2007-08Regular SeasonRound 10
January 03, 2008 CET: 20:30
Local time: 20:30 FERNANDO BUESA ARENA
Will McDonald - Tau Ceramica Tau Ceramica pounded Prokom Trefl Sopot 98-74 on Thursday night at Fernando Buesa Arena in Vitoria, Spain, to take sole possession of second place in Group A. Tau dominated inside en route to its third straight win and a 7-2 record, which practically guarantees it a spot in the Top 16. With its two main small forwards, Pete Mickeal and Simas Jasaitis, out with injuries, Sergi Vidal played 36 minutes and posted 9 minutes, 7 rebounds and 4 assist, while the big men Will McDonald, Tiago Splitter, Mirza Teletovic and Gabe Muoneke combined for 53 points to lead Tau to an easy win. The game was close for 10 minutes, but Tau started pulling away in the second quarter to take a 61-40 halftime lead and then held Prokom to 7 third-quarter points as it turned the game into a blowout. McDonald finished with 19 points, Muoneke had 16 in 16 minutes, Igor Rakocevic also scored 16, Zoran Planinic had 15 and Teletovic 12. No starter scored in double figures for Prokom, which was led by Krzysztof Roszyk and Tomas Van den Spiegel with 11 each. The Polish champs fell to 1-9 and are all but mathematically eliminated from the next stage.

Milan Gurovic fired in a layup to give the guests the first lead, but the hosts showed they were not going to relax and used Vidal and Splitter to gain an 11-7 edge after four minutes. Van den Spiegel came to the rescue for Prokom and took advantage of a Tau’s soft inside defense to make it 13-11 midway though the first period. The answer from the hosts came from the three-point line, as Rakocevic hit twice from downtown to give Tau a safe margin at 19-12 one minute later. Prokom didn’t give up, however, as Van den Spiegel kept rocking inside the paint to bring his team within 21-18 with two minutes to go. Rakocevic punished Prokom with a corner three, followed with the third foul on point guard Igor Milicic after only nine minutes. The hosts decided to play zone defense at that point, but Donatas Slanina showed how easy was to break it with a triple. Although Planinic hit a basket plus free-throw right after that, Christos Harissis repeated from downtown to close the first quarter with Prokom trailing 28-24.

Jovo Stanojevic - Prokom TreflTeletovic continued the three-point festival right after the break with two in a row to widen the margin to 34-26. The visitors struggled in offense when they had to use their reserves, as Teletovic kept punishing the rim at the other end. Two free throws by Planinic gave Tau a 40-29 advantage as the hosts found the intensity they lacked in defense so far. Tau based its attack on McDonald, whose performance in the last game was disappointing, in order to let him recover his self-confidence. The strategy was successful, as McDonald found no problems to break Prokom defense on every play. That was enough for Tau to keep a comfortable margin, which Prokom tried to reduce with zone defense. It didn’t work as expected, as Tau didn’t find big problems to keep scoring easy baskets, this time through new signing Muoneke, who scored 8 points in a row to boost Tau’s lead to 55-37 with two minutes to go in the half. McDonald followed him with a hook shot for the first 20-point margin, while Pablo Prigioni and Muoneke extended it a little bit more to reach halftime with the hosts commanding 61-40.

Despite the big advantage, Tau seemed to take the game more seriously after the intermission. The hosts increased their defensive effort to prevent Prokom from getting easy baskets, as they looked for Splitter on offense to force Van den Spiegel to commit fouls. It worked fine, as Prokom needed almost three minutes to score its first points and the Belgian center fouled out only four minutes into the quarter. Meanwhile, the margin kept increasing step by step, even though the pace of the game decreased a bit. Tau led 69-43 midway though the third period, and needed only a pair of fast-breaks to reach a 30-point edge behind a two-handed dunk by Rakocevic after 27 minutes. The guests looked totally heartless and Tau took advantage of the lack of desire have some fun with nice dunks, powerful blocks and quick fastbreaks. The third quarter finished with a 79-47 Tau lead – as Prokom scored only 7 points in the quarter.

With the outcome in no doubt, the last quarter became a punishment for the visitors, whose only target was to avoid a shameful loss in Vitoria. Tau took advantage of the situation to perform some tests and give minutes to players like McDonald or Muoneke, whose contribution will be required in the future. Both players gave their best to satisfy head coach Neven Spahija, as Prokom used mostly reserves and barely collected points against the Tau defense. Roszyk and Adam Lapeta rose up in the final minutes to give some breath to the guests. The first one sank a pair of three pointers and the latter threw down a big slam to prevent Tau from reaching a 40-point lead, as Tau decided to give up and give some Euroleague action to Ander García and Lucho Fernandez. Prokom took advantage of it to avoid the humiliation, finishing the game with a 24-point deficit, 98-74.

Thursday, January 3, 2008
Natxo Mendaza, Vitoria
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Referees: KOUKOULEKIDIS, STELIOS (GRE), KLAAR, LARS (SWE), CICORIA, GIANPAOLO (ITA)
Attendance: 7600
By Quarter1234
Tau Ceramica28331819
Prokom Trefl Sopot2416727
End of Quarter1234
Tau Ceramica28617998
Prokom Trefl Sopot24404774
Tau Ceramica
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
5 PRIGIONI, PABLO 24:54 5 1/1 1/3   1 2 3 4 1       1 3 13
6 GARCIA, ANDER 1:57   0/2 0/1           1     1     -3
8 RAKOCEVIC, IGOR 29:47 16 3/7 3/4 1/2   2 2 1   1     1 1 12
9 VIDAL, SERGI 36:27 9 1/3 1/3 4/4 1 6 7 4 2       1 4 21
10 PLANINIC, ZORAN 26:55 15 6/7 0/1 3/3 1 2 3 2 1 1 1   4 6 21
11 FERNANDEZ, LUCHO 3:37     0/2                       -2
12 TELETOVIC, MIRZA 23:37 12 2/3 2/2 2/2 1 5 6     1 1   3 1 15
21 SPLITTER, TIAGO 11:35 6 2/4   2/2           1     3 1 1
30 MUONEKE, GABE 16:23 16 5/7 1/2 3/5 2 1 3   1     1 3 3 14
45 MCDONALD, WILL 24:48 19 8/11   3/7 1 4 5 3   1 1 1 1 4 22
Team                                
Totals 200:00 98 28/45 8/18 18/25 7 22 29 14 6 5 3 3 17 23 114
        62.2% 44.4% 72%
Head coach: SPAHIJA, NEVEN
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
Prokom Trefl Sopot
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 MILICIC, IGOR 21:34 6 0/1 2/3     2 2 2 1 1   1 3   4
5 ROSZYK, KRZYSZTOF 16:51 11 1/7 3/3   2 2 4 2   1     1 1 10
7 MASIULIS, TOMAS 26:56 7 2/3 1/1 0/2 3   3 2   1       1 9
8 DYLEWICZ, FILIP 13:04 8 3/4   2/4 2 3 5           2 2 10
10 HARISSIS, CHRISTOS 17:46 3   1/4         1 1 1     4 1 -2
11 SHAKUR, MUSTAFA 11:56 4 2/6       1 1           2 2 1
12 STANOJEVIC, JOVO 15:44 4 2/4   0/1 1 4 5 2 1 3   1 1 4 8
13 SLANINA, DONATAS 28:24 6 0/1 2/4     3 3 6           1 13
15 GUROVIC, MILAN 23:29 7 3/12 0/4 1/1 3 2 5     3 1 1 3 1 -6
16 LAPETA, ADAM 10:00 7 3/7   1/2 1 3 4       2   2 1 7
22 VAN DEN SPIEGEL, TOMAS 14:16 11 5/9   1/2 2 2 4 1   1     5 3 8
Team           1   1               1
Totals 200:00 74 21/54 9/19 5/12 15 22 37 16 3 11 3 3 23 17 63
        38.9% 47.4% 41.7%
Head coach: PACESAS, TOMAS

Head Coaches

SPAHIJA, NEVEN
Tau Ceramica
"I think that the most important thing tonight was to win the game and finish it without any injury. We respect Prokom very much, but I think we played much better than them and that we deserved the win. I was pretty angry with our defense at halftime, but after the intermission the players reacted well and made a better job in the third quarter. One of the most important things of this game has been how the people welcomed Will McDonald, I have to thank our fans for that."
PACESAS, TOMAS
Prokom Trefl Sopot
"We started the game playing a weak defense, we let Tau play very comfortable and allowed easy and open three-point shots of Rakocevic and Teletovic, that opened the court for them. Our defense didn't work well tonight and it's tough to get back against a big team like Tau when it builds such a big lead. I congratulate Tau for this win. They played really well. We have to improve, defensively, We got some missing communication after the Christmas break but I hope we can make a better job in the future."

Players

MUONEKE, GABE
Tau Ceramica
"I feel better as the games and the days go on. I am here to help the team and I try to improve every game and learn better our systems. I think I will be able to help the team more in the future, when the important games come up, and these games are useful for me to feel more confident. I wouldn’t say Prokom was an easy opponent, as there are no easy teams in the Euroleague. I prefer to take it as that our easy win tonight means that we are in a good moment and that we are a good team."
VAN DEN SPIEGEL, TOMAS
Prokom Trefl Sopot
"We faced a very impressing Tau tonight and weren't at that level. Tau is a very athletic team in a great physical condition that keeps running and running all game long. It is a very quick team and they did what they like to do tonight. We cannot try to play a run-and-gun game against Tau, one of the toughest teams in Europe. Congratulations to Tau for the win."
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