Jasmin Repesa, the Croatian coach of Climamio Bologna. said he was satisfied with his team`s performance in spite of their 76-82 loss to Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv. He remembers well his last visit to the NOKIA Arena, when Maccabi beat his team by 44 points in the Euroleague Final two years ago. Tonight it was Repesa`s fourth defeat to Pini Gershon in five meetings in the last two years.
The final score does not indicate the superiority Maccabi had throughout the game. With less than four minutes to go, Maccabi led 80-66 but a series of turnovers was well exploited by the visitors for a 10-2 run.
Maccabi started very well with an amazing first quarter by Nikola Vujcic (10 pts, 4 rbds). Maccabi led 15-6 and at the end of the period 27-20. Climamio came back (38-38) after a series of poor shooting by the home players and a first class performance by Sani Becirovic. Sharon Shason came from the bench and immediately scored a three pointer and at half time Maccabi held a 46-42 lead.
Three pointers by Sharp & Parker put Maccabi 56-49 up and its very tight defense held the visitors on 11 points in the third period. Will Solomon, having a very quiet game, scored his first points, free shots, with 34 second to the end of the period. The reams went for the break with Maccabi leading 66-53.
Pini Gershon`s players held a 12 to 15 points lead until the final minutes abd deserved a more impressive victory.
Maccabi had a clear advantage in shooting - 10-22 for three pointers and altogether 51% FG & 89% FT. Maccabi players dished out 17 assists (Climamio 15), made 17 steals (to 14) but had 14 TO (to17). But once more the Euroleague Champions were no match in rebounds. Climamio grabbed 40 rbds (18 offernsive) to Maccabi`s 24 rbds.
This was BVujcic best game since returning from illness a few weeks ago. He scores 15 pts, pulled down 6 rbds, dished out 5 assists and made 2 steals. Jamie Arnold had also an excellent game with 15 pts & 4 rbds.
Five of Maccabi players scored in double fugures, The other were: Parker 15 as well as 6 rbds & 3 asts, Solomon 11 and 6 asts, Baston 10. Other scorers: Sharp 8, H Burstein 3, Shason 3 pts.
Top scorers for Climamio: Becirovic 19, Belinelli 16, Diawara 14 pts & 8 rbds.
In Madrid Real beat Ulker 74-53 and keeps top place in Group E.: