Cibona continued defending its homecourt and with that its Group B position by beating Armani Jeans Milano 67-60 at home in Zagreb on Wednesday. Cibona improved to 2-2 and stays unbeaten at home, while Milano dropped to 1-3. Damir Markota led the winners with 17 points on 5-for-6 shooting, including 4 three-pointers. Scoonie Penn added 13 points and 4 steals for Cibona, while Bennett Davison grabbed 11 rebounds. Diego Fajardo had a big double-double for Milano with 19 points and 13 rebounds while Preston Shumpert added 18 points. Fajardo pushed Milano ahead 13-20 after 10 minutes, but Markota went on fire in the second quarter and his second triple gave Cibona a 33-31 halftime edge. That margin was the same, 50-48, after a triple by Penn ended the third quarter. Cibona's defense took over until Dante Calabria fired Milanoback into the game, but Markota answered with big corner triple to decide it in the last minute.
Giacomo Galanda in the paint and Fajardo from three-point distance gave Milano a quick 0-5 start. As Cibona missed even near the basket, Galanda added a triple to Milano's run. Cibona's 3 scoreless minutes ended when Alen Trepalovac made a tip-in and a layup. Milano had its go-to guy in Fajardo, who scored twice in the paint and then fired in his second triple, forcing a Cibona timeout. Fajardo already had 10 points and Milano led 6-15. Penn fed Markota for a reverse layup, but Shumpert boosted Milano's advantage to 9-18 from downtown. After Davor Marcelic and Shumpert exchanged jumpers, Penn beat Milano's new zone with a basket at the buzzer to pull Cibona within 13-20 after 10 minutes.
Cibona tried more aggressive defense in the second quarter, while Davor Kus scored a triple and a layup to bring the hosts within 18-20. Milano struggled now on offense, while Penn's free throws capped a 7-0 run with a 20-20 tie. Galanda found space for an open three-pointer and Fajardo hit a free throw to restor a 20-24 Milano advantage. Cibona was stalled against Milano's zone defense until Marcelic completed a fastbreak. Shumpert answered with a corner three, but Markota immediately copied it. Milano shot poorly until Massimo Bulleri fed Shumpert for a jumper, but Davison and Marin Rozic fueled a 5-0 run to give Cibona its frst lead, 30-29. Markota would fire in a seven-meter three to keep the hosts ahead, 33-31 at halftime.
Penn tried to spark Cibona with an uncontested layup after the break, as the hosts hustled for every ball now but lacked concentration in offense. Meanwhile, Shumpert buried a big three to get Milano within 35-34. Rozic dunked for Cibona, but Fajardo matched that with a jumper. Once Bulleri sat with his fourth foul, Cibona made the most out of it. Damir Rancic nailed a five-meter jumper, Penn drove for a layup and Milano needed a timeout at 41-36 after 25 minutes. Milano switched back to zone defense, while Fajardo and Shumpert combined for 5 quick points to tie, 41-41. Milano relied on Shumpert's offense, but the guests had entered the foul bonus. Markota made free throws and gave an incredible no-look pass to Davison to keep Cibona in charge, but Dusan Vukcevic buried a turnaround jumper to take the lead for Milano, 47-48. Penn had the final say, however, beating the buzzer with a triple for a 50-48 Cibona advantage after 30 minutes.
Davison opened the final quarter with a layup and Marcelic nailed a three-pointer to complete an 8-0 run with Cibona up 55-48. Vukcevic answered from downtown and Fajardo added a free throw to get Milano back in range at 55-52. Cibona struggled now while Milano dominated the offensive boards, then Fajardo's foul shots to made it 55-54 with under 6 minutes to go. Despite it's scoring troubles, Cibona's 2-3 zone defense kept the hosts alive until Rancic buried a critical three. Davison then had a big block on Bulleri and Markota struck from downtown for a 61-54 Cibona margin with under 3 minutes to go. Calabria gave Milano some hope with a triple and a one-handed short jumper to bring the guests within 61-59. After a Cibona timeout, however, Markota sealed the outcome with an incredible corner three. Milano could not rally as Davison and Penn made free throws to preserve Cibona's second Group B victory at home.
Wednesday, November 23, 2005