RheinEnergie Cologne of Germany won its first ULEB Cup game on Trieste's floor in Italy, 86-88, at the end of a close and spectacular game. Defense, fastbreaks and the main key, the physical strength of Cologne, titled the balance for the visitors in a tight game. The big man for the winners with a double-double was center Geert Hammink, whos 20 points and 13 rebounds anchored the victory. Vladimir Bogojevic added 19 points and Sasa Obradovic 13. Trieste lost despite Nate Erdmann being the scoring leader of the night with 30 points to go with 8 rebounds. Terrence Roberson contributed 21 and Ivica Maric 16, but it couldn't keep Trieste from starting 0-1 in Group C, while Cologna did what it needed to start 1-0.
Cologne had big man Stefan Arigbabu sidelined, but after a tight scoreboard for awhile, the guests made the first run, going ahead 6 points on a layup by center Christian Mehrens. The German team was physically in charge of the game and improved its lead to as much as 22-31, but with a basket netted by Andrea Camata at the buzzer, Trieste reduced the score after 10 minutes to 24-31. The game was spectacular in the second period thanks to the speed of both teams, but Cologne dominated underneath. That and the scoring ability of Vladimir Bogojevic was enough to keep the visitors comfortably ahead. However, that only lasted until Terrence Roberson woke up and scored 8 points in few seconds, pulling his team to within just 3 points, 36-39. Bogojevic and Zoran Kukic responded in the final 30 seconds for a 40-47 halftime lead for Cologne. Erdamn was up to 15 points by then for Treistre while Bogojevic bagged 11 for the guests.
In the third period, Hammink took over inside and out, even dropping a three-pointer to keep Trieste away. But with the crowd at its back, pushing the home players, Trieste rallied with big pride and defense to draw within 65-67 at the buzzer on an incredible basket from long distance by Erdmann. In the last period the game was on fire with slim advantage for the guests and Treiste close and excited by its crowd. Maric scored the three-pointer to give Trieste a 84-83 edge, but the final lottery of free throws gave Cologne a 86-88 advantage with five seconds to go. A last long-distance try by Roberto Casoli hit the rim and missed, giving Cologne its first victory of the ULEB Cup.
Thursday, October 15, 2020