Benetton Treviso has its first Euroleague winning streak of the season with a not-so-comfortable 88-72 home victory Wednesday over visiting Idea Slask Wroclaw. It's just a two-game streak, but combined with last week's home win against Maccabi Tel Aviv, it could be enough for a piece of first-place before Friday. Tyus Edney led the winners with 23 points, but it was young forward Bostjan Nachbar's explosive third quarter that put Benetton ahead for good. Then, when Wroclaw came within seven near the end, he nailed a three-pointer (as did Edney) and made an incredible block of a dunka attempt by Dominik Tomczyk. Nachbar finished with 18 points and Sergei Chikalkin added 14. For Wroclaw, Michael Hawkins was the high scorer with 13 points, Maceij Zielinski added 12 and Gintaras Einikis 10. Benetton improves to 4-2 and will pay close attention on Thursday to the Maccabi-Olympiakos game. If Maccabi wins, there will be four teams tied at 4-2 atop Group A. Wroclaw, which held leads of up to 7 points in the first half, has lost its fourth straight to drop to 4-2.
Benetton coach Mike D'Antoni started again the game with four guards, and kept on running with the incredible Sergei Chikalkin and Jorge Garbajosa scoring for the first small break of the game 12-6. Idea Slask Wroclaw tied on 16 with a long-distance shot from Fred Vinson and then changed its defense from man-to-man to a 2-3 zone. Slask changed again and its defense became more effective and after two steals with a Michael Hawkins easy lay up in fastbreak earned the first period final lead, 21-22.
Beginning the second period was the home team's turn to show a zone defense, but Wroclaw was on fire and gained a six-point lead with a jump hook by Gintaras Einikis, 23-29. Benetton was in troubles under the boards suffering the Polish size. Denis Marconato and then Alan Tomidy went on the floor to add size for Benetton. A 7-0 run put Benetton ahead 30-29, but two shots form the corner by Dainius Adomaitis gave Slask the lead back at 33-40 as Benetton had problems attacking a zone. Two blocks form Fetisov and Garbajosa closed the first half after another 7-0 run of Benetton to tie the game on 42-42.
The man of the third period was Nachbar! The Slovenian forward scored 8 points in five minutes giving a five-point advantage to his team, 53-48. Benetton improved its defensive intensity and flew to a 65-56 finish with the third long-distance shot of the period by Nachbar.Nothing change in the final period with the Benetton defense increasing again its intensity and the offense playing to find the easiest solutions. Coach Jasmin Repesa tried again to use the zone defense to trap the speed of Benetton and was rewarded with 2 three-pointers by Hawkins to come back close to the 75-68 with 4 minutes to go. Immediately, Edney and Nachbar answered with their own three-pointers, however, and that was the beginning of the end for the visitors.
Wednesday, November 14, 2001