2001-02Regular SeasonRound 13
February 06, 2002 CET: 00:00
Local time: 00:00 OLYMPIC BASKETBALL STADIUM
AEK of Athens has taken the inside track toward becoming the second Top 16 qualifier in ever-contentious Group D with a 99-85 home win Wednesday against direct rival Ural Great of Russia. The victory lifts AEK to 8-5, and with a better record and point differential against direct opponents, it is all but impossible for the Yellows to lose in all the possible tie situations that exist. Ural, now 7-6, will go to the last week of the regular season in need of a victory at home against mighty Tau Ceramica to keep its hopes alive. AEK led by double digits throughout the first half Wednesday, but had to withstand a Ural comeback to within one point midway through the third quarter. An 7-0 run to start the final quarter put the home team in control again, however, for its second victory against Ural. Big-game player Mikalis Kakiouzis scored all seven of those crucial points and led six AEK scorers in double figures with 21 points. His running mates were Demos Dikoudis and J.R. Holden, with 19 points each, newcomer Chris Carr with 12, Nikos Zissis with 11 and Andrew Betts with 10. Ruslan Avleev had 23 for Ural, followed by Sergie Panov with 19 and newcomer Panagiotis Liadelis with 17.

With the bitter flavor of two consecutive losses in its mouth, and knowing that Ural was coming off almost 18 hours of travel, AEK came out smoking since the very first moment and made its intentions abundantly clear. Led by Holden, the Yellows took a fast double-digit lead, 16-4, and they did everything they could not to allow Ural to challenge it. A very aggressive defense, high-shooting percentages and a lot of fastbreaks gave AEK the opportunity to conclude the first quarter with a 14-point gap, 30-16, its most efficient period of the whole regular season so far. Holden had canned 3 three-pointers by then and was up to 11 points, followed by Demos Dikoudis with 6 and Chris Carr with 5. Ruslan Avleev was the only competitive player of Ural, with 10 among his team's 16 points, as Panagiotis Liadelis was so far scoreless in his return to Greece.

Nothing changed on the court in the beginning of the second period, and now the AEK fans had two reasons to celebrate: the excellent performance of the basketball team and two goals that the football team scored in Thessaloniki, against PAOK, in a Greek Cup game. Nikos Hatzis gave them more to cheer about with a three-pointer, good enough to extend the margin to 16 points, at 41-25. The Russians answered with six straight points to pull within 41-30, but Nikos Zissis answered them with five points in a row and AEK soared back to 14 ahead, at 48-34. Liadelis helped Ural Great to cut the margin to 10 points, at 48-38, but at the end of the first half AEK had gotten back two points to lead 53-41.

That double-digit deficit didn't disappoint Ural Great, which came up big during the third quarter. Liadelis scored five points in a row, Panov sank a three-pointer and the Russians made an 0-8 run to cut the margin to 4 points, 53-49. Four minutes before the end of the third quarter, as a result of better defensive work and the killer instict of Avleev, Ural Great came even closer, just one point from AEK at 61-60. Hatzis stepped up again with crucial four-point play - another three-pointer plus an additional free throw - to give AEK breathing room at 70-62. But Avleev, looking unstoppable, led his team to within 70-67 again, and at the end of three quarters, it was all AEK could do to hold a five-point edge at 75-70.

The beginning of the fourth quarter was Kakiouzis time. Known as a clutch scorer, when he finished off his own run of seven unanswered points, AEK was up by 12, at 82-70. Meanwhile defense specialist Vassilis Kikilias slowed down Avleev even as Ural tried a comeback and got the deficit under 10, to 90-82. But the youngster Zissis, in his best performance ever, hit a three-pointer that made it 93-82 and sealed the outcome.
Wednesday, February 6, 2002
Vassilis Skountis, Athens
No results found.
Referees: BETANCOR, MIGUEL (ESP), MARTIN, JOSE (ESP), AITCHESON, DALE (ENG)
Attendance: 2500
By Quarter1234
AEK Athens30232224
Ural Great16252915
End of Quarter1234
AEK Athens30537599
Ural Great16417085
AEK Athens
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 HOLDEN, J.R. 35:31 19 3/7 4/9 1/4 1 1 2 5 1 1   1 3 3 13
6 ZISIS, NIKOS 14:29 11 2/2 2/2 1/2         2 3     4 1 6
8 CARR, CHRISTOPHER 22:00 12 2/7 2/3 2/3 1 3 4 3 1 4     2 3 10
9 CHATZIS, NIKOLAOS 10:53 7   2/3 1/4 1 1 2           4 2 3
10 KIKILIAS, VASSILIS 15:39     0/3 0/2   4 4 4         4 2 1
11 DIKOUDIS, DIMOS 35:12 19 7/10 1/1 2/3 2 4 6 1 1 2   1 5 8 23
12 TSIARAS, GEORGIOS 0:24                              
13 PASCHALIS, KOSTAS 1:42   0/1     1   1         1     -1
14 BETTS, ANDY 27:27 10 5/10     5 4 9     5     3   6
15 KAKIOUZIS, MICHAILIS 36:43 21 7/10 1/2 4/6 2 8 10 4 1 2 1   1 4 32
Team           1 1 2               2
Totals 200:00 99 26/47 12/23 11/24 14 26 40 17 6 17 1 3 26 23 95
        55.3% 52.2% 45.8%
Head coach: SAKOTA, DRAGAN
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
Ural Great
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
6 PANOV, SERGEY 27:24 19 5/6 2/2 3/4   4 4 5   2     4 3 23
7 KARASEV, VASILY 31:31 7 2/4 0/1 3/5   2 2 3 1 1     4 4 7
8 BURTON, WILLIE 6:56 5 0/1 1/2 2/2   1 1     1     2 1 2
11 MIKHAILOV, MIKHAIL 34:49 11 5/9   1/2   7 7 2 2 1 2   2 4 20
12 LIADELIS, PANAGIOTIS 32:33 17 5/13 1/2 4/5 2 3 5 2 2 3   1 4 5 13
14 AVLEEV, RUSLAN 33:04 23 8/10 0/2 7/7 2 4 6 1 2 1     2 7 32
15 DAINEKO, VALERI 17:47   0/4 0/1         4 3 2 1   3   -2
18 BOWIE, ANTHONY 15:56 3 0/1 0/1 3/4   2 2   1 3     3 2 -1
Team             1 1               1
Totals 200:00 85 25/48 4/11 23/29 4 24 28 17 11 14 3 1 24 26 95
        52.1% 36.4% 79.3%
Head coach: BELOV, SERGEY
This game has no play by play yet

Head Coaches

SAKOTA, DRAGAN
AEK Athens
"We played against a team with many experienced palyers, who can shoot the ball perfectly and play modern basketball. Unfortunatelly we didn't have our best defender Jim Bilba duo to an elbow injury, so for us it was difficult to guard one of the best European power forwards, Ruslan Avleev. I think that when we controlled the boards and stopped their fastbreaks, we managed to win a very important game and I am very glad that we have a place among the 16 best European clubs. So for us, it doesn't matter who are we facing in the next phase, because participating is a great achievement by itself."
BELOV, SERGEY
Ural Great
"We came to Athens after a very tiring trip from Perm and I think that the distance influenced my players, who didn't give their best in defense. AEK was better than my team and it deserves the second spot in Group D. I haven't seen such a great first half by any team for a long, long time. Their 52% in three-point shots is an incredible percentage."

Players

KIKILIAS, VASSILIS
AEK Athens
"We wanted this win very much and we proved it by playing with high concentration. The last time I guarded a power forward like Ruslan Avleev happened many years ago, when I was playing for Panionios with coach Dusan Ivkovic. I love playing defense and my opinion of the Russian player is that he will go to the NBA in the future. As for my team, I personally wish that we will qualify in the same group with Olympiakos and Panathinaikos, so we will see the stadiums full of fans."
LIADELIS, PANAGIOTIS
Ural Great
"For 30 minutes we fought for the victory, but in the last quarter we made important turnovers and we had lack of concentration in the crucial shots. Now we have to beat Tau at home next Wednesday and find out which beginning spot we will have in Top 16. For me it was a normal game, since I've played many times in Athens Olympic Stadium and I think that I took the right decision to be signed by Ural Great."
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