Regular Season Round 5 - November 23, 2006 CET: 19:45 Local time: 20:45 - O.A.K.A.

Records

Ave.   Ave.
0-0 Final Four 0-0
0-0 Playoffs 0-0
0-0 Top 16 0-0
0-0 Regular Season 0-0
4-0 Overall 1-3

Referees

Crew Chief
SUDEK, PETR, Slovakia
Referee
SAHIN, TOLGA, Italy
Umpire
AITCHESON, DALE, England

Team Stats

Ave.   Ave.
85.3 Points 78.0
32.3 Rebounds 36.5
12.3 O. Rebounds 10.0
20.0 D. Rebounds 26.5
11.3 Assists 12.8
8.5 Steals 8.3
1.5 Blocks 2.5
12.5 Turnovers 15.5
55.8 % 2PT 54.7 %
41.1 % 3PT 35.5 %
69.0 % FT 64.8 %
94.5 Index 86.3

Player Stats

Ave.   Ave.
16.5 / Batiste Points 15.3 / Welsch
6.8 / Batiste Rebounds 6.8 / Pietrus
3.5 / Batiste OR 2.8 / Pietrus
3.5 / Diamantidis DR 4.0 / Pietrus
3.5 / Diamantidis Assists 3.3 / Rodriguez
2.0 / Diamantidis Steals 1.5 / SANCHEZ, PEPE
0.8 / Batiste Blocks 1.5 / Pietrus
2.5 / Diamantidis Turnovers 2.8 / SANTIAGO, DANIEL
76.7 % / Batiste 2PT 78.6 % / Pietrus
50.0 % / SISKAUSKAS, RAMUNAS 3PT 54.5 % / Welsch
81.3 % / DELK, T. FT 84.2 % / Rodriguez
23.0 / Batiste Index 14.0 / Rodriguez

THE TAKE

Panathinaikos will host Unicaja Malaga for the fifth straight season on Thursday in a Group B matchup at the site of this season's Final Four, the OAKA Olympic Arena in Athens, Greece. The undefeated group leader, Panathinaikos (4-0) has impressed with a deep roster that coach Zeljko Obradovic has used to win games by an average of 14.2 points with. On the other hand, Unicaja (1-3) has struggled so far this season, although its two road losses came in overtime and it fell in another game at the buzzer. Last week, the Spanish champs finally got in the “W” column with a 62-55 home victory at Union Olimpija's expense. The game marked the return to action of Euroleague all-time leading scorer Marcus Brown, who missed the start of the season with an injury. Jiri Welsch, who became Unicaja's top offensive option in Brown's absence, led the way with 16 points. The game will mark the return to Athens of Unicaja point guard Pepe Sanchez, who won the 2002 Euroleague title with Panathinaikos. An injured Tony Delk (12.2 ppg.) is questionable for Panathinaikos, but his absence could mean that guard Milos Vujanic makes his return from injury. These teams never met before 2002, but have clashed in the regular season every year since. Panathinaikos won five of the first six encounters, but Unicaja swept the series last season. Brown scored 21 to lead Unicaja to a 79-82 win in Greece, while center Daniel Santiago had 22 as Unicaja won 95-93 at home. Big man Mike Batiste was key for Panathinaikos with 17.5 points and 7 rebounds for the Greens in those games. This game comes down to Unicaja's deep backcourt against Panathinaikos's tough frontline. Coach Sergio Scariolo will have to find a way to get the most out of Week 1 MVP Carlos Cabezas (15.3 ppg.), Welsch (15.2 ppg.), Sanchez, Brown and Berni Rodriguez (15.2 ppg.). Panathinaikos will counter with Sani Becirovic (9.7 ppg.), Nikos Hatzivrettas (10 ppg.) and Dimitrios Diamantidis (7.7 ppg., 3.5 apg.). Obradovic has a stacked frontline with Batiste (16.5 ppg., 6.7 rpg.), Kostas Tsartsaris, Dejan Tomasevic, Robertas Javtokas and Domos Dikoudis, who will look to hold back Santiago, Florent Pietrus (7.7 ppg., 6.7 rpg.) and Erazem Lorbek. Panathinaikos shooter Ramunas Siskauskas has gotten better in each game, so look for him and Brown to be a key matchup. Panathinaikos has been the stronger side so far this season, but with Brown back, Unicaja will look to revert to last season's form, when it won the regular season group it shared with the Greens.
Euroleague.net

Quotes Head Coaches

OBRADOVIC, ZELJKO
Panathinaikos
"We are facing a high-quality team that has stepped up after its bad start in the Euroleague and now seems to be very dangerous. Their recent performances were excellent and we need to play really concentrated in order to stay unbeaten in Group B. Our goals are very concrete this season, and definitely we don't want to lose even one game at home. In addition, we want to play good basketball to please our fans and ourselves and to get more confidence for the next games. Our only concern has to do with Tony Delk's injury. He didn't practice on Tuesday and I am not sure if he can make it against Unicaja."
SCARIOLO, SERGIO
Unicaja
"We find ourselves meeting a rival whom we have faced various times in recent years and despite the fact that both tams have changed a lot from last season to this, some basic characteristics remain of both, and I would even say some of our playing concepts are similar. We know perfectly well that we are playing a great team, a squad that I personally like how they play, and for that reason our concentration and intensity has to be complete throughout all 40 minutes."

Players

TSARTSARIS, KOSTAS
Panathinaikos
"Everybody knows how capable Unicaja Malaga is as a team. It doesn't matter if they have one or four wins in the Euroleague so far. They always were a team to respect and if we want to continue successfully, we have to play really hard and take care of business on our home court. The fact that they beat us twice during the 2005-06 regular season has no importance at all. Panathinaikos and Unicaja are totally different teams than last year and we know we can beat anybody if we show our real selves. Now that Marcus Brown came back to action, they look complete, so we have to be really focused defensively to take another victory."
SANCHEZ, PEPE
Unicaja
"Panathinaikos has great togetherness and defense in such a way that they don't let you do great things in the half-court offense. For that reason, we should try to control the rebounds and run fastbreaks as much as we can. Both teams this season have signed a few players. Panathinaikos still has that stamp of identity that has characterized the team in recent years, one of very high aggressiveness. If we want the option of winning this game we must play a complete game in all aspects and maintain our growth from recent games, in which we've made steps forward, above all on defense."
Nikos Hatzivrettas - Panathinaikos Big nights from Dimitrios Diamantidis and Nikos Chatzivrettas saw Panathinaikos remain undefeated in Group B with an 87-72 over Unicaja Malaga Thursday night at the OAKA Olympic Arena in Athens, Greece. Panathinaikos improved to 5-0, opening up a two-game lead over three teams tied for second place in the group. Unicaja, which was the only team to defeat the Greens last year during the regular season, dropped to 1-4, sharing last place with Union Olimpija. Diamantidis had 20 points, 5 assists and 7 steals, while Chatzivrettas scored a game-high 21 for the home team. Three more players scored 9 each for Panathinaikos, which also welcomed Milos Vujanic to the court for the first time after a lengthy injury. Daniel Santiago carried Unicaja with 19 points and 10 fouls drawn. Carlos Jimenez added 15 and Carlos Cabezas came off the bench for 11 for Unicaja, which turned the ball over 21 times.

Diamantidis started with a triple from the corner and Kostas Tsartsaris added a hook shot, but both times Malaga reacted with good transition game and baskets coming from Jimenez and Berni Rodriguez. Santiago put Unicaja ahead at 5-7, but Panathinaikos found another open three pointer, this time from Chatzivrettas at the opposite corner. Jiri Welsch finished a basket-plus-foul, however Diamantidis’s second triple helped the Greens regain the lead – the fifth lead-change in less than two minutes. Chatzivrettas scored in the open court and drew a foul to make it 14-11. Panathinaikos kept on finding easy baskets, with Tsartsaris and Robertas Javtokas making it 18-12. Welsch answered back, but Javtokas, Mike Batiste and Diamantidis led the hosts to a double-digits difference for the first time at 24-14. Jimenez nailed a jumper, but Panathinaikos continued to run-and-gun; Becirovic and Diamantidis made it 28-16, before Jimenez connected from behind the arc to close the first quarter at 28-19.

Carlos Jimenez - UnicajaTsartsaris dunked in traffic and Diamantidis popped in another triple to make the score 33-19. Jimenez reacted again for the visitors and Santiago gave Unicaja hope from the paint with a basket-plus-foul. When Jimenez scored another layup, the guests had cut the deficit to 36-26. Kostas Vassiliadis punished the hosts’ lazy perimeter defense with a triple from the corner to make it 37-29 as Unicaja controlled the tempo. Marcus Brown chipped in a pair of free throws to extend the run to 10-2. Both teams fed the ball inside, with Batiste and Santiago bearing responsibility for Panathinaikos and Unicaja respectively, as the score now stood at 41-35. Cabezas’s free throws helped the visitors get within 41-39. Dejan Tomasevic answered with two baskets to give the Greens some breathing room. Dimos Dikoudis finished the hosts’ critical 6-point run to make it 47-39 as the two teams went to the lockers for halftime.

Chatzivrettas and Santiago exchanged jumpers as the game’s tempo seemed to slow down after two high-scoring quarters. The difference balanced between 8 and 10 points in the next minutes as the two teams made some bad decisions offensively. Unicaja used an excellent passing game to score outside with Jimenez and inside with Santiago to get back to 53-49. However, Dikoudis and Tomasevic answered back in the paint to rebuild an 8-point difference for the hosts. Welsch and Sanchez drove to the basket, but Tsartsaris did the same at 60-53. Tsartsaris dished consecutive assists to Batiste and Chatzivrettas to allow Panathinaikos to rally to a 10-point lead. Chatzivrettas scored again and Tsartsaris made one from the line to make it 67-54 at the end of the third period.

Brown connected for the first time to cut it to 67-57. Panathinakos, though, remained in charge of the rhythm. Chatzivrettas continued to show his great form with a good fast break layup at 71-59. Unicaja switched to a zone defense and Cabezas scored 5 in a row to bring Unicaja as close as 71-64 with seven minutes to play. Panathinaikos missed two open opportunities and Welsch scored in the paint to make it a 5-point game. But Ramunas Siskauskas broke the scoring silence for the Greens. Free throws from Diamantidis and Chatzivrettas gave Panathinaikos the points it needed for a 77-68 lead. Diamantidis stole the ball and Siskauskas nailed a triple to end the visitors' hopes as Panathinaikos sailed to an 87-72 win.
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Stelios Kyriakoglou, Athens
Referees: SUDEK, PETR (SVK), SAHIN, TOLGA (ITA), AITCHESON, DALE (ENG)
Attendance: 8000
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Unicaja19395472
Head coach: OBRADOVIC, ZELJKO
Panathinaikos
# 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
4 ALVERTIS, FRAGISKOS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
7 BECIROVIC, SANI 28:45 9 2/4 0/1 5/7   3 3 1 2 3     4 5 8
8 BATISTE, MIKE 24:00 9 4/5 0/1 1/2 2 3 5   1 2 1   3 1 9
9 SISKAUSKAS, RAMUNAS 15:15 5 1/3 1/1   1   1 1 2 1     4 2 4
10 HATZIVRETTAS, NIKOS 35:00 21 5/10 2/3 5/5 1 2 3 3 1 2     3 5 22
11 DIKOUDIS, DIMOS 13:00 6 2/3 0/1 2/2   2 2   1 1     3 1 4
12 TSARTSARIS, KOSTAS 27:00 9 4/6 0/1 1/2   5 5 3 2 3     2 1 11
13 DIAMANTIDIS, DIMITRIS 36:00 20 4/5 3/5 3/4 1 1 2 5 7 3 1   1 3 30
15 TOMASEVIC, DEJAN 9:00 6 3/4     1 2 3 1         1   8
16 SAKOTA, DUSAN DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
18 VUJANIC, MILOS 5:00                         1   -1
19 JAVTOKAS, ROBERTAS 7:00 2 1/2   0/3 2 1 3       1   1 2 3
Team           1 1 2   1           3
Totals 200:00 87 26/42 6/13 17/25 9 20 29 14 17 15 3 0 23 20 101
61.9% 46.2% 68%
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: SCARIOLO, SERGIO
Unicaja
# 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
4 SANCHEZ, PEPE 18:00 2 1/2 0/1     4 4 4 1       2 1 8
5 RODRIGUEZ, BERNI 25:15 5 2/5 0/1 1/2   3 3 1   2   2 4 1 -3
7 VASILEIADIS, KOSTAS 17:15 5 1/3 1/3     2 2   1         1 5
8 CHYLINSKI, MICHAL DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
9 WELSCH, JIRI 24:00 8 3/6 0/2 2/2 2 2 4 2 4 3   1 4 2 7
10 CABEZAS, CARLOS 22:00 11 2/2 1/5 4/4   2 2 1   5     2 2 5
11 PIETRUS, FLORENT 12:45         1 1 2   1       2   1
15 DE MIGUEL, IGNACIO DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
20 JIMENEZ, CARLOS 30:15 15 4/5 2/3 1/2 1 1 2 2 2 2     4 3 15
21 LORBEK, ERAZEM 5:15   0/1     1   1   1           1
25 SANTIAGO, DANIEL 29:30 19 8/9   3/6 1 1 2   1 6     2 10 20
41 BROWN, MARCUS 15:45 7   1/3 4/4   1 1 3   3       3 9
Team           1 1 2               2
Totals 200:00 72 21/33 5/18 15/20 7 18 25 13 11 21 0 3 20 23 70
63.6% 27.8% 75%
This game is not yet played

Head Coaches

OBRADOVIC, ZELJKO
Panathinaikos
"I would like to congratulate my players for their performance and the win. We had a good game. In the first half, though, we lost our tempo for a while and that cost us. When Malaga used zone defense we missed 4 consecutive opportunities. But, I am happy because we beat a deep team such as Unicaja. They had some injury problems in the beginning of the season, but I am sure they are going to get better and better in the future. Diamantidis and Chatzivrettas were our machine tonight. We missed Tony Delk as he still is the top scorer of the team. That’s why Diamantidis and Chatzivrettas had to play more minutes tonight. Vujanic played for the first time since last December. We believe in him and expect things from him."
SCARIOLO, SERGIO
Unicaja
"Congratulations to Panathinaikos. They deserved to win tonight. I believe we played well for 35 minutes. In that time we managed to be competitive. With the score at 73-68 we missed three possessions, did not react well on the offensive end and lost our chance. Panathinaikos took advantage of that and brought the difference to 15 points. Diamantidis is an incredible player. We watched how good he played against Olympiacos and in other Euroleague games, but he proved unstoppable. He has improved his three-point shot, too. Together with Papaloukas they are the best point guards in Europe. I really can’t tell who is better."

Players

DIAMANTIDIS, DIMITRIS
Panathinaikos
"It’s great to have a 5-0 record. But, we look forward. I believe that we can improve more and more. We are still in the beginning of the road and we don't have to get enthousiastic. Euroleague is tough and the road always has big obstacles. Unicaja is a good team and we had to be careful. They beat us twice last year. They still haven't found their rhythm, but they are gonna be better. Regarding the fans singing my name I would like to thank them very much. But, when they sing I just listen and feel their support for Panathinaikos and not individually for me."
VASILEIADIS, KOSTAS
Unicaja
"Panathinaikos is always among the favorites to qualify for the Final Four. This year the Final Four will take place in Athens, so Panathinaikos is a really heavy favorite. They hold a great team, they are experienced, and they are deep. We are not happy to stand at a 1-4 record, but I believe that we are going to improve as games pass. As for me, I am happy to return to Greece and play here."
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