Regular Season Round 8 - December 14, 2006 CET: 20:45 Local time: 20:45 - PALACIO DE LOS DEPORTES J.M. MARTIN CARPENA

Records

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

Referees

Crew Chief
VOREADIS, LAZAROS, Greece
Referee
JERSAN, ANDREJ, Slovenia
Umpire
DRABIKOVSKY, VOLODYMR, Ukraine

Team Stats

Ave.   Ave.
74.4 Points 92.4
34.1 Rebounds 35.7
8.7 O. Rebounds 10.0
25.4 D. Rebounds 25.7
12.1 Assists 16.1
10.0 Steals 10.7
2.6 Blocks 1.9
17.7 Turnovers 13.6
53.7 % 2PT 54.9 %
36.4 % 3PT 38.0 %
69.6 % FT 82.8 %
82.0 Index 105.3

Player Stats

Ave.   Ave.
14.4 / Rodriguez Points 15.7 / VUJCIC, NIKOLA
5.3 / Pietrus Rebounds 7.7 / VUJCIC, NIKOLA
2.3 / Pietrus OR 2.0 / Eliyahu
3.6 / SANTIAGO, DANIEL DR 5.9 / VUJCIC, NIKOLA
3.0 / Rodriguez Assists 4.4 / VUJCIC, NIKOLA
1.6 / JIMENEZ, CARLOS Steals 1.9 / BYNUM, W.
1.3 / Pietrus Blocks 0.4 / VUJCIC, NIKOLA
3.0 / SANTIAGO, DANIEL Turnovers 3.6 / BYNUM, W.
75.0 % / Pietrus 2PT 83.3 % / SHASON, SHARON
50.0 % / JIMENEZ, CARLOS 3PT 63.2 % / SHARP, DERRICK
82.4 % / Rodriguez FT 100.0 % / BUFORD, R.
14.6 / Rodriguez Index 21.7 / VUJCIC, NIKOLA

THE TAKE

Unicaja will look to continue its recent resurgence when it hosts Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv in a Group B encounter on Thursday in Malaga, Spain. The Spanish champs have won three of their last four after starting the season 0-3. Their first loss of the year was one of their toughest, an overtime thriller on opening night in Tel Aviv, which Maccabi took 106-101. Will Bynum led the winners with 29 points, but the big star of the game was Carlos Cabezas, who scored a career-high 32 and dished 6 assists on his way to the Week 1 MVP award. Both teams have undergone changes since then, and their offenses are now more centered around their respected big guys, Unicaja's Daniel Santiago (9.9 ppg., 59.5% FG, 4.7 rpg.) and Maccabi's Nikola Vujcic (15.7 ppg., 7.7 rpg., 4.4 apg.). Maccabi's 92.4 points per game are the most in the league and nearly 20 more than Unicaja (74.4 ppg.). The Israeli champs also rank at or near the top in free-throw shooting (82.8%), rebounds (35.7 rpg.) and assists (16.1 apg.). Meanwhile Unicaja has worn down numerous opposing defenses with its 25.9 fouls drawn per game. Berni Rodriguez (14.4 ppg., 3 apg.), Cabezas (11.5 ppg.) and Jiri Welsch (11.4 ppg.) are the top scorers on coach Sergio Scariolo's side. Unicaja will be without playmaker Pepe Sanchez, who joins Euroleague all-time leading scorer Marcus Brown on the injured list. That will make things tougher on the Unicaja defense as Bynum (15.6 ppg., 3.4 apg.) is a big scoring threat for Maccabi who can penetrate and pass to open shooters, usually Simas Jasaitas (12.4 ppg., 51.9% 3FG) or Derrick Sharp (9.6 ppg., 63.2% 3FG). Lior Eliyahu (11.1 ppg., 6 rpg.) and Jamie Arnold (9.6 ppg., 5.7 rpg.) make up a stellar duo at power forward, with Noel Felix earning more minutes recently as well. Maccabi is winless in three tries on the road this season under coach Neven Spahija and has dropped seven of its last eight away from Tel Aviv dating back to last season. Maccabi has also dropped its last two games in Malaga and has only one win ever at Unicaja, back in January 2002. It will be interesting to see whether Cabezas and Bynum can recapture the magic that they had in their opening night duel, while the battle between Santiago and Vujcic inside could also be a sight to behold. A big night from any star player could prove to be the difference it what is expected to be a thriller.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Euroleague.net, Yarone Arbel (Tel Aviv)

Quotes Head Coaches

SCARIOLO, SERGIO
Unicaja
"We have to make a huge effort to overcome new obstacles that have been raised in our path and to compete against a team of the highest level, with plenty of tradition and full of fantastic players. I know that our fans will support us, above all in the most difficult moments we have during the game, and I count on the desire and sacrifice of the players who can be on court. They will help us play a serious and positive game like we have in recent ones."
SPAHIJA, NEVEN
Maccabi Elite
"I'm optimistic for this game. I believe in the way of me and the team, but we must start to win on the road. We were close last week. We look better and play more like a team, but we still lack experience. We must improve our defense, because on offense we make the points. If we play a little bit better on defense than in Athens with the same offense I think we have a chance. We are much more organized now. Unicaja is a good team. It will be tough, but nowadays we are much better and more organized than in the first game of the season."

Players

JIMENEZ, CARLOS
Unicaja
"This week we have an extra day to prepare the game as compared with recent weeks and we hope to take advantage of that time as much as we can. You have to show the highest respect for our opponent, regardless of previous results. In Tel Aviv, we played a good game against them and arrived to overtime. The should serve as a reference for us to this upcoming game. I am sure there are things to improve and they, too, will have seen errors they don't want to repeat, but not so much time has passed since the first game that we won't see similarities, either. Our last couple of results can boost our morale. Positive results always help continue a good work dynamic. It's clear that we need to show more consistency, so having taken our last two victories should show us the way against Maccabi, too."
BYNUM, WILL
Maccabi Elite
"We are going to try our best. We are a very different team than we were in the first game against Unicaja. We know each other better. In the first game against Unicaja, there were many individual plays. It's certainly time for us to win on the road. It's been sitting on our shoulders for too long now. I hope and believe we'll land back in Tel Aviv on Friday with a smile on our face. Unicaja is a good team, and they are going to be extra good because they play at home."
Yotam Halperin - Maccabi Elite Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv defeated Unicaja 67-83 on Thursday night at the Marten Carpena Arena in Malaga, Spain to move into sole possession of second place in Group B. The Israeli champion recorded its first road win of the season and improved its record to 5-3. Maccabi entered the game tied with Cibona and DKV Joventut for second in the group, but both teams were defeated on Thursday. Yotam Halperin scored a season-high24 points and dished 4 assists to lead the visitors. Simas Jasaitas added 17 and Lior Eliyahu 16 for Maccabi. Daniel Santiago dominated incide for 22 and Carlos Cabezas fired in three threes on his way to 13 for Unicaja. The Spanish champs , who were within one-game of Maccabi before the game, dropped to 3-5, putting them sixth in the group. Maccabi stormed out of the gate and took an early 2-12 lead, but Santiago and Jiri Welsch saw Unicaja close the gap to 19-22 after 10 minutes and Unicaja then tied the game at 27-27. However Maccabi pulled away once more for a 33-40 halftime advantage. Cabezas helped Unicaja take a 4-point lead in the third period, but Maccabi was too good, using Halperin and Eliyahu to race away for good and take the valuable road win.

Maccabi raced out to an early lead with Eliyahu slamming the game´s first points and Nikola Vujcic making the stand up with a big block. Halperin added a free throw and then a layup before Welsch got Unicaja on the board. However Maccabi continued to run, with Halperin draining a triple and another jumper to put Maccabi up 12. After Santiago scored inside, Jasaitas completed a rare four-point play to put Maccabi up 4-16. But Santiago had figured out the Tel Aviv defense and almost single-handedly carried Unicaja back. The big center scored 7 straight points and Welsch capped a 9-0 run with a layup to make it 19-22 at the end of the first quarter.

Daniel Santiago - UnicajaWelsch continued his strong form with a jumper to start the second period and minutes later Florent Pietrus tied the game at 27-27 with a slam. Maccabi came right back as Vujcic and Noel Felix scored their first points of the game to put the visitors back up 27’35. Unicaja started to press full court, but Derrick Sharp broke the defense and released Halperin for a triple that put Maccabi up 10. But the hosts bore down on defense and used a Santiago free throw and a Cabezas layup to finish the half with his team down 33-40-

The halftime break clearly benefited Unicaja and Cabezas in particular. Berni Rodriguez and Carlos Jiminez set the stage for Cabezas to tie the game at 40-40 with a three-pointer. After a Vujcic layup, Cabezas launched another three to put the hosts ahead. Halpein and Vujcic brought Maccabi right back , however Unicaja was poised for another run. Santiagi scored twice and Cabezas struck from downtown once more to complete an 8-0 charge that made it 51-47. But Maccabi regained the lead on a Jasaitas three and continued to rally. Halperin led an 0-8 run that put shook the home side and put Maccabi up 54-65 after 30 minutes.

Will Bynum and Eliyahu scored to start the fourth period as the visitors´ lead began to look insurmountable. Even when Jiminez scored, Eliyahu pushed Maccabi out to a 57-74 lead. Alfonso Sanchez´s three and Kostas Vasileiadis´s points gave a glimpse of Unicaja´s hopes, but Halperin dashed those and showed Maccabi the way to its first road win of the season.
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Euroleague.net
Referees: VOREADIS, LAZAROS (GRE), JERSAN, ANDREJ (SLO), DRABIKOVSKY, VOLODYMR (UKR)
Attendance: 9900
By Quarter1234
Unicaja19142113
Maccabi Elite22182518
End of Quarter1234
Unicaja19335467
Maccabi Elite22406583
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
5 RODRIGUEZ, BERNI 26:45 2 0/1 0/5 2/2   4 4 4 1 2     2 2 3
7 VASILEIADIS, KOSTAS 10:15 7 2/2 0/3 3/5   1 1 1           3 7
8 CHYLINSKI, MICHAL 11:45     0/1         2         1    
9 WELSCH, JIRI 30:45 9 4/8 0/3 1/2 2 1 3 1 4 4   2 5 2  
10 CABEZAS, CARLOS 36:15 13 2/5 3/6   2 3 5 4 2 3   1 2 4 16
11 PIETRUS, FLORENT 27:15 4 1/1 0/1 2/2 1 1 2     1 1   2 2 5
15 DE MIGUEL, IGNACIO DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
19 ERMOLINSKIJ, PAVEL DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
20 JIMENEZ, CARLOS 21:00 7 2/3   3/6   6 6   1 2     4 3 7
21 LORBEK, ERAZEM DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
22 SANCHEZ, ALFONSO 4:15 3   1/2   1   1           1   2
25 SANTIAGO, DANIEL 31:45 22 8/15   6/9 2 4 6 1 1 1 2 1 3 7 24
Team             1 1   1 1     1    
Totals 200:00 67 19/35 4/21 17/26 8 21 29 13 10 14 3 4 21 23 64
54.3% 19% 65.4%
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: SPAHIJA, NEVEN
Maccabi Elite
# 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 BYNUM, WILL 21:30 6 3/6 0/2     1 1 1 1 5   1 2 2 -2
5 FELIX, NOEL 8:00 4 1/4   2/2             1   3 1  
6 SHARP, DERRICK 23:30 6 3/4 0/1   1 2 3 2 1     1 3   6
7 VUJCIC, NIKOLA 23:00 8 4/5 0/1 0/2   4 4 1   1 1   3 4 10
8 ELIYAHU, LIOR 28:00 16 5/6 0/1 6/9 1 2 3 2 2 2 2   2 6 22
9 ARNOLD, JAMIE 14:45   0/3       1 1 2 1 1     2 1 -1
10 BURSTEIN, TAL DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
11 SHASON, SHARON 9:30   0/2     2 3 5 1         4    
12 FANAN, REGEV DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
13 JASAITIS, SIMAS 33:45 17 3/7 3/3 2/4 3 2 5 1 2 1   1 1 1 17
14 GREEN, YANIV 3:00 2 0/1   2/2   2 2     1     2 1 1
21 HALPERIN, YOTAM 35:00 24 6/9 3/3 3/4 1 4 5 4 3 3     1 4 32
Team           1 5 6   1 1       1 7
Totals 200:00 83 25/47 6/11 15/23 9 26 35 14 11 15 4 3 23 21 92
53.2% 54.5% 65.2%
This game is not yet played

Head Coaches

SCARIOLO, SERGIO
Unicaja
"During the first minutes we were at the same level as such a great team as Maccabi. We lacked strength afterwards and if you fail, Maccabi can hit you triples from anywhere. The big effort to be at their level makes your stamina go down and it's impossible to keep up. Our young players played important minutes and showed they can help the team but we still will need to get two new players for the team, one inside and one outside."
SPAHIJA, NEVEN
Maccabi Elite
"It was a fine game against a great rival. We were better than Unicaja tonight but I am sure that they did not play at the level they can reach. I have lots of respect for their team and coach Scariolo, but the injuries are affecting them. I am sure that at the end of the season they will go up."

Players

SANTIAGO, DANIEL
Unicaja
"It was a tough game. Again, it looked like we were there ready to take the game, but we didn't finish it off and lost. Maccabi is a great team, they shot well. We fought hard but we fell, but now we have to concetrate on DKV Joventut next Wednesday in the Spanish League."
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