Snaidero of Udine made on Tuesday night a decisive step into the second round by defeating on its homecourt Telekom Baskets of Bonn, 92-78, to reach a 5-3 record and stay in second place in Group A. On the other hand, Bonn burnt a big part of its remaining hopes and with a 3-5 record are on brink of the elimination. Russian center Mikhail Mikhailov led the winners , drilling 29 points and adding 10 boards. Demetrius Alexander netted 20 more for Udine, Michele Mian 12, Alexander Vujacic and Misan Nikagbatse both 10. For Telekom Bonn the scoring leader was Terrenche Rencher with 17 points. Aleksander Nadjfeji posted 16, Brad Traina 14, Brian Brown 13 and Branko Klepac 12.
Snaidero started the game with an incredible charge, going up 10-0 after just 3 minutes, with Alexander posting 8 of those points. But the Germans, who didn't score their first basket for more than 4 minutes, on a midrange jumper by Brad Traina, were not intimidated. Traina was soon netting the triple to close the gap almost completely, at 14-13, late in teh first quarter. That is when Mikhailov started another run that allowed the hosts to reach a 20-13 lead, but Bonn kept working to survive. With Traina on fire and Rencher finally entering in the game, the guest were back within 26-22 after 10 minutes. The second period saw short leads for the orange of Udine until Aleksander Nadjfeji scoring the layup the pulled Bonn within 35-34. Brian Brown soon tied the game at 39-39 and Traina gave the Germans their first lead at 39-41, with a minute-and-a-half to go until the break. In that time, however, Snaidero rallied with the last 5 points, including a final three-pointer by Michele Mian, and the home team had its advantage back, 44-41, going into the lockers. Alexnader had 18 points then and Mikhailov 11 for the hosts, while Traina was on 10 for Bonn.
After the break, Snaidero kept on running and lengthening the margin minute by minute, to 50-43 at first, then 60-48 on a mid-range jumper from recently-arrived Nigakbatse. The best advantage on the game, 20 points, came with a 14-3 run that closed the third quarter with 71-51 on the scoreboard and Mikhailov tearing up on the inside with 22 points already scored. The last period was just a run to the final goal of Snaidero and an agony for the Germans who tried to recover the gap, but without success. Now, Bonn will have to win both of its last two games to have a chance at qualifying.
Tuesday, December 17, 2002