After a dramatic last period, Opel Skyliners won a key game in Group B by defeating visiting Euro Roseto 83-78 in Frankfurt as big man Mario Kasun capped a huge night with the game-winning basket. Kasun's basket with 20 seconds left put Opel back ahead after it had lost all of a 15-point third-quarter lead to Roseto. In the closing seconds, veteran guard Pascal Roller made sure of the victory at the foul line for Opel. Now, both teams have 2-3 records and could imaging meeting again in the last game of the regular season possibly with qualification for the next round at stake. Kasun led the winners with 29 points and Roller contributed 15, while for Roseto, Marco Milic dropped 20, Diego Fajardo 19 and Miroslav Radosevic 15.
Skyliners got going with a 6-0 run to begin the game, and all 6 points came from Kasun. Roseto's Fajardo answered with 6 others, however, and Roseto was close 13-8. Kasun was unstoppable for the visitors, using his size well underneath for 12 points that boosted Skyliners to a 22-16 lead with the punctuation of Larry Kwiatkowski's buzzer-beater to end the first quarter. In the second period Roseto had 5 minutes of good defense to erase any points and come back to 31-29 on a three-pointer by Federico Pieri. But soon Kasun was ruling the paint again and the resulting 15-4 run put the hosts solidly in front at 46-33 when the half ended. Kasun already had 18 points, while Jukka Matinen contributed 9. Fajardo was up to 14 for Roseto.
In the third period, Skyliners manage the game well and took its best advantage in the middle of the period, 55-40, on another basket by Kasun. But Roseto rallied with Milic driving to the rim and Radosevic scoring from distance to brink the Italians back at 64-59 after 30 minutes. Roseto needed just 90 seconds of the fourth quarter to tie the game, 64-64, on a basket by Milic and then take its first lead with a basket by Dan Callahan that made it 64-66. The game went on fire and was close, with Roseto trying to escape and the home team mounting its own back. The game was close and dramatic until the end, when the man of the match, Kasun, scored to put Skyliners up for good and Roller made sure from the foul line.
Wednesday, November 13, 2002