Regular Season Round 9 - December 21, 2006 CET: 18:15 Local time: 18:15 - BASKETBALL CENTER DRAZEN PETROVIC

Records

Ave.   Ave.
0-0 Final Four 0-0
0-0 Playoffs 0-0
0-0 Top 16 0-0
0-1 Regular Season 1-0
4-4 Overall 8-0

Referees

Crew Chief
LAMONICA, LUIGI, Italy
Referee
PILIPAUSKAS, KESTUTIS, Lithuania
Umpire
GARCIA ORTIZ, JOSE RAMON, Spain

Team Stats

Ave.   Ave.
83.0 Points 84.3
34.4 Rebounds 31.5
10.4 O. Rebounds 11.0
24.0 D. Rebounds 20.5
10.5 Assists 12.3
8.0 Steals 10.9
2.0 Blocks 2.5
16.6 Turnovers 13.4
48.6 % 2PT 57.0 %
38.5 % 3PT 38.9 %
85.0 % FT 68.9 %
82.5 Index 93.5

Player Stats

Ave.   Ave.
14.8 / Wright Points 15.9 / Batiste
8.0 / Wright Rebounds 7.0 / Batiste
2.6 / Wright OR 3.3 / Batiste
5.4 / Wright DR 3.8 / Batiste
2.9 / Kus Assists 4.5 / Diamantidis
1.6 / MCCOLLOUGH, J. Steals 2.9 / Diamantidis
0.6 / BADER, MARTON Blocks 1.0 / Batiste
3.3 / Kus Turnovers 2.4 / Diamantidis
66.7 % / Andric 2PT 75.0 % / TOMASEVIC, DEJAN
50.0 % / MANCE, MARIJAN 3PT 53.8 % / SISKAUSKAS, RAMUNAS
100.0 % / Andric FT 76.5 % / BECIROVIC, SANI
21.3 / Wright Index 20.8 / Batiste

THE TAKE

Cibona will look to bounce back from a tough loss when it hosts undefeated Group B leader Panathinaikos on Thursday at the Drazen Petrovic Center in Zagreb, Croatia. Cibona (4-4), tied for third place, suffered a 92-88 overtime loss at Union Olimpija last week despite a record-tying performance by Davor Kus. The point guard went 17-for-17 from the free-throw line, matching the Euroleague mark for most free throws made and for best percentage in a single game. Kus finished the game with a season-high 25 points. Meanwhile Panathinaikos (8-0) held off visiting DKV Joventut 83-73 as Sani Becirovic scored his season-high of 18 points. When these teams met earlier this season in Athens, the Greens pulled away in the fourth quarter for an 86-69 victory. The Croatian champs will be looking to avoid losing back-to-back games for the first time all season. The game features a clash between two of the best power forwards in the league. Cibona's Brent Wright leads his team in scoring and rebounding with 14.8 points and 8 rebounds per game. He ranks second overall in Euroleague index ranking. Panathinaikos's Mike Batiste, the Euroleague MVP for November, leads his team in scoring and rebounding with 15.9 points and 7 rebounds per game, ranking third overall in the index ranking. Wright will be out to prove himself this time after going scoreless and fouling out in 15 minutes last time against Batiste and Co. But that matchup won't be the sole deciding factor in this game. Kus (14.4 ppg., 2.9 apg.) and swingman Chris Warren (12.9 ppg.) are joined by newcomer Andrew Wisniewski in making up a formidable backcourt, while Jerry McCullough (8.9 ppg.) brings points off the bench for Cibona. Panathinaikos has one of the deepest backcourts around, led by Dimitrios Diamantidis (8.8 ppg., 4.5 apg., 2.9 spg.), Nikos Hatzvirettas (11.4 ppg.), Tony Delk (11.3 ppg.), Sani Becirovic (10.1 ppg.) and Milos Vujanic. And Batiste isn't alone upfront, but counts on Kostas Tsartsaris, Demos Dikoudis, Dejan Tomasevic and Roberts Javtokas for formidable help. Marton Bader, Luksa Andric and Jurica Zuza must hold their own inside to give Cibona a chance of being the first team to topple the Greens this season.
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Euroleague.net - Kostas Sotiriou, Athens

Quotes Head Coaches

ANZULOVIC, DRAZEN
Cibona
"It was hard to get over our defeat in Ljubljana, but we managed it and now we turn to the last Euroleague game in 2006. We were satisfied with the way we played in Athens, in the first game against Panathinaikos, but that was quite a long time ago, and many things have changed. The main thing is to keep concentration during all 40 minutes, because Panathinaikos has more than enough players to keep up the pressure during the whole game. They are one of, if not the strongest team in Europe and we have an opportunity to try to surprise them on our home court."
OBRADOVIC, ZELJKO
Panathinaikos
"We are facing a very good team, which seems to be better than last year. So, if we want to improve our winning streak in the Euroleague, we need to play really hard and concentrated for 40 minutes. Recently, they added point guard Andrew Wisniewski, who makes Cibona even stronger on the perimeter and definitely they will have extra motivation to beat an unbeaten team like Panathinaikos. We have some injuries, but we decided to take all our players to Zagreb and then decide which of them are going to play in the last Euroleague game of 2006."

Players

KUS, DAVOR
Cibona
"Their winning streak speaks for itself, but it is not only victories that make them a great team. They have many talented and high-quality players and their bench is long enough to break any team. We must play our game, and try to reach the quality level we had in our games against Partizan and Maccabi. With the help of our fans, I think we can do it."
BATISTE, MIKE
Panathinaikos
"I remember the game we lost in Zagreb during the 2005-06 Euroleague Top 16, the opening game, but I guess this is a new season and a totally different game. What I am sure of is that if we don't play hard, we will lose again to Cibona, and this is something that none of us would like to happen. Actually, we are still hungry after eight straight wins and we are going there ready for a war. We know they try to take advantage of their home court and definitely our goal is to fight until the final buzzer."
Mike Batiste - Panathinaikos Panathinaikos maintained its undefeated record and became the first Top 16 qualifier by rallying to beat Cibona 75-78 on the road Zagreb, Croatia in Group B on Thursday. Panathinaikos raised its league-best record to 9-0 record. Since it has a six-win advantage over Lottomatica Roma and Unicaja, who tie for the sixth place at 3-6, Panathinaikos has already sealed its ticket to the next round despite playing without Sani Becirovic, Tony Delk, Robertas Javtokas and Fragiskos Alvertis. Cibona fell to 4-5 with its first home loss of the season and can do no better than share fourth place heading into 2007. Mike Batiste paced the winners with 18 points and 8 rebounds. Kostas Tsartsaris added 17 while Dimos Dikoudis had 14 for Panathinaikos. Chris Warren had 18 points for Cibona while Brent Wright and Jerry McCullough each added 12 for the hosts, who led 64-58 midway through the fourth quarter. At that point, Milos Vujanic and Batiste combined for 9 points in a game-breaking 0-12 run that sealed the Greens' last Euroleague win in 2006.

Nikos Hatzivrettas needed just 9 seconds to hit free throws that Wright matched with a four-meter jumper. Panathinaikos found its early go-to guy in Batiste, who dunked and added a long fallaway jumper in a 0-7 run that shot the Greens ahead 2-9. Marton Bader tried to change things with a dunk for Cibona, while Andrew Wisniewski fired in his first triple to get the hosts within 7-9 after 4 minutes. Dusan Sakota came off the Panathinaikos bench for a quick put-back layup before a free throw by Kus and a fastbreak layup by Wright got Cibona even closer, 10-11. Dimitris Diamantidis buried a jumper for Panathinaikos, but the visitors soon entered the foul bonus. Meanwhile, Wright and Warren combined to grab Cibona's first lead, 14-13. Batiste shined with a big dunk that Warren matched with free throws, but it was Wisniewski who had the final say, with a shot from downtown to put Cibona up 19-17 after 10 minutes.

Levour Warren - CibonaLuksa Andric scored in the low post early in the second quarter for the hosts, while Dikoudis countered with a layup and a jump-hook to tie 21-21. Cibona did not panic, as Wright buried a long jumper and Kus one from downtown to make the Greens call timeout at 26-21. Dejan Tomasevic got 3 points back with a layup-plus-free throw, but Jerry McCullough matched him with one shot from the corner for Cibona. Dikoudis and Tomasevice kept Panathinaikos as close as 29-28. However, Warren reappeared with a triple to which Jurica Zuza added a floating layup, sparking another Panathinaikos timeout at 35-28. McCullough capped an 8-0 Cibona run with free throws, but Diamantidis soon blocked his dunk, made foul shots and fed Tomasevic for a fastbreak layup to keep the Greens alive at 37-33. Warren sank another triple before the half could finish to give Cibona a 41-35 advantage.

Batiste shined with a put-back basket after the break and Tsartsaris added a driving layup to get the Greens within 41-39. Cibona went scoreless for more than 2 minutes, while Diamantidis fed Batiste for a reverse dunk that tied it up, 41-41. Cibona faced foul trouble, as Kus, Wright and Bader already had 3 fouls apiece. Tsartsaris provided a highlight with a coast-to-coast layup but Bader and Wright, with a big dunk, kept Cibona ahead 45-43 after 26 minutes. Tsartsaris - who else? - buried a three-pointer to put the Greens ahead, 45-46, and soon Sakota added another from downtown to make it 47-49 as Cibona struggled to beat a Panathinaikos zone defense. Andric scored to tie before Batiste made a tip-in, but Kus rallied the hosts with free throws and a reverse layup to put Cibona back ahead, 53-51, after three quarters.

Panathinaikos entered the foul bonus with more than 8 minutes to go, while a free throw by Wright and a close basket by Warren gave Cibona a 56-51 lead. Tsartsaris scored in transition and soon added a three-point play to give the Greens some fresh air at 58-56. McCullough banked in a mid-range jumper and added a fastbreak layup to make Panathinaikos call timeout, 62-56, with 6 minutes remaining. Tsartsaris scored again but Bader shined with a tip-in to keep Cibona fully ahead. Things were about to change suddenly and dramatically as Vujanic got to the line and buried 5 free throws during an amazing 0-12 Panathinaikos run in which Diamantidis hit a critical triple and Batiste added a jump hook. All of the sudden, the Greens were in charge, 64-70. Bader and Warren made foul shots to get Cibona within 67-70 with 2 minutes to go, but Diamantidis then made his own free throws and Dikoudis fired in a jumper that sealed the outcome at 68-74. Dikoudis ended it with a reverse layup to allow the Greens to seal their Top 16-qualifying win in style.
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Euroleague.net
Referees: LAMONICA, LUIGI (ITA), PILIPAUSKAS, KESTUTIS (LTU), GARCIA ORTIZ, JOSE RAMON (ESP)
Attendance: 5200
By Quarter1234
Cibona19221222
Panathinaikos17181627
End of Quarter1234
Cibona19415375
Panathinaikos17355178
Head coach: ANZULOVIC, DRAZEN
Cibona
# 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
0 WRIGHT, BRENT 32:30 12 4/7 0/1 4/6 4 3 7 1 1 6     4 5 10
4 WARREN, CHRIS 37:45 18 2/7 3/6 5/6   5 5 4 1       3 8 24
5 KUS, DAVOR 35:30 8 1/7 1/3 3/4   3 3 2 2 3   1 3 5 4
7 KRASIC, BARISA DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
8 ANDRIC, LUKSA 11:30 6 2/2   2/2 3 3 6   1 2     4 2 9
9 MCCULLOUGH, JERRY 23:45 12 3/7 1/2 3/4 1   1 3 2     1 4 4 11
14 BADER, MARTON 27:45 9 3/3   3/6 3 4 7   1 3     4 4 11
16 ZUZA, JURICA 3:00 3 1/1   1/2                 3 1  
20 ROZIC, MARIN 10:00 1 0/3   1/2 2 1 3 1 2       4 2 1
21 MANCE, MARIJAN 1:15                              
24 VRBANC, GORAN DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
44 WISNIEWSKI, ANDREW 17:00 6 0/2 2/3         1 2 1     2 1 4
Team                                
Totals 200:00 75 16/39 7/15 22/32 13 19 32 12 12 15 0 2 31 32 74
41% 46.7% 68.8%
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: OBRADOVIC, ZELJKO
Panathinaikos
# 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 ALVERTIS, FRAGISKOS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
6 PAPANIKOLAOU, DIMITRIOS 17:30     0/1   1 1 2 1         4 1 -1
8 BATISTE, MIKE 30:45 18 7/11 0/2 4/6 5 3 8   1 6     3 4 14
9 SISKAUSKAS, RAMUNAS 11:00     0/1     1 1           4 1 -3
10 HATZIVRETTAS, NIKOS 34:30 2 0/1   2/4       1 2       1 4 5
11 DIKOUDIS, DIMOS 16:30 14 5/7 0/1 4/8   4 4 1 1 2     4 6 13
12 TSARTSARIS, KOSTAS 19:15 17 5/6 2/4 1/1   3 3 2 1 1 1   5 2 17
13 DIAMANTIDIS, DIMITRIS 33:00 9 1/2 1/2 4/4 1 1 2 3 2 6 1   4 4 9
15 TOMASEVIC, DEJAN 8:00 7 2/3   3/3 2   2     3     2 2 5
16 SAKOTA, DUSAN 7:30 5 1/1 1/4   1 1 2 1 1       2 1 5
18 VUJANIC, MILOS 22:00 6 0/1 0/2 6/9         2       3 6 5
19 JAVTOKAS, ROBERTAS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Team             6 6   1           7
Totals 200:00 78 21/32 4/17 24/35 10 20 30 9 11 18 2 0 32 31 76
65.6% 23.5% 68.6%
This game is not yet played

Head Coaches

ANZULOVIC, DRAZEN
Cibona
"My team was excellent for 35 minutes against such a big team like Panathinaikos. I am satisfied with our performance but i think we had the chance to win this game. Its time to improve ourselves and avoid finishing the game like we did today in the last crucial minutes."
OBRADOVIC, ZELJKO
Panathinaikos
"We have to congratulate our players for what they did in 2006. It's true that we are tired physically and psychologcally. However, we found the strength to defend well and win the game. My players struggled a lot in the game and they deserve the Christmas break. Regardless of their mistakes today, I am very proud of their effort. Let me give a credit to Tsartsaris, Dikoudis and Chatzivrettas! The last one played 34 minutes without taking a shot. The team was succesfull in 2006 but 2007 needs more motivation in the way to the success."
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