Italy’s SerieA: Montepaschi loses top spot


Round 7 Regular Season – The Italian SerieA has a new team atop its standings, Enel Basket Brindisi (6-1). The former holder of that spot was Montepaschi Siena, but they fell to Pallacanestro Cantu in a close game, 88:90, and have slid to second place with a 5-2 record. Enel took care of business in their match-up against Pasta Reggia Juvecaserta, 65:69, and were thus rewarded with pole position.

Montepaschi’s four-game winning streak came to a screeching halt as they met with a determined and capable home team that was hungry for an upset.

The game was close for the most part, with Cantu trailing only by three points at the half-way mark. They came through in the end thanks to a 49-44 rally. The heroic game of Montepaschi’s Daniel Hackett (199 cm, USC’09) was not enough to them through. He flirted with a triple-double, scoring a game-high 25 points, grabbed seven rebounds and dished eight assists. It was an impressive effort, but he led only two other players in double figures. Othello Hunter (203 cm, Ohio State’08) dropped 17 points and Josh Carter (200 cm, Texas A&M’09) managed to chip in 15.

Pallacanestro Cantu deployed a more balanced offense, without a single player scoring in the 20s. They did, however, have two stalwarts who hit Montepaschi for 16 points apiece, starter Michael Jenkins (191 cm) and local player Stefano Gentile (191 cm). Both guards caught fire and combined for 7 of 12 shots made by the team from downtown. Maarten Leunen (206 cm) was the man in the middle for Cantu as he finished the night with 13 points and eight boards.

Here are the results of the other games on tap last night:

Banco di Sardegna Sasssari vs. Sidigas Avellino, 78:75

EA7 Emporio Armani Milano vs. Grissin Bon Reggio Emila, 73:52

Vanoli Cremona vs. Virtus Roma, 68:78

S.S. Sutor Montegranaro vs. Cimberio Varese, 88:83

Granarolo Bologna vs. Umana Reyer Venezia, 88:87

Giorgio Tesi Group Pistoia vs. Victoria Libertas Pesaro, 115:110 OT

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