There was only one team on court in Barcelona for most of Thursday night as Winterthur FCB rolled over visiting Cibona Zagreb 97-53 in Group B. A 17-2 run in the second quarter, and a smothering defense that never surrendered until the final buzzer, launched Barcelona to a 3-2 record, good for part of second place in the group with Maccabi and Lietuvos Rytas. Cibona led by 7 in the first quarter, but once Barcelona jumped ahead, the visitors never had a chance and their record fell to 2-3. Michalis Kakiouzis gave wings to the winners when he entered the court, as he spurred the lethal run and led the team with 25 points, Marc Gasol added 17 and Jordi Trias and Gianluca Basile had 12 each. For Cibona, only Damir Markota scored in double digits with 10 points. The game marked also the debut of Milos Vujanic in the Euroleague this season with Winterthur FCB after a serious injury that kept him sidelined since last season.
Bennett Davison opened the score but soon Gianluca Basile found an open shot from long range to tie, 2-2. However, Cibona was on fire and Penn capped a 0-7 run from downtown to put a 2-9 after 3 minutes. Barcelona shots, despite being quite easy, didn't go in as Davor Marcelic hit a layup for 4-11. Michalis Kakiouzis, coming off the bench, gave a different edge to the hosts as he scored for 6-11. Barcelona had to call a timeout in order to try to stop Cibona's avalanche, and Kakiouzis put back an offensive rebound, 8-13. Davison scored his sixth point but the hosts found Marc Gasol in the lane twice as he dunked for 14-16, and Shammond Williams found a three from the top to give Barcelona its first lead, 17-16 with a 9-3 run. Cibona found good options in offense as Damir Markota hit the turnaround jumper but Kakiouzis sealed the first period on the buzzer with a triple, 22-19.
Barcelona opened the second quarter with 4 straight points to force a new Cibona timeout. The guests looked for Skelin who scored his sixth point going over his Euroleague average this season -5.3 points- just in minute 13. But Kakiouzis did the same in the following play scoring his 11th point and Barcelona's lead soared to 30-21. Kakiouzis was on fire as he added a three-point play and another dunk after a steal for a 37-21 Barcelona lead and his 16th point and his 7th straight. Damir Rancic stepped up for the first Cibona basket after a 17-2 run in the quarter, but Roger Grimau nailed 5 straight points including a triple for 46-25. A new triple by Basile lifted Barcelona over 50 points and Cibona didn't find any options as halftime arrived with a 52-27 score and Kakiouzis' 19 points.
The second half didn't change the trend of the game a bit as the hosts started with a 10-0 run and a 62-27 score. Only until Marcelic scored with a layup, Cibona found the bottom of the net. Barcelona's defense simply didn't allow the guests find any options at all, and only isolated shots were attempted and on the other side, Barcelona had steals and fast plays for easy baskets with drives and triples, as Kakiouzis added points one more time, 66-32. With 70-34, Milos Vujanic stepped on court and made his Euroleague debut with Barcelona this season, but on the other side Penn hit his second three for 70-39. After that, Luksa Andric nailed a layup to close the quarter with a 72-41.
The last quarter had no history as Barcelona rolled over Cibona once more. Vujanic fed an alley-oop to Jordi Trias that brought the house down as the score soared to 84-46. Despite the wide gap, the hosts never relaxed in defense, and that never allowed Cibona to fix the score. Vujanic scored his first basket in minute 38 as Barcelona was ahead by 94-46 and Cibona suffered several minutes without points until Markota spinned for a Cibona basket. However there was nothing the guests could do as the hosts cruised to the easiest win of the season so far.
Thursday, December 1, 2005