Regular Season Round 10 - January 15, 2009 CET: 20:15 Local time: 20:15 - FERNANDO BUESA ARENA

Records

Ave.   Ave.
0-0 Final Four 0-0
0-0 Playoffs 0-0
0-0 Top 16 0-0
7-2 Regular Season 4-5
7-2 Overall 4-5

Referees

Crew Chief
BRAZAUSKAS, ROMUALDAS, Lithuania
Referee
CHRISTODOULOU, CHRISTOS, Greece
Umpire
JASEVICIUS, TOMAS, Lithuania

Team Stats

Ave.   Ave.
91.7 Points 79.7
32.9 Rebounds 30.8
8.9 O. Rebounds 12.0
24.0 D. Rebounds 18.8
13.8 Assists 13.4
8.3 Steals 9.8
3.6 Blocks 3.6
12.8 Turnovers 12.4
59.0 % 2PT 49.2 %
40.8 % 3PT 34.7 %
78.9 % FT 79.8 %
102.7 Index 81.1

Player Stats

Ave.   Ave.
20.1 / Rakocevic Points 12.1 / Wright
5.0 / SPLITTER, TIAGO Rebounds 4.9 / HERNANDEZ-SONSECA, EDU
2.0 / MCDONALD, WILL OR 1.9 / HERNANDEZ-SONSECA, EDU
4.0 / SPLITTER, TIAGO DR 3.0 / HERNANDEZ-SONSECA, EDU
4.0 / PRIGIONI, PABLO Assists 4.6 / Mallet
2.2 / PRIGIONI, PABLO Steals 1.5 / Mallet
1.6 / SPLITTER, TIAGO Blocks 1.0 / Jagla
2.6 / Rakocevic Turnovers 2.6 / Mallet
85.7 % / PRIGIONI, PABLO 2PT 66.7 % / Bogdanovic
55.6 % / Vidal 3PT 71.4 % / Tomas
100.0 % / Rakocevic FT 100.0 % / Bogdanovic
20.9 / Rakocevic Index 12.9 / HERNANDEZ-SONSECA, EDU

THE TAKE

An all-Spanish showdown with both teams fighting for different goals in Group C will take place in Vitoria, where Tau Ceramica welcomes DKV Joventut on Thursday. Tau Ceramica is already the Group C champion after its overtime road win against Lottomatica Roma last week. Meanwhile, DKV Joventut is tied with Alba Berlin for fourth place at 4-5 and is in a tough situation because of its 0-2 record against the German champion. Joventut must beat Tau and wait for Union Olimpija to down Alba in Berlin to reach the next round. Both teams are facing this game without injury problems. There is a highly-anticipated matchup between Tau scoring ace Igor Rakocevic - currently the Euroleague's top scorer - and Joventut teen sensation Ricky Rubio, one of the best defensive players in the sport. Rubio should see playing time at both guard spots along with Pau Ribas, Demond Mallet and off-guard Bracey Wright. Mallet will test his scoring skills against Pablo Prigioni, Wright should challenge Rakocevic in the scoring department, while Mustafa Shakur will go against Ribas. Former Joventut swingman Sergi Vidal may go against Wright in coach Dusko Ivanovic's strong man-to-man defense. Tau is deep at small forward with Pete Mickeal and Fernando San Emeterio, who will battle against Simas Jasaitis - who played for Tau last season, Ferran Laviña and youngster Pere Tomas. In the paint, Edu Hernandez-Sonseca of DKV and All-Euroleague center Tiago Splitter of Tau will clash. Hernandez-Sonseca became the Week 5 MVP, outclassing Splitter by a narrow margin, when Joventut beat Tau 105-100 in late November. Hernandez-Sonseca will get some help from Jerome Moiso to go against Splitter and Stanko Barac. Joventut’s versatile forwards Jan Jagla and Luka Bogdanovic will test teir shooting skills against three-point specialist Mirza Teletovic, while Henk Norel will challenge Will McDonald. Joventut must play aggressive and up-tempo, just like it did in the game in Badalona - but now with Rubio back on court. Tau must get Rakocevic and Mickeal involved, as well as feeding Splitter down low to create double-team situations. There is a big rivalry between both teams recently, as Tau and Joventut faced each other in the 2004 and 2008 Spanish King's Cup finals, splitting wins. This will be another chapter in that rivalry as Joventut looks to extend its season, while Tau aims to stretch its winning streak to five.

GAME NOTES

Tau Ceramica
  • Tau Ceramica leads the Euroleague in scoring this season and boasts three of the top 10 scorers in the league. Head coach Dusko Ivanovic’s club is averaging 91.7 points per game. Guard Igor Rakocevic leads the league with 20.1 points per game, center Tiago Splitter is sixth at 15.1 points and forward Mirza Teletovic is 10th with 14.6 per game.
  • Rakocevic has made at least 1 three-pointer in 14 consecutive Euroleague games. He has not missed a free throw this season in 51 attempts – the best run in the league. Rakocevic needs just 2 more three-pointers to reach 200 for his career.
  • Teletovic has made at least 1 three-pointer in 13 consecutive Euroleague games. He has made at least 3 threes in five consecutive games.
  • Tau Captain Sergi Vidal, who has spent the past eight seasons at Tau, began his career in Badalona. He made one appearance with the senior team at Joventut before signing for Tau, where he has been since.
DKV Joventut
  • Point guard Demond Mallet has made at least 1 three-pointer in 18 consecutive Euroleague appearances dating back to November 2006, when he played for Rheinenegie Cologne. He finished the 2006-07 season with a three in 10 straight games and has made at least 1 in each game this season with DKV Joventut.
  • Sharpshooter Simas Jasaitis will face a number of former teammates this week, as the forward won the Spanish League last season with Tau Ceramica. Jasaitis has played for four different teams in the last four seasons, including this one. In the past three years, he led each team to their domestic championship: Lietuvos Rytas in Lithuania in 2006, Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel in 2007 and Tau in Spain last year.
  • Forward Luka Bogdanovic needs just 5 more three-pointer to reach 100 for his Euroleague Basketball career.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Euroleague.net

Quotes Head Coaches

IVANOVIC, DUSKO
Tau Ceramica
"It's true that both teams have a different approach for this game. We will be the leaders in our group whatever the result is while DKV Joventut plays for its life. But that doesn't mean that it's going to be a different game than any other we could play against them. We are a team that always want to win, no matter when, where and against who, so I don't think we are going to be relaxed. DKV Joventut has made some changes in the roster, and in my opinion they are a better team now. They recovered Rubio and added Moiso, so they are more dangerous than they were the last time we faced them. Ricky is a player that has great leading skills, a top level player who can decide any game by himself."
ALONSO, SITO
DKV Joventut
"I believe in my team. Truth is, miracles are difficult to happen, especially when you deserve them. I don't know if we deserve it. I believe we deserved something better against Alba but didn't get it, so now we have to look for a win with a lot of ambition, play a good game and if we have chances to win, of course, go for it. If we don't make it to the Top 16, it will not be because we didn't try to win in Vitoria."

Players

RUBIO, RICKY
DKV Joventut
“We have to win in Vitoria to start thinking about reaching the next round. I think we are able to win in there, but we cannot do anything about the game in Berlin. It is easier to reach a goal that fully depends on us rather than waiting for others to do it. Tau has shown that it plays at a very high level. It has also lost one game in the Spanish League and two in the Euroleague. It will be a very tough game but I think we have out chances. We have to see how we can play against them, but without losing our identity, none other than being strong in defense and playing up-tempo. We know it is tough but we are only halfway out, but also halfway in."
Mustafa Shakur - Tau CeramicaTau Ceramica confirmed its status as the Group C champion by downing DKV Joventut 91-83 in Vitoria, Spain on Thursday night. Tau finished Group C with a 8-2 record and registered its fifth consecutive win. Meanwhile, Joventut was fifth at 4-6 and therefore out of the Top 16. Igor Rakocevic led the winners with 19 points. Tiago Splitter and Mustafa Shakur each added 18, Pete Mickeal had 13 while Sergi Vidal got 12 for Tau. Luka Bogdanovic led Joventut with 13 points. Jan Jagla and Edu Hernandez-Sonseca each added 12, Demond Mallet had 11 while Pau Ribas got 10 for DKV. Joventut led 21-24 after 10 minutes while Bogdanovic and an outstanding Jagla boosted the guests' margin to 39-51 late in the first half. It didn't last long, however, as Rakocevic and Splitter led a 17-0 run that allowed Tau to get a 56-51 edge early in the third quarter. A three-pointer by Ferran Laviña gave the guests their last lead, 58-59. Splitter fueled an 11-0 run that put Tau ahead for good, 69-59. Joventut did not rally in the fourth quarter, allowing Tau to add another home win.

Splitter got Tau going with a driving play, as Joventut struggled to score in the opening 2 minutes. Meanwhile, Mickeal scored in the low post for a 4-0 Tau lead. Henk Norel stepped up with a layup that Splitter erased with free throws. Ribas sank a four-meter jumper while a fast break layup by Simas Jasaitis gave Joventut its first lead, 6-7. Rakocevic found his first points on a driving basket but Jagla answered from downtown to keep his team ahead, 8-10. Rakocevic nailed a jumper off the dribble and soon added free throws to restore a 12-10 Tau edge. Mallet fired in a triple but Mickeal and Rakocevic - who saw his free throw streak stopped at 58 - kept the hosts ahead, 16-13. Hernandez-Sonseca dunked it off a Joventut timeout that Mickeal matched with free throws. Pere Tomas shined with a put-back layup while a long jumper by Hernandez-Sonseca provided another lead change, 18-19. Mallet followed a jumper with a corner three-pointer to make Joventut keep a 21-24 edge after 10 minutes.

Ricky Rubio - DKV JoventutBogdanovic buried a corner triple right at the start of the second quarter but Vidal followed free throws with a driving layup to keep Tau within 25-27. Mirza Teletovic dunked it in transition for a 27-27 tie, after a 6-0 run. Hernandez-Sonseca scored down low but Stanko Barac answered with a put-back layup. Ricky Rubio took over with a driving layup that Bogdanovic followed with a tip-in for a 29-33 Joventut edge. Vidal and Hernandez-Sonseca exchanged baskets while Jagla sank his second triple to boost the guests' lead to 32-38. Ribas nailed another shot while a three-point play by Jagla off a Tau timeout made it a double-digit game, 32-43. Joventut excelled in defense while Ribas scored again to cap a 1-12 run. Shakur shined with a three-point play that Jagla erased with his third bomb from downtown. McDonald stepped up with a tip-in but Mallet bettered that with a triple. Shakur answered from downtown to bring Tau within 42-51 at halftime.

Rakocevic nailed a three-pointer immediately after the break and soon added free throws to bring Tau back to life, 48-51. Joventut could not find the way to the basket now while a layup by Splitter and a fast break basket by Rakocevic completed the hosts' comeback, 52-51. Splitter stepped up with a reverse layup while an outstanding fast break dunk by Mickeal capped a 17-0 Tau run for a 56-51 score. Jerome Moiso shined with a second-chance basket while a three-pointer by Bogdanovic tied it at 56-56. Splitter scored in transition but a three-pointer by Laviña put Joventut back ahead, 58-59. Mickeal answered from downtown while a power layup by Vidal got the crowd involved at 63-59. Joventut kept struggling to score against the hosts' outstanding defense. Teletovic, Splitter and Vidal made free throws while a put-back dunk by Splitter boosted Tau's lead to double digits, 69-59, after an 11-0 run. Another corner triple by Bogdanovic and a jump hook by Splitter fixed the score at 71-62 after 30 minutes.

Tau tried to slow down the game tempo early in the fourth quarter, as Teletovic rolled off the pick to make it an 11-point game, 73-62. A layup by Mickeal sealed the outcome, 75-63, with under 8 minutes to go. Laviña tried to change things for Joventut while Hernandez-Sonseca gave the guests some hope at 75-65. Joventut had improved its defense while Hernandez-Sonseca scored in penetration to bring the guests even closer, 75-67. Rakocevic rescued Tau with free throws, as time was running out for the guests despite some good news coming from Berlin - but not from Istanbul. Rakocevic - who else? - took over with a floating layup that made Joventut call timeout at 79-69. Rakocevic stayed unstoppable as everything was said and done with 3 minutes to go. Tau will keep fighting to win its first Euroleague title while Joventut returns to the Spanish League with the goal to get back to Europe's top competition.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Euroleague.net
Referees: BRAZAUSKAS, ROMUALDAS (LTU), CHRISTODOULOU, CHRISTOS (GRE), JASEVICIUS, TOMAS (LTU)
Attendance: 8025
By Quarter1234
Tau Ceramica21212920
DKV Joventut24271121
End of Quarter1234
Tau Ceramica21427191
DKV Joventut24516283
Head coach: IVANOVIC, DUSKO
Tau Ceramica
# Player Min Pts 2FG
M-A
3FG
M-A
FT
M-A
Rebounds As St To Bl Fouls PIR
O D T Fv Ag Cm Rv
5 PRIGIONI, PABLO 26:43   0/2     1 3 4 5 2       1   8
8 RAKOCEVIC, IGOR 22:47 19 4/9 1/4 8/11 1 2 3   1 1   1 3 8 15
9 VIDAL, SERGI 23:33 12 3/4 0/2 6/7 1 5 6 3 1 1 1   1 4 21
10 NOCEDAL, MATIAS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
11 ESLAVA, ARIEL DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
12 TELETOVIC, MIRZA 23:20 5 2/5 0/4 1/2 1 3 4     2     3 1 -3
19 SAN EMETERIO, FERNANDO 12:26   0/2       2 2   2     1 1    
21 SPLITTER, TIAGO 28:30 18 7/11   4/9 3 5 8 1 2   3     7 30
22 SHAKUR, MUSTAFA 13:17 18 3/3 1/2 9/11 1   1 1 1 3     2 6 19
33 MICKEAL, PETE 26:12 13 4/10 1/1 2/2 2 3 5 1 1 1 1 1 3 1 11
42 BARAC, STANKO 9:18 3 1/2   1/2 1   1     2       1 1
45 MCDONALD, WILL 13:54 3 1/5   1/2 3 4 7     1   1 1 1 3
Team           2 2 4   1           5
Totals 200:00 91 25/53 3/13 32/46 16 29 45 11 11 11 5 4 15 29 110
47.2% 23.1% 69.6%
Min: Minutes played; Pts: Points; 2FG M-A: 2-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); 3FG M-A: 3-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); FT M-A: Free Throws (Made-Attempted); Rebounds: O (Offensive), D (Defensive), T (Total); As: Assists; St: Steals; To: Turnovers; Bl: Blocks (Fv: In Favor / Ag: Against); Fouls: Cm (Commited), Rv (Received); PIR: Performance Index Rating
Head coach: ALONSO, SITO
DKV Joventut
# Player Min Pts 2FG
M-A
3FG
M-A
FT
M-A
Rebounds As St To Bl Fouls PIR
O D T Fv Ag Cm Rv
00 MALLET, DEMOND 23:21 11 1/1 3/11   1 3 4 4 1 2     5 1 6
4 RIBAS, PAU 22:15 10 5/8 0/3         3   1     2   4
6 WRIGHT, BRACEY DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
9 RUBIO, RICKY 22:21 9 2/5 1/1 2/2 2 4 6 2 2 3   1 2 5 15
10 BOGDANOVIC, LUKA 22:35 13 2/5 3/4   3   3           1   11
13 JASAITIS, SIMAS 25:05 7 2/5 0/3 3/3 1 3 4 2   1 1 2 3 2 4
14 JAGLA, JAN 17:19 12 1/3 3/7 1/1 1 5 6   1 3     4 1 7
16 HERNANDEZ-SONSECA, EDU 19:00 12 5/7   2/2   5 5   2 2     3 3 15
17 NOREL, HENK 8:48 2 1/3 0/1   1 2 3 1   1     2    
18 LAVIÑA, FERRAN 18:20 4 0/1 1/4 1/2   1 1 1       1 4 2 -2
19 TOMAS, PERE 9:36 2 1/1 0/1   1 1 2           1   2
22 MOISO, JEROME 11:20 1 0/2   1/2   3 3       3 1 2 1 2
Team           2 3 5     1         4
Totals 200:00 83 20/41 11/35 10/12 12 30 42 13 6 14 4 5 29 15 68
48.8% 31.4% 83.3%
This game is not yet played

Head Coaches

IVANOVIC, DUSKO
Tau Ceramica
"It was a two-sided game. Despite the fact that we prepared the game knowing that DKV needed the win while we didn’t, we wanted to do a good job on court, especially on defense. But in the first half we didn’t do what we planned. DKV showed that they are a great team that plays quick, modern basketball. They were able to make a lot of shots, moved the ball pretty well and created a lot of advantages. It was in the third quarter when we were able to improve our defense, putting much more effort in it. We took first place in our group, so now we’ll see how good or bad is the draw for us. We wanted to be as high as we could be, and we achieved it."
ALONSO, SITO
DKV Joventut
"We did knew that Tau is a superb team and they showed it tonight. You can realize how good other coaches like Dusko Ivanovic are when you face them and today Tau demonstrated that they are at an incredibly high level. The clearest example was the third quarter. They showed power, intensity, will, and an excellent defense. We played fine in the first two quarters, taking advantage of their soft approach to the game, but when they reacted after halftime, we faded away. We committed the same mistake in the past. When they were struggling, they focused on defense, while when we struggled we tried to solve everything through our offense. It’s hard to win here when you have 12 free throws and they shot 46. It’s something we have to improve, we must improve our inside game to be able to draw more fouls. We only told the players that Alba Berlin was losing when we noticed the physical energy was going down, so we tried to boost the team mentally. But I think our chance started in Vitoria, we had to win here first, and we couldn’t do it. I don’t think we were eliminated in the last two games of the regular season, we went through a lot of problems during the season."

Players

PRIGIONI, PABLO
Tau Ceramica
"We came out to win the game. It was hard for us in the first half, but I think we played a great third quarter. We felt more confident when we took back the lead and were able to play our brand of basketball. The most important thing is avoiding relaxing and trying to keep going. We have to be ready because a defeat can come at any time and we cannot allow that to make us stop playing the right way."
RAKOCEVIC, IGOR
Tau Ceramica
"It was an important game for us, even though we had already qualified to the Top 16 as the group champions. DKV Joventut is a direct opponent that we can face in the Spanish League playoffs or even in the upcoming Spanish King’s Cup final eight. We must try to win every game we play. We didn’t play very good defense in the first half, while they made several long-distance shots. We improved a lot and played much better after the break."
RUBIO, RICKY
DKV Joventut
"We had a chance to qualify, which was winning here and wait for Alba to lose. Unfortunately, Olimpija won, but we couldn’t cap the night and we missed. We started strong but we lost the grip after the break. You cannot relax a single second against a team like Tau because they never forgive. Although they played for nothing, they showed they are a good and ambitious team. Our goal was to make it to the Top 16, so now we must to review our trajectory so far to try to learn lessons. I think we should have been stronger at home, especially when you are playing in the Euroleague, a competition in which it is very hard to take road wins. I feel fine, although the hand still hurts a bit and I think it will take some time to be at my best level."
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