2006-07Regular SeasonRound 4
November 15, 2006 CET: 20:45
Local time: 20:45 FERNANDO BUESA ARENA
Zoran Planinic and Luis Scola - Tau Ceramica Tau Ceramica held off a spirited Efes Pilsen comeback to retain at least second place in Group A after a 68-65 win on Wednesday at Fernando Buesa Arena in Vitoria, Spain. Tau led 66-61 with 2 minutes to go, but Cuneyt Erden and Drew Nicholas brough the visitors back. After a Zoran Planinic steal and basket that put the hosts up by 3 points, Nicholas missed twice from the line with 8 seconds remaining and Tau held on to improve to 3-1 in the group. Efes fell to 2-2. The win was Tau's 19th straight at home in the Euroleague. Luis Scola led the home team with 17 points, while Fred House came through with 10 points, 9 rebounds and 5 steals. Planinic dished 7 assists to go with his 8 points as Tau recorded 19 assists to 4 for Efes. Nicholas finished with 18 points against his former team, while Ermal Kuqo and Cenk Akyol added 11 apiece for Efes.

Nicholas took only a few seconds to show that he was familiar with the hoops in Vitoria, but that basket was nothing but an oasis in an offensive desert for Efes Pilsen. The visitors needed almost four minutes to score again, as Tau went on a 7-0 run via three pointers by Mirza Teletovic and a free throw from former Efes player Kaya Peker. Kuqo and Marcus Haislip came to the rescue with 5 quick points to tie it at 7-7 midway through the first period. Tau coach Velimir Perasovic decided to replace Peker with Scola as he looked for the answer on offense. The change worked fine as Tau took control, but poor shooting prevented the home team from opening a big margin. As a result, Efes stayed close and was able to tie the score at 15-15 on a pull-up jumper by Akyol at the end of the first quarter.

The second quarter started slowly until Scola and Planinic combined for 9 unanswered points to the delightof the local fans. That forced Efes coach Oktay Mahmuti to call an early timeout with Efes trailing 24-18. The break helped Efes slow down Tau's tempo and to remain within striking distance. A flagrant foul on Kaya Peker allowed Efes to get within 29-25 on free throws by Kuqo with three minutes left in the half. The hosts reacted quickly and switched to a full-court pressure. House nailed a couple of free throws while Scola earned three the hard way to raise the margin to 34-25. Then Igor Rakocevic gave Tau its first double-digit margin a few seconds later. Nicholas hit from downtown to reduce the gap, but Rakocevic copied him from the same distance to reach the intermission with Tau leading 39-28.

Drew Nicholas - Efes PilsenBoth teams showed looked to pick up the pace after the intermission, but these good intentions lasted only for the first three minutes, until the defenses adjusted once again. Tau remained slightly ahead thanks to Scola's moves in the low post, while Efes found Kuqo and Nikola Prkacin to keep within 48-40 at the midway point in the third period. The visitors continued to attack inside, exploiting their physical advantage over the Tau frontcourt. Kerem Gonlum's bank shot was followed by a triple from Nicholas, bringing Efes within 3. Peker, House and tougher defense came to the rescue for the hosts after Perasovic timeout as Tau increased its lead to 52-45. But a technical foul called on Pablo Prigioni turned into three points for Efes, as Tau seemed to lose its mind on the next calls from the referees. The visitors kept adding points from the charity stripe as the third quarter ended with a short margin for Tau, 56-51.

Akyol reduced the gap even more with a right handed layup, but Prigioni kept hosts calm with a three for a 59-53 lead. Tau retained a slim 61-56 margin with six minutes to go, even though Efes was scoring from the free-throw line only. Tau's full-court pressure was choking Efes's offense, but the hosts couldn't find ways to score at the other end. Tau went inside to Peker and Scola, while the visitors played on Erden and Nicholas outside as they remained within striking distance at 66-61 with two minutes to go. Nicholas hit a jumper to reduce the gap and then Erden capped a steal with a layup to bring Efes 66-65 with one minute remaining. Prigioni missed a triple, but Planinic got in the way of an Efes fastbreak and scored 2 key points for a 68-65 lead with 28 seconds to go. Kuqo missed on next possession, but House was unable to hit any of his shots from the free-throw line. Surprisingly, Nicholas also missed twice from the line with 8 seconds remaining and Tau held the ball as the last seconds ticked away for the victory.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Natxo Mendaza, Vitoria
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Referees: KOUKOULEKIDIS, STELIOS (GRE), JOVCIC, MILIVOJE (SRB), LEFWERTH, OSCAR (SWE)
Attendance: 8600
By Quarter1234
Tau Ceramica15241712
Efes Pilsen15132314
End of Quarter1234
Tau Ceramica15395668
Efes Pilsen15285165
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 25:00 17 8/13   1/1 1 4 5 1   3   1 4 2 12
5 PRIGIONI, PABLO 26:15 8 1/1 2/6     1 1 3 1 3     4 2 4
7 CILLA, JESUS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
8 RAKOCEVIC, IGOR 26:45 9 0/2 1/4 6/6       2 1 1 1     4 11
10 PLANINIC, ZORAN 29:45 8 2/4 1/2 1/2   5 5 7 3 1 1   2 2 19
11 ERDOGAN, SERKAN 13:45   0/4           3 2       2 1  
12 TELETOVIC, MIRZA 17:45 9 0/1 3/5   4 2 6               12
13 FAJARDO, DIEGO DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
14 PEKER, KAYA 22:00 5 1/4   3/7 4 2 6     2     4 6 4
21 SPLITTER, TIAGO 14:00 2 1/6       3 3 1 1 3   1 2 1 -3
32 HOUSE, FRED 24:45 10 4/8 0/2 2/4 3 6 9 2 5 2     3 4 17
Team           2 3 5     1         4
Totals 200:00 68 17/43 7/19 13/20 14 26 40 19 13 16 2 2 21 22 80
        39.5% 36.8% 65%
Head coach: PERASOVIC, VELIMIR
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
Efes Pilsen
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 NICHOLAS, DREW 38:15 18 4/7 3/7 1/5   3 3 2 1 5     3 3 8
6 ERMIS, BARIS 3:15     0/1                   1   -2
8 PRKACIN, NIKOLA 18:45 5 1/4   3/4 3 2 5 1 1   1   3 5 11
10 ABI, MUSTAFA 14:15 3   1/3     1 1   1 4     1   -2
11 ERDEN, CUNEYT 29:00 7 2/4 1/3     1 1 1 4 1   1 4 3 6
12 GONLUM, KEREM 24:00 5 1/2   3/4 2 4 6   1 1     1 2 10
13 HAISLIP, MARCUS 16:30 5 1/6 1/3   2 6 8     1 1   4 1 3
14 HERSEK, BARIS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
16 PACUN, BORA HUN DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
17 BAYAV, EMRE DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
23 KUQO, ERMAL 20:00 11 2/7 1/1 4/4   4 4   1 2     3 2 8
41 AKYOL, CENK 36:00 11 3/3 1/6 2/2   2 2   3 2   1 2 4 10
Team           3 1 4   1         1 6
Totals 200:00 65 14/33 8/24 13/19 10 24 34 4 13 16 2 2 22 21 58
        42.4% 33.3% 68.4%
Head coach: MAHMUTI, OKTAY
This game has no play by play yet

Head Coaches

PERASOVIC, VELIMIR
Tau Ceramica
"It was a very balanced game. We thought we had the game under control after the two first quarters but we found a team that was playing an amazing deffense. It’s true that we were not very good at shooting tonight, even when doing it from open situations but, as a coach, I prefer to win a game this way instead of winning because of a nice offensive performance. We made a good job defensively tonight. We missed some good criteria when moving the ball sometimes but we hurt them so much with the full court pressure and made them struggle at shooting too. I cannot complain of my players’ effort and defensive attitude tonight."
MAHMUTI, OKTAY
Efes Pilsen
"First of all, I want to congratulate Tau because of the win. It was a very tough game tonight. The local fans made things harder for us because they pushed Tau a lot and made them grow in key moments. We committed many mistakes tonight because we let them catch a lot of rebounds and we turned several balls over. Anyway, we managed to prevent them from playing their game and got chances to win until the last seconds. We played a very good defense and prevented them from running the court even though we came here with important absences. We missed some help at point guard position, so we were forced to find solutions on the way. We lost, there is nothing to do now. We must keep working and go on."

Players

PEKER, KAYA
Tau Ceramica
"I was very excited before the game. Both teams played well, both teams fought hard on court, so it was a tough game for us tonight, but we couldn’t lose at home. I think we made a good defense tonight, and that was a key to win this game. I know we should have played better but Efes managed to play a good defense too, but it was not enough for them to win."
HAISLIP, MARCUS
Efes Pilsen
"We were close to rally and come back down the stretch but I think the fans made a good job tonight. They scored a lot of fast break points while we could not get open shots. They pressed our point guards a lot and kept the ball out of our point guards for a lot of time and we didn’t manage to adjust to that. They made a good job on that."
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