2001-02Regular SeasonRound 12
January 31, 2002 CET: 00:00
Local time: 00:00 AHMET COMERT SPORTS HALL
There may only be five teams in the running, but the Group B race for the Top 16 seems to be getting tighter with each game. Ulker of Istanbul is once again in the thick of things with a thrilling 78-76 home win over visiting Opel Skyliners of Frankfurt. The victory guarantees Ulker (8-4) at least a share of third place with Skyliners (8-4), but if the two should end up tied, the German club would enjoy the point differential for having won by four when they first played in Germany. Both were tight thrillers, and the latest was decided when Harun Erdenay broke a 73-73 tie with a driving basket with just over a minute left. Miljan Goljovic, who would finish with 18 points, added one more basket for the winners, and top scorer Robert Stelmahers (21 points) a free throw in the final 15 seconds. All their efforts were needed to withstand Skyliners' comeback from 16 down in the first half behind 24 points by Marcus Goree and 18 by Pascal Roller. With the simultaneous victory by Barcelona at Zalgiris, both Ulker and Skyliners were still looking at a probably three-way race with Union Olimpija for the final two Top 16 berths in Group B.

The game started like an offensive fight as both teams found easy baskets on each other. Marcus Goree hit 2 straight three-pointers to give the visitors a five-point lead, 6-11, after 3 minutes. But just as quickly, Ulker took the control of the game with a suffocating zone pressure that so demoralized the visitors that the Turkish team took off on repeated and easy fastbreaks. They took the lead within two minutes on a Haluk Yildirim drive that made it 15-13, and then they continued on a 16-2 run that featured Goljovic, Yildirim and Roberts Stelmahers finishing off more and more fastbreaks. Soon the lead was at 31-15 with nine minutes to play, and only a final basket by Goree allowed Skyliners as close as 33-19 after 10 minutes were up. Goljovic was up to 14 points already for Ulker and Goree 10 for Skyliners.

The visitors tried two different guards in attempts to stop Ulker playmaker Robert Stelmahers, but both Pascal Roller (2) and Kai Nurnberger (3) encountered early foul problems by the middle of the second period. Despite good efforts from point guard Chad Austin and big man Robert Maras, the visitors could only cut slightly into Ulker's lead. Austin's early three-pointer got the deficit under 10 points, at 35-26, but then some turnovers by the German side helped Ulker boost it again 16 points, 46-30, on a drive by Harun Erdenay. Syliners woke up then: They had to. The defense held Ulker scoreless for nearly 5 minutes while Opel had 8 straight points between Goree, Virgil Stanescu and Pascal Roller to pull within 46-38. Goljovic then scored his only basket of the second quarter, so the half ended with Ulker still leading by double digits, 48-38.

Ulker started the third period as it had the others, going for a knockout punch. Two straight three-pointers by Stelmahers took the lead back up to 16 points, 54-38. But Skyliners responded in little more than a minute with Roller scoring on a three-point shot and a three-point play to drop the lead to where it was at the half, 10 points, 54-44. This was the first signal that Frankfurt could catch Ulker, which returned to the zone defense that had helped it establish big leads. This time Skyliners were ready, with Roller, Austin and Goree knocking down shot after shot. A Goree three-pointer in the 27th minute nearly completed the comeback at 58-56, but Yildirim came up with a three-point play to allow the home team to hold a 64-60 advantage headed into the final 10 minutes.

The last period was like a heavyweight prize fight. Skyliners never let Ulker escape, not even after Stelmahers hit a three-pointer for a 67-61. Kai Nurnberger answered that in kind, setting the tone until the end. Every time Ulker scored, Skyliners answered with the difference stuck at two or three points until, with just under 2 minutes left, two Roller foul shots tied the score at 73-73. Almost a minute passed before Erdenay slithered through the defense for the basket that put Ulker up 75-73. Gonlum took a decisive rebound at and then hit an outside shot for 77-73, but Goree raised up and banged in a three-pointer to pull his team within 77-76 with 15 seconds left. Two seconds later, Stelmahers missed 1 of 2 free throws, but on the ensuing inbounds play Goree committed a turnover that left the score where it was, 78-76, while Ulker successfully dribbled out the last 10 seconds.
Thursday, January 31, 2002
Gokhan Ture, Istanbul
No results found.
Referees: BRAZAUSKAS, ROMUALDAS (LTU), JOVCIC, MILIVOJE (SRB), DOZAI, SRDAN (CRO)
Attendance: 1500
By Quarter1234
Ulker33151614
Opel Skyliners19192216
End of Quarter1234
Ulker33486478
Opel Skyliners19386076
Ulker
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 LOLLIS, QUADRE-MICHAEL 28:13 8 4/10     2 5 7 3 1 2 2 3 4 2 8
5 PARS, ASIM 2:26                              
7 STELMAHERS, ROBERTS 31:39 21 0/1 5/9 6/8       1 2 2     2 7 20
8 GOLJOVIC, MILJAN 23:07 18 8/13 0/4 2/2 1 2 3 4 2 3     3 4 16
9 ERDENAY, HAKKI HARUN 13:49 4 2/4 0/1   1 1 2 1   1     1 1 3
10 ELEY, WILLIAM KEITH 18:57 5 1/2   3/4 2 4 6   1 2 1   4 3 8
11 ACIK, TUTKU 9:41 2 1/1 0/1                       1
12 GONLUM, KEREM 29:19 11 5/9   1/2 4 5 9 1   2     1 2 15
13 PACHULIA, ZAZA 0:24                              
14 YILDIRIM, HALUK 28:18 9 3/5 0/4 3/3 3 2 5 6 2       1 3 18
15 GULER, MURATCAN 14:07   0/2 0/1   3 3 6 1 1 1       1 5
Team                     2         -2
Totals 200:00 78 24/47 5/20 15/19 16 22 38 17 9 15 3 3 16 23 92
        51.1% 25% 78.9%
Head coach: DIDIN, MURAT
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
Opel Skyliners
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 STANESCU, VIRGIL 30:49 8 2/6   4/4 3 4 7 1 2 1 1 1 3 6 16
6 DIARRA, IBRAHIM 3:28               1         3   -2
7 NURNBERGER, KAI 19:12 5   1/4 2/2 1 3 4 3   2     4 1 4
8 GOREE, MARCUS 36:55 24 4/9 5/10 1/2 2 2 4 2 3 2 1   2 6 25
11 ROLLER, PASCAL 35:57 18 4/7 3/7 1/1 3 2 5 3 1 1     4 1 16
12 AUSTIN, CHAD 39:12 7 2/10 1/7     4 4 2   3   1 3   -8
13 MARAS, ROBERT 28:15 14 6/8   2/3 1 2 3 1 1 4 2   2 2 14
14 LUTCKE, NIKLAS 6:12     0/1     1 1           2   -2
Team           3   3               3
Totals 200:00 76 18/40 10/29 10/12 13 18 31 13 7 13 4 2 23 16 66
        45% 34.5% 83.3%
Head coach: HERBERT, GORDON
This game has no play by play yet

Head Coaches

DIDIN, MURAT
Ulker
"Our first aim was to win the match by more than four points. This would be enough for us to clinch the third place. But despite having a 16-point lead during the game, we weren't able to do it. Anyway, we had our second aim, to win the match. Opel Skyliners was one of the best teams of our group and they showed that with the results that they got. Physically they were better than us tonight. Now we will try to win both against Barcelona away and Peristeri at home. We will not pay attention what the others did."
HERBERT, GORDON
Opel Skyliners
"First of all I would like to congratulate Ulker for their important win and the quality of the game that they showed in the first period. It was a disastrous first quarter for us and that caused us to lose the game. We did our best in the last three quarters. We played perfect defense. But the defensive errors that we made in the first ten minutes cost as a loss. The injury of Alexander Lokmanchuk was one our big problems at the small forward position. Both teams were very tough. Now we have to do our best in the last two games for a chance at the second round."
No results found.