2001-02Regular SeasonRound 1
October 11, 2001 CET: 20:30
Local time: 20:30 BALLSPORTHALLE

The resurgence of the Opel Skyliners of Frankfurt will come, but opening night was not the moment. Having travelled to Frankfurt without its first two centers, Barcelona struggled for three quarters before finally putting away frankfurt with a 74-88 Group B victory. Neither team could control the game, but the last time that Frankfurt threatened the lead was at 69-71 early in the fourth quarter. From there, veterans Nikos Ekonomou and Arturas Karnisovas squeezed out the baskets to counterbalance a strong closing defense by the visitors.

Barcelona went stright inside to start the game, something of a surprise since novice Alberto Alzamora was starting at center in the absence of Roberto Dueñas and Efthimious Rentzias, the former injured and the latter sick. Alzamora, Okulaja and even swingman Rodrigo De la Fuente found quick and easy layups as Barcelona eased ahead early, but it was a mirage. Goree hadn't scored yet, and when he started, on an offensive rebound, he didn't stop. Next came a drive, then a tip-in and a three-pointer on the break. Pascal Roller broke down his defender repeatedly for layups, and like that, Frankfurt won the first quarter 26-22.

Barcelona had the luxury of bringing Juan Carlos Navarro, Nikos Ekonomou and Arturas Karnisovas off the bench to help, but Frankfurt had its confidence now. Another offensive rebound and a block by Goree led a 6-0 run to a 34-27 lead for Frankfurt, matching its first-quarter high. Three-pointers by Ekonomou and Karnisovas cut that to 34-33, but the answer came with a thre from Chad Austin, who arrived to Frankfurt this week to replace injured scorer Tyron McCoy. Alex Lokhmanchuk hit his second from long distance to return the lead to 7, at 40-43, but two fine dunks by Alain Digbeu and Ademola Okulaja, combined with the first two points by point guard Sarunas Jasikevicius drew Barcelona within 43-42. In the final minute, a sweet triple by Digbeu put Barcelona ahead, 43-45, at the half.

Neither team could shake the other, however. With another Goree basket (he was up to 15 points) Frankfurt tied the game 57-57 midway through the third quarter. Barcelona was now playing with a center from its B team, Raymond Van de Hare of Holland, a 2.20-meter lad of 20, who fumbled his first couple chances. His teammates didn't give up on him, however, and a pair of his layups off their feeds ankored a 8-2 finish to the quarter that put Barcelona ahead 61-67.

Thursday, October 11, 2001
Euroleague.net
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Referees: STOKES, RICHARD (ENG), BIRICIK, MURAT (TUR), MANTYLA, PETRI (FIN)
Attendance: 3500
By Quarter1234
Opel Skyliners26171813
FC Barcelona22232221
End of Quarter1234
Opel Skyliners26436174
FC Barcelona22456788
Opel Skyliners
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 STANESCU, VIRGIL 28:44 16 6/7 0/1 4/4 1 5 6 1   2   1 4   14
6 DIARRA, IBRAHIM 17:01   0/2       1 1 1   1     2   -3
7 NURNBERGER, KAI 21:17 1 0/2 0/2 1/4   1 1 3 1       4   -5
8 GOREE, MARCUS 39:15 20 8/13 1/3 1/1 3 11 14 1 1 1 5   2   31
9 WINTERMANTEL, ROBERT 1:31                              
11 ROLLER, PASCAL 37:30 11 4/9 1/7   1 1 2 3   4     1    
12 AUSTIN, CHAD 35:21 20 6/16 2/2 2/3 2 3 5 1 3 3   1 4   10
14 LUTCKE, NIKLAS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
15 LOKHMANCHUK, ALEXANDER 19:21 6 1/3 1/5 1/2   2 2   1   1   5   -2
Team                                
Totals 200:00 74 25/52 5/20 9/14 7 24 31 10 6 11 6 2 22 0 45
        48.1% 25% 64.3%
Head coach: HERBERT, GORDON
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
FC Barcelona
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
5 RODRIGUEZ, NACHO 17:41 4 0/4   4/6   3 3   2 1   3 3   -4
6 ALZAMORA, ALFONSO 22:54 8 4/7     1 3 4           4   5
7 DE LA FUENTE, RODRIGO 21:01 18 8/11   2/2 1 2 3 1 2       2   19
8 EKONOMOU, NIKOLAOS 17:38 13 2/6 1/2 6/10 4 4 8   2 1     2   11
9 OKULAJA, ADEMOLA 32:14 19 6/10 1/3 4/4 2 11 13 2 1 3 2 2 1   25
10 DIGBEU, ALAIN 18:02 8 1/3 2/3     1 1 4   2         8
11 NAVARRO, JUAN CARLOS 15:54 2 0/3 0/2 2/2       2 1            
13 JASIKEVICIUS, SARUNAS 30:40 7 1/2 1/1 2/3   5 5 5 1 1   1 3   11
16 GRIMAU, JORDI DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
18 VAN DE HARE, REMON 8:52 4 2/3               1     2    
19 KARNISOVAS, ARTURAS 15:04 5 2/4 0/1 1/2   2 2     2     2   -1
Team                                
Totals 200:00 88 26/53 5/12 21/29 8 31 39 14 9 11 2 6 19 0 74
        49.1% 41.7% 72.4%
Head coach: GARCIA RENESES, AITO
This game has no play by play yet

Head Coaches

HERBERT, GORDON
Opel Skyliners
"We played well for 34 minutes, then things got out of control. My players got tired and due to the foul trouble I had to play three guards at one time, which was not my plan. We have to work on certain things and start to believe that we not only can compete but beat those top teams."
GARCIA RENESES, AITO
FC Barcelona
"Frankfurt started well into the game and we didn't find our rhythm. The key today was that due to the deeper bench we had, we just wore them down. Okulaja played great defense and was a big factor tonight. My players showed that they play on a higher level than Frankfurt."

Players

OKULAJA, ADEMOLA
FC Barcelona
"Well, of course it is very important for us to start with a win in the Euroleague season. Frankfurt played very good for three quarters and we missed two key players with Due?as and Rentzias. To get this win is very important but we saw that the Opel Skyliners play far better than a lot of people expected them to play. They as well have injury problems."
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