Scavolini Pesaro threw its name among the Top 16 contender from Group B by blasting Union Olimpija 63-74 on the road in Ljubljana on Thursday. Scavolini improved to 4-4 to join AEK, Barcelona and Zalgiris in a four-way tie for third place.Olimpija dropped to 3-5 and seventh place. Scavolini was ahead most of the time thanks to good three-point shooting, 11 of 23, and not even a great Vladimer Boisa first and a hot Marino Bazdaric could deprive the guests from their fourth win of the season. Charles Smith was the best man for Scavolini with 22 points. Matteo Malaventura and Teemu Rannikko teamed up for 6 triples as each scored 11 points, the same as Marko Milic against his ex-team. For Olimpija, Bazdaric finished with 27 points and Boisa had a double-double of 18 and 10 rebounds.
Boisa opened the scoring and, after Teemu Rannikko replied with Scavolini's first triple, hit a second basket for a 4-3 Olimpija. Rannikko fed Hanno Mottola for an easy layup before Andres Rodriguez of Olimpija and Smith traded triples. Olimpija's zone defense forced Scavolini to shoot from long distance, and Malaventura obliged with 2 straight strikes from the arc as the visitors pulled away to a 9-16 advantage. Dusan Bocevski joined Olimpija's offense by putting back an offensive rebound for a put-back and a 13-16 score, but the offense of the hosts halted there. Scavolini made a 0-8 run with triples by Rannikko and Smith to end the quarter ahead 14-24, having made 6 of 7 three-point shots in 10 minutes.
Bazdaric stepped on-court in the second quarter with 2 free throws and a triple, but Milic drove for consecutive layups and a 19-30 Scavolini advantage. Saso Ozbolt and Malaventura traded triples, then Olimpija was led by Boisa on a quick 10-0 run that got the crowd involved. Boisa landed 2 triples in the run, after which Bazdaric, Rodriguez and Boisa again scored jumpers to put Olimpija ahead 36-35. On the last play of the half, however, Tomas Ress managed to tip-in a shot on the buzzer to leave Scavolini ahead by a single point, 36-37.
Scavolini came back with a reorganized offense that got Smith an open triple. Bazdaric answered with 7 quick points to pull Olimpija within 43-44, but Smith landed another three-pointer against the helpless Olimpija defense. Bazdaric had time for another layup but Rannikko blasted another bomb from downtown to keep Scavolini's lead safe. Ozbolt, fouled on an attempted triple, made 3 free throws to get the hosts as close as 48-50. Scavolini now looked to Sandro Frosini in the paint for 4 straight points which were followed by Mottola's triple, the 11th for Scavolini, now leading 49-58. Boisa landed a new basket after some minutes of silence, but Silvio Gigena's free throws preserved a 51-60 Scavolini advantage after 30 minutes.
Bazdaric knew he had to step up even higher to save the hosts, and did so with 2 straight triples that pulled Olimpija within 57-60. The defenses grew more intense by the minute as points dried up. Smith posted a fantastic fadeaway jumper for 57-62, but Bazdaric was on fire and scored again. Olimpija was running out of time as Scavolini scored 4 stright points on a dunk by Ress and a new jumper by Smith, 59-68. Boisa made another basket, missed 2 free throws, but pulled the offensive rebound and scored again for 63-70 with a minute to go. But it was all decided when Smith added 2 more free throws and fed Mottols inside for a 63-74 score to seal the win of the guests.
Thursday, December 23, 2004
Ziga Bojc, Ljubljana