Greg Brunner continues to show big performances for Reggio Emilia
Reggio Emilia rebounded from their loss at Team Teho Sport Kotka with an important 78-61 win over GasTerra Flames Groningen in Group E of the EuroChallenge.
The Italian side came out guns blazing on Tuesday night, establishing a 10-2 lead after the opening five minutes, showing their readiness to make up for last week's performance and restore their confidence.
The GasTerra Flames, still waiting for their first EuroChallenge win, soon found their rhythm on boths ends of the floor, cutting down the deficit and taking a slim 33-32 advantage into the half-time interval.
The hosts, however, profited by their longer bench, sharp three-point shooting and an in-form Greg Brunner, pulling clear in the second half.
Brunner shot seven-of-eight from the field, pacing the hosts with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Coby Karl added 15 points on four-of-six three-point shooting.
On his EuroChallenge debut, Italian international Andrea Cinciarini delivered a well-rounded performance of nine points, 10 rebounds and a team-high six assists.
Jeffrey Robinson led the visitors with 14 points, while Quentin Pryor had 11 in a losing effort.
Reggio Emilia are now 2-1 in Group E, while Groning sit in last place with a 0-2 record.
GasTerra Flames Head Coach Ivica Skelin: "We played this game for 35 minutes, we are not used to play with teams of a high level like Reggio Emilia for 40 minutes. We gave all we could. We didn't manage some key moments properly, in particular during the second half of the game, when Reggio Emilia improved their shooting percentages."
GasTerra Flames Player Jeffrey Robinson: "We tried to match the rhythm of the game and we did it for 35 minutes, then Reggio Emilia gained confidence and we didn't have the strength to react. Grissin Bon have been good at making adjustments after the break, they have made it difficult for us to do things that were easy during the first half of the game, so we struggled to find points."
Reggio Emilia Head Coach Max Menetti: "I would like to underline that we won another game with a large difference and keeping the other team around 60 points. We are a fragile team; just a few episodes are enough to demoralise us. We suffer but we are very tough. We have a big quality: we are united and we have a deep rotation. The fact that Matteo Frassineti came off the bench and decided the game is a good sign. We have to work hard. We lack continuity and we are not nice to watch, but the important thing is to be effective."
Reggio Emilia Player Coby Karl: "We played together for the entire 40 minutes and this made the difference. Groningen played a very intense basketball but we kept up. We play together, united, one for each other, and our target is to win. We didn't play perfectly, but we were focused and we found the way to win. We have to improve some things, like turnovers, and control rebounds. Game after game we understand which kind of basketball we want to play, keeping a high intensity also in away games."