2006-07Top 16Round 6
March 22, 2007 CET: 20:15
Local time: 20:15 FERNANDO BUESA ARENA
Tiago Splitter - Tau Ceramica Tau Ceramica put a brilliant end to a perfect Top 16 by beating Elan Bearnais Pau-Orthez 93-75 at home in Vitoria, Spain on Thursday. With its 6-0 record in Group D, Tau joined defending champion CSKA, which won also on Thursday, as just the third and fourth teams all decade to finish the Top 16 undefeated. Tau will now face Olympiacos in the best-of-three Quarterfinal Playoffs that start on April 3 in Vitoria, Spain. Game 2 will be in Piraeus, Greece, two nights later, April 5, and the third game, if necessary, back in Vitoria on April 12. Meanwhile, Pau finished with a 1-5 record in its first Top 16 appearance since 2004. Thursday's game was controlled by Tau from it's 13-2 start to the finish. Kaya Peker had 16 points for the winners, Sergi Vidal and Tiago Splitter 14 each, Serkan Erdogan 13 and Igor Rakocevic 12. For Pau, Cedric Ferchaud had 15 points and Melvin Sanders 14, while veteran Frederic Fauthoux said goodbye to the competition after 17 years with his club by hitting a buzzer-beating triple to end the game.

With the goal of extending its record Euroleague home winning streak, Tau took the game as seriously, starting with consecutive three-pointers by Igor Rakocevic and Sergi Vidal in the first minute. Splitter then came into the picture and after only 3 minutes, Tau had its first double-digit margin, 13-2. Tau put a lot of pressure on the ball and the passing lnes as Pau struggled to find open shots. Zoran Planinic, taking advantage of Pablo Prigioni's absence, put on his own show then, pushing Tau to a 24-9 lead with a three-pointer that broke the zone defense with which Pau had hoped to slow the hosts. It didn't work, as the hosts kept rocking with another triple by Serkan Erdgoan and a monster dunk by Splitter while rolling up a 29-11 advantage after 10 minutes.

Ludovic Vaty - EB Pau-OrthezThe scenario didn't change in the second quarter, as Tau's Turkish connection of Erdogan and Kaya Peker combined to boost the lead into 20-point territory at 32-11. Pau found only Ferchaud on offense, while another Turk for Tau, Ender Arslan, joined his countrymen in increasing the difference to 40-15 midway through the second period. Until then, the guests were unable to string together any points, which was the main reason that they couldn't reduce the 20-point gap. Now, however, Ludovic Vaty scored a layup and Ferchaud dropped a triple that allowed the guests to pull within 45-27 after 17 minutes. Tau relaxed them, scoring only 2 points in the following minutes, but Pau's shooters failed to take advantage of the opportunity. Aaron Miles and Xane D'Almedia were the only ones able to score down the stretch to force a 47-32 score at halftime.

With Planinic directing the attack, Luis Scola and Peker combined for 6 unanswered points to restore Tau's offense after the break. Ferchaud, with back-to-back triples, came to the rescue for Pau to make it 58-43 after 25 minutes. Pau's reaction had no continuity, however, as Peker hit twice from the free throw line, Planinic followed him with a layup, while Erdogan scored from downtown to cap a 7-2 run that put Tau up 65-45 after 27 minutes. Pau was unable to control the boards, an in attempts to stop Tau's inside game, employed Thierry Rupert and Britton Johnsen as big men in a small lineup. Nothing worked as Tau needed little effort to reach the end of the third quarter with a 71-47 lead and the outcome almost beyond doubt.

Mirza Teletovic - Tau CeramicaPau seemed ready to react just the fourth period started, as Ferchaud, Melvin Sanders and Rupert sparked a 0-7 run that reduced the gap to 71-54 in just a minute. Tau remained scoreless until Rakocevic hit a jumper that was followed by an inside basket by Splitter to finish all suspense. The game soon turned into a great opportunity for creative players, as both defenses relaxed. Planinic and Sergi Vidal took advantage for Tau, while Sanders did the same for Pau. Visiting coach Gordon Herbert used the remaining minutes to give time to promising bench players like Vaty and Alexis Ajinca, whose size had a good impact in the paint for Pau. With Tau in clear dominance, the crowd was happy, and surely the fans of Pau were, too, as retiring legend Fauthoux ended the Euroleague portion of his career by hitting a buzzer beater to end the game at 93-75.
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Natxo Mendaza, Vitoria
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Referees: MASTRAFTSIS, CHRISTOS; DOZAI, SRDAN; CMIKIEWICZ, MAREK
Attendance: 5400
By Quarter1234
Tau Ceramica29182422
Pau-Orthez11211528
End of Quarter1234
Tau Ceramica29477193
Pau-Orthez11324775
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 17:45 8 4/7     2 3 5 1         3   8
7 CILLA, JESUS 3:00       0/2         1       1 1 -1
8 RAKOCEVIC, IGOR 23:15 12 4/5 1/4 1/2 2 1 3 3 1 3       2 13
9 VIDAL, SERGI 25:15 14 1/1 3/5 3/4 1 2 3 3 1         2 20
10 PLANINIC, ZORAN 26:30 9 3/6 1/2   1 4 5 9 1     1 1 3 21
11 ERDOGAN, SERKAN 27:15 13 1/1 3/7 2/3   4 4 1   2     1 2 12
12 TELETOVIC, MIRZA 14:00 5 1/1 1/1   1   1     1     1   4
14 PEKER, KAYA 22:45 16 6/10   4/5 3 2 5 2 2 2 1 1 3 6 21
20 ESLAVA, ARIEL 6:30 2 1/4                         -1
21 SPLITTER, TIAGO 19:00 14 6/8   2/6 2 2 4   1       4 4 13
32 HOUSE, FRED DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
33 ARSLAN, ENDER 14:45   0/2 0/2           1 1       2 -2
Team           1 1 2   2           4
Totals 200:00 93 27/45 9/21 12/22 13 19 32 19 10 9 1 2 14 22 112
        60% 42.9% 54.5%
Head coach: MALJKOVIC, BOZIDAR
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
Pau-Orthez
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 FAUTHOUX, FREDERIC 16:15 3   1/3     1 1 1         1   2
6 D'ALMEIDA, XANE 24:00 6 2/3 0/1 2/2   1 1 5 2 1 1     2 14
8 JOHNSEN, BRITTON 15:30 6 1/1 1/5 1/2 1 2 3     2     3 1  
9 FERCHAUD, CEDRIC 30:15 15 3/4 3/5     2 2 1   1     4   10
11 MILES, AARON 26:30 9 3/5   3/4 2 2 4 4   4   1 2 4 11
12 RUPERT, THIERRY 16:15 6 3/5       1 1   1 1 1   2   4
13 AJINCA, ALEXIS 7:15     0/2   1 2 3     2     3   -4
14 MAHINMI, IAN 15:15 4 2/3   0/2 1 1 2   1 1     2 3 4
16 VATY, LUDOVIC 13:15 6 3/6 0/1   4 1 5   1         2 10
18 WRIGHT, MICHAEL 15:15 6 2/5   2/2 1 1 2     1     3 2 3
19 SANDERS, MELVIN 20:15 14 1/2 4/6     1 1     1     2   9
Team             2 2     2          
Totals 200:00 75 20/34 9/23 8/12 10 17 27 11 5 16 2 1 22 14 63
        58.8% 39.1% 66.7%
Head coach: HERBERT, GORDON
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Head Coaches

MALJKOVIC, BOZIDAR
Tau Ceramica
"It was quite complicated to prepare this game because we have an important game next Saturday in our domestic competition and my players know perfectly what that game mean for us after several bad performances on the road. That's why we gave the chance to play to everybody. We went through some ups and downs during the game but we played good for most of the game. We made some mistakes but I'm happy overall. Pau is a talented and quality team, although they missed two key players. I think we improved a bit both on offense and defense. We must be as well prepared as a tennis player. Every player and coach must be ready to win the next game. After that, we'll see."
HERBERT, GORDON
Pau-Orthez
"They were very difficult the first ten minutes for us, although we tried to never give up. We kept fighting during all the game and managed to stay together as a team despite the difficulties. We fought back a couple of times but it was not possible to continue rocking. I think Tau plays great basketball; they pass and they shoot the ball like the best teams in Europe. There was no chance for us, as we used the game to give some minutes to our young players. It was harder for us because of the two big absences we had tonight to play against such a powerful team like Tau."

Players

ERDOGAN, SERKAN
Tau Ceramica
"I think we showed that we are a serious team tonight, because although this game was a game with no targets, we managed to play good basketball. We finished the second round of the Euroleague unbeaten, but now the most important part of the season is coming and we must be ready. I think the best we can take from this game is our attitude. Players usually relax in this kind of game, but we played seriously and showed that we want to win the Euroleague. We already met Olympiacos twice this season and we know they are a tough team. I think the key game will be in Athens. I'm very positive about the Playoffs, but we'll see."
JOHNSEN, BRITTON
Pau-Orthez
"It was a difficult game for us because two of our best players were out but we tried to use this game to get better. It was a great experience for us, for me personally, because Tau is one of the best teams in the world. They play unbelievable and they are really fun to watch. We came close in our place and that was a great thing for us. Here it wasn't equal, but this game will help us to get better. They play hard, they screen hard, they cut hard, and that's something that makes you improve when you face them. It was a very good experience to play Euroleague and go that far. We played against the biggest teams all around Europe and we got some very good results, as we also came together in difficult situations. We are a small team but we showed that we can beat anybody."
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