Its first-ever Euroleague home win before the fans in Sopot, Poland could not have been more timely or confidence-building as Prokom Trefl ended Climamio Bologna's unbeaten season with a resounding 78-68 victory in Group A on Wednesday. With its defense in charge, Prokom controlled the game for all but a few minutes of the second quarter while rolling to a 3-3 record in the group standings, while Climamio fell to 5-1. Climamio, having averaged 93.4 points per game before reaching Sopot, shot badly against Prokom's defenders and was outrebounded 39-25. A pair of Prokom players finished with double-doubles: Goran Jagodnik had 21 points and 10 rebounds while Tomas Masiulis, out with a head injury until a week ago, put up 16 and 10, respectively. Filip Dylewicz added 13 points off the bench, while Adam Wojcik finishd with 12. Ruben Douglas had 19 to lead Climamio, whose lineup has been hit by sickness in recent days. Gianluca Basile added 17 points, including 5 three-pointers, while Martin Rancik had 10.
Both teams started the game slowly and much more concentrated on defense than on ofense. Prokom led for the whole first quarter, but never by more than 4 points. All of Prokom's points on the way to a 12-8 advantage after 8 minutes were scored by Wojcik and Jagodnik, whose three-pointer capped that run. Prokom couldn't build a bigger advantage because it committed 6 tournovers so far, while Climamio just couldn't find its rhythm. Eventually, Rancik and Erazem Lorbek put in 4 points apiece inside, but Climamio's outside shooters were missing until Milos Vujanic made a three-pointer to close the quarter with Prokom still holding a 15-14 edge.
The second quarter started with Douglas bombing from a downtown and Climamio taking its first lead, 15-17. A basket-for-basket battle followed, but when Basile made 2 threes and Matjaz Smodis added his own shot from the arc, it seemed that Climamio would take control. Prokom did not give up so fast, however. Dylewicz came of the bench and together with Masiulis combined for 19 of Prokom's 21 points in the quarter. The guests couldn't get into their transition game while they were losing the battle on the boards and Prokom's set defense was tough. Prokom scored 10 consecutive points to close out the half with a 36-30 lead.
Masiulis also opened the third quarter with a three-pointer, giving Prokom its biggest lead of the game so far, 39-30. But then Climamio reacted with a 4-13 run that Douglas finished with a basket that made it 43-42. Climamio was finally getting some easy points after fastbreaks and had many attempts from the free throw line, but many of the latter were missed, and as such, Prokom took back control of the scoreboard. The turnaround came with a 15-5 run that closed the quarter and featured points by Jagodnik, Dylewicz and Istvan Nemeth, giving Prokom its biggest advantage yet, 58-47, after 30 minutes.
As its home supporters watched with rising excitement, Prokom continued its run and escaped to a 63-47 lead as Nemeth opened the final quarter with a tirple. Climamio responded with 7 consecutive points and closed the gap to 63-54 following Vujanic's layup. Prokom kept the advantage about 10 points, however, by using its advantage on the boards and prolonging possessions on offense. Basile made another 2 three-pointers in the quarter and Douglas added 2 jumpers for the guests, but it wasn't enough. When Andrija Ciric and Tomas Pacesas scored easy points with less then 2 minutes left and Prokom led 74-61, the outcome was clear and it was time to celebrate the first Euroleague victory in Sopot against so important a rival.
Wednesday, December 8, 2004
Andrzej Jaworski, Poland