2010-11Final FourSemifinal
May 06, 2011 CET: 18:00
Local time: 18:00 PALAU SANT JORDI
Nick Calathes - Panathinaikos_32657

Panathinaikos started the 2011 Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four with a hard-fought 77-69 victory over Montepaschi Siena at Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona to reach the Euroleague title game for the third time in five seasons. Nick Calathes scored a career-high 17 points and Dimitris Diamantidis came within 1 of a semifinal record with 9 assists to lead Panathinaikos. Head coach Zeljko Obradovic, the winningest coach in Euroleague history, will go for his eighth crown and Panthinaikos’s sixth on Sunday against the winner of Friday’s second semifinal between Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv and Real Madrid. Siena started strong and dominated the offensive glass to lead for the first quarter-and-a-half. But mounting foul trouble and poor outside shooting hurt the Italian champs and Panathinaikos battled its way back with Calathes, Antonis Fotsis and Mike Batiste all contributing key points for a 40-36 halftime edge. A 9-2 push to start the second half put the Greens in total control and although Montepaschi continued to fight, it never got closer than 5 again. Batiste added 16 points and 7 rebounds and Fotsis scored 14 for the Greens. Meanwhile Rimantas Kaukenas scored 12 for Siena, which is now 0-4 in the Euroleague semifinals. Malik Hairston scored 12 and Milovan Rakovic 10, while Shaun Stonerook amassed 14 rebounds in defeat.

The opening tip went to Panathinaikos and the game’s first action was Diamantidis drawing an off-the-ball foul from David Moss, who was head coach Simone Pianigiani’s choice to guard the star point guard, sjust 7 seconds in. Siena got on the scoreboard first through a Marko Jaric steal and Ksistof Lavrinovic layup, but a Diamantidis steal and pass to Calathes for a layup soon evened the score. The opening minutes saw the teams trading blow for blow. Moss got to the line for 2 free throws and Diamantidis fed Fotsis for an alley-oop slam at the other end. Lavrinovic broke free for an open three and Romain Sato equaled him for the Greens. Rakovic scored twice on the offensive glass to give Siena its first two-possession lead, but then picked up his second foul and was on the bench less than five minutes into the game. Moss soon followed him with his second foul, but the Italian champs stayed hot. Lavrinovic found perfect position for a basket inside and Kaukenas, who came in for Moss, nailed a jumper to make it 10-5. Batiste, who came off the bench, started to make in impact with 3 free throws over two possessions, to narrow the gap. Despite a picture-perfect jumper from Kaukenas, foul trouble continued to mount for Siena as Stonerook was whistled for his second. Fotsis and Calathes made free throws to close the gap to 17-19. A Montepaschi turnover gave the Greens a chance to go ahead, but a Diamantidis triple was cancelled out because of offensive interference on Batiste, who touched the rim before the ball dropped through. Siena quickly countered through Nikos Zisis, who beat the buzzer with a jumper to make it 17-21 after 10 minutes.

Marco Carraretto came on for the second quarter, meaning that Pianigiani had already used 11 players. Defenses continued to shine, with each team denying the other in transition. Montepaschi’s superior offensive rebounding gave it extra chances. Jeleel Akindele grabbed his team’s 10th before Panathinaikos had its first and got to the line for 2 free throws. Drew Nicholas buried a triple to make it 20-24, but an unsportsmanlike foul on Sato for elbowing Carraretto in the back allowed the latter to make free throws and keep his team ahead. Bo McCalebb joined the party, becoming the 12th Montepaschi man to see action all before the midway points of the second quarter. Calathes and Stonerook traded points from the line. Stratos Perperoglou darted through the Siena defense for a layup only to see McCalebb outdo him with a basket-and-foul to make it 24-30. Seconds later the momentum was with Panathinaikos as Ian Vougioukas scored underneath and drew a third foul from Rakovic. Then Diamantidis set Calathes up for a reverse layup-plus-foul from Akindele. After a Siena timeout, Calathes missed the free throw, but the Greens finally got their first offensive rebound. Akindele preserved the lead by blocking a Perperoglou shot, but it was short-lived. Fotsis and Perperoglou drained threes on successive trips down the court, first giving Panathinaikos its first lead on the night and then pushing the advantage to 32-35. Montepaschi did not falter, but Batiste took charge with a slam to lift the lead to 4. Akindele kept it close with a two-handed jam thanks to a fine dish from McCalebb. Fotsis got to the line to lift the Greens to 40-36 and McCalebb missed at the buzzer to signal halftime.

Panathinaikos kept the momentum it had earned before halftime as Fotsis started the second half with a long jumper. But Moss went inside for his first basket. The defenses clamped down at both ends and points were coming at a premium. Loose balls brought piles of bodies diving across the court as both teams made sure to leave nothing on the floor. Moss made a stand with a big block, but Zisis’s triple bounced in and out at the other end. With more than five minutes gone in the third quarter, each team had scored just once. Panathinaikos got an important advantage when Lavrinovic was called for his fourth foul while going for a rebound. Calathes’s fifth made free throw of the night put the Greens up 5. A Rakovic hook rolled around the rim and out and Calathes punished Siena with a transition layup. Batiste added to Siena’s misery with a jumper and after Montepaschi’s next miss, Rakovic was assessed his fourth foul while going for the offensive rebound. Batiste took his team’s lead to double figures, 49-38, with a pair of free throws. McCalebb got to the line to end Siena’s scoring drought, but its shots still weren’t falling. Instead Fotsis brought his team’s fans to their feet with a triple. Moss scored from the line and Hairston added a triple to bring their team back to life at 52-45. But with 4 fouls, Rakovic was soft on defense and Kostas Tsartsaris took advantage. And the rebound of a wide-open McCalebb missed three fell to Diamantidis who assisted Calathes to make it 56-47 at the end of the third quarter.

Hairston connected from downtown to fuel the spirits of the Siena faithful, however Calathes responded quickly with a layup. Diamantidis dropped in a three from the top of the circle and a Stonerook turnover followed to give Panathinaikos the momentum. However, after Batiste missed twice from the line, Stonerook nailed a triple and to make it a game again at 61-55. Panathinaikos suddenly went cold on the attack, but Montepaschi was unable to capitalize. Instead Vougioukas set up Calathes for a layup and soon Panathinaikos was back in total control. Lavrinovic took a seat with 5 fouls and Diamantidis made it 68-57 with four-and-a-half minutes to play. Kaukenas gave Siena hope with a triple-and-foul only to see Batiste answer on the offensive glass. Rakovic scored inside to make it 72-65 with two minutes remaining. A dribbling violation on Perperoglou opened a door for Siena and Rakovic narrowed the gap to 5 with 1:23 to play, but Batiste followed with a basket down low and Diamantidis slammed the door shut with 2 free throws with 36.1 seconds remaining to seal the win and set off the celebrations for the Panathinaikos fans.

Friday, May 6, 2011
Euroleague.net
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Referees: MITJANA, JUAN CARLOS (ESP), ZIEMBLICKI, GRZEGORZ (POL), LOTTERMOSER, ROBERT (GER)
Attendance: 15768
By Quarter1234
Panathinaikos Athens17231621
Montepaschi Siena21151122
End of Quarter1234
Panathinaikos Athens17405677
Montepaschi Siena21364769
Panathinaikos Athens
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
5 TEPIC, MILENKO DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
6 MARIC, ALEKS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
7 PERPEROGLOU, STRATOS 19:08 5 1/7 1/2     2 2 1 1 1 1 2 2 1 -1
8 BATISTE, MIKE 21:51 16 5/5 0/1 6/10 3 4 7 1 1 4     3 5 18
9 FOTSIS, ANTONIS 30:31 14 2/2 2/6 4/6   3 3     1     2 4 12
10 SATO, ROMAIN 16:35 6 1/5 1/3 1/2 1 4 5 1       1 1 3 6
11 NICHOLAS, DREW 22:28 3 0/2 1/3         2   2     2   -3
12 TSARTSARIS, KOSTAS 11:42 2 1/2       1 1           3   -1
13 DIAMANTIDIS, DIMITRIS 32:02 8   1/3 5/6   4 4 9 2 1     3 6 22
14 VOUGIOUKAS, IAN 15:56 6 1/2   4/5   3 3 2 1 1     2 6 13
15 CALATHES, NICK 29:47 17 6/7   5/7 1 5 6 2 2 3 1   3 5 24
18 KAIMAKOGLOU, KOSTAS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Team             2 2               2
Totals 200:00 77 17/32 6/18 25/36 5 28 33 18 7 13 2 3 21 30 92
        53.1% 33.3% 69.4%
Head coach: OBRADOVIC, ZELJKO
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
Montepaschi Siena
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 MCCALEBB, BO 16:54 7 2/7 0/1 3/3       4   1   1 1 2 4
6 ZISIS, NIKOS 12:20 4 2/3 0/4   1   1 1 1 1     2 1  
7 HAIRSTON, MALIK 31:40 12 2/8 2/4 2/2 3 1 4 1   3   1 2 4 7
9 CARRARETTO, MARCO 4:43 2     2/2                 2 1 1
11 RAKOVIC, MILOVAN 16:52 10 5/11     2 2 4           4   4
12 LAVRINOVIC, KSISTOF 21:27 7 2/4 1/1 0/2 1 2 3 1 1 2 1   5 3 5
13 KAUKENAS, RIMANTAS 26:18 13 2/4 1/3 6/7 2 1 3 1   2     2 4 12
14 RESS, TOMAS 4:15           1 1           1    
18 AKINDELE, JELEEL 6:54 4 1/4   2/2 3 1 4     1 1   1 2 6
19 JARIC, MARKO 14:53     0/3         2 3 2     1   -1
20 STONEROOK, SHAUN 29:44 4 0/1 1/4 1/2 1 13 14 3 1 3     5 2 11
34 MOSS, DAVID 14:00 6 1/5   4/4 1 1 2   1 1 1   4 2 3
Team           4 3 7               7
Totals 200:00 69 17/47 5/20 20/24 18 25 43 13 7 16 3 2 30 21 59
        36.2% 25% 83.3%
Head coach: PIANIGIANI, SIMONE

Head Coaches

OBRADOVIC, ZELJKO
Panathinaikos Athens
"It’s always difficult to play in a game like this against Siena, first because they are a good aggressive team. We tried to start without any pressure and we turned the ball over 5 times in the first five minutes. After that we played well. We also had a problem with the defensive rebounds. We talked about this and we talked about boxing out better and to run after the rebounds. We played better in third quarter, but we didn’t score well. We took the advantage and I had experienced players that knew to play in this situation. In the fourth we knew what to expect and handled their zone press. Congratulations to Siena. They are a very good team. They play aggressive defensively and I believe they deserved to be here.

"I am always excited about playing the final. If it’s against Real Madrid great, if it’s Maccabi Tel Aviv also great. I can’t forget the three wonderful years I spent in Madrid.

"For people who don’t know [Nick Calathes] maybe it was a surprise how well he played. For me and the coaches it was not. I told him before the game what I expect from him. He also played like this in the playoffs. He has quality, but he’s young. He played excellent, but at one point had a stupid play. This is natural. He knows me and we have our way to do things. We communicated. I am very happy because he played the way he knows to play.

"I wasn’t surprised [they played physically against Diamantidis] because that is how Siena plays. We knew they would try to stop Diamantidis. But Diamantidis is a player that knows what to do. He doesn’t care about scoring, but about playmaking and distributing balls to others. This is what he does. He’s our leader."
PIANIGIANI, SIMONE
Montepaschi Siena
"I believe we did our best. We had a good approach and played good defense. It’s clear that to win you have to score easy shots. Not only three-point shots but also two-point shots and to rebound. The attack was good, but we made mistakes and we needed to have more confidence. I believe both teams played balanced, but we made more mistakes and we lost. Objectively, regarding basketball, the 17 fouls we committed I think was too many. As for free throws, we allowed to many. I believe that was a high figure and it led us to lose players that were important to us on both sides of the court. All my players did their best, but didn’t shoot great. This happens in games at this level.

"Panathinaikos didn’t score much, but we didn’t score. So I tried with McCalebb. We also needed rebounds with Stonerook. But again we didn’t; score. Lavrionvic made mistakes. The team didn’t sink from a mental perspective and the team did its best. We tried a zone, but it was difficult. If I look back and see 2 for 18 from three-point range, they should go in. What I really regret is that in the start we did well, until halftime, but the moment they scored more, we started with fouls. We did our best and I’m sorry. Both sides did their best and this is the result."

Players

NICHOLAS, DREW
Panathinaikos Athens
"You never get used to winning a Final Four game. We're very excited to make it again to the Euroleague finals. When you work so hard all season and make it to the last game it gives you big satisfaction, but we're certainly not done yet. There's one more game to go, and we need to win whoever is going to face us. Montepaschi didn't need to prove they are a good and tough team. We knew that in advance and they made us work hard tonight to get this win. We're 40 minutes from another Euroleague title and I really hope we're going to make it. Our fans who came here in the thousands deserve it."
MARIC, ALEKS
Panathinaikos Athens
"It was coach's decision not to play me today, and I respect that. The most important thing is that my team won. Even from the bench it was easy to see the game was very physical. We fought back and showed we're not afraid. I believe in the second half we played smarter and executed our plays better and that's what gave us the win. Now we're just one game from another Euroleague title. It'll be the first one for me so I'm very excited about it, but we must stay focused if we want to go all the way and win the title."
DIAMANTIDIS, DIMITRIS
Panathinaikos Athens
"I am happy because we won the game and we are in the Finals. The fans were behind us all game and carried us in a very important win. We had a rough start but we managed to improve on the defensive glass and limit turnovers, so we were able to impose the tempo that suits us better and we came out on top at the end."
SATO, ROMAIN
Panathinaikos Athens
"This will be my first time in the Finals and I’m very excited about the chance to come away with the trophy. Being part of the Panathinaikos family has been a great thing for me and now I hope I can help them get another title. Our defense was key in the second half, because we forced them to do different things with or zones and matchups. We missed a lot of open shots, just like them, but we also forced them to take some tough ones, so we were able to get out on transition and get some easy dunks. I think we definitely turned things on in the third quarter, when we decided it was time to put them away, but they are a tough team, they have been there before and we knew they would not go away, so we took it one possession at a time, without forcing anything."
FOTSIS, ANTONIS
Panathinaikos Athens
"It was a very tough match, especially for us at the beginning, when they were outrebounding us. They are a very good team and they started the game better than us, but we adjusted, toughed it out and were able to come back in the third period. We can’t say we won the game before the end of it, because they fought until the last minute and it was a very tough game for us. I don’t have a preferred rival in the Finals. It’s 50-50, so we will have to wait and see what happens tonight. I have a lot of friends in Madrid but Maccabi is also a very good team."
RAKOVIC, MILOVAN
Montepaschi Siena
"It is a tough loss, of course. We had a lot of turnovers and picked up a lot of offensive fouls in this game. Those turnovers did not allow us to keep our lead in the second half. Panathinaikos is an experienced team that used our turnovers in the right away throughout the second quarter. They managed to get a six-point lead and managed to keep it until the end. Panathinaikos punished our defense in the right way and deserved to win tonight."
STONEROOK, SHAUN
Montepaschi Siena
"Panathinaikos hit a lot of big shots tonight and they have a good team. It is not one player, it is the entire team. Three-point shooting, layups we missed and free throws they got cost us the game. If we had hit a couple of shots at the right time it would have been a different game. Unfortunately, we didn't make those shots and also missed layups. We kept playing hard defense despite our foul problems. This is what got us here and we were not going to go away from that."
KAUKENAS, RIMANTAS
Montepaschi Siena
"We didn't play well for all 40 minutes and in this kind of game, we have to be focused and accurate throughout the entire game. We had 5 minutes in this game in which we completely lost our rhythm on offense. We also made a lot of defensive mistakes and that led to Panathinaikos' easy baskets that cost us the game. Panathinaikos plays as a team and even when we focused on stopping Diamantidis, other players stepped up. I wouldn't say that none of their players had an outstanding game, but Panathinaikos is a solid team, without making major mistakes, playing focused for all 40 minutes."
ZISIS, NIKOS
Montepaschi Siena
"We lost a good chance tonight. We started the game very aggressive and with great intensity, rebounding very well at both ends and controlling the game tempo. We lost everything we built up until the 15th minute. We managed to regroup in the second half and made it a four-point game despite a so-so start. We lost the game rhythm and Panathinaikos found easy shots tonight. They managed to beat our zone defense and we had a lot of foul troubles. Panathinaikos did not play a great game and we managed to limit Diamantidis, but just didn't find our rhythm in the second half."