2007-08Regular SeasonRound 8
December 12, 2007 CET: 19:15
Local time: 20:15 SIEMENS ARENA
Marijonas Petravicius - Lietuvos Rytas Lietuvos Rytas will keep sharing first place in Group B - at the least - after it turned back visiting Armani Jeans Milano by 75-62 at home in Vilnius, Lithuania on Wednesday. L. Rytas improved to 6-2 while awaiting the results of Unicaja and Maccabi Tel Aviv, the other two teams with whom it entered the week tied for first place. Milano slipped to 2-6 and will need to win again soon to entertain any slim Top 16 hopes. The visitors gave L. Rytas enough to handle early and tried to threaten in the second half, but never got close enough to challenge for the lead. Marijonas Petravicius again led L. Rytas offensively with 17 points on near-perfect shooting, 6 of 7 two-pointers and 5 of 5 free throws. Hollis Price added 15 points and Mindaugas Lukauskis 12, while Chuck Eidson's stat line read 8 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals. Teenage sensation Danilo Gallinari paced Milano with 16 points, while Ansu Sesay had all of his 14 in the first half and Dusan Vukcevic added 12.

L. Rytas started the game strong as Mindaugas Lukauskis fed Matthew Nielsen for an easy bucket, but Melvin Booker answered for Milano at the other end. Milano then found a comfort zone at the three-point arc, where Sesay and Gallinari blasted triples for a quick 4-8 lead. Next, Sesay and Casey Shaw broke through the L. Rytas were not patient enough in defense for layups. So, by the time, Sesay nailed another triple, Milano was up 7-15 and L. Rytas needed a timeout midway through the quarter. The chat helped as Price traded baskets with Sesay, who was soon covered by a different defender, Kenan Bajramovic. In the meantime, Price and Chuck Eidson took care of scoring as L. Rytas made a 7-0 run to make it 16-17. Milano needed the timeout, now, but it proved useless as Bajramovic and Jomantas buried triples as L. Rytas completed a 15-4 run by taking a 22-19 margin after 10 minutes.

Dusan Vuksevic - AJ MilanoBajramovic opened the second quarter with a cozy jumper that Travis Watson matched for Milano, but the former stayed on fire by dunking off a nice dish by Eidson to make it 26-21. Gallinari and Marijonas Petravicius exchanged baskets then but L. Rytas kept improving on the lead as Petravicius converted an assist from Eidson and Price connected from long range as the hosts took the game's first double-digit advantage, 33-23. A rested Sesay came back in and immediately made Milano look livelier but Eidson nailed free throws and Jomantras penetrated maintain a 37-27 advantage. L. Rytas couldn't push it further, though, as points by Anthony Giovacchini and Vukcevic fueled a 0-7 run to get Milano within 37-34. After a timeout, L. Rytas finished quarter strong as Martynas Gecevicius and Price combined for 5 points to fix a 42-34 halftime score.

A chaotic minute opened the second half until Gallinari finally made a free throw. L. Rytas couldn't score for more than 2 minutes and Milano took advantage as Watson detonated a massive dunk then got a basket-plus-free throw to pull the guests as close as 43-49. That's when L. Rytas woke up, though, as Nielsen and Lukauskis combined for a thunderous 8-0 run that gave the hosts a solid 51-39 lead midway through the quarter. A full-court press that L. Rytas tried after a timeout didn't help as Vukcevic banged a triple but Jomantas responded with a flashy penetration to which Petravicius added a jumper that kept L. Rtyas in charge at 55-42. Milano tried to hold on with Gallinari nailing a three-pointer but Lukauskis did the very same as the hosts seemed charmed now. New L. Rytas guard Jared Jordan enjoyed his first Euroleague minutes as the third quarter ended with the score fixed at 62-50.

Chuck Eidson - Lietuvos RytasGiovacchini opened the decisive quarter with a jumper and free throws as the visitors looked ready for a final push. L. Rytas kept losing the ball and missing shots and was only lucky that Shaw and Gallinari missed three free throws at 62-55. When Gallinari hit a fade-away jumper, however, the margin dropped to just 5 points before Nielsen stepped up wth a difficult basket and defended Mindaugas Katelynas well on the next attack. Nervousness prevailed as turnovers outnumbered points over almost 3 minutes, but Price finally broke the silence with a huge triple that reestablished a double-digit edge, 67-57, with 2 minutes, 30 seconds left. The finishing touch was a basket-plus-free throw by Petravicius, making it clear that L. Rytas was not giving up a home win on this night.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Gintaras Radauskas - Vilnius
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Referees: VOREADIS, LAZAROS (GRE), KOLAR, ROMAN (SLO), OZOLS, ARNIS (LAT)
Attendance: 10780
By Quarter1234
Lietuvos Rytas22202013
AJ Milano19151612
End of Quarter1234
Lietuvos Rytas22426275
AJ Milano19345062
Lietuvos Rytas
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
5 SLEZAS, ANDRIUS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
8 LUKAUSKIS, MINDAUGAS 21:58 12 0/1 4/8         1 1 1     2   6
10 PRICE, HOLLIS 37:29 15 3/4 3/6     2 2 3 2 5     1 2 14
12 ANISIMOV, MICHAILIS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
13 BATISTA, J.P. 1:08                         1   -1
15 PETRAVICIUS, MARIUS 32:18 17 6/7   5/5 2 2 4 1 1       4 6 24
21 JOMANTAS, ARTURAS 24:13 5 1/2 1/2     1 1 2 1 2     4   1
25 JORDAN, JARED 2:31                         1   -1
31 GECEVICIUS, MARTYNAS 4:36 2 1/1       1 1           1   2
33 EIDSON, CHUCK 29:13 8 0/5 2/4 2/2 3 5 8 5 4 3     4 1 12
44 NIELSEN, MATT 29:59 7 2/4 0/2 3/4   7 7 1 1 3     1 5 12
51 BAJRAMOVIC, KENAN 16:35 9 2/4 1/2 2/2   2 2     1     1 1 7
Team             8 8   2           10
Totals 200:00 75 15/28 11/24 12/13 5 28 33 13 12 15 0 0 20 15 86
        53.6% 45.8% 92.3%
Head coach: TRIFUNOVIC, ALEKSANDAR
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
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 35:31 14 3/8 2/4 2/2   1 1 1 1 1     2 2 9
8 GALLINARI, DANILO 38:05 16 2/7 2/6 6/10   3 3 1         2 10 15
10 ARADORI, PIETRO DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
11 SHAW, CASEY 21:14 2 1/4   0/2 1 3 4     1     3 1 -2
12 BOOKER, MELVIN 32:35 4 2/6 0/2   2 4 6 2 3 3     1   5
13 WATSON, TRAVIS 18:46 8 4/7   0/1 1 5 6     5     4 2 3
14 VUKCEVIC, DUSAN 23:53 12 3/4 1/3 3/3           1       2 10
15 KATELYNAS, MINDAUGAS 4:29   0/1       1 1                
16 GENTILE, STEFANO DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
18 GIOVACCHINI, ANTHONY 25:27 6 1/1   4/4 1 1 2 1 2 1     3 3 10
Team           1 3 4   9           13
Totals 200:00 62 16/38 5/15 15/22 6 21 27 5 15 12 0 0 15 20 63
        42.1% 33.3% 68.2%
Head coach: CAJA, ATTILIO

Head Coaches

TRIFUNOVIC, ALEKSANDAR
Lietuvos Rytas
"I knew that everybody, after our game against Cibona, expected something else like that tonight. But Armani is a different team; so is the game. After two losses, we bounced back with two wins and this is the road we have to go. As the season goes, we want to play as good as possible with even bigger motivation. I'm really happy because my players always stay focused. Being first in a group is not some kind of an obligation. Still, tonight we did a poor job working with Sesay. I'm not satisfied with that and a lack of agressiveness, too. Armani Jeans is really different now. They now have guys who can produce toughness and decide games."
CAJA, ATTILIO
AJ Milano
"We had a pretty good game against a very good team both tactically and physically. We did a decent job. We were down only by five points in the game and were really close to grabbing a win. Our game plan was to keep to keep their fastbreak game down and I think we did it. Just as we stopped their main rebounders. But, still, we missed our chances during whole game. Both Gallinari and Jomantas, who had a micro match-up tonight, are very good players. It's just that Gallinari is so talented that one can miss what he does throughout the game. Jomantas is a really physical guy but in terms of talent, Gallinari is better."

Players

EIDSON, CHUCK
Lietuvos Rytas
"It was a crazy game from the very beginning until the very end. I'm so happy we won, especially because it was so tough for me personally there. Everybody played pretty well and deserved this win. They came out really strong and we have to give them credit for that. Sesay was so good at first that I even thought he didn't even hit a rim while scoring. He was really hot. But later, Matt and Kenan did a good job to cool Sesay down. Moreover, everybody stepped up defensively. When we play defense like that, we can win every game. Overall, it was a crazy and kinda weird game with so many stupid turnovers."
BOOKER, MELVIN
AJ Milano
"We didn't finish up well despite being as close as five points behind. We simply didn't do a good job at the end. Now we have to go and get ready for the next game. After a strong first quarter, they intensified their defense and I think it paid off. Well, we scored too, so I would say it was pretty much an even game. The game may have seemed a bit chaotic and that's what happens when both teams play good defense."
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