Pepsi Caserta sealed its ticket to the Eurocup Last 16 with an impressive 94-67 victory over Kraznye Krylia. With Alba Berlin already qualified for the next round, Caserta needed a victory to guarantee itself a spot and to leave the Red Wings behind in Group H. Ebi Ere tallied 32 points, Martin Colussi added 20 and Fabio Di Bella had 15 to lead Caserta, which shot 57% overall inside the arc and had a solid defensive effort too, with 23 forced turnovers and 12 steals. Primoz Brezec posted 21 points and 8 boards and Gerland Green had 15 and 7 in defeat.
Ere scored 4 quick points to start the game in what ended up being a warning shot, and Di Bella also got on the board early for a 6-0 Caserta lead. As the hosts negated Brezec in the paint, it was Green who brought home a rattling dunk and Alexander Anisimov who converted a triple to keep the distance at 10-7. But Di Bella was feeling it with 8 first-quarter points and Colussi got into the action with a triple for a 22-15 advantage at the end of the opening quarter. The guard kept the hot hand in the second with another three to make it a double-digit lead for the first time at 27-17. The Red Wings went to Brezec inside, but the big man could not get settled as Caserta turned the defensive intensity on high and Ere went off for 18 second-quarter points that fueled a 15-5 run that doubled the quarter total, 28-14, for the hosts. And, most importantly, left them leading at the half 50-29.
Krylia seemed to be on the right track to start the second half when Brion Rush hit first with a triple, but the hosts showed they meant business when Eric Williams answered with a jumper and Ere added on a three-point bomb of his own, then scored on a layup for the 57-34 lead. Brezec had a dunk and got to the line, netting his 16th point, but he hosts missed just 5 shots in the quarter while scoring 21 points and made the Red Wings work for their shots, as they were only able to record 7 assists in the game. The quarter ended brightly for Caserta and, specifically, Colussi, who summed his 11th point with a triple that left things at 71-48 with a quarter to go. The guard didn’t pull the brakes in the final quarter, starting the fireworks with two consecutive threes for a 77-50 advantage, and Krylia was only able to counter with Davidson’s 10th point and Green’s 11th, while featuring more Brezec post ups. Ere got in the game with four minutes left and put some extra shine on his career night by surpassing the 30-point mark as Caserta celebrated a Last 16 spot.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010