Top 16 Round 5 - March 12, 2008 CET: 20:30 Local time: 20:30 - PALALOTTOMATICA

Records

Ave.   Ave.
0-0 Final Four 0-0
0-0 Playoffs 0-0
1-3 Top 16 2-2
6-8 Regular Season 9-5
7-11 Overall 11-7

Referees

Crew Chief
SUDEK, PETR, Slovakia
Referee
CHRISTODOULOU, CHRISTOS, Greece
Umpire
ROCHA, FERNANDO, Portugal

Team Stats

Ave.   Ave.
73.8 Points 74.9
29.8 Rebounds 33.1
9.3 O. Rebounds 10.6
20.5 D. Rebounds 22.5
11.0 Assists 14.7
11.2 Steals 8.8
2.7 Blocks 3.8
12.2 Turnovers 13.1
49.4 % 2PT 54.8 %
33.5 % 3PT 29.9 %
73.1 % FT 73.4 %
69.1 Index 82.2

Player Stats

Ave.   Ave.
13.8 / Lorbek Points 13.8 / Lakovic
5.8 / Lorbek Rebounds 5.8 / TRIAS, JORDI
1.9 / Lorbek OR 2.2 / TRIAS, JORDI
3.9 / Lorbek DR 3.6 / TRIAS, JORDI
2.9 / Ukic Assists 3.6 / SANCHEZ, PEPE
2.3 / Hawkins Steals 1.7 / SANCHEZ, PEPE
1.1 / Lorbek Blocks 1.1 / ILYASOVA, ERSAN
2.4 / Ray Turnovers 2.3 / Lakovic
55.7 % / Lorbek 2PT 63.4 % / Kasun
60.0 % / FUCKA, GREGOR 3PT 39.8 % / Lakovic
87.2 % / Ray FT 84.0 % / Acker
16.1 / Lorbek Index 14.8 / Lakovic

THE TAKE

Lottomatica Roma looks to save its Euroleague season when it hosts AXA FC Barcelona on Wednesday night in the Italian capital. With a 1-3 record in Group G of the Top 16 and coming off a 28-point blowout loss at home against CSKA Moscow, things may look bleak for the hosts. However head coach Jasmin Repesa’s men have been in a jam before and rallied to survive. Roma began the regular season with a 1-6 mark before winning five of six at one point to advance to the Top 16. The last win in that run came at Barcelona and the Romans will look to do the same this week. However Barcelona, which won by 9 in Roma earlier in the season, shredded the club at home just two weeks ago, 86-57, as Gianluca Basile led the way with 19. That win should give Barca some added confidence. But what figures to be more important for head coach Xavier Pascual and co. is the fact that a win coupled with a Unicaja loss at CSKA punches Barcelona’s ticket to the Quarterfinal Playoffs. There is plenty of irony in the fact that these teams are meeting for the fourth time this season since Roma has four former Barcelona players on its roster: Gregor Fucka and Rodrigo De la Fuente – who both won the 2003 Euroleague title with the club, Roko-Leni Ukic and Christian Drejer, though he is injured and out for the game. Basile, one of two Italian players on the Barcelona roster, has been his club’s best weapon against Roma, averaging 16 points on 45% three-point shooting in the three games. Backcourt mate Jaka Lakovic has averaged 12 point on 50% from downtown and 3 assists in the same meetings. Meanwhile Roma guard David Hawkins has been worth 16 points and 3 steals this season against Barcelona. Thos numbers could grow as this game figures to be once again about guard play with Ukic, Allan Ray, Jon Stefansson and Ibrahim Jaaber joining Hawkins to challenge Lakovic, Basile, Pepe Sanchez, Alex Acker and Gary Neal. The central players inside are Fran Vazquez, Mario Kasun and Ersan Ilyasova for the visitors and Erazem Lorbek, Fucka and Alessandro Tonolli for the hosts. The three previous meetings between these clubs have all been very different: the home team has only won once, one game resulted in just 127 points, another in 152! Accrdingly, there is no clear favorite. What will set this one apart is that Roma needs not only to win to stay alive, but must erase its 29-point debacle from two weeks ago to improve its chances, making for a fast-paced game, where the home team’s backcourt may start pressing from the start in what could be another unpredictable encounter.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Euroleague.net

Quotes Head Coaches

REPESA, JASMIN
Lottomatica Roma
"Tomorrow against Barcelona we must try to play as we did in the second-half of our game against Avellino. We must try to play an aggressive defense that will allow us to get out on fast-breaks. "You don't win if you don't have an aggressive defenses. We are still not out of the Euroleague. There are still two games left to play. If we win against Barcelona then against Unicaja Malaga we can have a great opportunity. Tomorrow's game is extremely important."
PASCUAL, XAVIER
AXA FC Barcelona
"We all know that winning this game could mean going straight to the playoffs if CSKA Moscow wins too. Our only goal is win or win. Nothing else is going to help us. And we can’t go to Rome thinking about our easy win back in Barcelona. This game will be absolutely different and we need to be very focused in order to play well for 40 minutes. The first game means nothing as a reference. It seems that Lottomatica aren’t in their best shape right now, but they are always a difficult team to beat and we can’t forget they almost won in Moscow."

Players

HAWKINS, DAVID
Lottomatica Roma
"We will go out on the court to win. All is to be decided and we must believe qualification is still possible. In our opening game against Barcelona we didn't play well on offense and this time we will have to show more aggressiveness on defense. I am confident we can do it, the important thing is that everyone gives 100%."
NEAL, GARY
AXA FC Barcelona
"This is a very important game for us. We want to win and start thinking about other goals. I’m sure we can win in Rome. Last Sunday, in our last ACB League game, I felt more comfortable on the floor. I didn’t forget how to play basketball, but I came to a new team and there were a lot of new things to learn for me. The process has been a little bit longer than expected, but I’m sure I can help my team win. Many of Lottomatica’s plays are based on Ukic, Lorbek and Jaaber. Hawkins is a very good player, but he lacks some consistency. We need to make the most of their ups and downs."
Erazem Lorbek - Lottomatica Roma Lottomatica Roma rejoined the fight to reach the Quarterfinal Playoffs in Top 16 Group G by rallying to edge AXA FC Barcelona 68-63 in the Italian capital on Wednesday. Lottomatica, Barcelona and Unicaja join a three-way tie for the decisive second spot at 2-3, behind Group G champion CSKA Moscow, first at 4-1. Barcelona holds the tie-break advantage against Lottomatica and Unicaja, so it will reach the playoffs if it beats CSKA at home next week. Meanwhile, Unicaja hosts Lottomatica and the winner of that game will finish second if CSKA downs Barcelona. Erazem Lorbek led the winners with 16 points while Roko-Leni Ukic and David Hawkins each added 11 for Roma. Roger Grimau had 21 points for Barcelona and Jordi Trias added 17 on 8-for-9 shooting. Lottomatica's lead peaked at 30-18 on a three-pointer by Jon Stefansson, but Grimau and Ersan Ilyasova brought Barcelona within 33-30 at the break. An incredible layup-plus-foul by Grimau completed the guests' comeback, 46-48, late in the third quarter. Pepe Sanchez gave Barcelona a 54-61 lead but the guests went scoreless over the next four minutes. Meanwhile, Roberto Gabini and Lorbek fueled an 11-0 run that Ukic capped with a driving layup to put Lottomatica back ahead, 65-61, with 27 seconds to go. Rodrigo De La Fuente and Hawkins sealed the outcome from the foul line.

Hawkins began the contest with a lay-up and dunk and after Lorbek laid one up and in, Hawkins dunked for a second time to give the hosts an 8-0 lead. Trias stopped the rot for Barcelona with a basket, only for Ukic to reply with a shot down low to make it 10-2 in favor of the Romans. Trias was very active early on and scored underneath after catching a pass from Grimau. Trias followed with a jumper as the visitors kept the game close. Roma remained hot though and opened up a 16-8 lead after a Lorbek basket. Ilyasova converted a three-point play to trim the advantage to 16-11, but a couple of Lorbek baskets and 2 Gregor Fucka free throws gave the Romans a 22-12 lead at the end of the first period.

Pepe Sanchez - AXA FC BarcelonaIn the second quarter, Ilyasova struck again, this time with acrobatic layup, only for Stefansson to reply with a three-ball to make it 25-14 in favor of Roma. When Hawkins, who had gone out of the game, returned to the action and passed to Stefansson, the Icelandic star drilled his second three for a 30-18 lead with seven minutes remaining in the half. Inspired by Ilyasova's creativity and Grimau's hot-hand, Barcelona went on a 10-0 run. Grimau had 6 points in that surge as the visitors cut the deficit 30-28. Roma struggled against Barcelona's zone, but ended a five-minute drought with a three-pointer from the top of the key by Gabini. Ilyasova was proving tough to handle, though, and his layup made it 33-30 and that’s how the first half finished.

After the break, Lorbek tapped in a Hawkins missed layup as Roma began well. Sanchez's foul put former Barcelona star Rodrigo de la Fuente on the line and he converted both shots to extend the lead to 37-30. Lorbek's jumper completed a 6-0 spurt from Roma before Trias made back-to-back layups to cut the deficit to 39-34. Roma looked strong as Ukic converted his first attempt from behind the arc to stretch the advantage to 8. Grimau cut the deficit to 5 with a three-ball midway through the quarter and then added a three-point play after a foul by Ibrahim Jaaber to cut the deficit to 42-40. A key moment soon followed. Another Grimau three-point play after a foul by Alessandro Tonolli put Barcelona in front 47-46. His desperation jumper gave Barca a 50-46 lead going into the final quarter.

David Hawkins - Lottomatica RomaBarcelona opened up a 52-46 lead after a Trias basket. Stefansson and Hawkins hit consecutive jump shots as Roma closed the gap to 52-50. And after a Trias lay-up, Fucka’s three-pointer got the Roma crowd to its feet. When Gary Neal buried a three for Barca and that was followed by a Sanchez layup, the visitors looked good bets for victory with a 61-54 lead five minutes from the end. After Jaaber drove and scored, Ukic was closely guarded by Ilyasova and made a jumper to tie the contest at 61-61 with three minutes remaining. With 2:15 to go, Ilyasova was called for an unsportsmanlike foul on Lorbek, who made both free throws to give Roma a 63-61 advantage. After a couple of misses for both sides, Ukic drove into the lane and scored to put Roma ahead 65-61 with 26 seconds remaining. Grimau cut the deficit to 65-63 with a strong move to the basket before Roma head coach Jasmin Repesa called for a timeout. After Fran Vazquez fouled out and sent De La Fuente to the line where he split a pair to make it 66-63, Gabini fouled Sanchez with 12 seconds remaining, but Barcelona was not in the bonus and got no free throws. After play resumed following a Jasmin Repesa timeout, Roma still had fouls to burn and De la Fuente fouled Grimau with less than 9 seconds remaining. Barcelona’s Neal eventually broke free to put up an attempt from long range with 4 seconds to go, but threw up an air ball and Roma rebounded. Sanchez fouled Hawkins with 2.12 remaining and he made both free throws for a 68-63 win.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Cindy Garcia, Rome
Referees: SUDEK, PETR (SVK), CHRISTODOULOU, CHRISTOS (GRE), ROCHA, FERNANDO (POR)
Attendance: 4553
By Quarter1234
Lottomatica Roma22111322
AXA FC Barcelona12182013
End of Quarter1234
Lottomatica Roma22334668
AXA FC Barcelona12305063
Head coach: REPESA, JASMIN
Lottomatica Roma
# Player Min Pts 2FG
M-A
3FG
M-A
FT
M-A
Rebounds As St To Bl Fouls PIR
O D T Fv Ag Cm Rv
7 FUCKA, GREGOR 16:17 7 2/4 1/1 0/2 2 1 3 1   1     2 2 6
8 TONOLLI, ALESSANDRO 10:00   0/1       3 3 1 1 2     2 1 1
9 STEFANSSON, JON 19:18 8 1/3 2/3 0/1 1 2 3   2 1   1 3 1 5
12 LORBEK, ERAZEM 31:17 16 7/9 0/2 2/2 2 3 5 1 3 1   1 1 3 21
16 CROSARIOL, ANDREA DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
17 DE LA FUENTE, RODRIGO 30:59 5 1/2 0/3 3/4 2 5 7 1 1 4 1   3 3 6
20 UKIC, ROKO 24:29 11 4/6 1/2     1 1 1   1   1 3 1 6
22 GABINI, ROBERTO 22:15 6 0/2 2/4     2 2 1 1 1     3   2
25 JAABER, IBRAHIM 20:03 4 2/3 0/1 0/2   2 2 1 1 2 1   1 2 4
34 HAWKINS, DAVID 25:22 11 4/8 0/1 3/4   4 4 1 3     1 1 4 15
Team                                
Totals 200:00 68 21/38 6/17 8/15 7 23 30 8 12 13 2 4 19 17 66
55.3% 35.3% 53.3%
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
Head coach: PASCUAL, XAVIER
AXA FC Barcelona
# Player Min Pts 2FG
M-A
3FG
M-A
FT
M-A
Rebounds As St To Bl Fouls PIR
O D T Fv Ag Cm Rv
5 BASILE, GIANLUCA 23:42   0/2 0/2     2 2 1 1 3         -3
6 SANCHEZ, PEPE 25:11 2 1/1 0/3     1 1 7 1 1     4 2 5
8 TRIAS, JORDI 27:54 17 8/9   1/2 4 4 8   1 1       3 26
9 MARCONATO, DENIS 6:44 1 0/1   1/2 1 1 2     1 1   1 1 1
10 LAKOVIC, JAKA 19:14   0/1 0/1         1   2     2 2 -3
13 NEAL, GARY 18:21 7 2/4 1/3   2 2 4   2 1   1   1 8
17 VAZQUEZ, FRAN 10:24 4 2/3     1 1 2       1   5   1
21 ILYASOVA, ERSAN 28:16 9 4/6 0/3 1/1   7 7 2 3 4 1   3 2 12
24 MONCASI, ALBERT DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
34 ACKER, ALEX 3:59     0/1     1 1   1 1       2 2
41 KASUN, MARIO 6:31 2 0/1   2/2 1   1     2     1 1  
44 GRIMAU, ROGER 29:44 21 5/9 3/7 2/2   6 6 2 3 1 1 1 1 5 27
Team                                
Totals 200:00 63 22/37 4/20 7/9 9 25 34 13 12 17 4 2 17 19 76
59.5% 20% 77.8%
This game is not yet played

Head Coaches

REPESA, JASMIN
Lottomatica Roma
"We placed all our energy on winning this game, we knew it was very important for us to keep our focus until the end and my players have done that. During the game we had problems with David Hawkins, who was limping, and Jon Stefansson, who was struggling with back problems. But all the players have done well tonight. This win is important for us because it will give us confidence, it proves that we are competitive We now must win our game against Unicaja and try to reach the quarterfinals."
PASCUAL, XAVIER
AXA FC Barcelona
"It's tough to have lost this game when we had options to win and reach the quarterfinals of the Euroleague. We started the game badly and that was probably the key to our defeat. In the last minutes, when it really mattered, we simply stopped playing and we paid the price. We now depend on ourselves and we need to beat CSKA Moscow in Barcelona. It will not be easy, but we will play in front of our crowd and we have done well at home this season, so we will have our chances."

Players

LORBEK, ERAZEM
Lottomatica Roma
"After being handed a lesson by CSKA Moscow a week ago, we really wanted to prove our worth and we had a very strong start to the game. We needed to be aggressive and we were, we knew they run and we had to be physical in order to stop them hitting us on fast counter-attacks. We've had up and down moments during the game, but we managed to be united and hold on for the win. Now it's all to play for and we will go to Malaga looking for the victory."
SANCHEZ, PEPE
AXA FC Barcelona
"We had a bad start and we had to play catch-up. It's disappointing to lose, but we weren't as sharp as they were when it mattered. Now we face a battle against CSKA Moscow and we know that a win will see us through to the next stage. We have to forget this game and concentrate on the game against Moscow."
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