2007-08Regular SeasonRound 1
October 25, 2007 CET: 20:30
Local time: 20:30 MEDIOLANUM FORUM
Marijonas Petravicius - Lietuvos Rytas Lietuvos Rytas had a pleasant return to the Euroleague after a one-year absence by downing Armani Jeans 76-83 in Milano, Italy in Group B on Thursday night. L. Rytas, that travelled without star forward Chuck Eidson, joined a four-way tie atop the Group B standings and hosts Maccabi Elite next week. Meanwhile, AJ Milano and visits Efes Pilsen in Istanbul, Turkey next Wednesday. Marijonas Petravicius paced the winners with 28 points on 10-of-12 two-pointers and 8 rebounds. Hollis Price added 15 points while Mindaugas Lukauskis added 13, including two critical triples down the stretch for L. Rytas. Reece Gaines led Milano with 22 points on 5-of-6 three-pointers. Massimo Bulleri added 13 while Dusan Vukcevic and Ansu Sesay each had 11 for the hosts. Petravicius and Matt Nielsen were unstoppable in the paint throughout the opening half, helping L. Rytas a 29-44 lead at the break. Gaines helped Milano to get within 73-77 with a minute to go, but Lukauskis buried a key three-pointer that sealed the outcome.

L. Rytas owned the floor almost from the start as Petravicius scored 4 quick points that gave the guests a 5-6 advantage. Milano's defensive problems showed early as a long-range shot by Price and easy paths to the basket for Lukauskis and Arturas Jomantas sent L. Rytas ahead 7-13. Milano's head coach of just two days, Attilio Caja, needed his first timeout. Little changed, however as Milano failed to protect the paint, and L. Rytas took advantage by repeatedly finding Nielsen and Petravicius alone near the rim. The visitors were just as intense on the defensive end, too, as Petravicius registered a big block that Martynas Gecevicius took the other way for a fastbreak three-pointer that pushed L. Rytas ahead by double digits, 14-26, after 10 minutes.

Reece Gaines - AJ MilanoL. Rytas continued to roll in the second quarter as Kenan Bajramovic came in and resumed the scoring pace with a layup. Price and Petravicius scored next to push the lead to 14 points, 18-32, and when Nielsen hit a hook shot and Kenan Barjamovic was left to dunk alone in the post, Milano needed another timeout. L. Rytas continued running its plays without any pressure, and when Gecevicius and Mindaugas Lukauskis landed a three-pointer each, L. Rytas had taken full control at 24-42. Dusan Vukcevic tried to change things with free throws while Bulleri buried a corner triple to make L. Rytas call timeout at 29-42. Petravicius shined with a reverse layup that fixed the halftime score at 29-44. Incredibly enough, Milano had just one assist in the opening half.

Milano tried to return to the game early in the third quarter, as Sesay nailed a mid-range jumper and soon followed a triple from the right wing to get the hosts going, 34-44. Lukauskis rescued L. Rytas withh free throws, as the guests readjusted its defense. Meanwhile, Price shined with a driving layup that restored a 14-point L. Rytas lead, 34-48. Gaines stepped up with a triple off the dribble and Sesay added a turnaround jumper but the ever-present Petravicius and Nielsen helped the guests to keep a 39-52 edge. Milano kept trading baskets now, as Vukcevic scored in penetration but Barjamovic answered with an acrobatic layup, good for a 42-55 L. Rytas margin. Sesay kept pacing Milano with a corner triple but Petravicius stepped up with a power layup. Milano improved its aggressivity in defense, but Gaines stroke twice from downtown to give his team some hope, 51-59. Free throws by Petravicius gave L. Rytas a double-digit lead, 51-61, after 30 minutes.

Hollis Price - Lietuvos RytasGadson provided a highlight with an off-balanced layup-plus-foul, as L. Rytas failed to find its rhythm in offense. Petravicius, however, stepped up with more free throws but a red hot Gaines hit another triple that made it a six-point game, 57-63. Lukauskis answered from downtown but Milano kept its momentum going, with stronger man-to-man defense. Sesay hit a free throw and Vukcevic buried a corner triple that got the crowd involved, 61-67. L. Rytas was not done, however, as Price fed Bajramovic for an uncontested triple. Vukcevic insisted with a driving basket but Price buried a three-pointer that restored a double-digit L. Rytas lead, 63-73, with 4 minutes to go. Bulleri and Watson made free throws, as L. Rytas started to use long possessions already. Petravicius grabbed a loose ball and put it in to seal his outstanding perfomance, 67-75. Price hit foul shots and but Gaines took over with a dunk-and-foul and Watson added foul shots for a 73-77 Milano deficit with 59.8 seconds to go. Lukauskis sealed the outcome with a critical three-pointer that allowed L. Rytas to return home with a resounding road win.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Euroleague.net
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Referees: BELOSEVIC, ILIJA (SRB), JERSAN, ANDREJ (SLO), PEREZ PEREZ, MIGUEL (ESP)
Attendance: 0
By Quarter1234
AJ Milano16132225
Lietuvos Rytas26181722
End of Quarter1234
AJ Milano16295176
Lietuvos Rytas26446183
AJ Milano
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
5 SESAY, ANSU 32:47 11 2/3 2/3 1/2   4 4   3 2 1   3 4 15
6 GAINES, REECE 35:06 22 1/4 5/6 5/7   3 3 3 1 3     5 7 22
7 TOURE, HERVE 7:14 2 1/3             1           1
8 GALLINARI, DANILO DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
9 BULLERI, MASSIMO 29:51 13 3/7 1/2 4/6 2 1 3   3 3     5 6 10
10 ARADORI, PIETRO DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
11 SHAW, CASEY 14:55   0/1                     4   -5
12 MARELLI, DAVIDE DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
13 WATSON, TRAVIS 25:05 8 2/2   4/4 2 6 8     1     4 5 16
14 VUKCEVIC, DUSAN 34:05 11 3/6 1/4 2/2   3 3     1   1 1 2 7
16 GENTILE, STEFANO 0:05                              
20 GADSON, CHEYNE 20:52 9 3/4 0/3 3/3   2 2 2 1 5 1   2 4 8
Team                                
Totals 200:00 76 15/30 9/18 19/24 4 19 23 5 9 15 2 1 24 28 74
        50% 50% 79.2%
Head coach: CAJA, ATTILIO
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
Lietuvos Rytas
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 BUTERLEVICIUS, SIMAS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
5 SLEZAS, ANDRIUS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
8 LUKAUSKIS, MINDAUGAS 39:29 13 1/3 3/7 2/2   4 4 4 2       5 4 16
10 PRICE, HOLLIS 33:21 15 2/3 2/7 5/6   4 4 3 1 1     4 4 15
12 ANISIMOV, MICHAILIS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
13 BATISTA, J.P. DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
15 PETRAVICIUS, MARIUS 35:38 28 10/12   8/10 6 2 8   3 3 1   3 8 38
21 JOMANTAS, ARTURAS 19:41 2 1/2 0/1     1 1 1 1 2     4 1 -2
22 MITCHELL, DARREL 6:40               2 1 1     2    
31 GECEVICIUS, MARTYNAS 20:50 8 0/1 2/5 2/2 2   2   1     2 3 2 4
44 NIELSEN, MATT 17:13 8 3/4   2/3   5 5 2 1 2     5 4 11
51 BAJRAMOVIC, KENAN 27:08 9 3/7 1/4   1 5 6 1   2     2 1 6
Team                                
Totals 200:00 83 20/32 8/24 19/23 9 21 30 13 10 11 1 2 28 24 88
        62.5% 33.3% 82.6%
Head coach: TRIFUNOVIC, ALEKSANDAR

Head Coaches

CAJA, ATTILIO
AJ Milano
"I think we have to talk about two different games: the first and the second half were different. Our team showed a lot of pride to come back in the game from 18 points behind. We played with more intensity on defense. Also, we have to work better on rebounds, because even if we worked well with zone defense in the fourth quarter, they found some key rebounds to make second-chance points. I think that we have to save that pride we had in the second part of the game to work togheter and improve as a team."
TRIFUNOVIC, ALEKSANDAR
Lietuvos Rytas
"The first game is always hard, no matter where you play and who you face. I think the change of the coach was a very important factor for Milan. We wanted to be tough mentally and respond during all 40 minutes of the game. We controlled the game under the boards and we found some very important offensive rebounds, while they came back in the game with some crazy long-range shots. We have not played a great game but we had pride and intensity. I can congratulate my players for this win. Petravicius probably played his best game until now, because he had some troubles in the preseason, but Mario is really a hard-working guy. He helped us to dominate the first half, then we struggled on defense against their perimeter shots, which can cost a game."

Players

GAINES, REECE
AJ Milano
"In the second half we decided to play with more intensity, and I think we showed a better side of the team. I think with more practices and learning the new system of Coach Caja, we should be better in the next games. I think we started the game playing without confidence, and it's always hard to face tough teams like this without intensity. We missed some important chances to really come back in the game in the last quarter, but that can improve by working together day by day. My performance? I dind't played good enough, we lost."
PETRAVICIUS, MARIUS
Lietuvos Rytas
"I think that was a very good game for us, because Armani Jeans has a lot of talented players and this win could give us a lot of confidence for the future. The coach recommended that we play especially good defense, and most of the time we were focused on this. That's why we had a different performance on offense from the first to the second half. Winning on the road is always great in a tough competition like the Euroleague, so we are very satisfied tonight."
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