Climamio Bologna put itself on the brink of qualification to the Euroleague Top 16 from Group A by rallying from 13 points down in the second half to beat GHP Bamberg 67-76 on the road in Germany on Wednesday. Climamio improved to 7-4 in the Group A standings while Bamberg dropped to 6-5. Bamberg would have qualified had it won, but Climamio must wait until Thursday, when it can do so if Union Olimpija defeats Strasbourg. Otherwise, Climamio will have the chance when it hosts Strasbourg in Week 12. With fellow guard Nate Green out due to injury, Kiwane Garris led the winners with 20 points. Sani Becirovic added 16 while making 8 of 8 free throws, while Dalibor Bagaric had 10 for Climamio, which spent 25 hours reaching Bamberg due to various weather problems during its trip to Germany. Demond Mallet led Bamberg with 20 points. Robert Garrett added 10 for the hosts, who had led 44-31 midway through the third quarter. Garris had 8 points in 5 minutes to bring Climamio within 49-47 after 30 minutes, then the guests used a 2-13 run in which he scored 5 more points to take control until the final buzzer.
Davide Bruttini was a surprise starter in place of Stefano Mancinelli for Climamio, while Nelson got Bamberg started by puting back his own miss and making a foul shot that came with the play. Bagaric put Climamio on the board with free throws, but Nelson buried a three-pointer from the wing to push Bamberg's lead to 6-2. Climamio kept going inside to Bagaric, who collected 3 more points. Nelson was everywhere, however, passing to Koko Archibong for a dunk, driving for a reverse layup and dishing to Uvis Helmanis for another basket inside that made it 12-7. After a Climamio timeout, wide-body Travis Watson took over defending Nelson and Erazem Lorbek made Bamberg pay for missed free throws with a three-pointer to make it 12-10. Robert Garrett made Bamberg's next free throws and Helmanis stepped out to hit triple from the corner that lifted the hosts to a 17-12 edge after 10 minutes.
Climamio's Tomas Ress opened the second quarter with a block on Garrett that Becirovic took the other way for a layup. Ress soon dunked a Becirovic miss for a 17-16 score, prompting a Bamberg timeout. Climamio kept rolling, however, as Watson found Becirovic for a layup to post the visitors' first lead, 17-18. After an exchange of baskets, Bamberg reasserted itself as Helmanis and Mallet drained back-to-back three-pointers to open a 25-20 lead. Then, when Ress dunked and Bagaric made a free throw for Climamio, Archibong responded with a three-pointer and Mallet knocked down free throws to make it 30-23. Lorbek got back 5 of those points for Climamio, from the arc and the foul line, but Garrett and Mallet pushed the led back up to 34-28 for the hosts. Mallet picked up his third foul and Kiwane Garris knocked down all 3 free throws that came with it before Derrick Phelps ended the half with a driving layup to keep Bamberg safely ahead, 36-31. Phelps was hurt on the play, however, and missed most of the second half.
Chris Ensminger opened that second half by adding a put-back to Bamberg's advantage. The hosts turned up the defensive pressure and got back-to-back three-pointers from Mallet that seemed to break the game open at 44-31 midway through the third quarter. That turned out to be the biggest lead of the game. After a Climamio timeout, Garris did his best to close the gap, scoring 6 straight points to make it 44-37. Bamberg followed Garrett's layup to a 48-39 advantage, but that's when Nelson picked up his fourth foul and had to sit. Climamio answered with an 8-1 run, sparked by Rodolfo Rombaldoni's three-pointer, to pull within 49-46 after 30 minutes.
Bagaric completed the comeback - and a 5-16 run - with a bank shot evened the game at 49-49 early in the final quarter. Ensminger put Bamberg back ahead 53-51, but Marco Belinelli stepped up for Climamio with a three-pointer over Archibong and Garris copied him, shooting over Mallet, to give the visitors a 53-57 advantage with 4 minutes remaining. Nelson left with 3:39 to play as his fifth foul let Mancinelli complete a three-point that made it 53-60. Bamberg also was missing its floor leader, Phelps. Watson's basket inside and a Garris breakaway layup made it 55-64 for Climamio's biggest lead. Archibong knocked down a three-pointer with 2:17 remaining and Mallet followed with a layup that made it 60-66. But Garris, Becirovic, Belinelli and Watson cooly hit 10 straight free throws over the final 2 minutes to keep Bamberg down and break their tie in the Group A standings.
Wednesday, January 18, 2006