Regular Season Round 6 - December 03, 2009 CET: 18:00 Local time: 19:00 - O.A.K.A.

Records

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

Referees

Crew Chief
DRABIKOVSKY, VOLODYMR, Ukraine
Referee
HERCEG, SINISA, Croatia
Umpire
MIKHAYLOV, SERGEY, Russian Federation

Team Stats

Ave.   Ave.
83.4 Points 73.2
30.2 Rebounds 31.2
8.2 O. Rebounds 10.2
22.0 D. Rebounds 21.0
17.2 Assists 10.8
6.2 Steals 7.0
2.8 Blocks 0.6
12.8 Turnovers 15.2
66.3 % 2PT 49.7 %
34.9 % 3PT 33.9 %
77.5 % FT 77.6 %
96.2 Index 66.0

Player Stats

Ave.   Ave.
17.2 / PEKOVIC, NIKOLA Points 14.8 / FINLEY, MORRIS
4.6 / Fotsis Rebounds 5.4 / HALL, MICHAEL
1.8 / PEKOVIC, NIKOLA OR 2.0 / ROCCA, MASON
3.4 / Fotsis DR 4.0 / HALL, MICHAEL
4.6 / Spanoulis Assists 2.2 / FINLEY, MORRIS
2.0 / Perperoglou Steals 2.0 / FINLEY, MORRIS
1.0 / Fotsis Blocks 0.2 / HALL, MICHAEL
2.6 / PEKOVIC, NIKOLA Turnovers 2.4 / FINLEY, MORRIS
100.0 % / GOLEMAC, JURICA 2PT 70.0 % / PETRAVICIUS, MARIUS
50.0 % / Perperoglou 3PT 53.8 % / MORDENTE, MARCO
100.0 % / Shermadini FT 90.0 % / FINLEY, MORRIS
17.6 / PEKOVIC, NIKOLA Index 13.0 / FINLEY, MORRIS

THE TAKE

A big battle for different goals in Group B is expected in Athens, Greece, where Euroleague defending champion Panathinaikos hosts Armani Jeans Milano on Thursday at 18:00 CET. Panathinaikos joins a three-way with Khimki and Real Madrid atop the Group D standings at 4-1, three wins away from AJ Milano, EWE Baskets and Asseco Prokom, all tied for fourth place at 1-4. Milano, however, plays three of its last four games at home, so an upset against Panathinaikos would catapult the team closer to the Top 16. It won't be an easy task, however, as Panathinaikos won its two home games by an averaging margin of 34 points. Sarunas Jasikevicius and Milenko Tepic are in doubt for this match. Saras has not played any game in this season but returned to practice this week. Meanwhile, Tepic missed the Greek League derby against Olympiacos due to a back injury. As such, Dimitris Diamantidis and Vassilis Spanoulis will share the point guard duties, with Nick Calathes ready to offer a helping hand. Drew Nicholas will see most minutes at shooting guard, with Stratos Perperoglou ready to offer defense and determination at small forward. With Alex Acker once again out for this game, Stefano Macinelli and Jonas Maciulis will see most minutes at both wings. Panathinaikos can opt to use Diamantidis to guard Maciulis due to his versatility and quickness. Jeff Viggiano and Marco Mordente are ready to come off the bench to provide fire power against Nicholas and Spanoulis. Morris Finley will see most minutes at point guard for AJ, with Massimo Bulleri ready to come off the bench and contribute with his experience and court sense. The biggest key of this game, however, will be to find out if AJ Milano is able to stop Nikola Pekovic and a recovered Mike Batiste around the baskets. Pekovic is a mismatch due to his size and mobility, becoming the perfect complement for Batiste's intensity and physical game. With Marius Petravicius still sidelined, Mason Rocca and Joey Beard are set to battle against Pekovic, with Mike Hall ready to guard Batiste. Panathinaikos is deeper around the baskets, as it can open the floor with Kostas Tsartsaris and Antonis Fotsis or use center Giorgi Shermadini if Pekovic gets into foul trouble. Panathinaikos must stay focused and look for Pekovic and Batiste down low. AJ Milano must control the game tempo, just like EWE Baskets did in the first half against the Greens last week. Even when Panathinaikos is the hevay favourite, expect AJ to be a tough opponent in already a critical game for the guests.

REFEREES: Volodymyr Drabikovskyi, Sinisa Herceg, Sergey Mikhaylov


GAME NOTES

Panathinaikos

Milenko Tepic has had some of his best individual performances against Armani Jeans Milano. Tepic dished a career-best 8 assists for Partizan in an 81-76 regular season win in Belgrade last November and scored a career-high 19 in a 73-59 loss in Milano the following month.

Drew Nicholas played with Armani Jeans Milano shooter Marco Mordente during the 2005-06 season at Benetton Treviso. Together they won the Italian League title.

Nicholas needs just 1 more three-pointer to reach 200 for his Euroleague career.

Nikola Pekovic has scored in double figures in every game this season and in 13 of his last 14 games dating back to last season.

Mike Batiste scored 25 points in his season debut last week against EWE Baskets Oldenburg.

Vassilis Spanoulis has made 10 straight free throws over his past three games.

Armani Jeans Milano

Jonas Maciulis has an active streak of 12 consecutive Euroleague games with double figures in points, dating back to last season.

Maciulis has made at least one three-pointer in 16 consecutive Euroleague games, dating back to last season.

Maciulis scored a season-high 20 points last week at Real Madrid.

Alex Acker has picked up at least 1 steal in nine consecutive Euroleague appearances, dating back to last season.

Armani Jeans has blocked the fewest shots of any team in the Euroleague this season (3).
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Euroleague.net

Quotes Head Coaches

OBRADOVIC, ZELJKO
Panathinaikos
"We must play seriously and have a game from scratch. I mean that we must forget our win in Milan, because since then, Armani Jeans Milano improved their performance and they were very close to surprise everybody in the game against Real Madrid. They played excellent, they were up by 10 points, with six minutes to go and this should be a warning for us."
BUCCHI, PIERO
Armani Jeans Milano
"Panathinaikos is a great team, with great and experienced players and coached by one of the best coaches in the world, Zelimir Obradovic, and for us it’ll be a very difficult game. In Milano, last October, we played a really good game: the result was more or less tied for more than 33 minutes then they got the lead and won by 8 points, but we played really well, with intensity, energy and concentrated on our game plan. We have to try to repeat that kind of game, approaching it with the right mentality, with no fear. We know they are the European Champions, but we’re playing good in the last weeks, despite the many injuries we’re still living with, and we want to go ahead on this road. We won four in a row in the Italian League and last Thursday in Madrid we played a great game for 34 minutes against one of the best teams in Europe."

Players

FOTSIS, ANTONIS
Panathinaikos
"We beat them there in the Euroleague opening game, but now it's another story. Armani Jeans Milano is a good team and we face them just after we lost to Olympiacos, so we want to get back on track. We know what we have to do in order to get the victory and satisfy our fans."
MACIULIS, JONAS
Armani Jeans Milano
"Obviously it’ll be a tough game against the European Champions, away and with a few players still injured, but we go to Athens to play our game with energy and the right mentality. We know that in the next weeks before Christmas we’ll play three really important games that will decide our future in Euroleague. We want to get the pass for the Top 16 and we know to get it we have to try to win every game, starting with the one in OAKA against Panathinaikos."
Nikola Pekovic - PanathinaikosPanathinaikos took care of business on Thursday evening at OAKA, dealing Armani Jeans Milano an 80-68 defeat. With yet another convincing home win, the defending Euroleague champions remain tied atop Group D with a 5-1 record. The Greens face a tough test when they visit third placed BC Khimki next week. Meanwhile Milano fell to 1-5 and will host German champion EWE Baskets Oldenburg in Week 7. Panathinaikos won the first meeting with Milano in Week 1 by pulling away in the fourth quarter, but this game was decided much earlier as the hosts simply dominated all the way with great balance between post and perimeter players and suffocating man-to-man defense. Panathinaikos won the battle of the boards 33-27 and the Greens’ ball movement led to 69% shooting from inside the arc. But Milano never gave up. Down by 15 going into the fourth quarter, head coach Piero Bucchi’s men rolled off a 0-9 run to cut the lead to just 6 before Mike Batiste and Nikola Pekovic took control once again for Panathinaikos. Pekovic led the way with 16 points for the winners. Batiste seconded his partner inside with 12 points off the bench while Stratos Perperoglou added 11 more. Sarunas Jasikevicius returned to the court for the first time this Euroleague season and showed he has not lost step by scoring 4 points and dishing out 3 assists in 14 minutes on the court. Jonas Maciulis paced Milano with 17 points and 4 rebounds and Mike Hall added 10 points and 5 boards in the losing effort.

Antonis Fotsis opened the scoring with a pair of free throws and on the very next possession Pekovic passed from the high post to an open Fotsis on the baseline for an easy bucket. Perperoglou drained a three from the wing and the home team was quickly up 7-0. Stefano Mancinelli tried to jumpstart the sluggish Armani Jeans attack with a three from the top of the arc, but Pekovic earned a trip to the line where he made both free throws. Panathinaikos got into the bonus at the 6:16 mark, and Pekovic tossed in 2 more from the foul line. Marco Mordente weaved his way in for a short jumper, but Fotsis found Pekovic, who had perfect position under the glass, for a layup. Jeff Viggiano came off the bench and nailed a three from the corner for Milano. Joey Beard blocked a shot by Batiste, but next trip down Batiste took him outside and swished a jumper. Panathinaikos went ahead 19-8 on a deep jumper by Drew Nicholas. Viggiano nailed his second three from the left side, but Batiste converted a 2-plus-1 as the Greens spread the floor and let him work on Hall alone in the low blocks. Jasikevicius took the court for the first time this season and did not take long to make his presence felt. The star point guard pulled in an offensive board and whipped a no-look pass to Kostas Tsartsaris for a dunk and on the next play Jasikevicius found Milenko Tepic open on the wing for a three to end the quarter 27-12.

Tsartsaris made a layup to open the second period. Maciulis hit a pair of free throws for the visitors, but Jasikevicius showed there was no rust on his wheels by hitting a long jumper. Maciulis and Hall hit back-to-back threes and Massimo Bulleri added 2 foul shots to cap a 0-8 run to get the deficit down to 31-21. Batiste answered with a half hook, Fotsis made a put back and Giorgi Shermadini gave the home side a 37-23 lead on a field goal. Perperoglou made an excellent block of a breakaway dunk attempt by Viggiano, but Finley drove hard and banked home a short floater. Nicholas hit right back with a three-pointer. The Panathinaikos defense kept forcing Milano into tough perimeter shots, but fortunately for the visitors Hall slammed home a missed three by Finley. Hall hit again inside and Mordente hit a three to cut the lead to 12 points before Fotsis scored inside. Mason Rocca made a pair of free throws and Armani Jeans went into the half down 44-32.

Mike Hall - AJ MilanoMilano turned up the defense coming out of the locker room but missed some easy shots and could not cut further into the Panathinaikos lead. Pekovic went 1-of-2 from the foul line before Maciulis finally got a layup to fall. Again Pekovic got deep position and converted a 2-plus-1, and Perperoglou added a turnaround jumper in the lane to put Panathinaikos ahead by 16. Hall checked in and made an impact on defense, drawing an offensive foul on Pekovic and blocking a shot by Vassilis Spanoulis, but the Panathinaikos point guard would come back to score 5 free throws with Diamantidis adding one more to give the Greens a 56-36 advantage. Mordente finally got a three to fall, and Hall made a great tip in off the glass. Batiste, too strong, powered his way in for a layup, and Spanoulis fed a trailing Fotsis for an easy 2 points. Batiste attacked the basket and was rewarded with 2 foul shots that he promptly sank. Bulleri matched him with 2 of his own, but Jasikevicius showed some quickness getting to the glass for a layup. Hall did what he could, drilling a three-pointer, but Panathinaikos went into the final period enjoying a 63-48 advantage.

Milano began the fourth quarter playing hard defense, but this time the visitors were able to capitalize on their defensive stops as Rocca made back-to-back layups to cut the deficit to 13 points and force Panathinaikos head coach Zeljko Obradovic to call for time. The stoppage of play did not help his team as Maciulis nailed a three and after a turnover by Jasikevicius, the Milano forward added a breakaway dunk to get the lead down to 63-57 and breath life back into the game. Batiste stepped up and hit a big outside jumper to cut the 0-9 Milano run. Panathinaikos settled down on defense and put the game to sleep. Pekovic added a pair of free throws to get the lead back to 10 points. Spanoulis made 2 more foul shots before Maciulis scored a layup. Perperoglou hit a jumper and Spanoulis swished a big three to push the lead back to 74-61. Finley hit back with a triple from the top of the key, but Perperoglou drove in for pretty layup and Panathinaikos coasted to a comfortable 80-69 win.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Euroleague.net
Referees: DRABIKOVSKY, VOLODYMR (UKR), HERCEG, SINISA (CRO), MIKHAYLOV, SERGEY (RUS)
Attendance: 4850
By Quarter1234
Panathinaikos27171917
Armani Jeans Milano12201620
End of Quarter1234
Panathinaikos27446380
Armani Jeans Milano12324868
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
5 TEPIC, MILENKO 6:43 3   1/2                   3   -1
6 SPANOULIS, VASSILIS 23:58 8 0/1 1/2 5/6   1 1 1 1 2   1 3 5 7
7 PERPEROGLOU, STRATOS 24:29 11 4/5 1/4     2 2 2 3 1 1   2 3 15
8 BATISTE, MIKE 18:08 12 5/6   2/3 1 2 3     4   1 3 6 11
9 FOTSIS, ANTONIS 24:12 8 3/4 0/1 2/2 2 6 8 1 1 1     1 1 15
11 NICHOLAS, DREW 22:47 5 1/2 1/5     2 2   2 2         2
12 TSARTSARIS, KOSTAS 14:29 4 2/3 0/1   1 1 2 1   2     2   1
13 DIAMANTIDIS, DIMITRIS 21:54 5 1/1   3/4   1 1 3 1 1     2 1 7
14 PEKOVIC, NIKOLA 15:05 16 3/5   10/14   2 2 1   1   1 2 11 20
15 CALATHES, NICK 10:33     0/3 0/2           1       1 -5
16 SHERMADINI, GIORGI 3:41 4 2/4   0/2 3 1 4   1         1 6
19 JASIKEVICIUS, SARUNAS 14:01 4 2/2 0/1   1 2 3 3 1 3     1   6
Team           2 3 5               5
Totals 200:00 80 23/33 4/19 22/33 10 23 33 12 10 18 1 3 19 29 89
69.7% 21.1% 66.7%
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: BUCCHI, PIERO
Armani Jeans Milano
# 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
6 MANCINELLI, STEFANO 23:14 3 0/1 1/2     2 2 1 2 4     5   -3
7 HALL, MIKE 29:30 10 2/3 2/7   3 2 5 2 2 1 1   3 1 11
8 MACIULIS, JONAS 26:51 17 5/8 1/5 4/6 2 2 4   1 2     3 6 14
9 MORDENTE, MARCO 20:56 8 1/1 2/4     2 2 2   1     1 1 9
10 FINLEY, MORRIS 23:54 7 2/3 1/3     1 1 1 1 1     4 2 4
11 BULLERI, MASSIMO 21:01 8 1/5 0/2 6/6 1 2 3 3 2 2     3 5 10
12 ROCCA, MASON 16:52 6 2/3   2/2 1 1 2     1     5 2 3
14 CACACE, GIACOMO 0:27                              
15 PETRAVICIUS, MARIUS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
19 BEARD, JOEY 9:50   0/2     1 3 4   1 2 1   4   -2
20 VIGGIANO, JEFFREY 27:25 9 0/4 2/2 3/4 1 1 2 3 1 3 1 1 1 2 8
Team             2 2     1     1    
Totals 200:00 68 13/30 9/25 15/18 9 18 27 12 10 18 3 1 30 19 54
43.3% 36% 83.3%
This game is not yet played

Head Coaches

OBRADOVIC, ZELJKO
Panathinaikos
"It was an important game and I am glad we beat Armani Milano. We had an excellent start and a powerful start during the third period, when we had the answers even when they tried to change their defense. We reacted well; we had high concentration and reached a 15-point lead. The problems started when we opened our rotation. It is easy of course to find out what's wrong when you miss a 20-point lead, but I think all our twelve players deserved to play tonight. As for our 11 missed free throws and 4 out of 19 three-pointers, the solution is always practice and many shots."
BUCCHI, PIERO
Armani Jeans Milano
"I think that the crucial part for us was when we cut the margin to six points. A missed shot and Mason Rocca's fifth foul didn't allow us to come closer and finally cost us another loss. We tried hard, we managed to defend Panathinaikos well during the third period, but definitely it was not enough when you face the Euroleague champs. A positive issue was that we showed character and this is what we will try to hold from this deficit in Athens."

Players

JASIKEVICIUS, SARUNAS
Panathinaikos
"It was like I fell from the moon and they told me to play. It was a long time since I played my last game before the surgery six months ago and definitely the most difficult part was the rehab. What is important right now is to keep up the hard work and find my rhythm and my physical strength. I would like to say a big thanks to the fans for their warm welcome. It made me feel that I am a basketball player again."
VIGGIANO, JEFFREY
Armani Jeans Milano
"We had the opportunity to accomplish something more that cutting the deficit to six points, but we had foul trouble at that moment and we didn't finish it. Panathinaikos is a very good team, they are the current champs, but when you get in the court you try to do your job. I think we have very good players too and we had a chance at home and in Athens to beat such a team. The second round just started. We play better lately and our goal is to continue to play like this and even harder."
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