2008-09Top 16Round 4
February 25, 2009 CET: 20:45
Local time: 20:45 MEDIOLANUM FORUM
Tiago Splitter - Tau CeramicaTau Ceramica dominated Armani Jeans Milano 74-107 to take a step closer to the Quarterfinal Playoffs. Tiago Splitter was unstoppable in his first game back from injury setting the tone early as Tau took a double-digit lead in the opening period and never looked back. Tau improved to 3-1 in Group E and will have at least a share of the group lead depending upon Olympiacos’s result on Thursday against Asseco Prokom. Milano lost its second straight to Tau as it fell to 2-2 before traveling to Olympiacos next week. Splitter had 13 points and 2 assists to Will McDonald in the first period alone as Tau took a 16-31 advantage after 10 minutes and Milano never mounted a serious charge after that. Splitter finished with 19 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks to lead six Tau scorers in double figures – none of whom played more than 21 minutes. League-leading scorer Igor Rakocevic added 16 points, Pete Mickeal scored 15, McDonald 13, Mirza Teletovic 12 and Fernando San Emeterio 11. Hollis Price paced Armani Jeans with 15 points, David Hawkins scored 13 and Luca Vitali finished with 12.

Hollis Price - AJ MilanoSplitter made his impact felt early when he tipped in the game’s first basket and then fed McDonald for a basket-plus-foul. Price buried a three to get Armani Jeans on the scoreboard, but Mickeal did the same and then scored inside to make it 3-10. Baskets by Rakocevic and Splitter increased Tau’s lead to 12 before Vitali rifled in a three from the corner. Rakocevic’s three kept Tau in control. Pape Sow battled inside for a pair of baskets, but Milano had no answer for Splitter, who threw in a pretty reverse layup and then picked up a basket-plus-foul – Sow’s second – to further lift the visitors. Maurice Taylor came in for Sow, but he also could not stop Splitter, who reached 11 first-quarter points with a pair of free throws to make it 13-25. Price buried another three, however Splitter fed McDonald and then scored himself to give Tau a 16-31 advantage after 10 minutes.

Mike Hall tried to ignite Armani Jeans, however a Rakocevic triple and a Splitter basket kept the momentum with Tau. Splitter then fed McDonald twice as Tau stretched the lead to 20. Hall hit back from downtown and Hawkins added free throws, but a Sergi Vidal triple made it 25-45. Vitali heated up and drew Milano within 33-49, however Vlado Ilievski slowed the home team’s momentum when he drew a foul and netted 2 from the line and then San Emeterio finished a fast break to restore a 20-point lead. And Ilevski scored three the hard way to make it 33-56. Hawkins hit 2 free throws and after a Teletovic basket, Price also scored from the line. Jobey Thomas came close with a halfcourt prayer at the buzzer, but it bounced out as Tau took a 37-58 lead into the locker room.

Igor Rakocevic - Tau CeramicaThings didn’t get better for Armani Jeans at the start of the third period as Sow was called for his third foul and then Rakocevic hit from downtown and Splitter scored in the paint. Sow scored on the offensive glass and Hawkins hit a triple, but Rakocevic found Mickeal for an easy basket that kept Tau in control. Vitali pulled up for a three from the top of the key and Sow scored inside to bring Milano to 49-71. Mickeal free throws and a Teletovic triple helped Tau take a 49-77 lead. Mindaugas Katelynas scored inside and Thomas hit a three, but it was just a drop in the bucket against Tau’s offense. Vidal threw in a pair of free throws to give Tau a 56-81 lead at the end of the third period.

Joey Beard was called for an unsportsmanlike foul when he took down Vidal on the first play of the second half and a Teletovic slam on the ensuing possession put Tau up 29. Katelynas came up with a Milano basket and Thomas made 2 free throws, but there was no coming back now. San Emeterio drained a three that lifted the Tau lead past 30 and McDonald made it 60-93 from the line. Price fired in a triple, however Tau continued its march. A Stanko Barac free throw took Tau to 65-100. The margin would peak at 66-104 on a San Emeterio free throw as Tau celebrated a big win.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Euroleague.net
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Referees: BRAZAUSKAS, ROMUALDAS (LTU), BELOSEVIC, ILIJA (SRB), ROCHA, FERNANDO (POR)
Attendance: 4328
By Quarter1234
AJ Milano16211918
Tau Ceramica31272326
End of Quarter1234
AJ Milano16375674
Tau Ceramica315881107
AJ Milano
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
6 FILLOY, ARIEL DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
7 HALL, MIKE 25:07 7 2/8 1/4     2 2   1 2     3   -4
8 SOW, PAPE 20:44 8 4/7     2 2 4   1 3   1 4 3 5
10 VITALI, LUCA 26:54 12 2/3 2/4 2/2   1 1 3   1     3 3 12
11 THOMAS, JOBEY 24:51 7 1/4 1/7 2/2 1   1 1       1 3 2 -2
13 PRICE, HOLLIS 34:19 15 2/2 3/8 2/2 2   2 2 1 2     2 1 12
15 KATELYNAS, MINDAUGAS 14:53 8 4/4     3 1 4   1 2     1   10
16 MICEVIC, MARKO DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
19 BEARD, JOEY 11:09 4 1/1   2/2 2   2     1     2 1 4
20 SANGARE, YOHANN 6:00   0/2 0/1           1     1     -3
23 TAYLOR, MAURICE 8:07   0/3       3 3     2     3   -5
34 HAWKINS, DAVID 27:56 13 1/5 1/4 8/10   3 3 5 1 3   1 5 6 10
Team           2 1 3               3
Totals 200:00 74 17/39 8/28 16/18 12 13 25 11 6 16 0 4 26 16 42
        43.6% 28.6% 88.9%
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
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 21:45           3 3 5   1     1   6
6 ILIEVSKI, VLADO 18:15 7 1/3 0/1 5/5           1     2 4 5
8 RAKOCEVIC, IGOR 19:17 16 2/2 3/4 3/4       3 1 1       2 19
9 VIDAL, SERGI 27:22 7 0/1 1/2 4/4   1 1 4 1 2 1   2 2 10
11 ESLAVA, ARIEL 3:59 2 1/2                         1
12 TELETOVIC, MIRZA 17:37 12 4/4 1/1 1/2   5 5     1     1 1 15
19 SAN EMETERIO, FERNANDO 16:37 11 3/3 1/1 2/3 1 1 2     3     4 3 8
21 SPLITTER, TIAGO 20:50 19 7/7   5/7 1 6 7 3 1 5 2   2 5 28
33 MICKEAL, PETE 16:44 15 4/5 1/1 4/4   1 1 1 2 2     2 3 17
42 BARAC, STANKO 16:40 5 1/2   3/6   2 2   1   1   1 3 7
45 MCDONALD, WILL 20:54 13 5/6   3/5   5 5 2 1       1 3 20
Team           1 4 5               5
Totals 200:00 107 28/35 7/10 30/40 3 28 31 18 7 16 4 0 16 26 141
        80% 70% 75%
Head coach: IVANOVIC, DUSKO

Head Coaches

BUCCHI, PIERO
AJ Milano
"We have to congratulate Tau for its performance, they did an unbelievable job here tonight. I think that Vitoria came here in a great shape after their success in the Copa del Rey. Our biggest mistake? Trying to beat them with pure basketball skills, in spite of betting everything on our defense and intensity. And they have so much quality that it's impossible for us to compensate."
IVANOVIC, DUSKO
Tau Ceramica
"This is a great victory for us, thinking about the fight for first place in our group. We played a very high tempo game, after the three games in four days we played in the Copa del Rey. Maybe this was a force to us, thinking about their lack of rhythm. We played very good defense and we had a good patience to choose the best shots in offense. At the end, it was an easy game, but very important for us."

Players

VITALI, LUCA
AJ Milano
"I am very angry after this game, because we never showed any energy or intensity tonight. They outplayed us, obviously, but there is no excuse to explain our performance tonight, honestly. Now we have to think about the next game in the Italian League, and then focus ourselves for the next game at Olympiacos, which will be decisive for us."
HAWKINS, DAVID
AJ Milano
"What can we say after a defeat like this? Honestly they dominated us from the first to the last minute of the game, and even if we missed two key players like Mason Rocca and Marco Mordente tonight, there is no excuse for us. But we have to think that we still have a chance to qualify for the playoffs with a victory at Olympiacos and we have to give everything we have next week."
RAKOCEVIC, IGOR
Tau Ceramica
"Honestly, I didn't expected an easy game like this tonight, but we really played very well all over the game and we deserved the big difference at the end. We moved the ball very well and tonight we showed why we are a great offensive team. We are playing the best offensive basketball in Europe, thanks to a very quick style, and this is the our best weapon."
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