2007-08Regular SeasonRound 4
November 15, 2007 CET: 20:30
Local time: 20:30 FERNANDO BUESA ARENA
Igor Rakocevic - Tau Ceramica Tau Ceramica retained a share of the Group A lead by downing dangerous Montepaschi Siena 76-61 at Fernando Buesa Arena in Vitoria, Spain on Thursday for a remarkable 30th consecutive home victory in Euroleague play. Tau has not lost a Euroleague home game in almost three years, since the first win of the streak came on January 26, 2005 against Panathinaikos. Tau improved to 3-1 and ties with CSKA Moscow atop the Group A board two weeks before they face each other in Vitoria. Montepaschi dropped to 2-2 shaerd third place with Olympiacos, Union Olimpija and Zalgiris Kaunas. Will McDonald led the winners with 18 points and 8 rebounds. Igor Rakocevic added 14 points, Tiago Splitter had 12 while Mirza Teletovic grabbed 13 rebounds for Tau. Romain Sato had 14 points for Montepaschi while Terrell McIntyre added 13 for the guests. A 9-0 run that McDonald capped with free throws gave Tau a 21-13 lead after 10 minutes. Montepaschi trailed all the way from that point, but free throws by Shaun Stonerook brought the guests back in the game, 51-46, late in the third quarter. It didn't last long, however, as Tau broke the game open with a 13-0 fourth-quarter run that boosted the lead to 64-46 and sealed the outcome.

Benjamin Eze opened the scoring for Montepaschi with a powerful two-handed dunk, but defenses took over right after that. Splitter's free throw and the first three-pointer of the night, by Pete Mickeal, gave Tau the lead, although neither team dictated the rhythm. Montepaschi’s offense was led by the Eze and Romain Sato. Tau pushed inside to feed Splitter, whose 4 points in a row from provided a 12-8 and forced Montepaschi head coach Simone Pianigiani's first timeout. Marvis Thornton brought Montepaschi within 12-11 with a corner three-pointer and then Sato took back the lead for the guests with a fastbreak layup. A flurry of bench changes went Tau's way as subs McDonald, Pablo Prigioni and Sergi Vidal sparked a 7-0 run to a 19-13 advantage. Another point by McDonald extended the lead to 21-13 as the quearter ended with Montepaschi having not scored for 4 minutes.

Benjamin Eze - Montepaschi SienaTo start the second quarter, Teletovic hit nothing but net on his first three-point attempt, good for the first double-digit lead, 24-13. Montepaschi struggled for points, especially from outside, with 2 points by Ksystof Lavrinovic the only outcome points for the visitors during a total of 8 minutes. Tau kept kept a safe margin thanks to outstanding offensive rebounding and Siena’s turnovers. Finally, Rimantas Kaukenas and McIntyre came to the rescue and allowed Montepaschi to rally within 29-20 after 15 minutes. Prigioni answered immediately from downtown for Tau, even though the visitors increased their activity on defense and started using pick-’n'-rolls well enough to reduce the gap to 34-26 on 4 points in a row by Eze. Although Montepaschi’s center had 2 monster blocks on McDonald, Tau’s center didn’t give up and became the main weapon of his team to maintain a comfortable 38-30 margin at the half.

McIntyre opened fire after intermission with a corner jumper to bring Montepaschi within 38-32, but Tau needed only two plays for baskets by Rakocevic and Splitter to get a double-digit lead back. The Italian team's shooting remained poor, and Tau made sure of the rebounds to prevent Montepaschi from getting second chances. Vlado Ilievski broke that trend with a three-pointer and Sato scored inside to get Montepaschi into the game again. Tau went with two point guards then as Rakocevic made a three-point to calm what looked more and more like a balanced game. Lavrinovic scored in traffic and Kaukenas hit a layup to reduce the margin again to 5 points, 49-44, as Tau head coach Neven Spahija called a timeout. McDonald came to the rescue again for Tau, scoring and rebounding, and Zoran Planinic found a lucky basket to end the quarter with Tau leading 53-46.

Will McDonald - Tau CeramicaPlaninic and McDonald kept rocking and boosted Tau’s lead to 57-46 with an early 4-0 run in the final quarter. Pianigiani took an urgent timeout, but McDonald hit a free throw and Vidal scored a layup off an offensive rebound to put more distance on the lead. Tau's defense did the rest, making sure that Montepaschi stayed scoreless for the first 5 minutes of the quarter as the hosts broke open the game easier than expected. Splitter gave the hosts a 17-point lead with a free throw at 63-46 as Montepaschi faded away step by step. Teletovic made the gap bigger with a three-pointer, followed by Rakocevic who made it a 20-point game, 68-48, with a left handed layup after 36 minutes. With the outcome in no doubt, both teams spent the last minutes exchanging baskets until the final buzzer, as Tau extended its home-winning streak to 30 games.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Natxo Mendaza, Vitoria
No results found.
Referees: VOREADIS, LAZAROS (GRE), CASTANO, ANIBAL (FRA), VOJINOVIC, MILIJA (SRB)
Attendance: 8400
By Quarter1234
Tau Ceramica21171523
Montepaschi Siena13171615
End of Quarter1234
Tau Ceramica21385376
Montepaschi Siena13304661
Tau Ceramica
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
5 PRIGIONI, PABLO 26:33 8 1/1 2/5   2 2 4 4 3 3     2 1 12
6 GARCIA, ANDER DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
8 RAKOCEVIC, IGOR 28:30 14 6/7 0/3 2/3   1 1 1   3     1 3 10
9 VIDAL, SERGI 21:30 6 2/2   2/2 2 2 4 3 2 1     1 1 14
10 PLANINIC, ZORAN 23:19 8 4/7 0/1 0/1 1 3 4 3 1 4 1   1 4 11
11 FERNANDEZ, LUCHO DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
12 TELETOVIC, MIRZA 36:17 7 0/2 2/7 1/2 2 11 13 1   3     2 2 10
13 JASAITIS, SIMAS 6:41   0/1 0/2     1 1           1 1 -2
21 SPLITTER, TIAGO 15:26 12 5/10   2/6 3 1 4     1 1 1 4 5 7
33 MICKEAL, PETE 17:10 3 0/2 1/1     2 2           2   1
43 JOHNSON, LINTON DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
45 MCDONALD, WILL 24:34 18 7/12   4/8 4 4 8     1 2 3 3 4 16
Team           2 2 4     1         3
Totals 200:00 76 25/44 5/19 11/22 16 29 45 12 6 17 4 4 17 21 82
        56.8% 26.3% 50%
Head coach: SPAHIJA, NEVEN
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 BERTI, SIMONE DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
5 MCINTYRE, TERRELL 29:57 13 3/3 2/8 1/2 3 1 4 4 3 3   1 3 2 12
6 ILIEVSKI, VLADO 20:20 7 1/2 1/2 2/2 1 1 2   2 2     1 2 8
8 EZE, BENJAMIN 23:45 8 4/7 0/1     3 3   1 2 3 1 4 1 5
9 CARRARETTO, MARCO 2:44                              
10 SATO, ROMAIN 24:53 14 4/6 1/4 3/4 3 3 6         1 3 2 12
11 THORNTON, BOOTSY 18:47 3 0/4 1/3     2 2 2 2 1     1 1 2
12 LAVRINOVIC, KSISTOF 16:15 6 3/5       3 3     2 1   3 2 5
13 KAUKENAS, RIMANTAS 23:19 6 2/11 0/2 2/2 1   1   2 1   1   3 -1
14 RESS, TOMAS 8:49         1   1   1       1 1 2
18 COURNOOH, DAVID DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
20 STONEROOK, SHAUN 31:11 4 1/3 0/2 2/4   2 2   1       5 3 -1
Team                                
Totals 200:00 61 18/41 5/22 10/14 9 15 24 6 12 11 4 4 21 17 44
        43.9% 22.7% 71.4%
Head coach: PIANIGIANI, SIMONE

Head Coaches

SPAHIJA, NEVEN
Tau Ceramica
"As everyone saw, tonight's game wasn't easy at all. We expected a very difficult game against such a strong opponent. The most important thing was to win. We had bad percentages on offense, but our defense and rebounding was better and made the difference tonight. We out-rebounded them 45-24, as well as we ranked 82 index points against 44. In some part of the game we could do much better, as we found problems to find a substitute for Mirza Teletovic. I didn't use Splitter and McDonald together because it was hard to match them against Lavrinovic and Stonerook at the same time. We talked all the time about defense, before the game and during the game, we wanted to stop them from shooting from three and running fast offenses. VidiVici scored 15 three pointers against us, and today Montepaschi made only 5."
PIANIGIANI, SIMONE
Montepaschi Siena
"We didn't came here in a good shape, some players were not [in good] physical condition, but anyway we stayed in the game for three quarters. Our main problem was we missed a lot of open shots and easy layups, the first and third quarters especially. In the last quarter, when you don't score, you lose everything. We lost energy and we finished down. I have something to say to my players tonight. Every point in the Euroleague is important. We cannot stop playing as we did tonight. The club asks us mentality for 40 minutes, not only for 30. You can lose in Vitoria, but you cannot stop trying. If you cannot score, you must try to play good defense."

Players

SPLITTER, TIAGO
Tau Ceramica
"We played a great game tonight. It was important to start the game strong, giving our best and playing with a lot of aggressiveness. I think that made the difference. There are some games in which you are not good on offense, and those days you have to play hard on defense and secure your rim to be able to win. I think all our players did a good job tonight. I don't know if the real difference is 15 points between both teams, because we play better at home, so we'll see what happens in Siena. We are focusing on improving our defense in the last games and I think we showed that tonight."
ILIEVSKI, VLADO
Montepaschi Siena
"We didn't expect such a big defeat tonight. We stayed in the game for the first three quarters, but in the last one we simply stopped playing, especially on defense, allowing them to make a lot of points. I think that from this game on, we must change, we must show better mentality and put the character we need in the game. It's true that many players came here with some physical problems, but this is not an excuse. Our problem was that we had to play more focused, especially on defense, and I think we have to solve this problem very soon. I hope this game shows us that things are not easy as we could think. After being undefeated in our domestic competition, the Euroleague is a competition in which you cannot relax for a single minute because there's no way back to recover what you lose. But I believe in my teammates, I believe in my coach and I'm sure that this will make us improve in the next game."
CARRARETTO, MARCO
Montepaschi Siena
"It was a very bad day to come back to Vitoria for me. We played a bad game, we missed energy in the last minutes, both in offense and defense. If you play this way in Vitoria, you know you are going to lose for sure. I think we must take this as a lesson for the future, to learn from our mistakes and play better next game. It's true that we had some physical problems, but we cannot take it as an excuse. We must be able to play better and compete in any game."
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