2008-09Regular SeasonRound 10
January 15, 2009 CET: 20:45
Local time: 20:45 PALACIO DE LOS DEPORTES J.M. MARTIN CARPENA
Carlos Cabezas - UnicajaUnicaja secured first place in Group A on Thursday with a commanding 92-69 smashing of Maccabi Electra at the Martin Carpena Arena in Malaga, Spain. It was Unicaja’s seventh consecutive win as head coach Aito Garcia Reneses’s men finished the regular season with an 8-2 record. It also extended the club’s home-court winning streak in the Euroleague to 23 games. Meanwhile Maccabi saw it’s four-game winning run end as it finished the group in third place with a 6-4 record. The hosts took control early as Thomas Kelati drained a pair of three-pointers and Omar Cook and Jiri Welsch also hit from downtown for a 15-2 lead. The advantage would reach 17 before the period ended and Maccabi never got closer than 8 the rest of the way. Boni NDong paced Unicaja with 15 points and 5 blocked shots, Carlos Cabezas and Marcus Haislip added 12 points apiece and Welsch and Kelati had 11 each for the winners. Former Unicaja guard Marcus Brown and Omri Casspi led Maccabi with 13 points each and Lior Eliyahu and Tre Simmons netted 10 apiece in defeat.

Both teams misfired early before Maccabi’s Yaniv Green made a free throw for the game’s first point. Kelati hit from downtown for the game’s first basket. Welsch and Cook added threes before Kelati hit his second for a 13-2 lead, resulting in a Maccabi timeout. Eliyahu came in for the visitors, but Carlos Jimenez hit a jumper to cap a 12-0 Unicaja run before Brown ended the Maccabi drought from the line. Cabezas’s steal, layup and free throw put the hosts up 17. Finally, after more than seven-and-a-half minutes, Eliyahu scored Macabi’s first basket. Unicaja did not let up and Haislip flew high for a tip-in on the offensive glass, but a D’Or Fischer jumper and a Carlos Arroyo teardrop narrowed the gap to 27-14 after 10 minutes.

Marcus Brown - Maccabi ElectraCabezas went coast to coast early in the second period to restore Unicaja’s 17-point lead before Casspi battled for a Maccabi basket inside and then threw down an impressive slam to help the visitors gain some momentum. Brown and Eliyahu added baskets as Maccabi turned to a two-three zone that stifled Unicaja for some time and Robert Archibald took a seat after he committed his third foul midway through the period. Arroyo matched Jimenez free throws with a mid-range jumper before Casspi brought Maccabi within single digits for the first time since the opening minutes. NDong muscled Unicaja back up to 43-31. Arroyo sank an important three that kept Maccabi relatively close, 45-36, at halftime.

Welsch started the second half with a long jumper and Archibald stood tall by blocking Casspi at one end and sinking a free throw at the other. Casspi and Eliyahu kept Maccabi from falling to far behind, but Cook’s second three made it 53-40. Brown countered with a tough drive, only to see Cook hit from downtown again. Eliyahu fed Fischer down low for a basket. Archibald attacked the basket for a vicious slam, but committed his fourth foul on the ensuing play and sat down, Haislip dunked for a second-chance basket and NDong drew an unsportsmanlike foul from Casspi. After NDong made free throws, the lead reached 15. Eliyahu kept Maccabi from falling too far behind, but the Unicaja big men answered back and Berni Rodriguez scored in transition as the hosts’ lead shot back up to 68-51. After a Maccabi timeout, Arroyo and Simmons attacked the basket to make it 70-55 heading into the last period.

Haislip converted a three-point play to take the lead to 18 and give Unicaja even more confidence. The pressure on Maccabi didn’t do the visitors any good as they forced up some poor shots, while Cabezas scored a basket plus foul to take the Unicaja advantage to 21. Maccabi kept firing away and would get within 16, but it was too little, too late as German Gabriel drained a three and the hosts pulled away in garbage time for a big win and first place in Group A.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Euroleague.net
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Referees: KOUKOULEKIDIS, STELIOS (GRE), RYZHYK, BORYS (UKR), VOJINOVIC, RADOMIR (MNE)
Attendance: 9850
By Quarter1234
Unicaja27182522
Maccabi Electra14221914
End of Quarter1234
Unicaja27457092
Maccabi Electra14365569
Unicaja
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
00 COOK, OMAR 22:03 9   3/7     2 2 3   2         8
4 GOMIS, JOSEPH 4:44           1 1     2     1   -2
5 RODRIGUEZ, BERNI 20:49 2 1/3 0/1   1 3 4 2 2       1 2 8
9 WELSCH, JIRI 24:31 11 4/5 1/4 0/2 1 3 4 3         1 2 13
10 CABEZAS, CARLOS 17:57 12 5/7 0/3 2/2 1 2 3 1 4 2   2   4 15
12 NDONG, BONIFACE 22:22 15 4/8   7/8   1 1 1 1 1 5 1 2 4 18
13 GABRIEL, GERMAN 4:17 5 1/2 1/2   1 1 2               5
20 JIMENEZ, CARLOS 25:50 7 1/1 1/3 2/2 3 5 8 2         2 2 15
21 ARCHIBALD, ROBERT 15:56 8 1/5   6/8 3 4 7 2   1 2 1 5 5 11
23 KELATI, THOMAS 19:11 11 1/2 3/7     1 1 3 2 1   1 3   7
24 HAISLIP, MARCUS 22:20 12 4/8 0/3 4/5 3 2 5 1 1     1   3 13
Team           3   3     1         2
Totals 200:00 92 22/41 9/30 21/27 16 25 41 18 10 10 7 6 15 22 113
        53.7% 30% 77.8%
Head coach: GARCIA RENESES, AITO
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
Maccabi Electra
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
5 BROWN, MARCUS 29:21 13 4/8 0/1 5/5 1 1 2 2 1 2   1 1 4 13
6 SHARP, DERRICK 10:10     0/2   2 1 3 1         1   1
7 ARROYO, CARLOS 34:24 9 3/9 1/3     3 3 2 1 3   2 2 2 2
8 ELIYAHU, LIOR 19:51 10 4/7   2/4   4 4 3 1 1 1 2 4 2 9
9 GREEN, YANIV 14:55 3 1/2   1/2   1 1     2     2 2  
10 BURSTEIN, TAL 4:39               1   1     1   -1
11 SIMMONS, TRE 16:20 10 1/2 2/7 2/2 1 3 4   1 2     2 2 7
12 WILLIAMS, JASON DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
13 CASSPI, OMRI 20:00 13 5/10   3/4 1 1 2     3   2 3 2 3
14 HAGAG, DROR 6:16 2 1/1 0/1     1 1   1       1   2
15 FIZER, MARCUS 9:41 2 1/5       1 1 1 2 1     2   -1
21 FISCHER, D'OR 34:23 7 3/5   1/2 3 7 10 3 1 2 5   3 1 19
Team           5 1 6     1         5
Totals 200:00 69 23/49 3/14 14/19 13 24 37 13 8 18 6 7 22 15 59
        46.9% 21.4% 73.7%
Head coach: GERSHON, PINI

Head Coaches

GARCIA RENESES, AITO
Unicaja
"We managed to get a big early lead with great shot selection. Then we had problems against their defense and for some minutes, it was very hard for us to play against it. The team played a very good game overall, we were better than a good team like Maccabi Electra, so we have to be satisfied with that. Finishing first is fantastic, as we had some very good games. The team finished this phase with very high notes, but this only means that we are qualified to the Top 16. We now have to wait for the draw and be as humble as we can."
GERSHON, PINI
Maccabi Electra
"Congratulations to Unicaja for its good game. They had a strong start and we managed to erase the deficit a bit, but then we missed easy shots and we couldn't match Unicaja's rhythm. There are no excuses for this loss, as Unicaja played really well tonight. I wish them good luck in the rest of the tournament."

Players

RODRIGUEZ, BERNI
Unicaja
"We had an outstanding start to the game, playing really well and with great defense. We slowed down a bit, but this is normal. This team has played close to perfection against Maccabi, the Euroleague finalist last season, which adds more value to this win. I don't care which opponents we face in the Top 16. We have to play against everybody and our goal is to get one of the top 2 spots and advance to the Quarterfinal Playoffs."
CABEZAS, CARLOS
Unicaja
"I am very happy. We beat one of the great teams in Europe and managed to finish first, which is the most important thing. I feel better and better now that I have recovered from my injury. We have a little time to rest. We must see which teams we will face in the Top 16 and focus on the Spanish League until the Euroleague is back in action." 
ELIYAHU, LIOR
Maccabi Electra
"I don’t know how to explain what happened to us at the beginning of the game. The first period decided the game. We had a very tough time getting back in the game after that, even though we had several minutes of positive momentum. Tonight was not a performance of out true ability."
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