Top 16 Round 4 - February 26, 2009 CET: 20:45 Local time: 20:45 - PALALOTTOMATICA

Records

Ave.   Ave.
0-0 Final Four 0-0
0-0 Playoffs 0-0
0-3 Top 16 3-0
6-4 Regular Season 7-3
6-7 Overall 10-3

Referees

Crew Chief
ARTEAGA, JUAN CARLOS, Spain
Referee
BACHAR, SHMUEL, Israel
Umpire
CMIKIEWICZ, MAREK, Poland

Team Stats

Ave.   Ave.
79.4 Points 78.2
33.7 Rebounds 31.8
10.8 O. Rebounds 9.2
22.9 D. Rebounds 22.6
11.6 Assists 14.2
9.2 Steals 9.0
2.2 Blocks 2.8
13.6 Turnovers 14.7
49.3 % 2PT 59.8 %
33.7 % 3PT 35.5 %
79.4 % FT 76.1 %
79.9 Index 87.8

Player Stats

Ave.   Ave.
15.5 / BECIROVIC, SANI Points 12.4 / Batiste
6.0 / HUTSON, ANDRE Rebounds 5.3 / Batiste
2.4 / Brezec OR 1.8 / Batiste
4.1 / HUTSON, ANDRE DR 3.5 / Batiste
4.0 / BECIROVIC, SANI Assists 3.4 / Diamantidis
2.0 / Jaaber Steals 1.3 / Diamantidis
0.8 / Gigli Blocks 0.7 / PEKOVIC, NIKOLA
2.8 / BECIROVIC, SANI Turnovers 2.3 / Batiste
60.0 % / Gigli 2PT 80.0 % / Sakota
42.9 % / BECIROVIC, SANI 3PT 53.8 % / KECMAN, DUSAN
89.5 % / Giachetti FT 100.0 % / KECMAN, DUSAN
19.3 / BECIROVIC, SANI Index 16.6 / Diamantidis

THE TAKE

Lottomatica Roma will look to save its season when it hosts undefeated Group G leader Panathinaikos on Thursday night. Despite a strong regular season, Roma has struggled in the Top 16 and is coming off a 92-67 loss at the Greens – the club’s fifth straight defeat. However head coach Nando Gentile’s squad has not thrown in the towel on the season and will debut newly signed shooter Ruben Douglas in this game. Still, another loss would spell the end of Lottomatica’s season. Panathinaikos is one of only two teams without a loss in the Top 16 so far. And the Greens are in good spirits after winning the Greek Cup over rival Olympiacos over the weekend. The meeting of these teams is highlighted by the fact that three of Roma’s most important members, guard Sani Becirovic, Gentile and general manager Dejan Bodiroga, all won the Euroleague with Panathinaikos under current head coach Zeljko Obradovic and alongside team captain Fragiskos Alvertis. But after receiving a warm welcome from the fans in Athens, the Romans can focus on winning in front of their own supporters in the Italian capital. Beating Panathinaikos won’t be an easy task. The Greens have one of the deepest squads in the Euroleague and will look to wear down the hosts wherever possible. The Panathinaikos backcourt of Sarunas Jasikevicius, Dimitris Diamantidis, Vassilis Spanoulis, Drew Nicholas and Dusan Kecman is the heart of the team and will create headaches for Roma’s rotation of Becirovic, Ibby Jaaber, Brandon Jennings and Douglas. At small forward, Panathinaikos’s Stratos Perperoglou will go up against Rodrigo de la Duente and Luigi Datome. Roma will turn to Andre Hutson, Primoz Brezec and Angelo Gigli to stop the likes of Nikola Pekovic, Mike Batiste, Antonis Fotsis and Kostas Tsartsaris in the paint. Panathinaikos has held the opposition below 70 points for the past four games and Roma has yet to win a game in which it has failed to reach that number. So the key to the game could be with the guards setting the pace. If Diamantidis and Saras slow the pace and feed Pekovic and Batiste inside, the visitors will have the advantage. But if Becirovic and Jaaber are free to run, Roma will have a chance to turn things around and save its season before it’s too late.

GAME NOTES

Lottomatica Roma
  • Guard Sani Becirovic needs 1 more steal to reach 100 for his Euroleague Basketball career.
  • Becirovic spent the past two seasons at Panathinaikos, helping the club win two Greek championships, two Greek Cups and the 2007 Euroleague. He played alongside nine of the Greens’ current players.
  • Guard Ibby Jaaber has recorded at least 1 steal in each of his last nine Euroleague games.
  • Head coach Nando Gentile spent three seasons as a player at Panathinaikos under its current head coach, Zeljko Obradovic, between 1998 and 2001. Gentile helped the club with three Greek league championships and the 2000 Euroleague. He played alongside two of Panathinaikos’s current players: Fragiskos Alvertis and Antonis Fotsis.
  • Lottomatica general manager Dejan Bodiroga spent some of the prime years of his playing career at Panathinaikos. He played for the Greens under coach Obradovic from 1998 through 2002 and helped the club with three Greek league championships and two Euroleague crowns, including in 2002 when he was named Final Four MVP.
Panathinaikos
  • Forward Antonis Fotsis is 2 three-pointers away from 100 for his Euroleague career.
  • Guard Sarunas Jasikevicius is 2 assists away from becoming just the fourth player to reach the 500-assist mark in the Euroleague this decade. He is also just 2 steals shy of the 100-steal plateau.
  • Saras was a teammate of Roma forward Rodrigo de la Fuente and general manager Dejan Bodiroga at FC Barcelona when it won the 2003 Euroleague.
  • Guard Drew Nicholas was a teammate of Roma forward Andre Hutson last season at Efes Pilsen.
  • By winning the 2008-09 Greek Cup, Panathinaikos head coach Zelimir Obradovic celebrated his 17th title in 10 seasons with the Greens and his 30th title overall as player and coach.
  • Panathinaikos first met Roma in the 1991-92 Korac Cup. Led by Dino Radja, who later played for Panathinaikos and Olympiacos, the Italian team beat the Greens twice on the way to winning the trophy.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Euroleague.net

Quotes Head Coaches

GENTILE, NANDO
Lottomatica Roma
"It's a very difficult game against one of the strongest teams in Europe. They won in the previous game in Athens and we now have lost three games, so our situation in the Top 16 is not easy. We are not out yet, but we must win every game now to hope to continue, and it's really tough. We are in a generally difficult moment, while they have great momentum. We must play aggressively and stay focused for the 40 minutes. In OAKA, we succeeded to play at their level for half the game, this time we must try to play hard for the entire match. It's tough."
OBRADOVIC, ZELJKO
Panathinaikos
"The upcoming game is very important for us. We must stop thinking of the Greek Cup Final and focus on the game against Lottomatica Roma. Everything we said before the first Top 16 battle in Athens exists. They have a good team with good players. The fact that they suffered three losses in the first round doesn’t change our strategy. We are expecting a difficult game over there, so our mind must be only on the upcoming game, neither on the previous cup game against Olympiacos or the upcoming one in their home court on Sunday for the Greek League. Our concentration is in Rome right now, since a win will be very important for our future in the competition."

Players

DATOME, LUIGI
Lottomatica Roma
"Mathematically we still have not lost our chances in the Top 16. We still hope. But with Panathinaikos it will be very tough. We must play with great intensity on offense and on defense for the whole game. We must be aggressive and try to win, even if we play with one of the teams in Europe in the best shape. We'll try to do our best."
PERPEROGLOU, STRATOS
Panathinaikos
"A very important game is ahead of us and our ambition is to continue the good performances. If we beat Lottomatica, we have many possibilities to accomplish the first place in Group G and take the home advantage in the Euroleague playoffs. We don’t want to destroy what we built in the first round of the Top 16, so our goal is to continue with the same rhythm. Roma is a team that likes to run the fast break, so we have to control the tempo of the game especially now that they compete at home. Everything will start and finish in defense and this is what we did in all our last games. In addition, I must say that our mind stays in the upcoming battle, since we will have time to prepare the back-to-back games against Olympiacos, this time for the Greek championship."
Sarunas Jasikevicius - PanathinaikosPanathinaikos advanced to the Quarterfinal Playoffs by downing Lottomatica Roma 71-90 in the Italian capital in Group F on Thursday night. Panathinaikos stays undefeated in Top 16 Group I and its win against Lottomatica also allowed Partizan to seal its ticket to the playoffs. Panathinaikos hosts Partizan next week and the Greens will win Group I with a win against the Serbian powerhouse. Meanwhile, Lottomatica dropped to 0-4 and just as Unicaja, has run out of chances to reach the playoffs. Nikola Pekovic led the winners with 20 points and 7 rebounds. Mike Batiste added 17 points, Sarunas Jasikevicius had 14 while Drew Nicholas got 15 on 5-for-6 three-pointers for Panathinaikos. Ibby Jaaber led Lottomatica with 18 points. Roberto Gabini added 13 while Rodrigo De La Fuente got 11 for the hosts, that trailed 38-45 at halftime. Nicholas and Pekovic helped Panathinaikos to boost its margin to 40-54 right after the break. A rain of three-pointers by Gabini brought Lottomatica back to life, 50-55, but Jasikevicius, Antonis Fotsis and Pekovic allowed the Greens to seal the outcome midway through the fourth quarter.

Ibrahim Jaaber - Lottomatica RomaJaaber got Lottomatica going with a turnaround jumper while a put-back dunk by Angelo Gigli gave the hosts a 4-0 lead. Pekovic made free throws while a wide open three-pointer by Nicholas gave the Greens their first lead, 4-5. Panathinaikos dominated the boards while an uncontested layup by Pekovic and a jump hook by Batiste boosted the guests' lead to 4-9, after a 0-9 run. Andre Hutson sank his trademark baseline jumper, as Lottomatica now managed to match its opponents' toughness. Jaaber took over with a tip-in while Panathinaikos did not find open shots despite using long possessions. A triple by de La Fuente and a wild fast break dunk by Jaaber made Panathinaikos call timeout at 13-9. Batiste buried a jumper but a red hot Jaaber bettered it with a layup-plus-foul. Batiste kept pacing Panathinaikos with consecutive dunks but Primoz Brezec scored down low and also slammed it to keep Lottomatica ahead, 20-15. Jasikevicius nailed a corner three-pointer while Batiste added an outstanding dunk to tie it at 20-20 after 10 minutes.

Brezec took over with a two-handed dunk early in the second quarter but Jasikevicius erased it with a floating layup while free throws by Batiste restored a 22-24 Panathinaikos edge. Gigi Datome hit foul shots but Pekovic made a left-handed hook shot. A tip-in by Gabini tied the game again, 26-26, but Vassilis Spanoulis stepped up with more free throws. Lottomatica had entered the foul bonus but Datome scored again for a 28-28 tie. Roma improved its defense but missed open shots now. Meanwhile, a put-back layup by Pekovic restored a 28-30 Panathinaikos edge. Pekovic stayed unstoppable with foul shots but a five-meter jumper by De La Fuente kept Lottomatica as close as 30-32. Nicholas downed his second triple while a second-chance layup by Pekovic made it a seven-point game, 30-37. Jaaber buried a three-pointer but Nicholas immediately answered from downtown. De La Fuente followed free throws with a layup to keep Roma in the game, 38-42. Batiste nailed a seven-meter bomb to boost the Greens' margin to 38-45 at halftime.

Drew Nicholas - PanathinaikosAn unstoppable Pekovic dunked it immediately after the break but a four-meter jumper by Brezec kept Lottomatica within 40-47. Panathinaikos tried to slow down the game tempo early in the third quarter but a corner three-pointer by Kostas Tsartsaris made it a double-digit game for the first time, 40-50. Nicholas fired in his fourth bomb from downtown to break the game open, 40-54. Lottomatica had been scoreless for almost 4 minutes until Jaaber stepped up with foul shots. Gabini soon added consecutive three-pointers to set the crowd on fire and bring Lottomatica back to life, 50-55, after a 10-1 run. Jasikevicius silenced the crowd with a bomb from downtown but Gabini sank yet another three-pointer. Pekovic and Jaaber traded baskets while free throws by Jasikevicius gave Panathinaikos some fresh air, 55-62. Pekovic kept pacing Panathinaikos with a tip-in while Spanoulis added free throws for a 55-66 Panathinaikos edge. Batiste dunked it while free throws by Sani Becirovic and De La Fuente fixed the score at 59-68 after three quarters.

Jasikevicius buried an off-balanced shot early in the fourth quarter, as Panathinaikos kept full control of the game now. Becirovic tried to change things with a put-back layup while Gabini added a wild reserve layup to bring Lottomatica within 63-70. Jasikevicius kept pacing Panathinaikos with another stop-and-pop jumper that Becirovic matched in the other end. Fotsis took over with a key three-pointer and soon added a put-back layup to seal the outcome, 65-77. Pekovic made free throws, as Lottomatica struggled to score right when it mattered. Panathinaikos had already started to use long possessions, trying to run the game clock down. Meanwhile, a layup by Dimitris Diamantidis capped a 0-10 run for a 65-82 Panathinaikos lead with under 3 minutes to go. Everything was said and done already, as Panathinaikos stays in the right track to return to the Final Four for the second time in three years while Lottomatica will keep looking for its first win in Group I with no chance to reach the playoffs.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Euroleague.net
Referees: ARTEAGA, JUAN CARLOS (ESP), BACHAR, SHMUEL (ISR), CMIKIEWICZ, MAREK (POL)
Attendance: 4538
By Quarter1234
Lottomatica Roma20182112
Panathinaikos20252322
End of Quarter1234
Lottomatica Roma20385971
Panathinaikos20456890
Head coach: GENTILE, NANDO
Lottomatica Roma
# 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 GIACHETTI, JACOPO 6:46   0/1               2         -3
6 GIGLI, ANGELO 24:07 2 1/1     2 2 4 1   2     3 3 5
7 BECIROVIC, SANI 22:23 6 2/6 0/3 2/2   3 3 2   3     3 2  
8 TONOLLI, ALESSANDRO DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
9 HUTSON, ANDRE 24:24 3 1/6   1/2 2 3 5   2     1   1 4
11 JENNINGS, BRANDON 10:57     0/1     1 1 2         3 1  
12 BREZEC, PRIMOZ 16:33 8 4/8 0/1   3 2 5   1   1   5 2 7
13 DATOME, LUIGI 10:59 7 2/2 0/1 3/3 1 1 2           2 2 8
14 DE LA FUENTE, RODRIGO 25:42 11 2/4 1/3 4/4 2 2 4 2         1 2 14
17 DOUGLAS, RUBEN 14:59 3 1/3 0/3 1/2   1 1     2   2 3 1 -8
21 JAABER, IBRAHIM 28:14 18 5/9 1/4 5/5 4 3 7 4   1     3 5 23
22 GABINI, ROBERTO 14:56 13 2/3 3/5   1 4 5     3   1 2 1 10
Team                     1         -1
Totals 200:00 71 20/43 5/21 16/18 15 22 37 11 3 14 1 4 25 20 59
46.5% 23.8% 88.9%
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: 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
5 KECMAN, DUSAN 2:42           1 1               1
6 SPANOULIS, VASSILIS 24:06 6 1/1 0/1 4/4 1 2 3 4 2 3     3 5 13
7 PERPEROGLOU, STRATOS 13:07 1 0/2 0/1 1/2       1 1   1   1 3 2
8 BATISTE, MIKE 22:49 17 6/8 1/2 2/3   2 2     1       2 16
9 FOTSIS, ANTONIS 19:43 5 1/1 1/1   1 3 4 2   1     3   7
10 HATZIVRETTAS, NIKOS 6:39 2     2/2   1 1     2     1 1 1
11 NICHOLAS, DREW 25:24 15 0/3 5/6     2 2     1     3 1 10
12 TSARTSARIS, KOSTAS 10:38 4 0/1 1/2 1/2 1   1       1   3 1 1
13 DIAMANTIDIS, DIMITRIS 28:59 3 1/4 0/1 1/4   6 6 4 1       1 4 10
14 PEKOVIC, NIKOLA 24:08 20 7/11   6/6 3 4 7     3 2 1 4 4 21
15 SAKOTA, DUSAN 2:36 3 1/1   1/1                   1 4
19 JASIKEVICIUS, SARUNAS 19:09 14 3/5 2/3 2/2   3 3 2 1       1 3 19
Team                                
Totals 200:00 90 20/37 10/17 20/26 6 24 30 13 5 11 4 1 20 25 105
54.1% 58.8% 76.9%
This game is not yet played

Head Coaches

GENTILE, NANDO
Lottomatica Roma
"I am happy with the performance of my team. Panathinaikos is a very strong team, very physical, but we fought and the difference in the final score is not real. In the last quarter we were tired. Now we are out of the Euroleague, but we are satisfied as we reached the goal of the season and we gained experience."
OBRADOVIC, ZELJKO
Panathinaikos
"We played a good game and are happy with the result. We knew it would be difficult because Rome is a team that likes to run and they are good at offensive rebounding. But it was important to win for our future."

Players

DATOME, LUIGI
Lottomatica Roma
"Panathinaikos is a great team, one of the best in Europe and they deserve to reach the quarterfinals. Even if we are out, we will honor the competition until the end. We are satisfied because in the end, we did a good job in this Euroleague season."
SPANOULIS, VASSILIS
Panathinaikos
"We reached the quarterfinals with this win. This is a great period for us, because last Sunday we also won the Greek Cup. Today we played very well, even if it was difficult because Rome is a good team."
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