A one-way match in Bologna, Italy saw Climamio found its first Group A win by overwhelming AEK Athens 88-55 on Wednesday. The Italian champs lifted their record to 1-1, the same as AEK, which had won its home opener the previous week. Euroleague rookie Nate Green ended with a game-high 19 points while making 3 of 5 three-pointers for Climamio. Nestoras Kommatos added 18 points, Kiwane Garris 13 and Stefano Mancinelli 12. AEK, missing three injured players, had just two scorers reach double figures, Ioannis Kalambokis with 12 points and Dror Hagag with 11. Climamio got on track early, building a 14-point lead in the first quarter and pushing forward the rest of the game, never giving AEK room to breathe.
Climamo got the first run of the game thanks to Mancinelli, whose 5 points got the hosts off to a 5-2 start. After Taylor Coppenrath hit a couple of free throws for AEK, Kiwane Garris hit from the arc to ignite an 8-0 run by Climamio, capped by another three-pointer, this one from Nate Green. Slaven Rimac broke the run with a triple and an assist to Papaioakeim to make it 15-9 midway through the quarter, but Mancinelli immediately answered with his second three-pointer for an18-9 difference. AEK struggled to find easy baskets, stopped by the strong defensive transition of the hosts. An AEK timeout to change course seemed insufficient as Nate Green scored 5 points against the visitors' zone to post the highest lead so far, 23-9. Sani Becirovic scored from the line to preserve that difference at 25-11 after 10 minutes.
The hosts suffered bad news to start the second quarter as Dalibor Bagaric headed to the locker room with a sprained ankle. After Becirovic and Bouroussis exchanged baskets, Travis Watson rose up the intensity blocking twice in a row and scoring jumpers to open a 7-0 run capped by a three from Becirovic, who set the score to 34-13. Dror Hagag broke the run with a penetration but Bologna had decided to darken Slaven Rimac with Mancinelli’s height and that’s why Aek found no streak from its shooter. However, Rimac drew Mancinelli third foul and scored from the line to cut the lead to 17, 34-17, at minute 16. Nestoras Kommatos assisted Tomas Ress for an easy layup and Kiwane Garris scored an open three to get another 20-point lead, 39-19. To close the quarter as it had begun, Nate Green scored two straight bucket-and-foul pushing the lead to its maximum, 43-19 at minute 19, just before Magkounis set the half-time score to 43-21.
Kommatos stepped on court after halftime and soon had 9 points and an assist that ballooned Climamio's advantage to over 30 points, 54-23. Despite such a big lead, Climamio didn't lower its defenses, allowing AEK scored just one field goal, off an offensive rebound, in almost 6 minutes before Dror Hagag broke the drought with a transition three-pointer to make it 56-27. When Giannis Magkounis imitated him with a corner triple, AEK breathed for the first time all night. Ioannis Kalambokis found AEK's third bomb in a row to cut the lead to 25 points, 58-33. There, however, Garris found his third triple, and Papaioakim was the only player to respond, scoring from inside to make it a 63-37 scoreboard after 30 minutes.
The final quarter did not influece the outcome, even though Climamio emptied its long bench. Green scored from the long distance to make it 66-40 with 7 minutes to go. AEK found back-to-back triples with Hagag and Amir Tamir as it tried to lower the difference. But Climamio decided to thank its crowd by stealing and running the fastbreak. Kommatos was the leading guy there and Robert Fultz added 5 points to establish a 30-point lead again, long after Climamio already knew that it would enjoy its first Group A victory.
Wednesday, November 9, 2005