Regular Season Round 11 - January 09, 2008 CET: 20:30 Local time: 20:30 - PALAESTRA

Records

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

Referees

Crew Chief
PITSILKAS, NIKOLAOS, Greece
Referee
ZIEMBLICKI, GRZEGORZ, Poland
Umpire
MAESTRE, NICOLA, France

Team Stats

Ave.   Ave.
77.1 Points 86.4
28.9 Rebounds 34.1
8.3 O. Rebounds 10.0
20.6 D. Rebounds 24.1
11.9 Assists 13.9
12.8 Steals 8.4
3.7 Blocks 2.0
10.9 Turnovers 12.1
50.0 % 2PT 57.0 %
36.9 % 3PT 39.0 %
75.1 % FT 72.4 %
81.6 Index 93.6

Player Stats

Ave.   Ave.
13.0 / MCINTYRE, TERRELL Points 16.0 / Rakocevic
5.3 / STONEROOK, SHAUN Rebounds 6.5 / TELETOVIC, MIRZA
1.6 / Eze OR 2.1 / SPLITTER, TIAGO
4.4 / STONEROOK, SHAUN DR 4.6 / TELETOVIC, MIRZA
3.8 / MCINTYRE, TERRELL Assists 4.0 / PRIGIONI, PABLO
2.5 / STONEROOK, SHAUN Steals 1.3 / PRIGIONI, PABLO
1.4 / Lavrinovic, K. Blocks 0.6 / MCDONALD, WILL
2.3 / MCINTYRE, TERRELL Turnovers 2.1 / PRIGIONI, PABLO
67.4 % / Lavrinovic, K. 2PT 62.5 % / Planinic
54.2 % / Lavrinovic, K. 3PT 46.3 % / PRIGIONI, PABLO
88.2 % / Kaukenas FT 94.4 % / PRIGIONI, PABLO
15.7 / Lavrinovic, K. Index 16.1 / SPLITTER, TIAGO

THE TAKE

A pivotal game in crowded Group A takes place on Wednesday in Italy when Montepaschi Siena host Tau Ceramica. With only one win separating second place Tau and the three teams behind it, including Montepaschi, everything is wide open as the jostling for position ahead of the Top 16 continues. A win will seal Tau participation in the Top 16. Montepaschi would also advance with a win, if Union Olimpija loses on Thursday against Zalgiris. In that event, Tau would also go through. A very promising start of the season has taken a bad turn for Montepaschi lately, as the Italian champs have dropped back-to-back games to slip to 6-4. Worse is the fact the teams top players this season, Ksistof Lavrinovic and Rimantas Kaukenas, are out. In the meantime Siena has added replacements, forward Hector Romero and guard Keith McLeod, but neither will be able to have the immediate impact that Lavrinovic and Kaukenas had on the club’s team-oriented game. Meanwhile Tau has suffered from injuries all season and will be without forward Pete Mickael this week. Tau also recently added a body, with power forward Gabe Mouneke exploding for 16 points in 16 minutes off the bench in his Euroleague debut last week. Big men Tiago Splitter, Mirza Teletovic and Will McDonald combined for 37 points and 25 rebounds as Tau scored a 76-61 victory when these last met in Spain in November. With Mouneke now a part of that rotation, Tau head coach Neven Spahija could order his playmakers Pablo Prigioni and Zoran Planinic to pound the ball inside against Montepaschi’s Ben Eze, Shaun Stonerook, Tomas Ress and Romero, the latter two not being known for their defensive prowess. Meanwhile Terrell McIntyre and Vlado Ilievski become the heart of the Montepaschi attack, with athletic swingman Romain Saito and Bootsy Thornton hoping to be on the receiving end of many passes. McCleod could be needed more on the defensive end to try and stop Tau scorer Igor Rakocevic, who could take over a game if left alone. Despite losing to CSKA at home by 3 before the winter break, Montepaschi is considered one of the stronger home teams in the competition, which will give head coach Simone Pianigiani a bit of an advantage. However the real key will be how he prepares his bigs to go up against their counterparts. If Eze, Stonerook and co. can handle Splitter and Teletovic, this could develop into an tactically played encounter between two great teams.
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
Euroleague.net

Quotes Head Coaches

PIANIGIANI, SIMONE
Montepaschi Siena
"It is a very difficoult period for us. Our energy is low, we'll be facing tough games both in Euroleague and in Italian League. And we are playing without Lavrinovic and Kaukenas. Tau is the only team in Europe that has beaten us by more than 10 points. But we are confindent. We have already showed to be able to overtake difficulties. It will be a tough game but we miss just one step to reach the Top 16."
SPAHIJA, NEVEN
Tau Ceramica
"It's going to be a tough week for us. We have to travel to Siena and to Valencia. It won't be easy, but we are ready for this challenge. Nothing will change our target. We want to win. They will miss Kaukenas and Lavrinovic, but we also missed some important players in the last games and we managed to win. They are a serious team and I'm sure they will want to do the same. I don't think of the point difference, I don't care about the 15 points we got in Vitoria. We come to Siena to win."

Players

SPLITTER, TIAGO
Tau Ceramica
"We face two difficult games on the road this week, so we will have to give our best. Montepaschi Siena is a very tough contender, they are doing a great job in the Italian League. We must to stay focused, especially at this moment, and not let the long trip affect our performance."
Terrell McIntyre - Montepaschi Siena Montepaschi clinched a Top 16 berth with a big 83-71 home win over Tau Ceramica on Wednesday night. Terrell McIntyre matched his season-highs with 20 points and 7 assists plus 7 steals as all five Montepaschi starters scored in double figures. The win sees Montepaschi match Tau at 7-4 in second place in Group A. Two more teams – Olympiacos and Zalgiris – could join them in second with wins on Thursday, though Montepaschi has the tie-break advantage already in any potential ties that would decide qualifiers in the group. Tau has not yet secured a ticket to the next round, but will automatically advance if Zalgiris beats Union Olimpija on Thursday. Tau was in the game for much of the first half, but Montepaschi, which was playing without two of its biggest stars – the injured Ksistof Lavrinovic and Rimantas Kaukenas – controlled the tempo the whole time. The hosts slowly increased their lead throughout the third period until a Shaun Stonerook triple made it a double-digit margin and Tau never seriously threatened again. Igor Rakocevic continued to score often, but with Zoran Planinic a non factor until the final minutes and Pablo Prigioni finishing the game with 0 points and 0 assists, the high-powered Tau attack committed 19 turnovers and looked bleak and Siena took advantage. Romain Sato added 15 for the winners, Bootsy Thornton and Ben Eze scored 12 points apiece and Stonerook finished with 10 points and 7 rebounds. Rakocevic paced Tau with 23 points and 4 assists, while Tiago Splitter, who dominated early with 10 points in the first seven minutes, finished with 19.

Montepaschi won the opening tip, but after a missed Thornton three, Tau went downcourt and scored the game’s first points through Splitter inside. McIntyre soon got the hosts on the board with a three and Sato added one as the Montepaschi heated up. Rakocevic tied the game with free throws and the game remained close from that point, with Thornton active for the home team and Splitter dominating in the paint for Tau. Siena started to pull away first as a Stonerook triple gave the hosts a 17-14 advantage. McIntyre continued to control the tempo, first finding Eze underneath and then drilling a triple to increase the lead to 7. Simas Jasaitis came off the bench and sniped a triple for Tau. However the visiting backcourt took a hit when Zoran Planinic committed his third foul. Will McDonald’s bucket in the paint cut the gap to 28-23 after 10 minutes.

Igor Rakocevic - Tau CeramicaRakocevic and Thornton traded hoops as the second period started with a slower pace. Four minutes into the period, Eze scored just the third basket of the quarter to put the hosts up 7. Jasaitis’s second triple of the game made it 34-30, but McIntyre dished to Vlado Ilievski for a basket-plus-foul as Montepaschi remained in control. On the other end, Eze swatted McDonald as the crowd got more involved. But Tau head coach Neven Spahija brought Splitter back in and he immediately came through with a three-point play. In the last minute of the period, Eze scored his 10th point of the game from the line to make it 39-33 at halftime.

Jasaitis scored to open the second half, but Stonerook stripped Planinic at midcourt and sailed in for a slam. Rakocevic beat the shot clock with a deep three to get Tau within 3, however Planinic remained a total nonfactor as he picked up his fourth foul. Meanwhile Thornton scored on the break to keep Siena ahead. Rakocevic has some words for the referee after he collided with Hector Romero, leading to a technical foul. After McIntyre converted the free throws, it was 47-39. A minute later, Stonerook’s second triple of the evening gave Siena its first double-digit advantage. Tau tried to regain its composure by using a timeout, after which Mirza Teletovic drilled a three-pointer. However Thornton also had a triple up his sleeve. New signing Keith McLeod scored his first Euroleague Basketball points from the charity stripe for Montepaschi. Teletovic countered with a two-handed jam in transition, but Ilievski matched him. McLeod finished the period with a triple to give the hosts a 60-49 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

Rakocevic tried igniting his team with free throws, but McIntyre erased them with a three-pointer. Planinic scored his first point of the night from the line and Rakocevic added 2 more, but Siena seemed to have an answer each time. Planinic hit from the top of the key and Sergi Vidal did the same as Tau got within 69-62, but Sato hit a jumper and a three on Siena’s next two possessions to restore Montepaschi’s 10-point lead. McIntyre then hit a triple of his own to dash any hopes Tau had of a comeback. The playmaker had one more bomb left as McIntyre and co. celebrated the win. However the action wasn’t over as the hosts tried to eclipse the 15-point deficit from their loss to Tau earlier in the season. McIntyre hit one more three to make it 83-69, but Stonerook was called for an unsportsmanlike foul that stopped the Montepaschi momentum, Splitter threw down a slam at the other end and a missed-Sato three at the buzzer left the tiebreaker in Tau’s hands.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008
Euroleague.net
Referees: PITSILKAS, NIKOLAOS (GRE), ZIEMBLICKI, GRZEGORZ (POL), MAESTRE, NICOLA (FRA)
Attendance: 5319
By Quarter1234
Montepaschi Siena28112123
Tau Ceramica23101622
End of Quarter1234
Montepaschi Siena28396083
Tau Ceramica23334971
Head coach: PIANIGIANI, SIMONE
Montepaschi Siena
# 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 BERTI, SIMONE DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
5 MCINTYRE, TERRELL 35:20 20 0/2 6/10 2/2 1 1 2 7 7 3   1 1 2 27
6 ILIEVSKI, VLADO 11:14 5 2/5 0/3 1/1 2   2   3       2 3 5
8 EZE, BENJAMIN 23:05 12 4/5   4/4   3 3     2 1   4 2 11
9 CARRARETTO, MARCO 8:40     0/1                       -1
10 SATO, ROMAIN 30:42 15 2/5 2/8 5/7 1 4 5 2 2   1 1 3 4 14
11 THORNTON, BOOTSY 26:40 12 6/8 0/2     3 3 1 2     1 2 2 13
14 RESS, TOMAS 11:18 3 0/2   3/4 1 1 2   2       1 3 6
18 MC LEOD, KEITH 7:39 6   1/2 3/4                   2 6
19 ROMERO, HECTOR 7:17         2 2 4     1     3    
20 STONEROOK, SHAUN 38:05 10 2/2 2/6   1 6 7 1 3 3     5 1 10
Team                   1         1 2
Totals 200:00 83 16/29 11/32 18/22 8 20 28 11 20 9 2 3 21 20 93
55.2% 34.4% 81.8%
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: SPAHIJA, NEVEN
Tau Ceramica
# 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 PRIGIONI, PABLO 19:47   0/1 0/4           1 3     1   -8
8 RAKOCEVIC, IGOR 35:23 23 5/7 1/3 10/10 1 2 3 4 1 3     4 8 28
9 VIDAL, SERGI 24:28 6 1/1 1/1 1/2   2 2 2 1 1     3 1 7
10 PLANINIC, ZORAN 20:13 6 1/3 1/3 1/4 1 4 5 5 1 3     4 5 8
11 FERNANDEZ, LUCHO DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
12 TELETOVIC, MIRZA 32:30 7 2/4 1/3     6 6   1   1   3   8
13 JASAITIS, SIMAS 20:09 8 1/1 2/3   1 2 3           2 1 9
21 SPLITTER, TIAGO 31:25 19 8/12   3/5 1 5 6   3 5 2 1 3 6 21
30 MUONEKE, GABE 7:30   0/1 0/1   1 3 4 1             3
45 MCDONALD, WILL 8:35 2 1/3     1 3 4     4   1     -1
Team           1 1 2   1           3
Totals 200:00 71 19/33 6/18 15/21 7 28 35 12 9 19 3 2 20 21 78
57.6% 33.3% 71.4%
This game is not yet played

Head Coaches

PIANIGIANI, SIMONE
Montepaschi Siena
"We are in the Top 16 and this is an important target in our season. We won a tough game, playing with big energy despite being in a difficult period. At the end, we needed to win by 16 and overtake Tau in the standings. But that flagrant foul.... I don't want to talk about this. I just want to make compliments to my team."
SPAHIJA, NEVEN
Tau Ceramica
"Siena showed to be a better team than us at this moment. The only good thing we have done is to maintain the points difference. We had too many turnovers and this was the main reason of our loss. But it is not simple to play at a high level every three days."
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