Regular Season Round 8 - December 14, 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
1-0 Regular Season 0-0
7-0 Overall 4-3

Referees

Crew Chief
JUNGEBRAND, CARL, Finland
Referee
SUTULOVIC, ZORAN, Montenegro
Umpire
VIATOR, EDDIE, France

Team Stats

Ave.   Ave.
84.4 Points 75.0
30.9 Rebounds 33.6
11.0 O. Rebounds 10.3
19.9 D. Rebounds 23.3
12.0 Assists 11.9
11.1 Steals 11.7
2.3 Blocks 1.6
12.9 Turnovers 15.1
56.2 % 2PT 48.5 %
39.5 % 3PT 37.0 %
68.8 % FT 66.7 %
93.3 Index 76.9

Player Stats

Ave.   Ave.
15.9 / Batiste Points 15.3 / Fernandez
7.1 / Batiste Rebounds 7.1 / GAINES, CHARLES
3.3 / Batiste OR 2.7 / GAINES, CHARLES
3.9 / Batiste DR 4.4 / GAINES, CHARLES
4.0 / Diamantidis Assists 2.7 / BENNETT, E.
2.9 / Diamantidis Steals 3.2 / RUBIO, RICARD
1.1 / Batiste Blocks 0.5 / Barton
2.7 / Diamantidis Turnovers 1.7 / GAINES, CHARLES
75.0 % / TOMASEVIC, DEJAN 2PT 66.7 % / Fernandez
54.5 % / SISKAUSKAS, RAMUNAS 3PT 61.1 % / VAZQUEZ, PACO
76.5 % / DELK, T. FT 100.0 % / Huertas
20.7 / Batiste Index 14.7 / Fernandez

THE TAKE

Panathinaikos puts its undefeated Group B record on the line Thursday when it hosts DKV Joventut at OAKA Olympic Arena in Athens, Greece. Panathinaikos (7-0), only the second team to reach the midway point of the Euroleague regular season this decade undefeated, edged Maccabi Tel Aviv 90-88 last week in a game that went down to the wire. Joventut (4-3), which is tied for second place in Group B, edged Union Olimpija on the road 67-69 last week behind Rudy Fernandez's 17 points. The Greens trailed by as many as 24 points before rallying to take down Joventut 79-82 in this season's opening game in October. Mike Batiste, the Euroleague MVP of the month for November, led the comeback effort for Panathinaikos with a season-high 25 points in 23 minutes. Coach Zeljko Obradovic's side ranks third in the league in scoring this season with 84.4 points per game, but will need to make due without injured swingman Ramunas Siskauskas. Injuries are nothing new to Joventut coach Aito Garcia Reneses, who has been without starting center Andrew Betts for over a month and only now welcomes back small forward Lubos Barton (14.3 ppg., 2.3 spg.) from a three-game absence. Even Fernandez has missed time with an injury. Batiste is Panathinaikos's leader in points (15.9 ppg.), rebounds (7.1 rpg.) and blocks (1.1 bpg.), but the team's top scoring threats have been on the perimeter with Nikos Hatzivrettas (12 ppg.), Tony Delk (11.3 ppg.) and Dimitrios Diamantidis (9.7 ppg., 4 apg., 2.9 spg.), who are shooting a combined 44% from beyond the arc this season, and Sani Becirovic (9 ppg.). Kostas Tsartsaris, Dejan Tomasevic and Demos Dikoudis are Batiste's associates on the frontline. Fernandez (15.3 ppg., 66.7% 2FG, 50% 3FG, 90% FT) is Joventut's shooting star, with Elmer Bennett (10.1 ppg.) running the show and Robert Archibald (7 ppg., 4.8 rpg.) and Charles Gaines (8.3 ppg., 7.1 rpg.) inside. Teenage sensation Ricky Rubio has become a key player off the bench, leading the league in steals with 3.2 per game. It will be tough for Joventut to catch Panathinaikos off-guard after the nail-biter they played on opening night. However, with Barton back, a tough and experienced Joventut side, which is 2-2 on the road this season, has what it takes to challenge the Greens from start to finish.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Euroleague.net, Kostas Sotiriou (Athens)

Quotes Head Coaches

OBRADOVIC, ZELJKO
Panathinaikos
"DKV Joventut is a team that we and I personally respect very much. And definitely, we have to take under consideration what happened during the game of the first round, when we rallied from a 24-point deficit to win the Euroleague opening game. They play really aggressive defense and they try to move the ball in order to achieve perfect execution, so we need to be concentrated to win this important game. We still face some injuries, but that's how it goes. We will fight with the players we have to improve our winning streak."
GARCIA RENESES, AITO
DKV Joventut
"We travel affected by injuries, in that situation it's hard to face a game with so little physical power. Even more against a team like Panathinaikos, which has huge potential. Everything about the Greek team worries me. I could talk about Diamantidis, Batiste or their eleventh player, which will also be dangerous. We travel without Archibald and Betts. And we also have Lubos Barton, who is getting back but not at 100 percent."

Players

JAVTOKAS, ROBERTAS
Panathinaikos
"Joventut is a very strong team and they proved it in the first game we played there. I guess that game was a great lesson for us, which taught us that we can lose if we are not concentrated from the first tipoff until the final buzzer. They have good players and they have the will to press on defense, but we compete at home and we will take care of business. Actually, if we play like Panathinaikos, it is difficult to get beaten by anyone, especially in Athens."
BENNETT, ELMER
DKV Joventut
"It will be a complicated game and even more playing in OAKA. They have a great team and noisy fans. We go there with options and we will try to win. I do not fear Panathinaikos but we know they have a atrong roster. We do not have to be obsessed with one player, it will be important to go out there and think about ourselves. We have to do our thing, have concentration and press in defense. We have our systems and that's where we can get some advantage. I am physically well, but I could be better. I practiced normally with the team and I am ready to travel and play."
Sani Becirovic - Panathinaikos Panathinaikos held on for another home win on Thursday night, topping DKV Joventut Badalona 83-73 at the OAKA Olympic Hall in Athens, Greece. The Greens improved to 8-0 atop Group B, adding another victory to what is already the second-best start to a Euroleague season this decade. Sani Becirovic scored a season-high 18 and Mike Batiste added 16 to lead the Panathinaikos charge. The game seemed academic after Milos Vujanic and Batiste helped Panathinaikos piece together a 17-0 first-quarter run. The Greens´ lead reached 20 in the second period and rested at54-34 at halftime. Visiting Joventut rallied to get to 65-60 early in the fourth quarter, but the hosts reeled off the game´s next 8 points and coasted to victory. Vujanic added 11 and Dimitrios Diamantidis dished 8 assists. Rudy Fernández had 18 for Joventut, which dropped to 4-4. Andrew Sullivan added 13, Dimitri Flis has 12 points and 10 rebounds and Ricky Rubio finished with 5 points, 7 assists and 7 steals.

The game got off to an uptempo start, but that did not mean easy baskets as both teams executed poorly. Fernandez scored all off Badalona`s points as the guests took a 5-2 lead. Panathinaikos continued to make poor decisions on the offensive end, but Kostas Tsartsaris grabbed two offensive rebounds and scored as many times to spark a 7-0 run and help the hosts regain lead at 9-7. Rubio came off the bench to steal the ball twice as Badalona responded with points coming from “The Ricky and Rudy Show.” Becirovic and Fernandez exchanged triples at 12-14 and Batiste dunked to even the score. That was only the beginning of what was in store. Diamantidis scored an easy layup on the fast break and Becirovic nailed another three-pointer. Vujanic followed suit as Panathinaikos increased its run to 10-0. Batiste scored from the line and then Vujanic exploded for 5 points of his own to bring it to 29-14. One made free throw by Rubio ended Badalona`s scoring drought after an incredible 17-point surge for Panathinaikos. Batiste found easy points to close the quarter at 33-15.

Rudy Fernandez - DKV JoventutTsartsaris connected with a hook at the start of the second period to make it a 20-point game. Ferran Laviña took over on offense for Juventut, scoring back-to-back jumpers, the second from behind the arc, to make it 35-20. But, Panathinaikos fed the ball inside for a Batiste dunk and Dimos Dikoudis also connected. Laviña scored another basket as points started to come easier for both teams. It began to look as if both sites had already realized the final outcome with two-and-a-half quarters left to play. Nikos Chatzivrettas and Elmer Bennett popped in a triple each and Ramunas Sikauskas added another to make it 51-31. When Fragiskos Alveris scored from the line, he became the 10th Panathinaikos player to enter his name in the scoresheet. Sullivan recorded a nice basket-plus-foul, but the hosts still went to the lockers for halftime having built a huge 54-34 lead.

It took almost two minutes for Panathinaikos to score in the third period, but Badalona was unable to cut the margin much, as only Sullivan connected with a difficult drive. Alvertis nailed a triple at 57-36 as Joventut struggled to find opportunities. However Rubio was about to change that. The teenager dished an excellent assist to Charles Gaines and Sullivan scored on an offensive rebound as the guests closed to 57-42. Rubio ran the floor to draw a foul and trim it more. Vujanic chipped in his third triple to help Panathinaikos improve to 60-46, but Sullivan scored 3 points from the charity stripe. Chatzivrettas nailed a buzzer-beating triple from 10 meters, but Marcelinho Huertas finished a good fast break and Flis scored in the paint to bring Badalona closer. Batiste answered back at 65-55, but the visitors had outscored the hosts 21-11 to get within 10 after 30 minutes.

Offensive rebounds kept on coming easy for Badalona and that allowed Sullivan to nail a triple to start the final period. Joventut now controlled the tempo and Barton added another three-pointer and after just one minute in the final period, the guests had trimmed it to 65-60. But that´s when the Badalona effort ran out of gas and as a result Panathinaikos rebuilt a double-digit margin with points coming from Batiste, Dikoudis and Siskauskas. Marcelinho and Flis cooperated for the most impressive play of the game as the latter dunked an alley-hoop pass. Flis passed the ball to Gaines on the weak side for another Badalona dunk at 73-65. Dikoudis did not miss from the line, but Flis answered back from the base line at 75-67. Dikoudis was now the Greens’ top offensive weapon, pushing the score to 77-67 with 2 minutes remaining and nothing would change from that point. Panathinaikos sailed from that point to an 83-73 win over Badalona.
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Stelios Kyriakoglou, Athens
Referees: JUNGEBRAND, CARL (FIN), SUTULOVIC, ZORAN (MNE), VIATOR, EDDIE (FRA)
Attendance: 7500
By Quarter1234
Panathinaikos33211118
DKV Joventut15192118
End of Quarter1234
Panathinaikos33546583
DKV Joventut15345573
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 6:00 4   1/4 1/2           4     3 1 -6
7 BECIROVIC, SANI 27:15 18 4/6 2/4 4/4   3 3 2 1 4 1   3 2 16
8 BATISTE, MIKE 31:45 16 6/7   4/4 3 3 6     1     3 4 21
9 SISKAUSKAS, RAMUNAS 18:00 7 2/2 1/2   1 2 3   2 2       2 11
10 HATZIVRETTAS, NIKOS 20:15 7 0/3 2/4 1/2   3 3 1   1   2 2 1 1
11 DIKOUDIS, DIMOS 15:30 8 3/4   2/2 1 2 3     1     2 3 10
12 TSARTSARIS, KOSTAS 26:30 9 3/5 0/1 3/3 3 5 8 1 1 4 2     3 17
13 DIAMANTIDIS, DIMITRIS 26:45 2 1/2 0/3 0/2 1 4 5 8 3       3 3 12
15 TOMASEVIC, DEJAN DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
16 SAKOTA, DUSAN DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
18 VUJANIC, MILOS 21:45 11 1/2 3/7 0/2 1 1 2 2 2     1 3 3 9
19 JAVTOKAS, ROBERTAS 6:15 1     1/2             1   1 1 1
Team           1 2 3               3
Totals 200:00 83 20/31 9/25 16/23 11 25 36 14 9 17 4 3 20 23 95
64.5% 36% 69.6%
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: GARCIA RENESES, AITO
DKV Joventut
# 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 HUERTAS, MARCELINHO 14:00 2 1/5 0/1         1 1     2 3 2 -4
5 FERNANDEZ, RUDY 26:00 15 0/2 3/8 6/6 1 3 4 3 2 2     2 3 16
6 BENNETT, ELMER 11:45 3 0/1 1/2         3 1 2     1   2
9 VAZQUEZ, PACO 14:15 5 0/1 1/4 2/2 1   1 1   1       3 5
11 BARTON, LUBOS 19:00 5 1/5 1/4   2 3 5       1   2 1 3
12 DUEÑAS, ROBERTO 8:00   0/2       1 1     1         -2
15 SULLIVAN, ANDREW 19:15 13 3/5 1/1 4/4 3 1 4     1 1   2 3 16
18 LAVIÑA, FERRAN 14:30 7 2/4 1/1   1 2 3 1   1     1 1 8
20 FLIS, DIMITRI 26:15 12 6/10 0/1   4 6 10 2   2   1 4 1 13
32 RUBIO, RICKY 26:15 5 1/3 0/2 3/4 3   3 7 7 2     3 6 18
41 GAINES, CHARLES 20:45 6 3/7     2 3 5     2 1 1 5    
51 BETTS, ANDY DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Team           1 2 3               3
Totals 200:00 73 17/45 8/24 15/16 18 21 39 18 11 14 3 4 23 20 78
37.8% 33.3% 93.8%
This game is not yet played

Head Coaches

OBRADOVIC, ZELJKO
Panathinaikos
"There were two completely different halves. In the first one we were concentrated and reacted well against Badalona’s aggressive defense. They played defense on the border between committing foul and not, but we managed to handle the situation. We read the game well and had good spacings. But, things changed in the second half we had bad spacings and that explains why Badalona recorded 17 offensive rebounds. If we are smart, we have to take our lesson from the second half."
GARCIA RENESES, AITO
DKV Joventut
"In the first half we were not focused on the game at all. We did not have any concentration and it is us to blame that we allowed Panathinaikos to run away. But, in the second half we put much energy on court, found our rhythm and managed to come closer. However, it is really difficult to beat Panathinaikos at its home."

Players

SISKAUSKAS, RAMUNAS
Panathinaikos
"Every win is important in the Euroleague. We are very happy with our undefeated record; 8 wins in as many games. But, I still believe it is better to make a loss now, that it won’t hurt us much. As the competition continues, a defeat could mean too much. Regarding me coming back from my injury, I have to admit I was feeling a bit rusty after 3 weeks of absence. But, I am happy to have helped the team to win."
BARTON, LUBOS
DKV Joventut
"We didn’t believe we could win this game against Panathinaikos in Athens. As a result, Panathinaikos crushed us in the first half. After halftime we found the way to take control of the game tempo, found our concentration and managed to cut the margin. Finally, we lost with a reasonable difference."
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