2000-01PlayoffsGame 12
May 03, 2001 CET: 20:30
Local time: 20:30 FERNANDO BUESA ARENA
Mindaugas Timinskas - Tau Ceramica - Finals 2001 - EB00

Keep the champagne on ice, because the Euroleague Finals are going to Game 5! Tau Ceramica, the giant-killers of the postseason, remain alive and kicking after blowing by Kinder Bologna 96-79 in Game 4 on Thursday to even this best-of-five series at 2-2. Fired up by their 9,500 fans at Fernando Buesa Arena, Tau showed the same character and resourcefulness that got them this far, and came up with answers for everything Kinder threw at them. Elmer Bennett (19 points, 8 assists) directed the orchestra, but Victor Alexander (18 points) and Mindaugas Timinskas (18 points) came up with huge games on offense as Tau's point total soared as if Kinder's famous defense didn't exist. Besides helping Tau's exterior game recover completely, Timinskas also threw down the dunk of the season in the second quarter. It was that kind of night for Tau. As such, the heroes of Vitoria, Spain extended the Euroleague Finals to the very limit, Game 5 next Thursday, May 10, in Bologna, Italy. You wanted spectacular basketball? Well, you've got it like never before in the Euroleague Finals.

For Kinder, Game 4 was a comedown despite the best performance yet by center Rashard Griffith, who finished with a team-high 18 points and 6 rebounds while shooting 9 for 11 from the field (82 percent). Game 3 hero Emanuel Ginobili and Alessandro Abbio added 15 each for Kinder, but the team's problems on defense were such that coach Ettore Messina finally put on a zone for most of the second half. It slowed the rhythm that Bennett had forced, but ultimately it did not stop Tau, whose shooters rediscovered their range and hit 9 of 18 three-pointers.

The stars came to with their game faces on from the opening tipoff. The first quarter offered a basketball show second to none no matter where on the court you looked. For Tau, Bennett drove everywhere in high gear, dished to a trio of three-point shooters - Laurent Foirest, Mindaugas Timinskas and Saulius Stombergas - whose accuracy in the opening minutes already outdid Tau's 1-for-14 three-point performance in Game 3. Victor Alexander and Fabricio Oberto had their hands full underneath, however, where Rashard Griffith made all five of his shots. Helping him was Ginobili, with a pair of his trademark acrobatic drives, but together they could only manage to hold Tau to a 10-10 tie before the hometeam started feeling real good. The three-pointers by Timinskas and Stombergas were followed by two baseline jumpers from Alexander, a jumper by Bennett and two free throws by Alexander pushed Tau ahead by 24-17 after a quarter.

The best was yet to come for the home fans as Tau locked down Kinder and opened the second quarter with a 9-0 run. Alexander had the first two baskets, Stombergas a fastbreak, and Timinskas drilled his second three-pointer. The lead hit 33-17 before Kinder could react with its first basket in more than four minutes, a pull-up jumper by Ginobili. Then David Anderson hit from the baseline, Antoine Rigaudeau made one from the lane, Griffith dunked and Rigaudeau popped Kinder's first three-pointer from the corner. Like that, the lead was down to 35-28, and no one of the 9,500 fans at Fernando Buesa Arena needed to be reminded of how lethal Kinder can be no matter what the scoreboard might say. But as quickly as Kinder bit, Tau bit back in a 9-3 closing run that featured almost without doubt the best individual play of the whole European season.

Timinskas, a defender first and outside shooter second, suddenly got a head of steam on a drive down the lane, and the result was an absolutely explosive dunk detonated on the head of Andersen. The dunk brought the entire arena to its feet, including the 500 or so Kinder fans who had to witness it. Timinskis ended up standing over Anderson, who was called for a foul, and making the free throw. As the foul shot fell in, Griffith was called for fouling Scola, who made one free throw for a four-point possession that gave Tau a 43-31 halftime lead. By that point, Alexander had 12 points and Timinskas 11 to offset 14 by Griffith. What's more, Tau played the whole half with just 2 turnovers, 12 fewer than it had in Game 3. Whether or not Kinder was the same team as in Game 3 was arguable, but Tau certainly was not. It was clear already that Dusko Ivanovic's troops were not about to give an inch more to Kinder.

The magic continued for Tau after halftime with an 8-0 run that drove up that lead to 51-31. It took a Ginobili three-pointer to stop the bleeding for Kinder, who also went into a zone defense to slow Tau. Three minutes and a 9-2 run later, Kinder was back in it, and when Griffith backed down Alexander for two points, the lead had been cut to single digits, 56-47. But Tau had the answers again this time, as Foirest rained a three-pointer from the corner, Bennett drove for a layup, Luis Scola dunked and Bennett hit another three. The lead was back to more than 15, 66-50, and with yet another three, this one by Stombergas, Tau reached the end of three quarters with a 69-54 lead. Nobody was forgetting Kinder's miraculous comeback from 18 down in the fourth quarter against Paf in the previous round, but with the way Tau was playing, nobody in Vitoria was too worried, either.

Luis Scola - Tau Ceramica - Finals 2001 - EB00
Thursday, May 3, 2001
Frank Lawlor, Euroleague.net
No results found.
Referees: COELHO, ANTONIO (POR), TSANIDIS, STAVROS (GRE), MPOTITSIS, NIKOS (SWE)
Attendance: 9323
By Quarter1234
Tau Ceramica24192627
Kinder Bologna17142325
End of Quarter1234
Tau Ceramica24436996
Kinder Bologna17315479
Tau Ceramica
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 SCOLA, LUIS 15:44 13 5/8   3/4 1 1 2 1 1 2   1 4 3 9
5 GARCIA, DANIEL 1:58 1   0/1 1/2   1 1             1 1
6 BENNETT, ELMER 38:38 19 3/7 2/5 7/10 2 2 4 8   1     2 10 28
7 FOIREST, LAURENT 21:34 10   2/5 4/4   1 1   2       2 3 11
9 VIDAL, SERGI 1:58 1     1/2                   1 1
10 TIMINSKAS, MINDAUGAS 31:22 18 4/4 3/3 1/2   5 5 2 1 1     4 4 24
11 STOMBERGAS, SAULIUS 28:10 8 1/2 2/4     1 1 2   1     5 1 3
12 TOURE, OUMAROU DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
13 ALEXANDER, VICTOR 27:31 18 6/10   6/6 1 1 2     2     5 4 13
14 OBERTO, FABRICIO 33:05 8 4/7   0/2 3 6 9 2 4 2   1 5 2 12
Team             1 1   1           2
Totals 200:00 96 23/38 9/18 23/32 7 18 25 15 8 9 0 2 27 29 102
        60.5% 50% 71.9%
Head coach: IVANOVIC, DUSKO
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
Kinder Bologna
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
6 GINOBILI, EMANUEL 35:12 15 4/6 1/5 4/6   3 3 4   2     4 6 14
7 ABBIO, ALESSANDRO 26:02 15 1/3 3/4 4/4   2 2 1   2     2 6 17
8 BONORA, DAVIDE 6:27                         1   -1
11 AMBRASSA, FABRIZIO 1:58           1 1           1    
12 FROSINI, ALESSANDRO 28:52 6 3/7       5 5 2 1   1   4   7
13 ANDERSEN, DAVID 8:46 2 1/1       3 3 1   1     3 1 3
14 RIGAUDEAU, ANTOINE 31:36 14 2/3 1/3 7/8   1 1 5         3 7 20
15 GRIFFITH, RASHARD 26:10 18 9/11   0/2 4 2 6 1 2 2 1   5 2 19
18 SMODIS, MATJAZ 16:12 9 1/2 1/3 4/7 2 3 5     3     4 5 6
19 JARIC, MARKO 18:45   0/2 0/1     1 1 1   1     2   -4
Team           2   2     1         1
Totals 200:00 79 21/35 6/16 19/27 6 21 27 15 3 11 2 0 29 27 81
        60% 37.5% 70.4%
Head coach: MESSINA, ETTORE
This game has no play by play yet

Head Coaches

IVANOVIC, DUSKO
Tau Ceramica
"It's true that I've won all the finals I've coached in and that someday I'll have to lose one. But it's also true that I've won all those finals on the road. For the fifth game, I expect that there will be fewer points than tonight. It will be a more intense, tougher and more physical gmae. Kinder will play with more physical contact and more attention to the passing lanes. If we maintain our intensity as we had it today, and our mentality, I am completely convinced that we can win."
MESSINA, ETTORE
Kinder Bologna
"I'm a little disappointed because we haven't played well. With this defense we played tonight, you can't win a European title. We've given up 96 points, the most we've given up all season. We werre systematically out of position the whole game. At one point, with the zone defense, we got within 9 points, but two stupid mistakes allowed them to score two three-pointers from the wings. As for the difference in all these games, I would say in the first two games, it was the absence of Griffith and his return. Here in the third and fourth games, maybe it had to do with the long break before these games. If, after we won the Italian Cup, someone would have offered us 1-1 in Vitoria, I would have accepted that. But I don't think the homecourt will be the main factor now. It's been shown all season that that's not the case."

Players

SCOLA, LUIS
Tau Ceramica
"This is an incredibly interesting series, two very good teams facing each other, but each team winning by a lot. Maybe when one team breaks that balance, it makes it easier to take advantage. As for my dunk, I think somebody helped me to get up there. I didn't think that would happen when I started the play. We haven't had any lapses during this game. We played all 40 minutes at the same level. That was the key. In Game 5, the crowd in Bologna that is crazy to win will have a big effect."
TIMINSKAS, MINDAUGAS
Tau Ceramica
"This is an incredibly interesting series, two very good teams facing each other, but each team winning by a lot. Maybe when one team breaks that balance, it makes it easier to take advantage. As for my dunk, I think somebody helped me to get up there. I didn't think that would happen when I started the play. We haven't had any lapses during this game. We played all 40 minutes at the same level. That was the key. In Game 5, the crowd in Bologna that is crazy to win will have a big effect."
RIGAUDEAU, ANTOINE
Kinder Bologna
"Tau had a lot of trust and confidence after scoring their three-pointers at the end of the first half. We never had a consistent reaction to them. Our real problem was our defense, not just on the perimeter, but everywhere on the court. Tau played as we expected them too, with a lot of energy and fast pace and we never had an effective defense against their transition. Now both teams have a week to reflect on it, but I think we just need a different approach and to play our defense in Bologna in order to win."
SMODIS, MATJAZ
Kinder Bologna
"After our victory in the Italian Cup, our goal was to come here and win one game, so we've got that. We probably didn't find enough motivation tonight to put the series away."
ABBIO, ALESSANDRO
Kinder Bologna
"We have one game left in our place and we are going to defend to the death. Today, Tau has surprised us with the aggressiveness of all its players, above all Bennett. I don't know hwy the first four games have been so unusual. but today the team that dominated the game mentally has won."
BONORA, DAVIDE
Kinder Bologna
"Tau shot a better percentage and we were impressed by their tough defense. It was a photocopy of our win in Game 2. And thanks to their defense, Tau was able to run and play a lot more freely on offense. We tried to solve our problems just with offense, and not with defense."
No results found.