Playing at home in snow-bound Pesaro seemed to agree more with Scavolini Pesaro than visitors Ural Great Perm of Russia on Thursday as the Italians, before a crowd of 5,138 spectators, punched out a 103-85 victory to turn Group D on its head a little. The key of the game were the rebounds of Joseph Blair and his teammates, who dominated 41-27 on the boards in the first three periods. Those rebounds, 16 of them offensive, permitted Scavolini to fly out on fastbreaks using all the talent of their shooters. As such, Miroslav Beric led all scorers with 23 points as one of five Scavolini scorers in double figures. Silvio Gigena and Blair added 20 each, Brad Traina 11 and Melvin Booker 10. For Ural, Ruslan Avleev put up 21 points, Alexander Bashimov 19, Rytis Vaisvila 11, Valeri Daineko and Vassili Karassev 10 each. The victory forced both teams into a four-way tie (5-3) for second place behind AEK of Athens.
The game was postponed 15 minutes due to a snowstorm in Pesaro that caused players to arrive late, but could have made Ural Great feel more at home. Working against a Scavolini 3-2 zone after tipoff, the Russian team scored the first two baskets on dunks, the fruit of good ball circulation. The entrance on the floor of Michele Maggioli gave more balance to the Italians and the ball started to go more in the paint. Scavolini pulled back to within 13-14 after 7 minutes. Blair scored his eighth point for the first home team advantage, 15-14, and was unstoppable as he finished with 11 points in the first period. Scavolini led 25-23.
The second period started with Ural Great having problems to control the boards and giving Scavolini a good number of second shots. Scavolini's defensive pressure intensified and with a three-pointer on the break by Silvio Gigena, the home team had an eight-point advantage, 44-36, late in the period. Gigena was the man in the final minutes, scoring another long-distance shot and a freebie from the charity stripe. Scavolini pressed to avoid a final basket by the Russian and the final score of the first half was 52-43. Gigena had posted 12 points, while Vassili Karassev had 9 for Ural Great.
The last quarter was only a triumphal walk for the Italian team to the victory enlarging their advantage minute after minute also recovering from the 11 down of the game played in Perm.
Thursday, December 13, 2001
Romano Pettiti, Pesaro