2012-13Regular SeasonRound 7
November 22, 2012 CET: 20:45
Local time: 20:45 PALACIO DE LOS DEPORTES J.M. MARTIN CARPENA

Unicaja punches Top 16 ticket with sixth straight win

Unicaja Malaga booked a spot in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Top 16 with a superb defensive effort in a 63-48 victory at home over Asseco Prokom Gdynia in Group B. Malaga improved to 6-1 with its sixth straight win – paced by 12 points from Kosta Perovic, who had totaled just 8 points in the first six games of the group. Earl Calloway added 11 points for the winners. Prokom came into the game hitting 40 percent of its three-pointers, but missed its first 19 triple attempts in dropping to 1-6 in the group. Prokom, which lost its ninth straight road game dating back to December 2010, was led by Adam Hrycaniuk’s 10 points. Alex Acker and Rasid Mahalbasic both added 9 points in the losing effort.

First quarter: Slow rhythm leads to tight start

Unicaja coach Jasmin Respesa trusted the same starting five that ended up beating Maccabi last week – Calloway, Txemi Urtasun, Zoran Dragic, Fran Vazquez and Luka Zoric. Prokom boss Kestutis Kemzura made two changes to his first five with Mateusz Ponitka and Ryan Richards starting in favor of Frank Robinson and Mahalbasic along with Hrycaniuk, Acker and Lukasz Koszarek. Hrycaniuk opened the scoring with an inside basket. Urtasun hit Malaga’s first bucket, Dragic got out for a quick breakaway and Zoric’s free throws completed the 8-0 run for an 8-2 lead. Richards made two foul shots and a reverse layup to start an 0-8 run, finished by Mahalbasic’s score to make it 8-10. James Gist nailed a three from the left to give Unicaja back the lead and Marcus Williams’ tough basket had the hosts up 13-10. Prokom evened the game with a free throw by Mahalbasic and Acker’s jumper to make it 13-13 with 1:34 left in the quarter. Both teams struggled to find any rhythm offensively with 12 turnovers combined. And the first quarter ended with the teams deadlocked 13-13.

Second quarter: Perovic spurt gives Malaga double-digit lead

Hrycaniuk once again opened the quarter and was answered by a Vazquez tip-in, which started an 8-0 run, which included a left-hand basket by Krunoslav Simon and a fine pass by Simon for a Zoric dunk to make it 21-15. Ponitka raced ahead for a fast break layup to snap the drought but Zoric hit a jumper after a pick-and-roll and Urtasun nailed a triple for a 26-17 advantage. Prokom got two free throws by both Acker and Robinson to pull within seven but Perovic hit a baseline jumper, a right hand hook abd two free throws to increase the advantage to 34-23. Prokom had plenty of chances to be closer but missed all 14 of their three-point shots.

Third quarter: Tough Unicaja, futile Prokom outside shooting continues

Perovic continued where he left off with the opening score of the second half on a hook shot and Calloway nailed a three-ball to increase the advantage to 39-23. Mahalbasic got Prokom on the scoreboard with an inside basket to trim the game to 39-25. Prokom continued to miss open looks from outside and Perovic finished on the fast break and two Dragic free throws made it an 18-point game, 43-25. Asseco was finally able to string a couple baskets together with Mahalbasic sandwiching two tip-ins around a Jerel Blassingame jumper to cut the margin to 43-31 – and a Malaga timeout. But Prokom missed its last four shots and turned the ball over twice over the final stretch of the third quarter and Simon made two free throws and Gist a basket for a 47-31 Malaga lead after 30 minutes.

Fourth quarter: Prokom finally hit from outside, Calloway long balls put doubts to bed

Piotr Szczotka hit a reverse layup to start the fourth quarter and Blassingame made it 47-35, but Williams’ jumper started a 5-0 run with Zoric’s layin after a fine pass pushed the advantage to 52-35. Dragic made it 54-37 before Acker hit a triple from the top of the key – Prokom’s first three-pointer after 19 straight misses. Hrycaniuk’s free throw and an offensive rebound putback by Ponitka cut the deficit to 55-44 with more than two minutes to play. But Calloway nailed triple from the left and right wings to re-establish a 17 point lead, 61-44 with a minute remaining.

Earl Calloway - Unicaja Malaga - EB12
Thursday, November 22, 2012
Euroleague.net
Referees: PUKL,SASA (SLO), MANTYLA, PETRI (FIN), RUTESIC, ZDRAVKO (MNE)
Attendance: 6300 (Tentative)
By Quarter1234
Unicaja Malaga13211316
Asseco Prokom Gdynia1310817
End of Quarter1234
Unicaja Malaga13344763
Asseco Prokom Gdynia13233148
Unicaja Malaga
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 SIMON, KRUNOSLAV 24:16 4 1/2 0/1 2/2 1 1 2 2 1 1   1 2 2 5
6 WILLIAMS, MARCUS 20:28 5 2/3 0/3 1/2   2 2 4 1 3     1 2 5
7 LIMA, AUGUSTO 12:51 3     3/4 1 1 2     1     2 2 3
9 VIDAL, SERGI 1:49   0/1     1 1 2 1             2
10 URTASUN, TXEMI 23:34 5 1/2 1/6 0/2   4 4 3   2   1 1 2 2
11 CALLOWAY, EARL 19:27 11 1/3 3/6     4 4 2   1       3 14
13 PEROVIC, KOSTA 14:58 12 5/9   2/4 1 1 2     1     1 4 10
15 GIST, JAMES 20:19 7 1/1 1/4 2/2   4 4           1 2 9
17 VAZQUEZ, FRAN 13:56 2 1/2     1 3 4     1 2   5   1
20 JIMENEZ, CARLOS 11:52   0/1     1 1 2 1 1       1 2 4
21 ZORIC, LUKA 15:43 8 3/7   2/2 2 2 4   1 4     3 4 6
22 DRAGIC, ZORAN 20:47 6 2/4   2/2 2 4 6 1 1 1     1 2 12
Team           1 2 3               3
Totals 200:00 63 17/35 5/20 14/20 11 30 41 14 5 15 2 2 18 25 76
        48.6% 25% 70%
Head coach: REPESA, JASMIN
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
Asseco Prokom Gdynia
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
5 ROBINSON, FRANK 16:08 2 0/4 0/3 2/2 4   4     2       2 -1
6 PAMULA, PIOTR 6:24   0/1       2 2           1    
8 WITKA, ROBERT 11:57   0/2 0/5   1 1 2     1     2   -8
9 ROSZYK, KRZYSZTOF DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
10 BLASSINGAME, JEREL 29:24 6 3/3 0/3   1 3 4 3   4     4 4 6
11 ACKER, ALEX 24:37 9 2/5 1/2 2/2   1 1     1     3 1 3
12 MAHALBASIC, RASID 20:49 9 4/8   1/2 2 6 8     2   1 3 2 8
14 PONITKA, MATEUSZ 25:56 6 3/7 0/3 0/1 1 1 2 1 2 1     2 4 4
15 KOSZAREK, LUKASZ 20:38   0/1 0/5   1 4 5 3 2 1     3    
20 SZCZOTKA, PIOTR 4:51 2 1/2                         1
25 RICHARDS, RYAN 11:35 4 1/1   2/2   2 2     1 2   4 1 4
34 HRYCANIUK, ADAM 27:41 10 3/7   4/6 2 2 4     1   1 3 4 7
Team           3 1 4     1         3
Totals 200:00 48 17/41 1/21 11/15 15 23 38 7 4 15 2 2 25 18 27
        41.5% 4.8% 73.3%
Head coach: KEMZURA, KESTUTIS

Head Coaches

REPESA, JASMIN
Unicaja Malaga
"We were anticipating so much to qualify into the Top 16. It was our expectation, but in the Euroleague each game is very tough and winning 6 games is a very good result. Now we are in excellent position and we will be little bit comfortable playing without stress the rest of the way. We have to play all the games with the right approach, though. For me it was important to win, but at the same time it is important that no player played more than 25 minutes and that we did not spend much energy because we were traveling a lot lately, not practicing much. Defensively it was a really good game, offensively sometimes we were without enough focus. Almost every player started the game with one or two mistakes, and the players off the bench contributed right away."
KEMZURA, KESTUTIS
Asseco Prokom Gdynia
"Surely, we did not play a bad game tactically. We specially did a good job defensively, holding Unicaja to just 63 points. But the problem today was on offense, we could not score, could not make a shot. Especially in the first half, we had open looks, but we just could not make a shot. Generally speaking, we tried to play a low possession game because we knew that Unicaja is an uptempo team that can score 100 points if they start running. Over the course of 40 minutes we did that pretty good, we forced them to play five-on-five. In the third quarter they started being aggressive going inside, Kosta Perovic hurt us inside and they played aggressive defense. But we were fighting until the end. We won the last quarter, we grabbed 15 offensive rebounds and won offensive rebounding which shows we were fighting."

Players

PEROVIC, KOSTA
Unicaja Malaga
"It was a tough game. We have had four road games until now and needed this win. The loss in the Spanish League against Estudiantes affected us and it was very important to win today. We had to lock up a spot in the next round. We have to keep playing at this level or even better if possible. Personally, I needed confidence. Now I feel I have it. I want things to carry on this way, personally and for the team. "
CALLOWAY, EARL
Unicaja Malaga
"We feel good. We are not satisfied though. We have to compete in every game. We had a tough game, and we will have a tough game against Siena next. The main thing is to just try to keep at it. I didn’t shoot that well, but you have to help in other ways – push the ball or make the extra pass. This win gives us a lot of confidence. But we cannot settle with this win. We have to keep moving forward."