Climamio Bologna managed to finish second in the Group A by rallying to beat Zalgiris 81-86 in Kaunas, Lithuania on Thursday. It was a do-or-die game for both teams in other to finish right behind the Group A champion Tau Ceramica. Climamio finished second with a 10-4 record while Zalgiris was third at 9-5. Six different Climamio players hit 2 three pointers or more to help fire the visitors to victory after they trailed by 11 points entering the final quarter. Nate Green led the winners with 16 points, while Marco Belinelli added 15, Kiwane Garris 14, Stefano Mancinelli and Erazem Lorbek 13 each. Tanoka Beard paced Zalgiris with 16 points. Simonas Serapinas added 15, Darjus Lavrinovic posted a double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds while Reggie Freeman also had 12 points for Zalgiris, which led 63-52 at the end of the third quarter. Green and Garris scored all points in a 3-12 run which brought Climamio back, after which Belinelli, Sani Becirovic and Garris combined for 4 three-pointers to put the guests in charge for good.
Darjus Lavrinovic found the first points of the game off the dribble for Zalgiris and Reggie Freeman added basket-plus-free throw for a quick 5-0 lead. Belinelli answered with long jumper, then saw his missed triple rebounded and put in by teammate Travis Watson. Beard made a three-point basket-plus-free throw and Zalgiris continued its up-tempo game as Simonas Serapinas drove for a basket. Only Belinelli challenged for the guests, hitting his second three-pointer from the top. But Zalgiris moved the ball fast and Freeman fed Serapinas for a flashy dunk that boosted the lead to 16-9. The dunking continued with Stefano Mancinelli slamming one for the guests, but Lavrinovic threw down a two-hander before Freeman added pair of baskets for the hosts. Mancinelli hit back from the arc now, but then Paulius Jankunas pulled off a basket-plus-free throw on the last possesion to keep Zalgiris ahead 25-17 after 10 minutes.
Serapinas opened the second quarter with triple that open up a double-digit Zalgiris lead, 28-19. Climamio reacted with 5 points from Lorbek and Tomas Ress but Zalgirs answered with a four-point possession to make it 32-22. Climamio emphasized defense now, forcing difficult and late shots on Zalgiris which Nate Green took advantage of with a pair of layups that forced a timeout by the hosts. It worked for the best as Freeman nailed an extra-long triple from the top and Jonas Maciulis go to the line for free throws that made it 37-28. The scoring stalled as Lorbek and Kenny Anderson missed a pair of free throws each, but Lavrinovic kept the hosts going with a triple and Mancinelli the guests with a three-point play. Zalgiris struggled to get the ball inside as Climamio finished the quarter with a basket, fixing a 44-33 scoreboard at the break.
Watson got Climamio going in the second half before Serapinas found a triple from the corner and Beard a layup to keep Zalgiris comfortable. Watson fell into a foul trouble with his fourth and Freeman made both free throws, before Ress made a jumper off the dribble for Climamio. Lorbek added a triple for the guests, but Zalgiris stayed smooth as Vidas Ginevicius fed red-hot Serapinas for a fastbreak dunk that made it 56-40. Green and Garris combined for a 5 points to keep Climamio alive, then Lorbek added a low-post basket. Ginevicius broke the silence for Zalgiris with a bomb from the arc and fed Jankunas underneath before Mancinelli hit the last basket of the third quarter for a 63-52 scoreboard.
Green tried to ignit the Climamio comeback with a quick layup and a three. Garris added a jumper and even when Serapinas stepped up for Zalgiris with a three, a red hot Green answered from downtown and Garris capped a 3-12 Climamio run with a layup which brought the guests within 66-64 with 5 minutes to go. Anderson came to the rescue with a jumper and Freeman fed Beard for a close basket, but Becirovic stepped up with another triple which made it a three-point game, 70-67. Lavrinovic tried to change things with another layup, but a three-point contest had started for Climamio. Lorbek and Belinelli scored from downtown for a 74-73 deficit, as Zalgiris could not find the way to the basket now. Meanwhile, Becirovic, Garris and Belinelli made one triple a piece to seal the win, 74-82, with under 2 minutes to go, after a 0-12 run. Zalgiris failed to rally, and even when Anderson and Vidas Ginevicius brought Zalgiris within 81-84, Garris made free throws to seal a big Climamio win in come-from-behind fashion!
Thursday, February 9, 2006
Antanas Pakula, Kaunas