Jasmin Repesa, the Croatian coach of Climamio Bologna since 2002, will certainly be happy if Pini Gershon will retire at the end of the seasons as he predicted. In 2004 Repesa’a team lost twice to Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv including ythe 74-118 blowout in the Euroleague Final in Tel Aviv. This evening he hoped to avenge that terrible outcome, but once again had to bow out to the Israeli coach.
Without the injured Tal Burstein, Maccabi faced the Euroleague’s best home team, unbeaten in Bologna in 22 games since February 2004. And after five minutes it looked like the next in line when Climamio took a 22-13 lead. Maccabi came back to 30-24 at the end of the period. Marco Belinelli, the young Italian star, had already 15 points to his credit.
Once again Maccabi’s main problem was in rebounding, where the home team dominated completely (30-15 at half time, 12 offensive). This in spite of a good defensive performance by the visitors. Anthony Parker & Jamie Arnold gave Maccabi its first lead (40-39) and with less than two minutes 48-44. But in the remaining time Climamio ran 8-0 after a technical against the Maccabi bench and three free throws after an unnecessary foul by Derrick Sharp on a three points shot. At half time 52-48 for the home team.
Some turnovers at the start of the third quarter gave Bologna a 58-53 lead. Then came some wonderful minutes of Will Solomon with 7 pts that gave Maccabi a 69-67 lead at the end of the period.Bologna led for the last time 73-71 but lost bug man Bagaric who fouled out. Seven consecutive pts by Baston put Maccabi 78-75 up. Becirovic made it 81-81 with 2.18 min to go. Maccabi scored six in a row (87-81). With 17 srcond left Lorbek connected with his third three pointer (87-84) but Solomon cloes the game with two free throws. Maccabi won 89-84 and now it will be easier to prepare for the National Cup on Sunday and the two home Euroleague games vs Real & Climamio.
Maccabi proved once again that it has one of the best offenses in the EL. Climamio concedes on the average 62 pts in EL home games so Maccabi scored 27 pts more. But the main problem remains in rebounding. Climamio pulled down 51 rebounds (23 offensive!!!) to Maccabi’s 35 (only 9 offensive). Maccabi collected a 105 valuation (Climamio 78). This due to better FG% (47 to 38), steals (12-10), turnovers (10-16) and blocked shots (6-4). Maccabi’s defense did a great job especially on Belinelli who scored only two more points after the first quarter.
Coach Gershon used seven players, sic of them in double figures (only Shason did not score). Penney & Green played for two minutes.
Anthony Parker played another MVP game we expect from him: 39 min, 20 pts in 58% FG. 7 rbds, 5 asts, 1 stl, 1 bst, drawing 6 fouls. Jamie Arnold continued his fine form with 17 pts, 4 rbds % 1 blocked shot.
Other Maccabi scorers: Baston 14 pts & 7 rbds, Vujcic 14 opts & 6 rbds, Solomon 14 pts, 4 stls, 3 rbds & 3 asts, Sharp 10 (306 for three).
Top scorers for Climamio: Lorbek 19 & 6 rbds, Belinelli 17, Becirovic & Garris 10 each/ Watson pulled down 14 rbds & scored 6 pts.
In Istanbul a 71-69 win for Real over Ulker. Real leafs group E with three wins. Maccabi has 2 wins, Climamio 1 win and Ulker has 3 defeats.