Faced with a direct rival for the fourth and final berth to the next round, Generali Group Trieste made a little step ahead by winning 75-68 on its homecourt against Elan Chalon of France on Wednesday. Trieste improved its record to 3-4, taking exclusive hold for the moment of fourth place in Group C. Chalon is now at fifth together with Darussafaka with 2-5. Nate Erdmann again led Trieste, posting 26 points on 10-for-14 hooting. The only other Trieste player in double figures was Terrence Roberson, who scored 12. For Chalon, Dragan Vukcevic dropped 21 points and Udonis Haslem contributed with 11 added with 9 boards.
Trieste started the game running and surprised the guests with an aggressive defense. After leading 9-4, the hosts made a 9-0 run to finish the first period on 18-4, with the French team forced repeatedly into turnovers and 24-second violations. The second period started for the guests of Chalon with Stanley Jackson and Corey Crowder scoring two consecutive baskets, but immediately the hometeam pushed back with Erdmann leading another 8-0 run. Trieste didn¹t stop there and kept the momentum going until it had doubled Chalon on the scoreboard, 39-17, with 2 minutes left until the half. The key remained the defense, which forced Chalon into bad shots. Treiste pushed the lead to 43-25 at halftime, with Erdmann already up to 12 points.
Erdmann resumed his great game at the beginning of the third period and Trieste mantained its comfortable advantage, at 55-35 after 25 minutes. Erdmann had 21 points already and the defensive concentration of home team went down a bit, allowing Chalon to come back. With good accuracy from the three-point line, the visitors were able to narrow the deficit by the end of three quarters to 62-48. In the last period, more defensive pressure by Chalon made scoring difficult for Trieste, which missed consistently now. The closest Chalon came, however, was the final score, 75-68, and that after 5-0 run in the last 40 seconds.
Wednesday, December 11, 2002