2006-07Regular SeasonRound 8
December 13, 2006 CET: 20:45
Local time: 20:45 FERNANDO BUESA ARENA
Igor Rakocevic - Tau Ceramica Tau Ceramica took exclusive hold of first place in Group A by downing Olympiacos 89-74 in a head-to-head battle for the top spot in Vitoria, Spain on Wednesday. After taking an intense game and revenge for its only loss so far, Tau now leads Group A with a 7-1 record, while Olympiacos is second at 6-2. The Reds beat Tau 97-78 in Athens, so Olympiacos will have the tie-break advantage if both teams are tied at the end of the regular season. Serkan Erdogan led the winners with 24 points. Igor Rakocevic added 23, Fred House had 12 while Tiago Splitter and Luis Scola each scored 11 points for Tau. Scoonie Penn and Alex Acker each had 20 points for Olympiacos while Giannis Bouroussis posted a double-double of 15 points and 12 rebounds. After both of the first two quarters ended with one-point margins for Olympiacos, House and Rakocevic took over in the third quarter, pushing Tau to a 60-49 advantage that Erdogan and Scola helped keep safe the rest of the way. The key stat of the game was turnovers, of which Tau's defense forced 21 on Olympiacos while the hosts committed only 8.

Henry Domercant opened the scoring with a monster three-pointer that Giannis Bouroussis followed with a short jumper for a 0-5 Olympiacos lead. Although Fred House got Tau on the board with a pull-up jumper, the Reds needed only a couple driving shots by Acker to increase the gap to 2-9 after 4 minutes, taking advantage of Tau's poor shooting. Olympiacos kept preventing the hosts from scoring in the paint, and even though Luis Scola and Erdogan got to the free throw line, Acker detonated a dunk as the visitors pushed their margin to 5-13 after 6 minutes. Tau's answer then came from Erdogan, who had 5 points in a 10-2 run to tie the game, 15-15, and raise the crowd to its feet. Free throws by Rakocevic soon gave Tau its first lead, 17-15, but a three-pointer by Penn was enough to give the Reds a new 19-20 edge after 10 minutes.

James Penn - OlympiacosPenn opened the second quarter by adding a layup to the Olympiacos advantage, but Pablo Prigioni answered quickly with a three-pointer to tie again, 22-22. That hardly bothered the Reds, however, as Penn and Domercant each hit a shot from downtown to vault their team ahead 23-28. Both teams were giving the crowd a show, and now came Tau's turn. the hosts found Rakovic on offense, and he scored three times in a 7-2 run that tied it up again, 30-30 with a nice layup while playing point guard. That brought Tau back to life, as now the defenses got tougher by the second and scoring became almost exclusively limited to free throws. Olympiacos managed to take a slight margin exploiting Tau's anxiety and it took advantage of its deep rotation to avoid foul trouble and reach halftime leading 38-39

House followed a big three-pointer with free throws to put Tau ahead right after the break, but Bouroussis answered from the same distances to allow the Reds to regain the lead, 43-44. House didn't give up, however, as his second triple ignited a 7-0 run that Splitter capped with consecutive baskets for Tau's biggest margin yet, 52-47. Although Bouroussis kept scoring, the game was different now. Rakocevic launched back-to-back three-pointers while House scored again for Tau's first double-digit lead, 60-49. Despite a timeout, Olympiacos went scoreless for almost 4 minutes until Penn buried one from downtown. Free throws by Penn and a layup by a hyperactive Bouroussis brought the Reds within 64-57 after three quarters.

Bouroussis and Zizic each scored inside to get the Reds within 64-61 early in the final period. Tau did not panic, however, but rather improved its defense and found a go-to guy in Erdogan, who buried a pair of critical jumpers to keep Tau comfortable at 70-61. Acker kept pacing the guests, but he did not find much help now. Tau did, as back-to-back baskets by Scola and an outstanding four-point play by an unstoppable Rakocevic sealed the win, 83-67, with 2 minutes to go. Olympiacos had beaten Tau by 19 in Athens, and with the outcome of this game no longer in question, both teams battled for the point difference now. Erdogan hit a jumper to make it 89-71with less than a minute remaining. Acker committed a turnover off an Olympiacos timeout but House missed at the other end. Free throws by Acker and Bouroussis allowed the Reds to keep the tie-break advantage, but Tau left the court cheered by its many fans as the team to beat in Group A.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Natxo Mendaza, Vitoria
No results found.
Referees: LAMONICA, LUIGI (ITA), ZIEMBLICKI, GRZEGORZ (POL), MAESTRE, NICOLA (FRA)
Attendance: 9323
By Quarter1234
Tau Ceramica19192625
Olympiacos20191817
End of Quarter1234
Tau Ceramica19386489
Olympiacos20395774
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 21:30 11 2/4   7/10 1 1 2 1 1       4 6 12
5 PRIGIONI, PABLO 32:45 5   1/5 2/2 1 3 4 7 3       4 2 13
7 CILLA, JESUS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
8 RAKOCEVIC, IGOR 31:00 23 4/8 4/10 3/4 1 2 3 2 2 2     3 5 19
10 PLANINIC, ZORAN DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
11 ERDOGAN, SERKAN 28:15 24 7/10 1/4 7/10       1   1     1 6 20
12 TELETOVIC, MIRZA 11:30     0/1   1 3 4       1   1 1 4
14 PEKER, KAYA 18:45 3 1/2   1/1 1 1 2   2 1 1   4 3 5
20 ESLAVA, ARIEL DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
21 SPLITTER, TIAGO 27:00 11 5/8   1/4 5 2 7   1 1 1 1 2 4 14
32 HOUSE, FRED 29:15 12 2/4 2/7 2/3 2 2 4 3 4 3   1 1 2 12
Team             1 1               1
Totals 200:00 89 21/36 8/27 23/34 12 15 27 14 13 8 3 2 20 29 100
        58.3% 29.6% 67.6%
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
Olympiacos
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 PENN, SCOONIE 36:30 20 3/11 3/7 5/6 1 3 4 2 1 4   2 1 7 14
5 PAPAMAKARIOS, MANOLIS 14:15   0/1 0/1   1   1           4   -5
6 ACKER, ALEX 31:15 20 6/10 1/2 5/6 5 4 9 4 1 4   1 3 3 23
8 ZIZIC, ANDRIJA 32:00 9 3/8   3/4 2 4 6     4     3 4 6
9 BOUROUSIS, IOANNIS 19:30 15 4/5 1/2 4/6 4 8 12   1 4     3 3 20
11 HARISSIS, CHRISTOS 9:00 2 1/1     1   1     1     3   -1
12 BARLOS, NIKOS 3:15   0/1       1 1           1 1  
13 VASILOPOULOS, PANAGIOTIS 8:15           3 3 1   2 1   1   2
14 STACK, RYAN 11:00   0/2 0/1               1   4   -6
21 SCHORTSANITIS, SOFOKLIS 5:15   0/1     1   1   1 2     2 1 -2
44 DOMERCANT, HENRY 29:45 8 1/2 2/5   1   1   1       4 1 3
Team           3   3               3
Totals 200:00 74 18/42 7/18 17/22 19 23 42 7 5 21 2 3 29 20 57
        42.9% 38.9% 77.3%
Head coach: GERSHON, PINI
This game has no play by play yet

Head Coaches

PERASOVIC, VELIMIR
Tau Ceramica
"The team started playing too weak, with fear, especially on defense. We came into the game too cold and soft. That had a big influence on our game for the first two quarters and we needed too much time to wake up. We changed in the second half. I think the first five minutes after the break were quite important. Fred House improved his defense and we also managed to guard Sconnie Penn better. When we realized that we had a good chance to win the game, we started thinking of overcoming the point difference. I'm happy because we made a huge effort and a good job, although unfortunately we didn't reach the goal."
GERSHON, PINI
Olympiacos
"Who can explain what happened in the first half? I want to see what happens with the referees in the next couple of weeks. I give credit to Tau. They played very good and I believe they are very good team, but they don't need the referees. Fortunately, they didn't succeed to earn the same point advantage we got in Athens. I think we should have won the game in first half by more than a single point. In the second half, Tau stepped up and played very aggressive. But by that time, the referees had already put us in foul trouble and we could not defend. I say the same I said before this game: both teams will lose more games in the second round. It's not an easy group."

Players

HOUSE, FRED
Tau Ceramica
"I think we came out better in the second half, we played smart, unselfish basketball and some guys like Igor made some shots that helped us a lot. Our big men also did a huge job under the boards: Tiago, Luis and Kaya fought hard under the boards and let us change the flow of the game. I'm happy with what I did in the second half. I managed to get a couple of steals and some three-pointers, but the most important thing is not scoring but being able to make good things happen, playing with high intensity. When you cannot score you must try to produce also in other aspects of the game."
ZIZIC, ANDRIJA
Olympiacos
"It was a tough game. When two big teams face each other normally the games is a tough one, like this one was. I think Tau is the favourite right now, they took the first place of the group, but there are a lot of games remaining. I hope to see them again in the Top 16 or later in the playoffs. It was different criteria in both halves, there were a lot of differences in free throws and fouls calls, but we must forget about it and continue playing. We made too many mistakes and too many turnovers down the stretch. They didn't play good on offense, but they played very clever. I think they did a good job in scouting."
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