2015-16Top 16Round 1
December 29, 2015 CET: 20:45
Local time: 20:45 MARTIN CARPENA

Team Stats

Ave.   Ave.
76.1 Points 70.4
34.0 Rebounds 36.3
12.7 O. Rebounds 11.4
21.3 D. Rebounds 24.9
18.1 Assists 16.3
5.7 Steals 6.6
1.8 Blocks 3.0
12.7 Turnovers 14.6
54.5 % 2PT 47.3 %
32.9 % 3PT 33.5 %
79.7 % FT 68.5 %
84.9 Index 77.0

Player Stats

Ave.   Ave.
13.0 / Kuzminskas Points 10.2 / Bjelica
6.8 / Hendrix Rebounds 5.0 / Erden
2.7 / Hendrix OR 1.8 / Erden
4.1 / Hendrix DR 3.7 / Preldzic
4.9 / Markovic Assists 4.4 / Preldzic
0.9 / Kuzminskas Steals 1.6 / Gordon
0.6 / Hendrix Blocks 1.1 / Slaughter
1.5 / Kuzminskas Turnovers 1.9 / Gordon
68.3 % / Hendrix 2PT 63.6 % / Slaughter
45.0 % / Diez 3PT 50.0 % / Bjelica
100.0 % / Smith FT 83.3 % / Gordon
15.3 / Hendrix Index 12.2 / Bjelica

Records

Ave.   Ave.
0-0 Final Four 0-0
0-0 Playoffs 0-0
0-0 Top 16 0-0
7-3 Regular Season 4-6
7-3 Overall 4-6

Referees

Crew Chief
PATERNICO, CARMELO, Italy
Referee
KOROMILAS, ELIAS, Greece
Umpire
HALLIKO, AARE, Estonia

The Take

The Group E opener is also the third meeting between these two teams this season. While this is the 11th consecutive season Unicaja has made this stage of the competition, it marks the first-ever Top 16 game for Darussafaka. However, the newcomer has plenty of experience in its backcourt with Jamon Gordon and Ender Arslan, and young blood with rookie Scottie Wilbekin. For the first time Unicaja will be without its assist leader Stefan Markovic, who could miss the entire top 16 through injury. However new signing DeMarcus Nelson may be ready to step in. Edwin Jackson, who scored 18 points in the first meeting between the teams in Round 3 of the regular season, and Nemanja Nedovic are set to take on bigger playmaking roles, and scoring threat Jamar Smith is expected to carry more load at the perimeter. Darussafaka has big weapons at the wings, with Manu Markoishvili and Reggie Redding; the latter netted 19 points the last time these two clubs met earlier this month. If he returns from injury, Darussafaka’s point-forward Emir Preldzic creates for others and makes for many matchup problems, but so does Unicaja's athletic forward Mindaugas Kuzminskas. Carlos Suarez and Dani Diez add depth to the position for the hosts, and help make Unicaja the best offensive rebounding team in the competition with 12.7 per night. The work inside is done by Richard Hendrix, Will Thomas, Fran Vazquez and Jack Cooley who will try to outplay Darussafaka's frontcourt that is as deep as any in the competition. Besides team's scoring leaders Milko Bjelica and Luke Harangody, it also features rim intimidators Semih Erden and Marcus Slaughter, as well as rebounding ace Furkan Aldemir.
Wednesday, December 23, 2015
Euroleague.net

Game Notes

Unicaja Malaga

Unicaja was the regular season leader in offensive rebounding with 12.7 per game.

Edwin Jackson has made at least 1 three-pointer in 11 straight Euroleague games.

Jackson has made 19 consecutive free throws in Euroleague action.

Will Thomas has made 9 consecutive free throws in Euroleague games.

Nemanja Nedovic was a teammate of Darussafaka forward Luke Harangody last season in Valencia.

Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul

Jamon Gordon has picked up at least 1 steal in 10 of his last 11 Euroleague games.

Gordon is 3 steals shy of becoming the 12th player in competition history with 200 career steals.

Marcus Slaughter needs 9 more points to reach 500 for his Euroleague career.

Oguz Savas has made 11 free throws in a row in Euroleague games.

Luke Harangody has made multiple free throws in five of his last six Euroleague games. He is shooting 12 for 21 from downtown (57.1%) over that stretch.

Milko Bjelica had one of the best games of his Euroleague career against Unicaja back in the 2009-10 season. He recorded a performance index rating of 24 on the strength of 18 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists for Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius in a 71-73 loss.

Emir Preldzic is 24 assists away from becoming the 19th player in competition history to reach 500 assists.

Saturday, December 26, 2015
Euroleague.net

Quotes Head Coaches

PLAZA, JOAN
Unicaja Malaga
"The game against Darussafaka is critical for us. We need to win our Euroleague home games if we want to have a chance to go past the Top 16. We need to be strong at Martin Carpena and compete at the highest level. We have to adjust quickly to our new player [DeMarcus Nelson], who replaces an injured one [Stefan Markovic] and have been working on it. We play against the Turkish League leader, a competition with high-level teams. We will need a plus to beat them and that is our fans' support. We must work hard to dream of something really beautiful in Europe this season."
MAHMUTI, OKTAY
Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul
"We're starting our Top 16 campaign in Malaga. We're very satisfied to be among the best 16 teams of Europe in our very first season in the Turkish Euroleague. We already achieved one of our preseason goals by reaching the Top 16. Now we will do our best to qualify to the playoffs. Every one of our players knows the significance of that achievement. We'll work harder to reach that goal."

Players

NELSON, DeMARCUS
Unicaja Malaga
"The competition starts from scratch at the start of the Euroleague Top 16. I think we have a tough group and from my own experience, home games are very important, so getting a positive result tomorrow would be key. If we manage to win all our home games and get some wins on the road, it would be perfect. Darussafaka is a great team and it will not be easy, but we want to give our best and fight hard to beat them."
BJELICA, MILKO
Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul
"It will be a very exciting Top 16 round for us. This round will be surely harder than the regular season. There will be no easy games for us. This time, we won't play under pressure and we'll try to win as many games as we can to reach the playoffs. We already played twice against Unicaja. We'll hope to a get a winning start in Malaga. We know our roles within the team and we will give our best both on defense and offense."

Jackson leads Unicaja to big home win

Unicaja Malaga got off to a strong start in the Top 16 by downing Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul 70-62 at home in Group E on Tuesday. Edwin Jackson scored 13 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter to lead the winners. Mindaugas Kuzminskas added 15, while Richard Hendrix had 13 points, 8 rebounds and 3 steals for Unicaja. Semih Erden led Darussafaka with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Erden led a 0-6 opening run that sent Darussafaka to a 14-16 edge after 10 minutes. A layup by Marcus Slaughter soon gave the guests an 18-26 margin, but Hendrix and Jamar Smith brought Unicaja within 29-32 at halftime. Kuzminskas stepped up after the break and got help from Jackson and Hendrix to give Unicaja a 54-47 margin late in the third quarter. Three-pointers by Jamon Gordon and Milko Bjelica brought Darussafaka within 54-53 after 30 minutes. Jackson had 7 points in a 10-0 run that sealed the outcome, 64-53, as Darussafaka never recovered.

First quarter: Visitors start strong

Unicaja head coach Joan Plaza surprised everyone by starting playmaker Alberto Diaz for the first time in his short Euroleague career. Luke Harangody got Darussafaka going with a jumper which Erden followed with a layup for. Erden kept pacing the guests with a two-handed dunk to cap a 0-6 opening run, before Kuzminskas split free throws. Hendrix stepped up with a layup and Jamar Smith bettered Mehmet Yagmur's driving basket with a bomb from downtown to make it 6-8. Kuzminskas took over with a power basket off the baseline, but Yagmur did better with a corner triple. Carlos Suarez finished a three-chance Unicaja offense with a layup, but Reggie Redding answered from downtown for a 10-14 Darussafaka lead. Kuzminskas and Fran Vazquez hit free throws to tie it at 14-14. Scottie Wilbekin took over with a driving layup to put Darussafaka back ahead, 14-16, after 10 minutes.

Second quarter: Unicaja battles, Darussafaka stays ahead

Wilbekin hit a stop-and-pop jumper early in the quarter and Erden dunked again to boost the visitors' margin to 14-20. Unicaja was held scoreless for more than two minutes until Jackson made free throws. The hosts tried a new frontline with Will Thomas and Hendrix together. Thomas took over with an alley-oop slam but Emir Preldzic answered with a wild driving layup and Gordon set an 18-24 Darussafaka margin. Slaughter scored around the basket, but Hendrix answered with consecutive layups to get the crowd involved at 22-26. Hendrix kept pacing Unicaja with another layup, but Gordon answered with a close basket. Thomas shined with a jumper off the dribble. Ender Arslan split free throws and a three-point play by Luke Harangody gave Darussafaka a 26-32 margin. A buzzer-beating triple by Smith fixed the halftime score at 29-32.

Third quarter: Darussafaka keeps all options open

Hendrix downed a three-pointer soon after the break and a corner jumper by Kuzminskas gave Unicaja its first lead, 34-32. Erden split foul shots and a corner three-pointer by a red-hot Kuzminskas boosted the hosts' lead to 37-33. Darussafaka kept struggling to score until Erden stepped up with a put-back layup. Hendrix dunked and even after Harangody finished a two-chance Darussafaka offense with a jump hook, Nemanja Nedovic struck from downtown for a 42-37 Unicaja lead. Kuzminskas hit another three-pointer, but Erden scored again and free throws by Harangody kept the guests within 45-41. Kuzminskas and Wilbekin exchanged foul shots and another layup by Erden brought Darussafaka as close as 47-45. Jackson fired in one from beyond the arc and a fast break layup by Dani Diez prompted the visitors to stop the game at 52-45. Preldzic and Jackson made free throws, but back-to-back three-pointers by Gordon and Bjelica brought Darussafaka within 54-53.

Fourth quarter: Jackson takes over and leads Unicaja to victory

Jackson shined with a driving layup early in the quarter, as Darussafaka was held scoreless for more than three minutes. Meanwhile, a hustle play by Nedovic allowed Jackson to strike from downtown and ignite the crowd at 59-53. Unicaja kept collecting steals and did not allow Darussafaka to find the way to the basket. Thomas joined the three-point shootout to force head coach Oktay Mahmuti to stop the game at 62-53. Jackson took over with a one-handed dunk that made it a double-digit game. Redding buried a mid-range jumper and a tip-in by Erden gave Darussafaka hope at 64-57. The visitors struggled to score when it mattered most; they netted just 4 points in eight minutes. A three-pointer by Jackson sealed the outcome at 67-57 in the next-to-last minute. Darussafaka kept trying, but Unicaja was able to celebrate a well-deserved home win.

Mindaugas Kuzminskas - Unicaja Malaga - EB15
Tuesday, December 29, 2015
Euroleague.net
Referees: PATERNICO, CARMELO (ITA), KOROMILAS, ELIAS (GRE), HALLIKO, AARE (EST)
Attendance: 7438
By Quarter1234
Unicaja Malaga14152516
Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul1616219
End of Quarter1234
Unicaja Malaga14295470
Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul16325362
Unicaja Malaga
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
1 JACKSON, EDWIN 20:33 20 3/5 3/4 5/6       1   2   1   3 17
4 DIAZ, ALBERTO 17:52     0/1     1 1   1 1     3 1 -2
7 HENDRIX, RICHARD 27:35 13 5/8 1/1 0/2 3 5 8   3 3 2   2 4 20
10 THOMAS, WILL 25:01 7 2/6 1/5   3 3 6     2 1 1 1 1 3
11 DIEZ, DANIEL 10:56 2 1/1     1   1   2 1     1 1 4
12 SUAREZ, CARLOS 14:59 2 1/1 0/2   1 2 3 1   2         2
15 SMITH, JAMAR 21:01 6 0/2 2/4   1 1 2 4         3 1 6
16 NEDOVIC, NEMANJA 15:17 3 0/1 1/3   1 1 2 3 1 1     3   2
17 VAZQUEZ, FRAN 10:46 2 0/3   2/2   5 5       1   1 1 5
19 KUZMINSKAS, MINDAUGAS 27:30 15 2/7 2/4 5/6 1   1 1   1   1 2 4 9
20 NELSON, DeMARCUS 6:51   0/1           3 1       1 2 4
45 COOLEY, JACK 1:39                              
Team           2 1 3               3
Totals 200:00 70 14/35 10/24 12/16 13 19 32 13 8 13 4 3 17 18 73
        40% 41.7% 75%
Head coach: PLAZA, JOAN
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
Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
1 WILBEKIN, SCOTTIE 18:00 9 2/3 1/4 2/2   1 1 1 2 2     2 3 8
4 YAGMUR, MEHMET 16:31 5 1/3 1/3         1   1   1 2 1 -1
5 REDDING, REGGIE 19:25 5 1/2 1/2         1 1 4     1    
9 ERDEN, SEMIH 25:00 15 7/11   1/2 5 6 11 1   2 3   2 2 23
11 MARKOISHVILI, MANUCHAR 8:51   0/1 0/3   1 1 2   1       2   -3
19 ALDEMIR, FURKAN DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
22 GORDON, JAMON 29:16 7 2/7 1/1     2 2 3   2   1 3 1 2
33 ARSLAN, ENDER 4:26 1     1/2                   1 1
42 SLAUGHTER, MARCUS 15:00 2 1/2       3 3     3     1 3 3
44 HARANGODY, LUKE 18:17 9 3/5 0/2 3/3 2 3 5         1 1 2 10
51 BJELICA, MILKO 21:43 3 0/3 1/1   1 2 3 2 2     1 3 1 4
55 PRELDZIC, EMIR 23:31 6 2/2   2/2 1 3 4 3   3     1 3 12
Team           1 1 2               2
Totals 200:00 62 19/39 5/16 9/11 11 22 33 12 6 17 3 4 18 17 61
        48.7% 31.3% 81.8%
Head coach: MAHMUTI, OKTAY

Head Coaches

PLAZA, JOAN
Unicaja Malaga
"It is always tough to start any kind of eliminatory group like this and more if you play at home. We reacted pretty well, but we need to learn from this and do better next time. We had a tough start, missing very easy shots. When we were able to focus and get our big men involved, things started to roll. We were lucky sometimes, but it is the kind of luck you look for, working hard, diving for loose balls. I hope that this is an important win down the road. Defense is the key for us. We have been doing well for a couple of games, but must do even better."
MAHMUTI, OKTAY
Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul
"Congratulations to Unicaja for this victory. It was a good game by two teams in a great atmosphere of basketball. In the first part we were fine. At the end of the game they made very difficult shots that were key the victory. We must continue working to have more organization in our attack, especially when you face as aggressive a defense as Unicaja. We have to be able to play 40 minutes without lowering our game to compete at this level."

Players

JACKSON, EDWIN
Unicaja Malaga
"I feel good. I am very happy that we started the Top 16 with a win. We know that if we want to make it to the playoffs, we have to win all of our home games, so starting like this, against a good team like Darussafaka, is very good. We have to focus in the upcoming games. I played very bad in the first half and wanted to redeem myself in the second half. I got a little bit in my rhythm and thought this had to be my game and take over a little bit. I was lucky that the shots fell and am very happy we won."
HARANGODY, LUKE
Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul
"For the first game in this phase, the Top 16, we competed with a lot of energy. In the first half we were fine, but in the second they began to make big shots and gradually take the lead. We let them take important offensive rebounds. We must continue to work and improve to compete at this stage of the competition."
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