2015-16Regular SeasonRound 9
December 09, 2015 CET: 18:45
Local time: 19:45 SALA POLIVALENTA
Aleksandar Rasic - Steaua CSM Exibank Bucharest - EC15 (photo Catalin Soare - www.sportaction.ro)

Aris Thessaloniki celebrates Last 32 berth by beating Steaua

Aris Thessaloniki’s ticket to the Last 32 was already issued before the game thanks to Unics Kazan’s victory over Buducnost VOLI Podgorica earlier Wednesday, but that did not stop Aris from taken caring of business against Steaua CSM EximBank Bucharest 67-77. Aris improved to 6-3 and remains in the running for first place in Group D, while Steaua fell to 2-7 and is sixth in the six-team group. Aris never trailed after starting the game with a 2-8 run and led by 10 after 10 minutes. Steaua played hard and was still within 4 with a minute to go before Aris secured the victory with a pair of threes. Jerel McNeal led the Aris attack with 21 points, Okaro White posted 16 points and 12 rebounds and Jamelle Hagins scored 11. Marko Marinovic paced the hosts with 14 points, Bill Amis added 12 points and 9 rebounds and Titus Nicoara scored 10 in defeat.

Aris took charge from the start and White scored the game’s first basket with a layup after Michailis Pelekanos’s steal and soon after drained free throws to cap a 2-8 opening run. Amis scored twice and drew Steaua within 6-10, but McNeal stretched the difference to 9. Despite another basket from Amis, Vassilis Xanthopoulos’s steal and layup made it 8-18 after 10 minutes. Mihail Paul scored 5 points as Steaua narrowed the gap, but Jake Cohen’s three kept Aris comfortable ahead. Nicoara scored twice to bring Steaua within 20-25 midway through the quarter. Hagins’s three-point play added to the Aris lead. McNeal and White got the visitors ahead by 12. A Marinovic triple and Nicoara layup – from Aleksandar Rasic’s fifth assist – kept the hosts in the picture, but White buried a three before Nicoara’s tip-in made it 29-39 at the break.

Amis scored twice and Rasic buried a three as Steaua rallied to within 36-42 early in the second half. Dominic Waters’s triple and White’s put-back re-established a double-digit lead. Outside shooting saw Steaua climb back again as Marinovic hit twice from downtown and Paul added another three to draw the hosts within 51-54 through three quarters. Slaven Cupkovic and McNeal gave Aris some breathing room early in the fourth. Denis Ikovlev’s three made it 56-60 with six minutes to play, however free throws by Hagins and McNeal and a three by the latter pushed the difference back to 10. Steaua made a final push and Chris Cooper got the hosts as close at 67-71 entering the final minute. But if White didn’t wrap up the victory for Aris with a triple, McNeal surely did after an Ikovlev miss.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015
Eurocupbasketball.com
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Referees: HERCEG, SINISA (CRO), KOLJENSIC, MILOS (MNE), BIJEDIC, HARIS (BIH)
Attendance: 2985 (Tentative)
By Quarter1234
Steaua CSM EximBank Bucharest8212216
Aris Thessaloniki18211523
End of Quarter1234
Steaua CSM EximBank Bucharest8295167
Aris Thessaloniki18395477
Steaua CSM EximBank Bucharest
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
5 PAUL, MIHAIL 14:56 8 1/1 2/4     2 2 2   1     4 2 7
8 ROSU, ADRIAN DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
13 AMIS, BILL 28:00 12 6/10     1 8 9 1   1 2   1 2 20
14 NICOARA, TITUS 23:56 10 4/9   2/4 4 1 5 2 1       4 2 9
15 LEE, GERALD 14:44 2 1/6   0/2 1   1 1       1 2 1 -5
19 RASIC, ALEKSANDAR 30:47 7 1/4 1/5 2/2   3 3 8   1     3 1 8
20 COOPER, CHRIS 22:08 6 3/5   0/2   2 2 2 2 1     3 1 5
23 POPA, BOGDAN DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
33 IKOVLEV, DENIS 33:02 8 1/3 2/7     6 6 1 1 2     1 2 8
41 MARINOVIC, MARKO 32:27 14 0/4 4/9 2/2       3 1 1   1 3 6 10
Team           3 1 4               4
Totals 200:00 67 17/42 9/25 6/12 9 23 32 20 5 7 2 2 21 17 66
        40.5% 36% 50%
Head coach: SAPERA, HRISTU
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
Aris Thessaloniki
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 XANTHOPOULOS, VASSILIS 6:13 2 1/2     2 1 3 2 1 1       1 7
7 PELEKANOS, MICHALIS 15:04 3   1/2     3 3 1 2 2     3   3
8 CUPKOVIC, SLAVEN 14:03 8 3/4 0/1 2/2 1 2 3 1   1     1 2 10
9 FLIONIS, DIMITRIS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
10 WHITE, OKARO 29:42 16 4/9 2/4 2/2 3 9 12 1 1 1   2 2 3 21
11 WATERS, DOMINIC 33:47 8 2/6 1/1 1/1 1 2 3 6   3     3   7
12 DIPLAROS, NIKOS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
13 ZARAS, THEODOROS 11:47     0/1         2         2   -1
14 HAGINS, JAMELLE 28:31 11 4/7   3/3 2 5 7 1     1   2 4 19
15 COHEN, JAKE 7:44 4 0/2 1/1 1/2   1 1 1   2     2 1  
16 MOURTOS, SPYROS 19:39 4 0/2 1/3 1/2   3 3 1   1       3 5
22 McNEAL, JEREL 33:30 21 5/10 2/5 5/6   4 4     3 1   2 6 18
Team           1 3 4               4
Totals 200:00 77 19/42 8/18 15/18 10 33 43 16 4 14 2 2 17 20 93
        45.2% 44.4% 83.3%
Head coach: PRIFTIS, DIMITRIOS

Head Coaches

SAPERA, HRISTU
Steaua CSM EximBank Bucharest
"In the first half, we missed a lot of easy shots. We lost too much energy. We fought, we came back in the game, we changed the rhytm and we came close to victory, but it wasn’t our night. It was a very good game, a European level game. The atmosphere was great, both on the court and in the stands."
PRIFTIS, DIMITRIOS
Aris Thessaloniki
"I want to congratulate my players for qualifying to the next round of the Eurocup. It is a very important thing for us, because we had some very tough teams in our group. My players showed character in many games and we are glad that we obtained the sixth victory in this group and now we will fight for first place against Banvit in Thessaloniki. Unfortunately, Cupkovic is injured, but I hope it is nothing bad."

Players

SZIJARTO, LEVENTE
Steaua CSM EximBank Bucharest
"We have started the game with little confidence. Aris had a very strong defense, and this was a key in the game. We couldn’t get over some unexpected missed shots. Overall, it was a great night for Romanian basketball and the fans watched a very nice performance."
MOURTOS, SPYROS
Aris Thessaloniki
"Today was a very tough game. We know Steaua is a very experienced team with good players. They gave us some problems, but we were aggressive in defense and managed to score on fast breaks. We reached our first goal in the competition, to move into the Last 32. "
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