2007-08Top 16Round 2
February 20, 2008 CET: 18:45
Local time: 19:45 ABDI IPEKCI ARENA

Team Stats

Ave.   Ave.
78.7 Points 77.9
33.4 Rebounds 28.3
9.5 O. Rebounds 7.7
23.9 D. Rebounds 20.6
12.9 Assists 12.0
6.8 Steals 14.9
2.5 Blocks 3.4
12.3 Turnovers 11.1
53.8 % 2PT 51.4 %
35.9 % 3PT 38.0 %
72.7 % FT 74.3 %
83.9 Index 85.3

Player Stats

Ave.   Ave.
16.8 / Nicholas Points 14.1 / Kaukenas
6.8 / WOODS, LOREN Rebounds 5.2 / Stonerook
2.5 / HUTSON, ANDRE OR 1.4 / Eze
4.3 / WOODS, LOREN DR 4.5 / Stonerook
2.8 / Nicholas Assists 4.1 / McIntyre
1.4 / Penn Steals 2.7 / McIntyre
1.3 / WOODS, LOREN Blocks 1.2 / Lavrinovic, K.
2.5 / Nicholas Turnovers 2.0 / McIntyre
60.0 % / WOODS, LOREN 2PT 63.2 % / Lavrinovic, K.
56.3 % / GREGORY, WILLIAM KENDRICK 3PT 62.9 % / Lavrinovic, K.
88.9 % / Erdogan FT 88.2 % / Kaukenas
14.5 / Nicholas Index 15.8 / Lavrinovic, K.


Ave.   Ave.
0-0 Final Four 0-0
0-0 Playoffs 0-0
1-0 Top 16 1-0
8-6 Regular Season 10-4
9-6 Overall 11-4


Crew Chief
PUKL,SASA, Slovenia

The Take

The Top spot in Group D will be up for grabs on Wednesday when Efes Pilsen hosts Montepaschi Siena at the Abdi Ipekci Sports Hall in Istanbul, Turkey. Both teams started the Top 16 strong with impressive home wins last week, but only one of them can get to 2-0. Efes took down reigning champion Panathinaikos 74-64 as Drew Nicholas matched his career-high with 29 points. Montepaschi dumped Partizan Igokea 71-54 with a record-setting defensive performance of 29 steals. Despite the fact that this will be the first ever meeting between these teams, Efes head coach David Blatt knows the competition quite well after spending the last two seasons in Italy. He will need that knowledge as he tries to crack the Euroleague’s top defense, which has held teams below 60 points three times so far. Montepaschi will not have an easy time picking up steals again since Efes’s deep backcourt sees the club with two ball-handlers at almost all times, with Scoonie Penn, Nicholas, Rashad Wright and Ender Arslan making up a serious rotation. The Italian champs are also incredibly deep at guard after adding Drake Diener prior to the Top 16 to a squad that is led by Terrell McIntyre and features Bootsy Thornton, Vlado Ilievski and Keith McLeod. On the wing both teams send super-athletic open-court players to duel in Kenny Gregory for the hosts and Romain Sato for Siena. In the paint, Efes turns to Loren Woods, Ermal Kugo, Andre Hutson and Kerem Gonlum and Montepaschi answers with Ksistof Lavrinovic, Ben Eze and Shaun Stonerook. Last week’s win was Montepaschi’s fifth in a row. Head coach Simone Pianigiani’s charges have also won four of their last five on the road. On the other hand, Efes in now 6-2 at home this season. The winning side in this encounter will take on the role as group favorite, while the losing side will feel Panathinaikos hot on its heels. Both teams have faced pressure of big games in the past and have big-time players ready to step up. One key encounter will be in the backcourt, with Nicholas and McIntyre, though the two may not necessarily guard one another. However the team whose lead guard has the bigger night could find itself with a huge advantage down the stretch in what looks to be 40 minutes of exciting basketball at the highest level.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Quotes Head Coaches

Efes Pilsen
"I think that we are playing with one of the real candidates for the Final Four this year, Montepaschi Siena. And obviously a better team up to this point. Montepaschi Siena was a great success last year in Italy and it continues most of the same team and the same system, which of course helps them to be such an effective team this year as well. They are a very athletic and deep team that plays good and aggressive basketball at both ends of the court. We’re also coming off a very good victory against perhaps the top team of Europe, Panathinaikos. But our job will not be an easy one, maybe a little bit less difficult against Siena. We must maintain our effort and concentration and play every play to win."
Montepaschi Siena
"We are in a good mood despite our not perfect physical condition. We know that in Istanbul it will be a very tough game. Efes Pilsen has a deep roster, with big men under the boards and many players who can score from the perimeter. We must keep on playing great games on defense. Only through defense we can find the energy and the confidence to be competitive in the Euroleague. The Top 16 already showed that there are no favorite teams. I say nothing is impossible."


Efes Pilsen
"For sure, it’s the second straight tough test for us this season. It’s a game which will be a kind of key for us if we are able to win. We proved that we are a very good team last week against Panathinaikos. It was a good team game, which we have to repeat against Montepaschi Siena, too. Motivation will be the key for us once again like it was our weakest side in many of the previous matches."
Montepaschi Siena
"This is an important game in our group. To qualify for the quarterfinals you must always win at home and try to steal one or two games on the road. I think that this is a key game. We go to Istanbul confident. We really think to have the skill to beat Efes as we are in good shape."
Benjamin Eze - Montepaschi Siena Montepaschi Siena took a major step to reach the Quarterfinal Playoffs from Group D by edging Efes Pilsen 76-79 in overtime in Istanbul, Turkey, on Wednesday night. Montepaschi now leads Group D with a 2-0 record, while Efes will tie for the second place at 1-1 at the end of this round. Bootsy Thornton paced the winners with 18 points, while Romain Sato, Ben Eze and Terrell McIntyre each added 12 for Montepaschi. McIntyre also dished 8 assists and Sato had 5 steals. Ermal Kuqo had 20 points for Efes, Andre Hutson added 14 and Drew Nicholas 12. Free throws by Loren Woods and a jump hook by Kuqo gave Efes a 13-12 edge after 10 minutes. Back-to-back triples by Nicholas gave Efes a 30-19 lead, but a 0-9 run in which Thornton netted 6 points brought Montepaschi within 30-28 at halftime. Sato and Eze took over after the break, allowing the guests to get a 44-49 edge heading into the fourth quarter. Scoonie Penn and an unstoppable Kuqo pushed Efes to 61-55 midway through the fourth quarter, but three-pointers by Shaun Stonerook, McIntyre and Thornton tied the game at 69-69 with 54 seconds to go. Kuqo, Thornton and Nicholas missed from downtown to take the game to overtime. Nicholas and Penn fueled a 7-0 run that allowed Efes to restore a 76-74 edge. Ksistof Lavrinovic made 3 of 4 free throws and Thornton sank an acrobatic jumper for a 76-79 Montepaschi lead with 18 seconds to go. Kuqo and Nicholas missed from downtown in the game's final possession.

Tough defense ruled the first quarter as both sides made great efforts to stop each other first, thinking to score second. The lead changed twice in the first three minutes as Eze opened the score with the free throws in the first minute. Efes Pilsen got its first points of the game through Kenny Gregory and the first lead on an Hutson jumper in the third minute, 4-2. Montepaschi missed straight chances to maintain the lead and was unable to use the advantage of Efes Pilsen’s turnovers. Gonlum and Woods worked well in the paint to lead the home team in the first quarter. Kuqo joined the duo in the last minute to give Efes a 13-12 lead at the end of the first period.

Ermal Kuqo - Efes PilsenEfes was keen on moving the ball inside to feed Kuqo and Gonlum also in the second period. Gonlum’s slam made it 17-15. Montepaschi’s pressure defense failed as Efes got a couple of layups from Kuqo and Gonlum and then back-to-back three-pointers from Nicholas to race out to its biggest lead, 30-19. But when all was going Efes’s way, Montepaschi strengthened its defense, forced Efes into a few more turnovers and found a triple from McIntyre that restored its confidence. Thornton added 3 free-throw points and then shined with a triple to complete a 0-9 charge that brought his team back and ended the first half at 30-28.

Eze completed the Montepaschi comeback and tied the game at 30-30 on the first play of the second half. Gregory and Gonlum found way to keep Efes slightly ahead, but Montepaschi had answers. Soon McIntyre fed Eze for a mighty two-handed slam and the visitors then took the lead at 34-36 when Eze hit from outside. Saito stretched the lead to 4 from the line but just as quickly Efes tied it at 38-38 and went ahead on Kuqo’s next basket. The score flip-flopped again on a McIntyre triple and Sato free throws. Penn set up Hutson for a thunderous slam, but Vlado Ilievski hit from outside. Eze got some love from the rim as his jumper touched everywhere before falling in, stretching the visitors’ advantage to 6. Nicholas countered with 2 free throws only to see Saito add one at the other end to make it 44-49 after 30 minutes.

Kuqo cut into the Montepaschi lead with a hook shot on the first possession of the fourth quarter and then Penn tied it with a long triple. Eze put the visitors back on top with a jumper, but Hutson answered with a fadeaway jumper and Kuqo then drained a three-pointer to put Efes on top to the delight of the fans. Ilievski kept it close from the line, but everything looked rosy for Efes when Nicholas went to the line, made one, missed the second and the rebound wound up with Penn, who drilled another big-time triple. Lavrinovic tried to get his side going, but another Kuqo three-pointer made it 61-55 and saw Montepaschi take a much-needed timeout. Thornton stepped up with a clutch triple, but Hutson was in form for Efes. Still Montepaschi persisted as Shaun Stonerook’s three cut the gap to 64-61. Kuqo padded the lead from the line and, but Sato made it a 2-point game. Hutson answered for Efe, but McIntyre bettered him with a three. Once more Hutson scored inside, but McIntyre did so from downtown and the score was tied at 69-69 with a minute to go. Both teams had chances to get ahead, but misses from Kuqo, Thornton and Nicholas, in that order, kept it knotted and sent the game to overtime.

Montepaschi Siena celebratesSato drained a three to open the extra period and Gregory’s attempt to answer ended when he was called for an offensive foul for bowling over Stonerook. The Siena forward then stepped up on the other end with an offensive rebound and basket. Nicholas was fouled shooting from downtown and made all 3 to keep Efes close. After a Montepaschi turnover, Penn drilled a three-pointer that put the hosts up 75-74. Hutson killed two birds with one stone when he drew Stonerook’s fifth foul and extended the Efes run to 7-0 from the line. However Lavrinovic went to the line and sank a pair with 1:20 remaining to tie the game once more, 76-76. At the other end, Lavrinovic muscled his way to a defensive rebound, drew a foul and gave his team the lead from the line. After Nicholas missed a long thee, Thornton made an acrobatic jumper to put Siena up 3 with 18 seconds remaining as Efes called timeout. Despite getting multiple looks, Efes came up short and time ran out leaving Montepaschi as the undefeated Group D leader.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Gokhan Ture, Istanbul
Attendance: 3000
By Quarter1234Extra 1
Efes Pilsen131714257
Montepaschi Siena1216212010
End of Quarter1234Extra 1
Efes Pilsen1330446976
Montepaschi Siena1228496979
Efes Pilsen
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 NICHOLAS, DREW 35:52 12 0/3 2/7 6/8 2 5 7 3   3   1 4 5 9
5 PENN, SCOONIE 42:22 9 0/3 3/3   1 3 4 5 2 2   1 2 2 14
6 WOODS, LOREN 13:26 4 1/3   2/3 1 1 2 2   1 2   1 2 7
9 GREGORY, KENNY 26:32 4 2/4 0/1     6 6 1 2 2     3 1 6
10 ABI, MUSTAFA 7:34 2 1/1             1 1     1 1 2
11 PACUN, BORA HUN DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
12 GONLUM, KEREM 16:20 11 4/5 0/1 3/5 1 3 4     1   1 2 3 10
13 WRIGHT, RASHAD 7:16   0/1     2   2           3   -2
23 KUQO, ERMAL 31:34 20 5/11 2/6 4/5 2 5 7 1 2 3     2 3 17
32 HERSEK, BARIS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
33 ARSLAN, ENDER 15:24     0/3   1   1 1   1     3   -5
34 HUTSON, ANDRE 28:40 14 6/9   2/4 2 2 4 1 1 2   1 3 3 12
Team                     1         -1
Totals 225:00 76 19/40 7/21 17/25 12 25 37 14 8 17 2 4 24 20 69
        47.5% 33.3% 68%
Head coach: BLATT, DAVID
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
Montepaschi Siena
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 BERTI, SIMONE DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
5 MCINTYRE, TERRELL 38:44 12 0/1 4/10     4 4 8 1 5     2 1 12
6 ILIEVSKI, VLADO 15:22 7 1/3 1/1 2/2           2     1 1 3
8 EZE, BENJAMIN 35:56 12 5/7   2/2 2 5 7   4 3 2 1 2 2 19
9 CARRARETTO, MARCO DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
10 SATO, ROMAIN 37:10 12 2/4 1/5 5/6   3 3 1 5       2 7 19
11 THORNTON, BOOTSY 37:42 18 2/6 3/8 5/6 1 5 6 1   1   1 4 4 13
12 LAVRINOVIC, KSISTOF 17:15 6 1/3   4/6   3 3       1   1 4 9
14 RESS, TOMAS 6:58 3 0/3 1/1     2 2 1     1   1   3
16 DIENER, DRAKE 6:02     0/1                   2   -3
19 ROMERO, HECTOR 1:33                              
20 STONEROOK, SHAUN 28:18 9 2/2 1/3 2/3 2   2 5 1 2     5 5 12
Team                   1           1
Totals 225:00 79 13/29 11/29 20/25 5 22 27 16 12 13 4 2 20 24 88
        44.8% 37.9% 80%

Head Coaches

Efes Pilsen
"We have a good game in defense but I cannot say the same about our offense tonight. We did our job well defensively, just as Montepaschi Siena, except for some small mistakes. Our offense was weaker than in any othr game. You have to shoot the ball to win the game and this is what we missed tonight. If you can't shoot the ball, than you are in trouble. I want to congratulate Montepaschi Siena for their great effort in defense. This is how they play and they really did a job good tonight. We also missed eight free throws during the game and it means a lot when you lose the game in overtime by three points. We still have four games in front of us. First of all, we will try to win the next game on the road against Partizan Igokea."
Montepaschi Siena
"First of all, I have to say that my players followed our game plan throughout the entire game, with great concentration for 45 minutes. We really controlled the game very well. We made a mistake by focusing on their guards because their big men got incolved. Before this game, Efes focused its offense in guards like Drew Nicholas and Scoonie Penn. We managed to stop them with good defense and we only found troubles to slow Ermal Kuqo. Another key to win this game that we managed not to allow fast break baskets. Kuqo had a perfect game but our team effort helped us to win. Of course, this is a big, very important win for us, but we still have four games and all of them are as important as this one."


Efes Pilsen
"It is really sad when you lose in front of your own fans after the great win against Panathinaikos last week. Montepaschi Siena played a really great game and I have to congratulate them for their well-deserved win. Our main mistake was that when we had an 11-point lead in the first half and a seven-point edge in the fourth quarter, we were a little bit too overconfident to win the game . That caused us to lose the game. Our turnovers were also too much to handle."
Montepaschi Siena
"It was a very tough game. Both teams played hard and tried to win, but we were the best team tonight. We just got another win and still have four games coming up. Basketball is all about team effort and individual performances are not important when the team wins. But of course, this is a big win against a great opponent and I hope it helps us to reach our goal - make it to the Final Four."
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