a 59-50 score early in the last quarter. Scavolini would never take a double-figure margin, however, as Olimpija depended on Bocevski for all 6 of its points in the first 4 minutes of the last quarter. Scavolini led 64-56 with 5 minutes left, but soon had doubled it, to 66-56, on a layup by Smith. Boisa cut the deficit to 66-60, then the teams exchanged four triples between Bazdaric, Mottola, Bocevski and Scarone for a 73-66 score. Finally, it was Frosini who tallied an easy layup to seal the win with 35 seconds left in the game.
Thursday, November 4, 2004
Giacomo Mariotti, Pesaro