2008-09Regular SeasonRound 9
January 08, 2009 CET: 21:00
Local time: 21:00 MEDIOLANUM FORUM
Marco Mordente celebrates - AJ MilanoArmani Jeans Milano survived a do-or-die situation in Group D and kept options to advance to the Top 16 by downing Real Madrid 70-61 at home on Thursday. Milano improved to 4-5 and joins a three-way tie for third place along with Efes Pilsen and Partizan, with all teams keeping its chances to reach the next round. Meanwhile, Real Madrid dropped to 5-4, advanced to the Top 16 despite this loss and will finish second in Group D if it beats Efes Pilsen in the Spanish capital next week. Marco Mordente paced the winners with 23 points on 5-for-6 three-pointers. Mason Rocca added 14 while David Hawkins had 13 for Milano. Quinton Hosley had 13 points for Real Madrid while Louis Bullock added 10. Hosley and an outstanding Bullock helped Madrid to get a 15-25 margin early in the second quarter. Milano found a go-to guy in Rocca, that helped the hosts to get within 29-30 at halftime. Madrid boosted its lead to 39-48 late in the third quarter but Mordente had other ideas in mind. He hit a three-pointer, and another, and another one to seal the outcome, 66-58, with a minute to go, allowing Milano to keep fighting for a Tiop 16 spot next week.

Coach Joan Plaza shocked everyone by placing Tomas Van den Spiegel in the starting lineup. He got his team going with a tip-in that Hawkins erased with a fast break dunk. Jeremiah Massey a free throw while another tip-in by Van den Spiegel gave Madrid a 2-5 lead. Pape Sow stepped up with a power layup while free throws by Hawkins gave Milano its first lead, 6-5. Hawkins kept pacing the hosts with free throws but Felipe Reyes came off the bench and immediately shined with a put-back layup. Madrid locked the defensive rebound with Reyes on court but had already entered the foul bonus, allowing Jamel Thomas and Rocca to combine for 5-for-6 free throws and give Milano a 13-9 edge. Reyes scored in the low post while Venson Hamilton sank foul shots to tie the game at 13-13. Bullock found Reyes down low while Hosley added a fast break dunk to make Milano call timeout, 13-17. A buzzer-beating fallaway jumper by Hosley gave Madrid a 13-20 lead after 10 minutes.

Louis Bullock - Real MadridBullock scored off a steal right at the start of the second quarter and added a triple that capped a 0-13 run, good for a 13-22 Madrid lead. Hawkins tried to rescue Milano with free throws but Bullock bettered that with a triple to make it a double-digit game, 15-25. Mordente sank an open triple while Rocca added a driving layup to bring Milano back to life, 20-25. Milano kept missing shots, however, but Madrid failed to get Bullock and Reyes involved now. Hosley and Mocca traded foul shots for a 21-26 score. Massey took over with a put-back layup, as Milano called timeout to adjust its offense. Rocca shined with his trademark driving layup while Thomas struck from downtown to bring the hosts within 27-28. Reyes took over with a layup off a Madrid timeout but Thomas beat the buzzer with a fast break basket to make it a one-point game, 29-30, as both teams headed back to the locker rooms.

Van den Spiegel beat the buzzer with a layup right after the break while Hosley added a five-meter jumper to restore a 29-34 Madrid edge. Hawkins nailed a triple from the top of the key but Bullock immediately answered from downtown, as Madrid now dominated the boards with Hosley, Massey and Van den Spiegel together on court. Hosley sank free throws in a 0-9 run that Van den Spiegel capped with a layup, good for a 32-41 Madrid lead. Hawkins sank a floating jumper that Raul Lopez matched with an outstanding turnaround jumper. Rocca tried to change things with a layup that Lopez erased with an acrobatic basket. Mordente tried to ignite the hosts' comeback with a triple but Bullock scored in transition for a 39-48 Madrid margin. Rocca shined with a three-point play while Mordente nailed another one from downtown to give the hosts some hope, 45-50. A free throw by Rocca and three-pointers by Alex Mumbru and Yohann Sangare fixed the score at 49-53 after 30 minutes.

An unstoppable Mordente hit free throws early in the fourth quarter and soon buried another three-pointer to put Milano back ahead, 54-53. Mindaugas Katelynas shined with a tip-in, as Hamilton was disqualified for head-butting Mordente. Milano dominated the offensive board now, while Mordente - who else? - capped a 12-0 run with a driving basket. Madrid struggled for 5 minutes against the hosts' zone defense until Lopez struck from downtown to get his tesm within 58-56. Katelynas stayed on fire with another basket, making Madrid call timeout. Massey scored in the low post but Sangare fired in a seven-meter bomb for a 63-58 score with 2 minutes to go. A three-pointer by Mordente sealed the outcome down the stretch, 66-58. Even when Bullock answered from downtown, Mordente sank free throws to seal his outstanding game that allowed Milano to keep its Top 16 dreams alive.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Euroleague.net
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Referees: BRAZAUSKAS, ROMUALDAS (LTU), DOZAI, SRDAN (CRO), VOJINOVIC, MILIJA (SRB)
Attendance: 2975
By Quarter1234
AJ Milano13162021
Real Madrid2010238
End of Quarter1234
AJ Milano13294970
Real Madrid20305361
AJ Milano
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
5 BULLERI, MASSIMO 4:59     0/1         1              
7 HALL, MIKE 31:53   0/2 0/1   2 2 4 2 1 2     2    
8 SOW, PAPE 13:56 2 1/4   0/1 3   3   2 1     5 1 -2
9 MORDENTE, MARCO 22:19 23 1/1 5/6 6/8   3 3   1 3     3 8 26
10 VITALI, LUCA 22:18 1   0/3 1/2       1 2 4     3 2 -5
11 THOMAS, JOBEY 16:35 7 1/4 1/3 2/2         1 1       1 3
12 ROCCA, MASON 26:04 14 4/5   6/9   4 4 1 2       2 6 21
15 KATELYNAS, MINDAUGAS 17:25 4 2/3     2 2 4 1         4 1 5
16 MICEVIC, MARKO DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
18 MERCANTE, JACOPO DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
20 SANGARE, YOHANN 17:02 6 0/1 2/4   1 2 3     2         4
34 HAWKINS, DAVID 27:29 13 2/7 1/3 6/6 1 4 5 4 1 5     2 4 13
Team           1 5 6   2           8
Totals 200:00 70 11/27 9/21 21/28 10 22 32 10 12 18 0 0 21 23 73
        40.7% 42.9% 75%
Head coach: BUCCHI, PIERO
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
Real Madrid
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
6 SANCHEZ, PEPE 16:41   0/1       2 2 1   3     2   -3
8 PEREZ, JAVIER DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
9 REYES, FELIPE 28:21 8 4/6     2 2 4 1 1 3     4 2 7
12 VAN DEN SPIEGEL, TOMAS 9:30 9 4/4   1/2 4 1 5   1 2     2 1 11
14 HOSLEY, QUINTON 14:56 13 3/6 1/3 4/8 3 2 5 1 1 1     2 6 14
15 MUMBRU, ALEX 16:33 3 0/3 1/2     1 1                
21 MASSEY, JEREMIAH 22:49 7 2/4 0/1 3/6 3 4 7     2     3 5 8
22 BULLOCK, LOUIS 24:20 10 2/4 2/7     1 1 2 2       3 1 6
23 LLULL, SERGIO 5:22                         1   -1
24 LOPEZ, RAUL 23:19 7 2/6 1/3 0/1   2 2 1 1 3     1 2 2
33 TOMAS, MARKO 22:11 2 0/1 0/3 2/2 1 1 2     1     2 3  
43 HAMILTON, VENSON 15:58 2 0/3   2/2 1 1 2           3 1 -1
Team           1 3 4     2         2
Totals 200:00 61 17/38 5/19 12/21 15 20 35 6 6 17 0 0 23 21 45
        44.7% 26.3% 57.1%
Head coach: PLAZA, JOAN

Head Coaches

BUCCHI, PIERO
AJ Milano
"It was a very important game for us to keep believing in a Top 16 spot. We knew that we had to win absolutely after Wednesday's results. It was a nervous game, but the team fought until the end, like we did before Christmas break. In our last three games of the Italian League we missed the intensity that we found tonight. Mordente had a very good game, as did Sangaré. We did a better job on defensive rebounds playing with Mike Hall as a small forward, and we were able to limit their offense with our zone defense and the intensity given by Mike and Katelynas together on the floor."
PLAZA, JOAN
Real Madrid
"First of all, congratulations to Armani Jeans for their victory. They deserved the win, playing with a great intensity, but I congratulate my players, too, for their activity throughout the game. We won two quarters of the game, but we played really bad in the last one, when they managed very well the situation with the fouls. We also had very bad percentages on three-pointers and free throws, which explain the difficulties we had in the final minutes."

Players

SANGARE, YOHANN
AJ Milano
"After our victory over CSKA, we knew that we can beat everybody, especially at home. Now it's true that we had some problems this season, losing four games at home in the domestic league, but I think that we have the potential to improve and be more consistent. We'll fight for that spot in the Top 16, because I think that the energy and the intensity that we need to play in Euroleague is useful for the team, even in the other competition. Tonight it's a big win, we knew we could beat them after the first confrontation in Madrid, and I'm happy that we have proven it."
MORDENTE, MARCO
AJ Milano
"I have to say that I'm not this kind of player: I'm not a go-to guy. At the same time, I had some open shots which I can make and it was great to have such a good offensive night to help my team, even if I really came into the game trying to force turnovers or offensive fouls, playing with that energy I can bring to my team. I think the intensity is the key for this squad: when we play tough, with great aggressiveness, we can play against everybody. I think it was a very poor game to watch, technically, but we are a kind of team that, to be efficient, needs to force the opponents to play bad. The accident with Venson Hamilton? We pushed each other during a fastbreak, then he hit me with an headbutt, but you know, it happens when the games are so intense."
VAN DEN SPIEGEL, TOMAS
Real Madrid
"It's a bad loss for us, because we led more than three quarters and we had the control of the tempo of the game. I think we had some problems against their zone defense, especially when they did better work with defensive rebounds. In the first 25 minutes, we did a great job on offensive rebounds, which allowed us many second-chance shots."
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