Playoffs Round 2 - March 26, 2009 CET: 20:45 Local time: 20:45 - PALAU BLAUGRANA
PLAYOFFS, ROUND 2
GROUP Quarterfinal 1
GROUP Quarterfinal 4

Records

Ave.   Ave.
0-0 Final Four 0-0
0-1 Playoffs 1-0
5-1 Top 16 4-2
9-1 Regular Season 8-2
14-3 Overall 13-4

Referees

Crew Chief
BRAZAUSKAS, ROMUALDAS, Lithuania
Referee
VOREADIS, LAZAROS, Greece
Umpire
GKONTAS, SPIROS, Greece

Team Stats

Ave.   Ave.
82.1 Points 91.5
34.2 Rebounds 33.5
9.4 O. Rebounds 9.0
24.8 D. Rebounds 24.5
15.8 Assists 15.1
7.8 Steals 7.1
4.8 Blocks 3.4
12.3 Turnovers 12.4
55.9 % 2PT 58.4 %
38.9 % 3PT 42.3 %
80.3 % FT 77.0 %
98.5 Index 104.9

Player Stats

Ave.   Ave.
14.9 / Navarro Points 18.4 / Rakocevic
7.3 / ILYASOVA, ERSAN Rebounds 5.2 / Mickeal
1.9 / Vazquez OR 1.8 / MCDONALD, WILL
5.4 / ILYASOVA, ERSAN DR 4.3 / Mickeal
3.6 / Navarro Assists 4.5 / PRIGIONI, PABLO
1.4 / Navarro Steals 1.6 / PRIGIONI, PABLO
2.0 / Vazquez Blocks 1.6 / SPLITTER, TIAGO
2.1 / Navarro Turnovers 2.2 / Rakocevic
85.7 % / Barton 2PT 73.8 % / TELETOVIC, MIRZA
57.4 % / Basile 3PT 56.4 % / Vidal
92.2 % / Navarro FT 90.6 % / Rakocevic
15.7 / Navarro Index 17.8 / Rakocevic

THE TAKE

Euroleague Quarterfinal Playoffs action resumes in Barcelona, Spain less than 48 hours after finishing Game 1, as Regal FCB hosts Tau Ceramica in Game 2 on the best-of-five series on Thursday. Barcelona needs to bounce back from its initial loss in the series. Meanwhile, Tau has the chance to be just win away to make it to its fifth straight Final Four - especially since Games 3 and 4 - if required - take place in Vitoria. Tau led all the way on Tuesday and registered a 75-84 road win behind 17 points and 8 assists from Pablo Prigioni, who controlled the game tempo and dominated the game. Barcelona must try to make Prigioni feel unconfortable and Victor Sada seems the right man for that mission. Sada is ready to share the point guard duties with Jaka Lakovic and little-used playmaker Andre Barrett, who may also see some playing time against Prigioni and former Barcelona player Vlado Ilievski. Tau will keep relying on its floor general while trying to get Igor Rakocevic and Pete Mickeal involved at both wings. Mickeal is a natural-born mismatch due to his size, aggressivity and talent. Roger Grimau will have the tough mission to guard him, while Rakocevic will test his scoring skills against Juan Carlos Navarro, in one of the keys to this game. Both teams have top defensive stoppers to use against them. Navarro is ready to battle against Sergi Vidal while Rakocevic is set for a critical matchup against defensive ace and three-point bomber Gianluca Basile. Lubos Barton is ready to help Barcelona with his versatility and know-how against Mickeal, too. Both teams have strong frontcourts, even when Barcelona has a deeper bench. Ersan Ilyasova, who pulled down 13 boards in Game 1, and Daniel Santiago are expected to start in Game 2. Santiago will try to use his size and power against All-Euroleague center Tiago Splitter. Meanwhile, Ilyasova must use his deep range and speed against Will McDonald. Tau head coach Dusko Ivanovic can count on three-point specialist Mirza Teletovic or use Mickeal at power forward, since center Stanko Barac is seeing limited playing time lately. Meanwhile, David Andersen hopes to use his size and deep range against Teletovic, while Fran Vazquez, in great shape lately. may become a nightmare matchup for Tau because of jumping skills, determination and mobility. Barcelona must get Ilyasova and Vazquez involved to get Splitter into foul trouble, as well as trying to prevent Prigioni from controlling the game tempo. Tau must play with the same intensity as in Game 1 and try to get Rakocevic and Mickeal involved to steal another road win. Expect yet another big showdown at Palau Blaugrana on Thursday.

GAME NOTES

Regal FC Barcelona
  • Guard Juan Carlos Navarro has made at least 1 three-pointer in 11 straight games. (22 of 55)
  • With 17 points on Tuesday, Navarro moved into fourth place on the Euroleague Basketball career scoring charts. Navarro passed Luis Scola and now has 2,062 career points.
  • Barcelona boasts four players in the top 10 on the Euroleague Basketball career scoring charts. Juan Carlos Navarro is ranked fourth, Jaka Lakovic sixth, Gianluca Basile seventh and David Andersen eighth.
  • Lakovic is 19 points away from matching Luis Scola for fifth place on the Euroleague Basketball career scoring charts. Lakovic enters Game 2 of the Quarterfinal Playoffs with 2,035 career points.
  • Lakovic is 1 steal away from tying Luis Scola for 10th place on the Euroleague Basketball career steals charts. Lakovic enters Tuesday’s playoffs game with 173 career steals.
  • Big man Fran Vazquez surpassed Gregor Fucka for fifth place on the Euroleague Basketball career charts in blocks on Tuesday. He now has 107 career blocked shots.
  • Vazquez leads the Euroleague in blocked shots this season with 1.9 per game.
Tau Ceramica
  • Guard Igor Rakocevic is 1 three-pointer away from matching Maccabi Electra’s Derrick Sharp for 10th place on the Euroleague Basketball career list. He enters Game 2 of the playoffs with 215 career threes.
  • Rakocevic leads the Euroleague in scoring this season with 18.2 points per game.
  • Forward Mirza Teletovic has drilled 4 three-pointers in seven different games this season and made 3 four other times. He leads the competition with 46 triples this season.
  • All Euroleague center Tiago Splitter took sole possession of 10th place on the Euroleague Basketball career shots blocked on Tuesday, surpassing Eurelijus Zukauskas. Splitter now has 79 career blocks.
  • Point guard Pablo Prigioni set a Euroleague career high with 17 points in the Quarterfinals Playoffs Game 1 win at Barcelona. Prigioni also matched a Euroleague career-high with 5 triples made.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Euroleague.net

Quotes Head Coaches

PASCUAL, XAVIER
Regal FC Barcelona
"The series just started, that goes for sure. We cannot look back, lost Game 1 but thinking about it is not appropiate. We have to learn from our mistakes and look forward. It is time to improve and avoid mistakes in Game 2. Looking forward to the game on Thursday, we have to improve our shooting percentage. We had a lot of open shots in Game 1 which we missed. We must play with good intensity against an opponent that we know well, that plays good defense and is very talented. We must change our mind and be ourselves, otherwise we will not win the game. We must balance our game and emotions and we hope to change that on Thursday."
IVANOVIC, DUSKO
Tau Ceramica
"Every game is a whole different story, so we will see what happens on Thursday. Both teams are very talented and know each other very well, but my team never looks back. Finding out what we did wrong is a good idea, but we only look forward. I won't expect a radically different game on Thursday. To be honest, we just take one game at the time. Game 1 is already in the past and we only see Game 2 now. I don't make calculations, but just have to play hard, give our best and we will see what happens."

Players

ANDERSEN, DAVID
Regal FC Barcelona
"We have to change it up and play much more aggressive. We didn't find our rhtyhm in offense in Game 1. We have to come out and play better defense to beat Tau and tie the series, getting our running game going. We must stop their fast break and transition game, turn it around and get some of our own fast breaks. If we managed to do this, I think it will be a very different game, more interesting for us. We are a fit team, are in good shape and playing three games in five days will not be a decisive factor. It is a matter of getting our mind drive in the right way, come out and get ready to play another tough game. Hoepfully we will be able to take this game and go on the road."
SAN EMETERIO, FERNANDO
Tau Ceramica
"We have to stay focused in Game 2. It will be a totally different game in which we must play the way we did in Game 1, with the right mentality. We must even improve some of the things we did not do well. We must focus on ourselves only, but of course, Barcelona will go out there and play tough, just like they did in Game 1. We must play even tougher to go up to 0-2 in the series. It is tough to beat Barcelona twice in their home court, so we must be aware of that, forget about Game 1 and play it as if the series was 0-0."
Jaka Lakovic - Regal FC BarcelonaRegal FC Barcelona bounced back from a Game 1 loss in the best-of-five Quarterfinal Playoffs series by downing Tau Ceramica 85-62 in front of a wild sellout crowd at Palau Blaugrana on Thursday night. The series is now tied at 1-1, but Tau hosts Games 3 and 4 in Vitoria next week, with the chance to make it to the Final Four in front of its fans. Barcelona needs to steal a road win to keep its Final Four chances alive. Tau overcame a slow start, as free throws by Igor Rakocevic and Will McDonald gave the guests a 23-24 edge after 10 minutes. Tiago Splitter went to the bench with early foul trouble and Ersan Ilyasova and Roger Grimau helped Barcelona to a 36-29 edge. An outstanding Jaka Lakovic helped Barcelona keep a 46-40 lead at halftime. Splitter picked up his fourth foul early in the fourth quarter and Barcelona opted to power the offensive boards through an unstoppable Ilyasova to make it a double-digit game, 55-45. Barcelona boosted its margin to 60-47 after 30 minutes and managed to keep a safe margin all the way until the final buzzer. Lakovic finished with 17 points to lead the winners, Ilyasova posted 16 points and 10 rebounds, Fran Vazquez had 14 points, 10 rebounds and 2 blocks and Juan Carlos Navarro scored 14 and dished 6 assists. Rakocevic led Tau with 18 points and Will McDonald added 14 in defeat.

Igor Rakocevic - Tau CeramicaSplitter got Tau going with a three-point play as Barcelona picked up three fouls in the opening 24 seconds. Lakovic answered from downtown, but a jump hook by Splitter gave Tau a 3-5 lead. Ilyasova took over with a driving layup and Daniel Santiago gave Barcelona its first lead in the series, 7-5. McDonald hit a turnaround jumper, but back-to-back jump hooks by Santiago put the hosts back ahead, 11-7. Rakocevic hit his first three-pointer only for an unstoppable Santiago to answer with a fast break layup for a 13-10 Barcelona lead. Mirza Teletovic came off the bench and immediately fired in a wide-open triple. Ilyasova also joined the three-point shootout. Rakocevic nailed a stop-and-pop jumper and Pablo Prigioni added a layup off a steal to help Tau regain the lead, 16-17. Lakovic buried a corner triple and Vazquez sent the crowd to its feet with a fast break dunk. McDonald nailed a three-pointer after a Tau timeout, but an acrobatic layup by Ilyasova gave Barcelona a 23-20 edge. Free throws by Rakocevic and McDonald provided another lead change, 23-24, after 10 minutes.

Grimau shined with a driving layup early in the second quarter as Barcelona improved its intensity at both ends with Victor Sada, Ilyasova and Vazquez together on court. Navarro buried a three-pointer, but Rakocevic quickly answered from downtown. Grimau paced Barcelona with another layup in transition and Navarro provided a highlight with an outstanding driving basket. Sergi Vidal rescued Tau with a five-meter jumper, however Ilyasova scored again in penetration. Splitter returned to the bench with 3 fouls and Vazquez hit a floating layup to make it 36-29. Vidal tried to change things with a triple and Teletovic also struck from downtown, causing Barcelona to call timeout, 36-35. Vazquez took over with a put-back dunk and Lakovic added free throws to give the hosts some fresh air, 40-35. Navarro scored off a steal, but McDonald quickly answered with a power layup. David Andersen stepped up with a put-back layup, which McDonald bettered with a three-point play. Lakovic beat the shot clock with a driving layup to give Barcelona a 46-40 edge at halftime.

Ersan Ilyasova - Regal FC BarcelonaPete Mickeal stepped up with a put-back layup after the break as Tau improved its defense. Gianluca Basile buried a fallaway jumper, but he didn't find much help around. Meanwhile, a three-pointer by Mickeal brought Tau back to life, 48-45. Barcelona quickly adjusted its defense while a put-back layup by Basile kept the hosts ahead. Splitter sat down with 4 fouls and Barcelona kept powering the offensive boards. Ilyasova scored around the basket, while Tau even missed open shots now. Teletovic picked up a huge block on Basile, but a layup-plus-foul by Ilyasova made it a double-digit game, 55-45. McDonald tried to change things with a layup that Vazquez matched in the other end. Grimau made free throws after a Tau timeout, but the guests kept having trouble locking up the defensive rebounds without Splitter on the floor. Vazquez set the crowd on fire with a big block on McDonald, as Tau opted for a small lineup with Mickeal at power forward. The guests could not match Barcelona's intensity, however, and a free throw by Grimau gave his team a 60-47 margin after three quarters.

Vazquez downed a jump hook early in the fourth quarter as the hosts stayed in control. Tau needed an outstanding comeback to return to the game and Mickeal tried to ignite it with free throws, but Basile answered from way downtown to break the game open, 65-49. Rakocevic beat the shot-clock buzzer with a three-pointer, but another jump hook by Vazquez kept Barcelona out of trouble, 67-52, with less than eight minutes remaining. Vazquez added free throws as Barcelona started to use long possessions to run the game clock down. A left-handed 'bomba' by Navarro sealed the outcome, 71-54, with six minutes to go. Vlado Ilievski sank a three-pointer from the corner, but Barcelona excelled in defense, not allowing any easy shots. Lakovic capped his big game with a big triple and even when Splitter returned to the court, everything was already said and done and the Barcelona fans celebrated their first win in the series.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Javier Gancedo, Barcelona
Referees: BRAZAUSKAS, ROMUALDAS (LTU), VOREADIS, LAZAROS (GRE), GKONTAS, SPIROS (GRE)
Attendance: 7084
By Quarter1234
Regal FC Barcelona23231425
Tau Ceramica2416715
End of Quarter1234
Regal FC Barcelona23466085
Tau Ceramica24404762
Head coach: PASCUAL, XAVIER
Regal FC Barcelona
# Player Min Pts 2FG
M-A
3FG
M-A
FT
M-A
Rebounds As St To Bl Fouls PIR
O D T Fv Ag Cm Rv
5 BASILE, GIANLUCA 27:26 7 2/4 1/3   1 1 2 1 1     1 3   3
6 BARRETT, ANDRE DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
8 TRIAS, JORDI DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
9 BARTON, LUBOS 8:10                         1   -1
10 LAKOVIC, JAKA 29:06 17 2/5 3/8 4/4   2 2   1       1 3 14
11 NAVARRO, JUAN CARLOS 32:54 14 3/6 2/5 2/2   4 4 6 2 2     3 3 18
13 ANDERSEN, DAVID 5:36 2 1/2 0/1   1 1 2     1   1 1   -1
17 VAZQUEZ, FRAN 26:08 14 6/6   2/2 4 6 10       2   1 2 27
21 ILYASOVA, ERSAN 28:51 16 6/8 1/4 1/1 3 7 10 2 1 3 1   1 3 24
24 SADA, VICTOR 10:54     0/2   1   1     1     1   -3
25 SANTIAGO, DANIEL 13:52 8 4/7       3 3     3 3   4 5 9
44 GRIMAU, ROGER 17:03 7 2/3 0/1 3/4 1 3 4   2       3 3 10
Team           1 2 3   1           4
Totals 200:00 85 26/41 7/24 12/13 12 29 41 9 8 10 6 2 19 19 104
63.4% 29.2% 92.3%
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
Head coach: IVANOVIC, DUSKO
Tau Ceramica
# Player Min Pts 2FG
M-A
3FG
M-A
FT
M-A
Rebounds As St To Bl Fouls PIR
O D T Fv Ag Cm Rv
5 PRIGIONI, PABLO 24:59 2 1/4 0/1   2 1 3 2 1       2 1 3
6 ILIEVSKI, VLADO 15:01 3 0/1 1/1     1 1 2   1         4
8 RAKOCEVIC, IGOR 29:08 18 2/8 3/8 5/6   2 2 3 1 2   2 2 7 13
9 VIDAL, SERGI 24:47 5 1/1 1/1     3 3   3 1       3 13
11 ESLAVA, ARIEL 0:45               1             1
12 TELETOVIC, MIRZA 30:06 8 1/2 2/6     2 2 2     1   2   6
19 SAN EMETERIO, FERNANDO 3:52                         1   -1
21 SPLITTER, TIAGO 15:07 5 2/6   1/1 1 2 3     3   1 5 1 -4
33 MICKEAL, PETE 26:54 7 1/5 1/1 2/2 1 6 7   1 2   2 2 3 8
42 BARAC, STANKO DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
45 MCDONALD, WILL 29:21 14 4/12 1/2 3/3 4 1 5 2 1 2 1 1 5 4 10
Team             2 2     1     1    
Totals 200:00 62 12/39 9/20 11/12 8 20 28 12 7 12 2 6 20 19 53
30.8% 45% 91.7%
This game is not yet played

Head Coaches

PASCUAL, XAVIER
Regal FC Barcelona
"First of all, I want to thank our fans for their support tonight. Our fans allowed us to win this game. We are very happy to finally beat Tau, playing with good intensity all 40 minutes long. We managed to stay focused and only took three shots out of position. We managed to stay in the game throughout the first quarter and even when we trailed by one point, we felt confident. We definitely were our usual selves tonight, being loyal to our basketball style. Game 1 was very hard for us, as we were trailing by 10 points after 4 minutes. Tau is a great team, we fought hard but did not make it. The game script was totally different tonight. I am proud to offer this win to our fans, they deserve it, helped us a lot and we managed to win this game for them. As for the series, I see it like a tennis game, it is tied at one set with three to go. Jaka Lakovic was one of our most important players tonight and that is great news. It is difficult to play these games when you have been out of the team for so long. He took a step forward and that is one of the biggest news of the night."
IVANOVIC, DUSKO
Tau Ceramica
"First of all, I have to congratulate Barcelona because they played better than us tonight. We had a balanced first quarter and even a balanced first half, but you could see we were not playing our game either on defense or offense. We allowed easy baskets and lacked patience on offense. We lacked concentration to play against Barcelona, who was better than us tonight. The series is tied at 1-1, but of course I would be happier if we had won the game tonight. I will probably see it differently tomorrow. We had no intensity and did not play the way we should. If you don't play good defense against Barcelona, it is very difficult to win here. They played with higher intensity. We didn't have easy options to score and that is why we did not play good defense. It should be the other way around: defense should give us confidence to play well on offense."

Players

NAVARRO, JUAN CARLOS
Regal FC Barcelona
"We are very happy. We managed to end our losing streak against Tau. We managed to show that we can beat them and now go to Vitoria with a lot of optimism. Daniel Santiago did great work from the very beginning, but the entire team worked hard to get this win. We played like a real team tonight. I think it is better for us to win Game 2 than to have won Game 1 and then lost at home. That way, we go to Vitoria with more confidence. We managed to play well mainly because of our fans at Palau Blaugrana. Both teams know each other well and it is tough to prepare new things in such a short time, but we managed to fix most of the mistakes we made in Game 1."
VAZQUEZ, FRAN
Regal FC Barcelona
"We played a very good game tonight. We managed to stay focused all game long, playing strong defense, and that led us to win the game. Our fans played a key role in this win, as it is very difficult to win in this court with that kind of support. Our fans are always there to help us. Above all, this win is for them. We managed to overcome a tough situation and now go to Vitoria with an improved mentality. We played with great character tonight. We know this is going to be a long series, we must enjoy the win and quickly get back to work."
TELETOVIC, MIRZA
Tau Ceramica
"We didn't play defense like we did in Game 1 and didn't have enough patience on offense to look for the extra pass. That caused us to lose the game. We are now looking forward to go home, see what we did wrong in this game and try to correct it. The most important thing is to play good defense again when we go to Vitoria. We have to play like a team and play better defense. That is the only thing we really need to do. If we play good defense, the offense will come next."
PRIGIONI, PABLO
Tau Ceramica
"We didn't play with the same intensity as in Game 1. We didn't play that well on offense, either. We lacked concentration and played against a more aggressive, more focused Barcelona. When everything I said happens at the same time, it is tough to win here. We now take a break for a Spanish League game and we will see what happens in Game 3 next week. It was a totally different game in general terms. We did not manage to play fluidly on offense and played worse defense than in Game 1. We now have the homecourt advantage, but anything can happen until both teams meet again on Tuesday."
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