|Andrea Cinciarini delivered his best performance of the season, pacing Reggio Emilia with 27 points, six rebounds and eight assists|
Reggio Emilia rallied in the second half to keep alive their home winning streak in the EuroChallenge as they saw off KRKA Novo Mesto 82-71.
The Italians made it five out of five on their home court as they outscored the visitors 49-33 after the break.
Andrea Cinciarini was their inspiration, pouring in 27 points while dishing out eight assists and collecting six rebounds.
Things had hardly started well as the visitors took a 17-5 lead when Edo Muric sank a pair of free throws.
Reggio Emilia got the deficit back to just three when Rimantas Kaukenas hit from deep to start the second period, but it was not until a Cinciarini lay-up two minutes into the third period that they caught the visitors, going 39-38 up.
The two teams scrapped for an advantage, but after Cinciarini's three put Reggio Emilia up 46-43, they never trailed again, gradually pulling away down the stretch.
Kaukenas collected 18 points while James White added 13 for the hosts.
Christopher Booker's 13 points led KRKA with Jaka Klobucar adding 12 and Jasmin Hukic 11.
Krka Head Coach Aleksandar Dzikic
"My players have done a good job in the first part of the game. Andrea Cinciarini is the soul of this team, he starred in more than 30 possessions of his team, and played 35 minutes, and this thing makes me think that we were good opponents. With Andrea I think that Riccardo Cervi deserves a mention, he completely changed the fortunes of the game. He had been a formidable opponent making it impossible to score in his presence. For us it was a big problem to lose so early [Dino] Muric for two fouls in which he has sinned out of inexperience. He is a young player, competitive and brave, whose contribution is essential for the team, and we suffered his absence from the game."
Krka Player Jaka Klobucar
"This was a very important match for us. In the first half we played well as a team and we also managed to take the lead. In the second half we were disunited, making bad choices and playing with only a few ideas. For this reason we have not brought the game home. We expected that Reggio would put in place a major defence and we were not able to respond to their aggression. Congratulations to Grissin Bon on this victory."
Reggio Emilia Head Coach Massimiliano Menetti
"I am very satisfied with this victory but especially with the type of victory that we got. It was a game fought for 40 minutes and usually we struggle a lot to win in these conditions, I believe that so far it happened only in the game against Bologna in the Italian league. It was not easy to succeed in this venture 48 hours after the loss against Siena: in the starting part of the game the team felt the effort. We needed energy that came from [Matteo] Frassineti, [Riccardo] Cervi, but also [Greg] Brunner at the beginning of the 3rd quarter gave us a big hand. We needed a tough race to be able to get a hard-fought victory. The team did well and I really liked the support that our fans in the arena gave us: in a bad moment, they gave us 5 or 6 consecutive applauses that gave us confidence. Now we have 24 hours of rest and then we will think to the next appointment with Montegranaro."
Reggio Emilia Player Andrea Cinciarini
"I would like to begin by naming two guys who have been crucial today: Riccardo Cervi and Matteo Frassineti. Riccardo had a little problem with the knee but he didn't want to miss today, he took 10 rebounds. Matteo is a great person and a great professional, he trained in silence and in a difficult moment he proved his value, to me he is the example of the team that we need to be. This was a really tough game. I have said more than once that we need to keep going in the EuroChallenge, it is important for the club and for the team. It gives us the confidence to face the next appointments in our league. Thanks to the fans who are close to us; we know that sometimes it is not easy but we need their heat. Tonight the team needed points, leadership and motivation. I gave my contribution to the group, no one can win alone. This is a victory made possible by the whole team."