Regular Season Round 4 - November 16, 2006 CET: 20:45 Local time: 20:45 - PALACIO DE LOS DEPORTES J.M. MARTIN CARPENA

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
0-3 Overall 1-2

Referees

Crew Chief
FACCHINI, FABIO, Italy
Referee
PILIPAUSKAS, KESTUTIS, Lithuania
Umpire
ROCHA, FERNANDO, Portugal

Team Stats

Ave.   Ave.
83.3 Points 69.7
35.3 Rebounds 28.7
9.0 O. Rebounds 9.3
26.3 D. Rebounds 19.3
13.3 Assists 10.7
7.3 Steals 7.0
2.7 Blocks 1.3
15.0 Turnovers 14.3
55.7 % 2PT 53.5 %
37.3 % 3PT 32.8 %
71.3 % FT 75.5 %
92.0 Index 66.7

Player Stats

Ave.   Ave.
16.7 / Rodriguez Points 14.3 / MILIC, MARKO
6.3 / Pietrus Rebounds 6.7 / MILIC, MARKO
2.3 / Pietrus OR 3.0 / MILIC, MARKO
4.7 / Lorbek DR 3.7 / MILIC, MARKO
3.7 / Rodriguez Assists 3.3 / Rannikko
2.0 / SANCHEZ, PEPE Steals 1.7 / MILIC, MARKO
1.7 / Pietrus Blocks 0.7 / MARAKER, C.
2.7 / Rodriguez Turnovers 3.3 / MILIC, MARKO
100.0 % / DE MIGUEL, IGNACIO 2PT 70.8 % / MILIC, MARKO
50.0 % / Welsch 3PT 66.7 % / OZBOLT, SASO
90.9 % / Cabezas FT 87.5 % / OZBOLT, SASO
16.7 / Rodriguez Index 19.3 / MILIC, MARKO

THE TAKE

Two of the unluckiest teams at the start of the competition meet with a valuable Group B victory on the line when Unicaja hosts Union Olimpija in Malaga, Spain on Thursday. Unicaja (0-3) is one of only four winless teams in the competition and has already lost more games than in all of the regular season last year. How those losses have come - two in overtime and the other on a tip-in with one-tenth of a second left - make it even worse for Unicaja. Olimpija (1-2) hasn't had it much easier, having lost two starters long-term already due to injury while going through a change of head coaches after the first game. Unicaja has good news in that Carlos Cabezas, the Week 1 MVP, is healthy after missing last week's loss to Cibona in Zagreb and the second half of the home opener against Joventut. Fortune might really turn for Unicaja if Euroleague all-time leading scorer, Marcus Brown, can make his season debut after injury. Brown has practiced with the team this week, but his participation will be a game-time decision. Olimpija has no good news - having heard on Monday that Saso Osbolt's injury will sideline him four months instead of one - but plenty of pride. That showed in a home win over Lottomatica Roma under new coach Gasper Okorn in his debut in Week 2. Veteran forward Marko Milic is doing his best to lead Olimpija with averages of 14.3 points and 6.6 rebounds so far. He ranks 14th among Euroleague players in performance rating. He will join perimeter players Teemu Rannikko (11.6 ppg, 3.3 apg.) and Manu Markoishvili (7 ppg.) as Olimpija's main threats. Another big game like young Domen Lorbek (8 ppg., 3 rpg.) had against Roma would help. Lorbek will have extra motivation playing against his own brother, Unicaja big man Erazem Lorbek (1.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg.). Unicaja will want him and center Daniel Santiago (6.6 ppg., 3.3 rpg.) to use this as a breakout game in what has been an unusually unproductive season so far for both. With at least Cabezas (19 ppg.) back on the perimeter to help Pepe Sanchez, Jiri Welsch and Berni Rodriguez, plus Florent Pietrus and Carlos Jimenez inside, Unicaja will have plenty of weapons no matter what. With or without Brown, this stands as a must-win game for the hosts, which means that Unicaja will have to deal with the pressure or Olimpija will be waiting to surprise.
Euroleague.net

Quotes Head Coaches

SCARIOLO, SERGIO
Unicaja
"A difficult game is waiting for us, just like all the Euroleague games. We are facing a dynamic and brilliant rival, with good shooters who are athletic and fast. For our part, we know this is a very important game for us, and that after having played good games in each of the three previous ones, we have to give all our effort and concentration in not only playing another good game, but also winning one. We will achieve that by improving the quality of our play, as the team is doing clearly day by day, and reducing the negative effects of those 5 or 10 minutes during the 40 of each game that hurt us and which have been the cause for our not winning some other games this season."
OKORN, GASPER
Union Olimpija
"With the injury and operation of Saso Ozbolt, the problems for my team just grew a little bigger. But I am not looking for excuses with that. We are travelling to Malaga with only one goal: to play a good game, fight for 40 minutes and maybe surprise everyone if the rival gives us a chance. The three defeats of Unicaja at the start of the season are not real and do not give a hint of the power of this team. For starters, they suffered really close losses, two in overtime and another in the last second. From my point of view, Unicaja has a good roster that can go far this season. Apart from Ozbolt, we will also miss Ender Arslan, while Ivica Jurkovic is already practicing with the team and he will be able to play some minutes in Malaga."

Players

LORBEK, ERAZEM
Unicaja
"For me it will be an emotional game because I will be playing against my brother and my old team. I don't know exactly what I will feel. I guess I will find out when I step on the court. Mi brother Domen is a good player, who is improving day after day, even though he needs to play more Euroleague games to progress further. This week they lost an Adriatic League game on the road, in which they were not lucky, so they will surely come to Malaga at 100 percent to show thay are a good team like Unicaja. We will have to put all our energy into this game and play good defense on their important men, Milic and Rannikko. Union Olimpija will come ready to play and we have to play a good game because it will be as tough as any Euroleague game."
RANNIKKO, TEEMU
Union Olimpija
"We have a tough game ahead of us. Playing in Malaga, where the arena is always packed, is beautiful but also difficult for any visiting team. Unicaja is without a doubt the favorite to win, but they also have some problems with injuries, so just as we won't, they will not be playing with a complete roster. After a bad start to the season they have to win this one and I am sure they will do anything in their power so that what happened in their game against Joventut doesn't happen again. We can play relaxed, because we have nothing to lose here and there's where I see our chances for a surprise."
Jiri Welch - Unicaja Unicaja flirted with danger at the end but finally took its first Group B win of the season before its home fans in Malaga, Spain by turning back Union Olimpija 62-55 on Thursday. On a night when all-time Euroleague scoring leader Marcus Brown returned to the Unicaja lineup and Olimpija saw another guard, Teemu Rannikko, get injured, both teams ended up with 1-3 records. Jiri Welsch led the charge for Unicaja with 16 points while Berni Rodriguez had 11 and Daniel Santiago followed with 10 and 9 rebounds. Sandi Cebular led Olimpija with 12 points while Rannikko had 10 before leaving injured in the third quarter. Hasan Rizvic pulled 10 rebounds for the visitors who trailed by double digits throughout the middle quarters. A late rally brought Olimpija within 4 points, but then the visitors missed 6 straight foul shots as time faded away.

Teemu Rannikko gave the guests a boost with a game-opening triple, assisted by Milic. Soon enough, however, Berni Rodriguez was copying him for Unicaja. Milic's layup gave Olimpija its last lead at 3-5 before Rodriguez, Cabezas and Welsch, the latter with a triple, made it 10-5. Welsch returned shortly to drive for a layup and drill a jumper, extending the lead to 16-7. Rannikko buried his second shot from the arc, but Florent Pietrus stepped up for Unicaja with a dunk-plus-free throw and Welsch added a layup for the first double-digit margin, which remained until the quarter ended at 23-12.

Ivica Jurkovic - Union OlimpijaWelsch and Pietrus teamed up again on a pair of layups to boosted the lead to 27-12 early in the second quarter. Christian Maraker got those points back for the visitors before Erazem Lorbek and Carlos Cabezas made it 31-16 for Unicaja. The hosts blanked Olimpija's offense for almost 4 full minutes at that point, until Maraker reappeared inside for a basket. That is when the Malaga crowd got a charge from seeing Brown, who had entered a couple minutes earlier, sink his first shot of the season and the free throw that came with it as Unicaja coasted to a 36-20 halftime edge.

Olimpija got more contributors after the break as Hasan Rizvic made it to the line and Markoishvili drilled a jumper and a triple. But the guests only got within 44-27 then as Santiago authored a pair of layups for Unicaja. It wasn't till midway through the quarter that Olimpija made its first move, a 0-7 run between Milic, Rannikko and Sandi Cebular that trimmed the difference to 44-34. Unicaja got the lead back to 50-37 as Rannikko was injured on a layup by Michael Chylinksi, but Cebular and Markoishvili combinedon 5 late points to leave a 50-42 scoreboard after 30 minutes.

Unicaja again lifted its lead into double digits as Pietrus hit free throws and Santiago a dunk to open the final quarter. But again Olimpija came back. Rizvic, Cebular and Milic grouped a basket each around a jump shot from Brown to keep the guests withing 56-48. Rizvic went back inside before Cebular launched a triple and suddenly Olimpija was within 57-53. It was anybody's game over the next 3 minutes, but in that time, Olimpija missed 6 free throws without landing any, then Welsch hit the first pair Unicaja had a chance to make for a 59-53 advantage. Olimpija would end up making a single basket in the final 5 minutes as the Unicaja defense saved the first win of the season for the home fans.
Euroleague.net
Referees: FACCHINI, FABIO (ITA), PILIPAUSKAS, KESTUTIS (LTU), ROCHA, FERNANDO (POR)
Attendance: 8800
By Quarter1234
Unicaja23131412
Union Olimpija1282213
End of Quarter1234
Unicaja23365062
Union Olimpija12204255
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 1:00                              
5 RODRIGUEZ, BERNI 26:15 11 3/6 1/3 2/3   2 2 2 1 2   1 3 2 6
7 VASILEIADIS, KOSTAS 10:00   0/2 0/2             1     2   -7
8 CHYLINSKI, MICHAL 7:15 2 1/2           2   1       2 4
9 WELSCH, JIRI 29:45 16 5/8 1/1 3/6 1 3 4 3 2 4   1 2 3 15
10 CABEZAS, CARLOS 31:45 8 3/7   2/4   1 1 2 2 3   1 4 4 3
11 PIETRUS, FLORENT 28:00 7 2/3 0/1 3/4 4 4 8 1 1   1   1 5 19
15 DE MIGUEL, IGNACIO 5:15   0/1       1 1                
20 JIMENEZ, CARLOS 12:00 1     1/2 2 2 4 1 2       4 2 5
21 LORBEK, ERAZEM 10:00 2 1/2 0/2   1 2 3               2
25 SANTIAGO, DANIEL 24:45 10 5/7   0/8 2 7 9     3 1   4 7 10
41 BROWN, MARCUS 14:00 5 2/4   1/1   2 2   1 2     2 3 5
Team           3 3 6   2 1         7
Totals 200:00 62 22/42 2/9 12/28 13 27 40 11 11 17 2 3 22 28 69
52.4% 22.2% 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: OKORN, GASPER
Union Olimpija
# 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
8 RIZVIC, HASAN 25:45 8 3/5   2/4 5 5 10 1 1 2 2   4 4 16
9 RANNIKKO, TEEMU 26:30 10 1/2 2/5 2/3       1 2 2     1 4 9
10 HOHLER, DEJAN 2:15   0/1               2         -3
11 MARKOISHVILI, MANUCHAR 30:45 9 3/6 1/5   2 4 6 2   1     5 1 5
12 MILIC, MARKO 22:45 6 3/7 0/1 0/2 1 1 2 2 3 2     5 3 2
13 JURKOVIC, IVICA 13:30 2 1/2 0/3 0/2 1   1     1     1 2 -3
14 KUZMINSKAS, SAULIUS 9:00   0/1       2 2     1 1   5   -4
21 CEBULAR, SANDI 21:30 12 3/6 2/3 0/1 2 1 3   1 1   1 4 2 7
23 LORBEK, DOMEN 32:00 2 1/5 0/3   1 4 5   2 3   1 2 5 1
55 MARAKER, CHRISTIAN 16:00 6 3/6 0/1   3 4 7           1 1 9
Team                   2 2          
Totals 200:00 55 18/41 5/21 4/12 15 21 36 6 11 17 3 2 28 22 39
43.9% 23.8% 33.3%
This game is not yet played

Head Coaches

SCARIOLO, SERGIO
Unicaja
"It was a game with two faces. In the first half I think we played our best 20 minutes of the season except for the free throws. I general, I'd say we played a good defensive game. In the second half we were not accurate in offense and turned the ball over too much. Santiago played a good game except for the free throws. Marcus Brown was also back and a little hesitant, but he has to get used to the competition rhythm little by little."
OKORN, GASPER
Union Olimpija
"I'd like to congratulate Unicaja and coach Scariolo. They played hard for forty minutes, and we failed at the beginning of the second half, and it was impossible to win."

Players

SANTIAGO, DANIEL
Unicaja
"It was an important win, but we suffered in the end. But the best thing we got out of this game is the win, our first one in this Euroleague. We played better defense tonight but I hope we get better in the free throws, which is where we made our biggest mistakes tonight."
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