Playoffs Round 2 - April 05, 2007 CET: 20:45 Local time: 20:45 - PALAU BLAUGRANA
PLAYOFFS, ROUND 2

Records

Ave.   Ave.
0-0 Final Four 0-0
0-0 Playoffs 0-0
0-0 Top 16 0-0
0-0 Regular Season 0-0
13-8 Overall 12-9

Referees

Crew Chief
KOUKOULEKIDIS, STELIOS, Greece
Referee
RYZHYK, BORYS, Ukraine
Umpire
SAHIN, TOLGA, Italy

Team Stats

Ave.   Ave.
79.3 Points 73.3
31.0 Rebounds 32.3
9.3 O. Rebounds 8.8
21.7 D. Rebounds 23.5
16.5 Assists 13.2
8.5 Steals 10.0
3.3 Blocks 2.6
12.1 Turnovers 17.2
55.4 % 2PT 53.3 %
39.9 % 3PT 35.8 %
75.6 % FT 70.0 %
92.6 Index 78.8

Player Stats

Ave.   Ave.
16.8 / Navarro Points 11.5 / SANTIAGO, DANIEL
5.0 / TRIAS, JORDI Rebounds 5.0 / SANTIAGO, DANIEL
2.0 / TRIAS, JORDI OR 1.5 / Pietrus
3.1 / MARCONATO, DENIS DR 3.9 / SANTIAGO, DANIEL
3.5 / Lakovic Assists 2.9 / Rodriguez
1.2 / Basile Steals 1.3 / Welsch
1.2 / Vazquez Blocks 1.0 / SANTIAGO, DANIEL
2.3 / Lakovic Turnovers 2.6 / Welsch
69.6 % / TRIAS, JORDI 2PT 64.7 % / Pietrus
47.4 % / Grimau 3PT 46.9 % / TUSEK, MARKO
90.3 % / KAKIOUZIS, MICHAILIS FT 81.5 % / SANCHEZ, PEPE
16.7 / Navarro Index 14.4 / SANTIAGO, DANIEL

THE TAKE

A Final Four regular will stay alive or a newcomer will be on its way to Athens after Winterthur FCB hosts Unicaja in Game 2 of the best-of-three Quarterfinal Playoffs on Thursday in Barcelona, Spain. In Game 1 on Tuesday in Malaga, Unicaja beat Barcelona 91-75 as Marcus Faison led 5 Unicaja players in double digits with 17 points. Ignacio De Miguel had 13 points and Berni Rodriguez 12 for Unicaja, whose shooters nailed 12 three-pointer and whose bench poured in 54 points. The Game 1 victory in its playoffs debut means that Unicaja would advance to its first-ever Final Four with another win in the series. For Barcelona, which is aiming for its second consecutive Final Four and 10th overall, Juan Carlos Navarro had 15 points in the first game, while Denis Marconato and Gianluca Basile each added 11. Unicaja used a balanced offense, looking for center Daniel Santiago in the middle early in the game and then getting its many shooters involved throughout the second and third quarter. As many as seven Unicaja players scored from downtown in Game 1, which was one key to the outcome. Santiago will once again be the player to watch, as Unicaja runs its offense through him whenever he is on court. If he's double-teamed, Santiago can find frontcourt mates Marko Tusek and Carlos Jimenez ready to pull the trigger with unlimited range. If Unicaja needs defense and intensity, De Miguel and Florent Pietrus are ready to offer it off the bench. Santiago will have another tough matchup against Denis Marconato, while Jordi Trias and former Unicaja center Fran Vazquez will offer their mobility and athleticism against Santiago and De Miguel. Barcelona was hurt early in Game 1 by Santiago drawing two quick fouls on Vazquez, who didn't become a factor after that. Barcelona could turn to Michalis Kakiouzis to try to match Unicaja's success shooting from the power forward spot. The point guard battle will be crucial again, after Unicaja limited Jaka Lakovic to just 5 points in Game 1. Roko-Leni Ukic is always ready to provide his quickness and clutch, but both players had troubles against Carlos Cabezas and Pepe Sanchez in Game 1. Unicaja will try to take even better advantage of its battery of shooters than in Game 1, when Kostas Vasileadis did not step on court, Jiri Welsch went scoreless while Marcus Brown had 8 points in his first Euroleague game after four months out with injury. Brown has the chance to become the second player to reach the 2,000-point mark in Euroleague history if he scores 13 in Barcelona. Rodriguez and Faison will be Unicaja's players to watch in Game 2. Rodriguez will have a tough matchup against Navarro, while Faison and Brown will test their scoring skills against Lakovic and Basile. Defensive ace Rodrigo De la Fuente and combo guard Roger Grimau will need to step up on defense if Barcelona wants to stay alive in the competition. Two teams with the least travel between Game 1 and Game 2 should be set for a showdown packed with possibilities on Thursday in Barcelona.
Wednesday, April 4, 2007
Euroleague.net

Quotes Head Coaches

IVANOVIC, DUSKO
Winterthur FC Barcelona
"I still think the same as yesterday, we allowed Unicaja to get confidence and play their game, being way more aggressive than us. They played really well and we didn't. We need our fans tomorrow. We have to play well but above all, our attitude must be different. We don't deserve to make it to the Final Four the way we played in Malaga, but if we improve and play the way we can, we have good options to advance. If you look back at our entire Euroleague season, we deserve to be in Athens because we only had two bad games, against Panathinaikos and last night in Malaga. Fans support will be key for us, but we need to play different than in Malaga. We are looking forward to playing different, and I know we will. If we lose and do not make it to the Final Four, it will mean we are not talented enough and we will be guilty."
SCARIOLO, SERGIO
Unicaja
"We are calm regarding this Game 2, which will surely be tougher than Game 1. It was important to offer an image of competitivity and we did that already from Game 1. We will try to go to barcelona with tranquility and give it all. They have a good game and it is normal that they expect to play a third game in the series. We hope that Brown gets better for Thursday since he finished exhausted, and also Welsch who was injured with a big blow on his right leg. That is fundamental so we can have all our available players at their best."

Players

NAVARRO, JUAN CARLOS
Winterthur FC Barcelona
"It was a tough game for us, but it belongs to the past now and we have to forget about it. This game is the most important one in Palau Blaugrana this season. We hope that our fans support us the way Unicaja fans did in Malaga. We are confident and we all think we can advance. They had a very good game in Malaga because we allowed them to play their game. We have to be more aggressive, because at some point in Game 1 they did not allow to let us play. Anyone who likes basketball has to love a game like this. It would be disappointing not to advance to the Final Four because Barcelona alwasys tries to reach as high as possible."
CABEZAS, CARLOS
Unicaja
"They are a great team and they will probably face the game with lots of aggressiveness because it is the last chance they have. We will try to solve the mistakes we made in the Tuesday game to improve our game, but most of all we have to retain the mental strength of Game 1 so we can make it difficult on them in Barcelona, in one of the hoteets arenas in Eurpoe."
Juan Carlos Navarro - Winterthur FCB Not ready to let its Euroleague season end, Winterthur FC Barcelona blasted Unicaja at home on Thursday by 80-58 in Game 2 of the Quarterfinal Playoffs, prolonging their all-Spanish series to the limit. The victory allowed Barca to tie the series at 1-1 and force a third and decisive game that will be played next Thursday in Malaga. Unicaja had won the opening game at home, meaning that Game 3 will be a winner-take-all affair. Barcelona looked to its superstar to save the season on Thursday, and Juan Carlos Navarro responded with a near-perfect performance, leading all scorers with 25 points in just 18 minutes. Navarro made 3 of 3 two-point shots, 5 of 6 triples and 4 of 4 free throws, bringing the sellout crowd at Palau Blaugrana to its feet on several occasions. Jordi Trias joined him in double digits with 11 points for the winners. For Unicaja, whose own spectacular long-distance shooting decided Game 1, only Marcus Faison and Carlos Cabezas scored in double digits on Thursday, with 11 points apiece. Barcelona used Navarro's shooting to race ahead by double digits early in the second quarter. Unicaja hit back shortly after halftime but never really threatened the lead after that, leaving both teams a week to get ready for Game 3.

Barcelona head coach Dusko Ivanovic made a substition 20 seconds into the game, Denis Marconato for Michalis Kakiouzis, so he could guard Marko Tusek. Meanwhile, Jaka Lakovic of Barcelona knocked down the game's first points from downtown. Unicaja got on the board when Marcus Faison put back a rebound. Both teams were playing fast as Navarro replied to a bucket by Cabezas for a 7-4 score As Unicaja circulated the ball to Faison to stay close, Barcelona had problems escaping Unicaja's defenders and Carlos Jimenez tied the game at 9-9 for the visitors. Both teams studied the rival on every possession until Navarro found space enough to blast a three-pointer that brought the house down. Trias joined the party with 4 straight points inside that made it 16-10 and prompted Unicaja's first timeout. Navarro came back and buried his second shot from the arc, while Unicaja found Daniel Santiago for a good move underneath at 19-12. Lakovic and Faison traded baskets but the quarter was closed by Navarro's free throws, giving him 12 points on the quarter and leaving Barcelona comfortably ahead, 23-14.

Marcus Faison - UnicajaThe second quarter started with Unicaja pressing on defense, but Barcelona worked the ball well until Roger Grimau's jumper made it 27-16. Jiri Welsch of Unicaja scored his first points of the series penetrating through Barca's defense, but that was an isolated action for Unicaja. Otherwise, Barcelona's defense closed in on Santiago, while its offense pulled away to a 31-18 advantage. When Unicaja could run, Pepe Sanchez fed Welsch for a layup, but on the next play, Lakovic forced an offensive foul on Cabezas and Grimau fed Marconato for a dunk. Remembering their team's Game 1 victory, Kostas Vasiliadis and Faison connected back-to-back triples to draw Unicaja within 35-26. A layup by Cabezas was quickly neutralized by a 5-0 Barcelona run that included a triple by Lakovic. Cabezas replied again with a driving backet, but the first half close with Barcelona guarding a solid 41-30 edge.

Berni Rodriguez opened the second-half scoring for Unicaja with a driving basket that Navarro answered with his third three-pointer, good for a 44-32 score. Unicaja was ready, however, as Cabezas copied that shot and finished off fastbreak of a steal by Rodriguez to make it 44-37. Marconato interrupted Unicaja's surge with a slam dunk. Rodriguez and Navarro traded triples at 49-40, but the latter was totally on fire and quickly added 5 more points, including a new three-pointer that fired up the home crowd and put the lead into double digits again, 54-42. Rodriguez, Santiago and Marcus Brown launched Unicaja on a new counterattack as Barcelona suddenly hit a wall of double-teams on Navarro that prevented him from shooting. Unicaja had its options but could not score, either, so when Navarro went to the line again, his free throws made it 58-48. Unicaja kept feeding Santiago inside but the big man had a hard time in the paint. Navarro took advantagewith new rainbow shot, while Fran Vazquez stepped on-court and scored, too. Roko-Leni Ukic finished an 8-0 run with a driving layup that left Barcelona fully in control, at 64-48 after 30 minutes.

Jordi Trias - Winterthur FCBFlorent Pietrus dunked for Unicaja to open the final quarter. Grimau quickly hit a layup and Kakiouzis scored on a back-door move in the paint to discourage any ideas of an Unicaja comeback. Unicaja kept firing away, but Grimau himself had 4 straight points good enough to forge a 20-point lead, 72-52, with 4 minutes left to play. As it was clear that Barcelona's defense wouldn't allow Unicaja to rally, the Barcelona fans celebrated the probability of a third game to decided the series. Both coaches tried to reserve their premier players in the closing minutes, giving time instead to substitutes such as Vasilieidis and Ignacio De Miguel, whos points made it 72-56. Ukic rattled in a final triple entering the last minute that the fans celebrated as teams started thinking ahead to the third and decisive game of the series, to be played next Thursday in Malaga. The winner will punch a ticket to Athens and the Final Four.
Thursday, April 5, 2007
Euroleague.net
Referees: KOUKOULEKIDIS, STELIOS (GRE), RYZHYK, BORYS (UKR), SAHIN, TOLGA (ITA)
Attendance: 7200
By Quarter1234
Winterthur FC Barcelona21202316
Unicaja14161810
End of Quarter1234
Winterthur FC Barcelona21416480
Unicaja14304858
Head coach: IVANOVIC, DUSKO
Winterthur FC Barcelona
# 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 BASILE, GIANLUCA 22:00 2 1/4 0/2     1 1           3   -5
8 TRIAS, JORDI 26:00 11 5/5   1/4 3 3 6 1   1 1   2 3 16
9 MARCONATO, DENIS 19:30 6 3/5     2 3 5       1   3 1 8
10 LAKOVIC, JAKA 18:00 9 1/4 2/3 1/2 1 3 4 3     1 1 2 4 13
11 NAVARRO, JUAN CARLOS 18:30 25 3/3 5/6 4/4   1 1 4   3     2 5 29
14 DE LA FUENTE, RODRIGO 18:00 2 1/2     1 1 2 2 1         1 7
17 VAZQUEZ, FRAN 12:15 4 2/3             1 1     1   2
20 KAKIOUZIS, MICHAILIS 22:15 8 4/7   0/2 1 1 2             1 6
21 UKIC, ROKO 22:00 5 1/3 1/4         2 1           3
44 GRIMAU, ROGER 21:30 8 4/8 0/1 0/2 2 5 7 1 2 1 1 1 4 5 11
Team             3 3   3           6
Totals 200:00 80 25/44 8/16 6/14 10 21 31 13 8 6 4 2 17 20 96
56.8% 50% 42.9%
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: SCARIOLO, SERGIO
Unicaja
# 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
4 SANCHEZ, PEPE 11:15         1 2 3     1     2    
5 RODRIGUEZ, BERNI 25:15 7 2/5 1/3     1 1 2 1 1     3 1 3
7 VASILEIADIS, KOSTAS 12:15 5 1/1 1/5   1 2 3 2         2   4
9 WELSCH, JIRI 7:45 4 2/2       1 1   1 1       1 6
10 CABEZAS, CARLOS 28:45 11 4/6 1/2   2 2 4 3       1 2 1 13
11 PIETRUS, FLORENT 12:15 6 2/2   2/2 2 3 5   1 1 1   2 3 13
15 DE MIGUEL, IGNACIO 7:30 2 0/1 0/1 2/2   1 1 1       1   1 2
17 TUSEK, MARKO 18:45   0/1 0/2   2 1 3     1 1     1 1
20 JIMENEZ, CARLOS 18:45 4   1/3 1/2 1 1 2 1   1     3 2 2
24 FAISON, MARCUS 26:15 11 4/4 1/4     1 1 1 1 1     1 3 12
25 SANTIAGO, DANIEL 16:30 4 2/7   0/1 1 3 4 1   2   1 2 2  
41 BROWN, MARCUS 14:45 4 1/6   2/2   1 1   1 1   1 3 2 -2
Team           1 2 3   1 3         1
Totals 200:00 58 18/35 5/20 7/9 11 21 32 11 6 13 2 4 20 17 55
51.4% 25% 77.8%
This game is not yet played

Head Coaches

IVANOVIC, DUSKO
Winterthur FC Barcelona
"First of all, I want to thank our fans for coming to Palau Blaugrana, as they helped us since the early going and especially when we underwent some difficuly situations in the third quarter. We came out to play with much more aggressivity and we stayed that way all game long. We played good defense, even when we could have been smarter in offense. I want to congratulate my players but the most important part of the job is yet to be done. Game 3 in Malaga will be way different, but we must keep this level or play even better if we want to win. I think we are in a better situation than before Game 1, since the situation is very clear now."
SCARIOLO, SERGIO
Unicaja
"I have nothing to add, Barcelona was a fair winner, it came out with much more intensity and had a NBA-caliber player who plays in Europe, Juan Carlos Navarro. We couldn't stop him and the rest of the team helped him really well. We play Game 3 at home, and this is a situation we would have signed with our eyes closed long ago. We expect Barcelona to play in Malaga they way it did tonight. There is a difference on the maximum level both teams can reach. If both teams play at their maximum level, we will have it tough. We need to give our best and prevent them from reaching their maximum."

Players

NAVARRO, JUAN CARLOS
Winterthur FC Barcelona
"We controlled the game rhythm and that made this game totally different than the first one in Malaga. We keep all our options intact right now. Winning this game gave us a lot of confidence. Our fans put a lot of pressure on Unicaja, supported us and that makes you play better. I felt really comfortable and very active throughout the game. We started the game really focused and played like a real team."
CABEZAS, CARLOS
Unicaja
"Barcelona played better tonight, but we play Game 3 in Malaga and we have to give our best at home. The points difference was not important in Game 1, so I can say the same about Game 2. We lost our focus in the fourth quarter because the outcome was already clear. Navarro was the biggest key to this game, especially in the third quarter, when he was unstoppable, with three-pointers and driving baskets, allowing Barcelona to break the game. We know that he will score 18-20 points in Malaga, but the most important thing is that we managed to limit his shooting percentages."
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