ANDhe Baskonia closed its first pre-season test by taking the City of Cagliari tournament title after beating Dinamo Sassari in the final by 72-84. The Italians, who had beaten Bayern Munich in the semifinal the night before, barely disturbed a Vitoria team very focused and with a balanced offensive cast. Thus, 6 Baskonia players scored in double digits, Peters being the highest contributor – and MVP of the final – with 15 points.
Ivanovic made changes to the starting five, using Baldwin, Marinkovic and Fontecchio as the outside triplet. The North American responded to the challenge with 7 points in just 5 minutes that gave Baskonia the first advantages. Marinkovic took over shortly after with a layup and a triple, while the Vitoria team squeezed in defense (9-17, min. 6). The Basques lost some fluidity with the rotations, but their solidity behind allowed them to close the first quarter with a 7 advantage after a suspension over Granger’s horn (16-23).
A series of errors by Kurucs and Enoch opened a small crack in the Baskonia wall at the beginning of the second quarter, which was used by Clemmons and Logan to turn the light (26-23, min.12). Ivanovic stopped the game and brought Baldwin back on track – along with Granger – and Baskonia reacted. Giedraitis and Peters, from the perimeter, put the Vitoria team ahead again in the blink of an eye (30-38, min. 15). With Nnoko back to five, the Vitoria players gained in aggressiveness on the rebound and on the passing lanes, enough to extend the distance to 12 points at halftime (34-46).
Marinkovic left the locker room with a hot wrist, shooting the Baskonia advantage to 18 points (34-52, min.22). Clemmons’ 9 consecutive points held Sassari momentarily, but the Vitorians did not lower their guard (43-57, min.15), learning the lesson of the semifinal match. The game got a bit messy with rotations, a scenario in which Peters and Giedraitis emerged as plungers to keep the difference stable at the end of the third quarter (53-66).
A Bendzius 3-pointer tried to keep Sassari with options going into the last period, but another 3-pointer and an assist from Granger for Nnoko’s mate quickly aborted the local reaction (58-72, min.34). Cavina tried to change the course of the game with a time-out, but it did little good against a Baskonia already in the high-speed lane (60-79, min.36). With the victory already decided (64-84, min. 38), Ivanovic took the opportunity to give the young Cissoko and Hanzlik minutes as his team completed its comfortable transition to the tournament title.
Dinamo Sassari 72 (16 + 18 + 19 + 19): Clemmons (16), Burnell (7), Bendzius (6), Mekowulu (11), Gentile (5) -initial quintet-, Logan (10), Gandini (-), Devecchi (-), Treier (2), Chessa (-), Battle (10), Delete (5).
Baskonia 84 (23 + 23 + 20 + 18): Baldwin IV (14), Sedekerskis (-), Marinkovic (11), Fontecchio (10), Nnoko (13) -initial quintet-, Hanzlik (-), Cissoko (-), Granger (4), Enoch (4), Peters (15), Giedraitis (13), Kurucs (-)