Regular Season Round 12 - January 17, 2007 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 1-0
4-7 Overall 11-0

Referees

Crew Chief
BRAZAUSKAS, ROMUALDAS, Lithuania
Referee
PUKL,SASA, Slovenia
Umpire
LEFWERTH, OSCAR, Sweden

Team Stats

Ave.   Ave.
70.2 Points 83.1
31.4 Rebounds 31.4
8.2 O. Rebounds 10.2
23.2 D. Rebounds 21.2
11.7 Assists 12.1
10.3 Steals 11.0
2.8 Blocks 2.6
18.0 Turnovers 14.7
51.1 % 2PT 59.7 %
32.4 % 3PT 37.3 %
67.8 % FT 68.0 %
71.6 Index 91.5

Player Stats

Ave.   Ave.
12.5 / RODRIGUEZ, BERNI Points 16.1 / Batiste
4.6 / JIMENEZ, CARLOS Rebounds 7.1 / Batiste
1.7 / Pietrus OR 3.4 / Batiste
3.6 / JIMENEZ, CARLOS DR 3.1 / Diamantidis
2.9 / RODRIGUEZ, BERNI Assists 3.9 / Diamantidis
1.6 / Welsch Steals 2.6 / Diamantidis
0.9 / Pietrus Blocks 1.0 / Diamantidis
2.6 / Welsch Turnovers 2.7 / Diamantidis
66.7 % / Pietrus 2PT 77.8 % / TOMASEVIC, DEJAN
39.1 % / Welsch 3PT 52.2 % / SISKAUSKAS, RAMUNAS
83.7 % / RODRIGUEZ, BERNI FT 77.8 % / BECIROVIC, SANI
12.1 / SANTIAGO, DANIEL Index 20.0 / Batiste

THE TAKE

Unicaja will try to regain some of its mastery over Panathinaikos when the two sides meet on Wednesday in a Group B encounter in Malaga, Spain that means everything to the hosts in terms of its Top 16 hopes. Panathinaikos (11-0) is working on what is already the second-longest Euroleague winning streak of the decade. But last season the Greens went 12-2, with their only two defeats coming at the hands of Unicaja. This season, things have not gone as well for the Spanish champs, who are currently part of a three-way tie for fifth place in which only one team would be guaranteed to advance. Unicaja (4-7) has dropped three of its last four games and was trounced by Panathinaikos when they met in November, 87-72. Dimitrios Diamantidis was the star of that game, with 20 points, 5 assists and 7 steals. Center Daniel Santiago led Unicaja with 19 points on 8-of-9 shooting, while drawing 10 fouls. Panathinaikos will be missing a key player as star power forward Mike Batiste did not travel with the team, so will miss is third straight game with a calf injury. However, veteran big man Dejan Tomasevic has been solid in Batiste's place as the Greens have continued to roll. Last week, Ramunas Siskauskas was the big gun for Panathinaikos with 19 points on 4-of-5 shooting from beyond the arc in a road win over Roma. Unicaja has struggled on offene lately, failing to score 60 points in its last two losses. Berni Rodriguez (12.5 ppg.) is the team's top scorer and Santiago (10.5 ppg., 4.5 rpg.) its biggest inside threat. Panathinaikos does not have the height to match the 2.16-meter Santiago - the Greens' tallest player is 2.10-meter Robertas Javtokas - but it does have the depth and the available fouls to wear down the Unicaja center, who is a 50.8% free-throw shooter. Tomasevic, Kostas Tsartsaris (9 ppg., 4.3 rpg.), Demos Dikoudis (7.9 ppg.) and Javtokas are among those that will see time on Santiago. Panathinaikos is even deeper in the backcourt, where Diamantidis (8.5 ppg., 3.9 apg., 2.6 spg., 1 bpg.) leads a cast of stars that includes Tony Delk (9.6 ppg.), Nikos Hatzivrettas (9.5 ppg., 47.8% 3FG), Sani Becirovic (8.8 ppg.), Siskauskas (8 ppg., 52.2% 3FG) and Milos Vujanic. Unicaja counters with Jiri Welsch (9.9 ppg.), plus playmakers Pepe Sanchez and Carlos Cabezas (9.8 ppg.). The key players for the hosts could be the power forwards. The trio of Carlos Jiminez, Florent Pietrus and newcomer Marko Tusek will play key roles in creating space for Santiago inside or taking advantage of double-teams for easy points. Though Panathinaikos has already clinched first place in the group, the Greens certainly won't take this game lightly. Expect a hard-fought battle from both teams for whom the victory will be more than just a number in the standings.
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Euroleague.net, Kostas Sotiriou, Athens

Quotes Head Coaches

SCARIOLO, SERGIO
Unicaja
"We know the importance of a game that, without being decisive as the last two of the regular season will be, is still an important game in terms of qualification to the Top 16. We know the great strength - in all senses of the word - of our opponents, who are showing themselves to be the best team of the competition so far. As a consequence, we know that we have to make a major effort to compete with the best. The help of our fans will be key for us, especially when we have trouble scoring, which with modesty and logic, is something we can expect in such a game."
OBRADOVIC, ZELJKO
Panathinaikos
"As we come closer to the end of the regular season our goal is to combine winning and playing good basketball. We are facing a team that I personally think has quality and I believe that our mission in Spain is not easy. In their last Spanish League game they beat Murcia by 23 points on the road. That means those players have the desire to win as many games as possible and we have prepared the game with great respect and concentration. Unicaja is a very experienced team and definitely we need to try hard to beat them and improve our winning streak."

Players

JIMENEZ, CARLOS
Unicaja
"Right now our margin for error is very slim and our first objective is to win Wednesday's game against Panathinaikos. More than worrying about our rival - who of course deserves our respect, above all seeing their ascendancy in the Euroleague - we have to try to show some consistency in playing the good defense that we have pulled out in some games. If we can do that, it will surely make things more difficult for Panathinaikos."
TOMASEVIC, DEJAN
Panathinaikos
"For me, facing Unicaja Malaga is something I am used to, for one simple reason: I faced them at least twice each of the last few years. I did it with Tau Ceramica, I did it with Pamesa and now it is the second time that I play against them with Panathinaikos. They have had some ups and downs during this season, but they are still a good team. It is always difficult to play without two leaders of a championship team - I mean Garbajosa and Brown - but they have many other players who can perform at a high level. As a player of Panathinaikos, I want to keep on winning, as do all my teammates. The truth is we haven't played excellent games, but maybe we are saving something for the next rounds."
Berni Rodriguez - Unicaja Unicaja came through with a big win, while ruining Panathinaikos's bid for a perfect regular season on Wednesday at the Martin Carpena Arena in Malaga, Spain. The hosts used an 8-0 run in the closing minutes to pull away for a 67-61 win. The victory improved Unicaja's record to 5-7 in Group B and catapulted coach Sergio Scariolo's side back into the hunt for a ticket to the Top 16. Panathinaikos lost for the first time all season. The Greens are 23-0 over the last two years during the regular season against teams not named Unicaja, but just 1-3 against the Spanish champs. With star power forward Mike Batiste still sidelined with a calf problem, Panathinaikos had no answer inside for Unicaja center Daniel Santiago, who finished with 20 points, 8 rebounds and 10 fouls drawn. Carlos Jimenez added 10 points and 7 boards, while Berni Rodriguez scored 7 of his 10 points in the closing minutes. Rodriguez also picked up 4 steals. Dimitrios Diamantidis led Panathinaikos with 12 points and Demos Dikoudis posted 10 points and 8 rebounds. The game was close from start to finish and defined at times by sloppy play as Unicaja turned the ball over 18 times and Panathinaikos 14. The hosts were an apalling 15-of-27 from the line (55.5%) and the visitors were even worse at 6-of-15 (40%). The game got off to a slow start, but Diamantidis took control towards the end of the opening period for a 5-point Panathinaikos advantage. Santiago quickly erased that in the second period and as Unicaja grabbed the momentum and earned a 34-30 halftime lead. Tony Delk kept Panathinaikos in the picture and the scre was tied at 46-46 after 30 minutes. The game seemed destined to go down to the final shot, however just as Rodriguez took over to push Unicaja ahead, the visitors came up empty and watched in shock as Santiago and co. sealed the win.

Panathinaikos won the opening tip, but it took over a minute-and-a-half until Dejan Tomasevic fed Kostas Tsartsaris for the game's first basket. Unicaja looked confused on the offensive end, but kept it close thanks to strong defense. After nearly 3 minutes, Jimenez got Unicaja's first and the game's second basket. Things started to pick up as Rodriguez scored in transition for the hosts and Ramunas Siskauskas dunked for the Greens, but sloppy played ensued with each team committing a turnover on the next possession. A Jiri Welsch jumper was matched by Tomasevic inside as the scoreboard showed 6-6 after 6 minutes. Ignacio DeMiguel and Tomasevic traded baskets before Jimenez's three-point play. However Tomasevic and Tsartsaris kept it close with their strong play in the paint. Back-to-back Diamantidis layups put Panathinaikos up 13-16 as the visitors continued to capitalize on Unicaja turnovers. Robertas Javtokas came off the bench for a slam, but was posterized by Santiago who spun past and dunked on the Panathinaikos big man to make it 15-18 after 10 minutes.

Dimitrios Diamantidis - PanathinaikosUnicaja sent the ball into an open Santiago for an east two at the start of the second period. The Unicaja center made an impact on defense as well, intimidating Dikoudis into a bad shot and creating a fast-break for Jiri Welsch, who was fouled, but missed both free throws. Dikoudis scored in transition, but Santiago continued to control the paint on both ends. Kostas Vasileiadis tied the game at 22-22 from the line and Santiago, who exchanged words with Dikoudis after the latter's hard foul, put Unicaja on top from the line. Santiago drew another foul from Dikoudis and made a free throw to cap a 7-0 run to put Unicaja ahead by 4. After a pair of Milos Vujanic free throws, Vasileiadis gave Unicaja its biggest lead yet with three-pointer, causing Panathinaikos to take a timeout trailing 29-24. Dikoudis and Diamantidis brought the visitors within 1, but Pepe Sanchez scored and then set Marko Tusek up for a three-point play before Dikoudis ended the half with an alley-oop dunk from Siskauskas to make it 34-30 at halftime.

Tsartsaris drew first blood in the second half, but Jimenez answered quickly. The swarming Panathinaikos defense frustrated Unicaja, even forcing a 5-second inbounds violation at one point. A series of pretty passes between Tsartsaris and Tomasevic led to a dunk for the latter that knotted the score at 36-36, however Jimenez scored three the hard way at the other end. Delk kept the visitors close with a pull-up jumper midway through the period. Missed free throws by Santiago and Welsch prevented Unicaja from increasing the lead and allowed Delk to swing the lead back to the Greens with a short jumper. Another spin move from Santiago tied the score at 42-42 before Dusan Sakota scored his first points and Panathinaikos's first three-pointer of the night. Carlos Cabezas came through with his first points of the night, making a pair of free throws to tie the game at 46-46 heading into the fourth quarter.

The tension grew as the fourth quarter got underway. Siskauskas made a free throw and then a jumper on Panathinaikos's first two possessions, but Sanchez erased that with a triple. Tusek put Unicaja up on the offensive glass, but Dikoudis answered with a put-back and after Sanchez's missed three, Diamantidis made it 51-53 with a wild runner. Sanchez delivered again from downtown to restore a home-team lead. Unicaja showed a zone defense, which seemed to confuse the Greens, while Santiago went over everyone for a bucket on the other end. The teams continued to swap shots, with Rodriguez matching Diamantidis's triple for a 59-56 lead with just over 3 minutes to go. Nikos Hatzivrettas's first basket helped Panathinaikos within 1, but Rodriguez continued his clutch play with a drive to the hole for 2 with 2 minutes remaining. Santiago corrected a Sanchez miss for a 5-point lead. A Tusek steal led to a Rodriguez basket to put Unicaja up 65-58 as the fans started to smell a big upset. Santiago would add one more hoop as Panathinaikos seemed to give up in the closing seconds, while Unicaja celebrated a crucial win.
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Euroleague.net
Referees: BRAZAUSKAS, ROMUALDAS (LTU), PUKL,SASA (SLO), LEFWERTH, OSCAR (SWE)
Attendance: 9900
By Quarter1234
Unicaja15191221
Panathinaikos18121615
End of Quarter1234
Unicaja15344667
Panathinaikos18304661
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 24:15 8 1/3 2/4     2 2 6 1       2   11
5 RODRIGUEZ, BERNI 23:00 10 3/4 1/3 1/3   3 3 2 4       4 3 13
7 VASILEIADIS, KOSTAS 16:15 6 0/2 1/2 3/4 1 1 2 1       2   2 5
8 CHYLINSKI, MICHAL DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
9 WELSCH, JIRI 21:45 4 2/7   0/4 2   2 1 1 4     2 4 -3
10 CABEZAS, CARLOS 34:45 2 0/2 0/2 2/2 1 1 2 2 1 4   1 4 3 -3
11 PIETRUS, FLORENT 15:00         1 3 4   1       3 2 4
15 DE MIGUEL, IGNACIO 9:45 2 1/1               3     2   -3
17 TUSEK, MARKO 14:30 5 2/3   1/1 1   1 1 1 1 1     1 8
20 JIMENEZ, CARLOS 18:30 10 4/4 0/1 2/2 3 4 7 1   3     2 2 14
22 SANCHEZ, ALFONSO DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
25 SANTIAGO, DANIEL 22:15 20 7/10   6/11 1 7 8   1 3     2 10 26
Team           2   2   1 1         2
Totals 200:00 67 20/36 4/12 15/27 12 21 33 14 11 19 1 3 21 27 74
55.6% 33.3% 55.6%
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: 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 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
5 DELK, TONY 21:45 8 3/5 0/2 2/4   1 1 1   2     2 3 3
7 BECIROVIC, SANI 5:45 2 1/3           3 1       2   2
9 SISKAUSKAS, RAMUNAS 34:15 7 3/9 0/3 1/4 2 1 3 1 6 1     3 6 7
10 HATZIVRETTAS, NIKOS 13:00 2 1/3 0/1                   1 1 -1
11 DIKOUDIS, DIMOS 14:00 10 5/8   0/3 3 5 8           2 2 12
12 TSARTSARIS, KOSTAS 18:45 6 3/4 0/2   2 3 5 3   2 1   3 1 8
13 DIAMANTIDIS, DIMITRIS 32:00 12 3/6 2/3   1 1 2 2 2 3 1   2 4 14
15 TOMASEVIC, DEJAN 28:00 7 3/5   1/2 3 4 7 2 1 2     4 1 9
16 SAKOTA, DUSAN 13:15 3   1/1     1 1   1 1     2 1 3
18 VUJANIC, MILOS 13:15 2 0/2 0/2 2/2           2   1 3 1 -7
19 JAVTOKAS, ROBERTAS 6:00 2 1/1               1 1   3   -1
Team           3 2 5   2 1       1 7
Totals 200:00 61 23/46 3/14 6/15 14 18 32 12 13 15 3 1 27 21 56
50% 21.4% 40%
This game is not yet played

Head Coaches

SCARIOLO, SERGIO
Unicaja
"We beat a great team like Panathinaikos, with a great coach, a great roster and a great mentality. The win is important, not only because it helps us in the standings, but also because it improves our confidence in games to come. This is the kind of win that makes you wonder. We did a great defensive job and our success on making the right decisions in offense compensated some mistakes. I must congratulate our medical team for helping Daniel Santiago to play the game. He had a very big game tonight."
OBRADOVIC, ZELJKO
Panathinaikos
“Congratulations to Unicaja for this win. They played with great aggressiveness from the very beginning. We did not come out to play the way we should in this game and therefore we had our worst game of the season. I am not suprised to see Unicaja play well, they are a very strong team at home and always play aggressive."

Players

RODRIGUEZ, BERNI
Unicaja
"It was a very tough game. We come out to play great defense and we were focused for the whole game, on and off the court. We had to stop being up-and-down. We have been playing much better in the last month and we have to carry on that way.”
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