Winterthur FC Barcelona had to play from behind for long stretches but finally escaped with a 77-70 home win over Scavolini Pesaro on Thursday that was good as gold in the Group B standings. Now, Barcelona stands with a 6-4 record, alone in second place in Group B, while Scavolini drops to 5-5 to share third place with Montepaschi, Zalgiris and AEK. The guests dominated until the last minutes of the third quarter, but a 21-3 Barcelona run led by Gregor Fucka put the hosts ahead for good. Fucka led the winners with a huge double-double of 18 points and 18 rebounds. Dejan Bodiroga added 15 points for the winners, Juan Carlos Navarro 13 on 3-for-5 three-point shooting, and Devin Davis 12. For Scavolini, Scoonie Penn was hot, especially in the last quarter, with 19 points on 9-for-10 two-point shooting. Charles Smith posted 18 points, but none in the fourth quarter, and Robert Archibald 13 for Scavolini.
Fucka opened the scoring with an acrobatic layup and Bodiroga joined him for a 4-0 Barcelona lead. Smith got Scavolini going with a fadeaway triple, but Bodiroga got past Scavolini's big men again and Davis added 2 points to an 8-4 margin for the hosts. Archibald broke the trend from the paint while Scavolini turned to a zone defense. Smith blasted a huge triple to tie 8-8 for Scavolini, but saw Vlado Ilievski do the same for Barcelona. Smith kept the three-point duel going and then Marko Milic went inside for Scavolini's first lead, 13-15. After missing more than a month due to injury, Roberto Dueñas stepped on court now for the hosts, but Penn was busy shooting Scavolini ahead 13-19 with jump shots. The visitors' run stretched to 0-11 when Smith stole and dunked, but still was added too by Penn's newest rainbow shot for a 13-23 Scavolini lead after 10 minutes.
Smith opened the second quarter with a new triple to extend the run to 0-16, but Navarro replied with his first strike from the arc. Barcelona turned to its big men now, and Davis and Fucka responded, but Navarro also added his second triple in an 8-0 run that got the hosts within 26-30. The game was speedy and spectacular, as Hanno Mottola didn't hesitate to drain a new triple and a follow-up basket to make it 28-35. Out of a Barcelona timeout, De la Fuente was fed a basket by Fucka after an offensive rebound but Archibald appeared again with a three-point play and Penn finished the scoring for the half by keeping the guests in charge, 34-40.
Scavolini showed it meant business with inside baskets by Archibald and Milic after the break. Dueñas scored for Barcelona, but Archibald and Smith extended the run to 2-8 and Scavolini's lead to a new maximum, 36-48. After his team scored only 2 points in 4 minutes, Bodiroga and Fucka put 4 free throws in, and the Barcelona defense improved. Fucka's put-back of an offensive rebound made it 43-48, but Smith broke the 7-0 run with a hard-earned jumper and Milic scored again to keep Scavolini safe still at 43-52. Here came Barcelona's reply, however, as Ilievski on a drive and Davis with a layup pushed the hosts within 48-52. Davis emerged now as Barcelona's main offensive weapon in the paint as the gap narrowed further, to 51-53. Now, Ilievski slalomed through Scavolini's defense and tied the score 53-53 before Silvio Gigena found a layup to save Scavolini's edge at 53-55 after 30 minutes.
Fucka lit up the fourth quarter with 4 straight points that put Barcelona ahead after many minutes, 57-55 but it was Navarro's fastbreak triple that brought down the house and cap the 17-3 run with a 60-55 lead. Barca double-teamed Smith now and Scavolini struggled to find another scorer. Meanwhile, Navarro was on fire, as he and Bodiroga stretched the run to 21-3 and the lead to 64-55. Scavolini had not scored a single point in 5 minutes. Archibald finally broke that spell from the free throw line, but Fucka matched him. Penn found Scavolini's first basket in awhile, but Barcelona was master of the tempo until free throws by Mottola and a coast-to-coast drive by Penn cut the difference to 66-63. Fucka sustained Barcelona at both ends while first Penn and then Mottola kept pulling Scavolini within a shot of the lead, the last time at 72-69 with 30 seconds left. Bodiroga then drained 2 free throws, while Penn and Navarro made 1 of 2 each for a 75-70 score. After Matteo Malaventura missed Scavolini's last three-point try, Barcelona had its victory and sole possession of second place in Group B.
Thursday, January 13, 2005
J.A. Casanova, Barcelona