2007-08Final FourFinal
May 04, 2008 CET: 18:00
Local time: 18:00 PALACIO DE DEPORTES COMUNIDAD DE MADRID

Montepaschi Siena claimed third place at the 2008 Euroleague Basketball Final Four with a 97-93 overtime win over Tau Ceramica on Sunday at the Community of Madrid Sports Palace. Ksistof Lavrinovic hit a free throw with 4.7 seconds left to force overtime and then the Italian champs used a 9-0 charge in the extra period to secure the win. Lavrinovic paced Montepaschi with 19 points and Terrell McIntyre shined with 16 points and a new Euroleague Final Four record 12 assists. The win means that Montepaschi will be a top seed in the draw for the 2008-2009 regular season. The game was a close encounter throughout, with neither team ever taking a meaningful lead. Romain Sato added 15 points, 9 rebounds and 5 steals for the winners, Bootsy Thornton scored 14, and Shaun Stonerook posted 12 points and 9 boards for the winners. Pete Mickeal led Tau with 16 points and 10 rebounds, Tiago Splitter scored 15, Mirza Teletovic 14 – of which 11 came in the first eight minutes – James Singleton 13, Igor Rakocevic 10, while Pablo Prigioni dished 11 assists.

Montepaschi powered the offensive boards in the opening two minutes, but missed its first 6 shots, while at the other end, a three-pointer by Zoran Planinic got Tau going. Sato stepped up with a fast break basket for Montepaschi’s first points. Thornton copied him soon after that for a 4-3 Siena lead. Teletovic answered from downtown and then Tau brought Montepaschi into the foul bonus in less than four minutes. Planinic made free throws, but a put-back layup by Benjamin Eze got Montepaschi within 6-8. Thornton provided a highlight with an off-balanced jumper, as Eze went to the bench with 3 fouls. Will McDonald hit a free throw only to see Thornton score again to get Montepaschi back ahead, 9-8. Teletovic sandwiched a pair of bombs from downtown around McIntyre's triple and soon added an uncontested layup, causing Montepaschi to call timeout at 13-17. Lavrinovic sank foul shots, which Pablo Prigioni erased at the other end. Lavrinovic followed another free throw with a power layup, Vlado Ilievski added a driving basket and Stonerook hit a free throw to restore a 21-19 Montepaschi edge after 10 minutes.

Tau had just made one two-pointer in the entire first quarter, but Simas Jasaitis, who did not play against CSKA, scored around the basket in his first seconds on court. Montepaschi struggled to score early in this period while Singleton stepped up with a three-point play to put Tau back ahead, 21-24. Tau was very intense on defense now, not allowing any easy shots, but Ilievski sank a five-meter jumper. Montepaschi tried to play more aggressive, controlling the passing lanes, while former Tau guard Marco Carraretto shined with a driving layup. Jasaitis answered from downtown and Splitter added a layup to make it 25-29. After a Montepaschi timeout, Drake Diener made free throws and soon added a long two-pointer to tie it at 29-29. Prigioni fired in one from downtown, but a fast break layup by McIntyre kept Montepaschi as close as 31-33. Mickeal found his first points on free throws and followed those with a fast break layup, good for a 6-point Tau lead. Stonerook tried to change things for Montepaschi, but more foul shots by Mickeal kept Tau ahead. Thornton and McDonald exchanged free throws before a triple by Diener fixed the halftime score at 38-41.

Sato sank a close jumper right after the break and Lavrinovic added a layup to put Montepaschi back ahead, 42-41. Tau could not find its way to the basket early in the third quarter. McIntyre added free throws to cap a 6-0 Montepaschi spurt. Will McDonald stepped up with a put-back layup that Sato matched with a baseline jumper. Rakocevic struck from downtown before Thornton and Mickeal traded baskets to make it 49-48. Montepaschi switched to a 2-3 zone defense, which Mickeal broke with a layup in transition. Sato sank a jumper to tie the game again, 51-51, as Tau had started to find trouble to score. A Stonerook slam caused Tau call timeout at 53-51. Mickeal nailed a mid-range jumper, which Stonerook bettered with a three-pointer, good for a 56-53 Montepaschi edge. McDonald scored again, but Sato buried a corner triple to keep Montepaschi ahead, 59-55. McIntyre fed Eze for a wild alley-oop dunk, as Tau could not find any open shots until Sergi Vidal hit a three-pointer. Mickeal shined with a fast break layup to tie it again, 61-61, after 30 minutes.

Tau improved its aggressiveness under the rims, but failed to score in a five-chance possession, allowing Montepaschi to get its confidence back. Meanwhile, Lavrinovic dunked it off a spin move, but Splitter also slammed it in other end. Singleton made free throws, but when Thornton followed a power layup with more foul shots, Montepaschi took a 67-65 edge. Thornton fouled out on the following play, however, allowing Rakocevic to tie the game again. Lavrinovic stepped up with an alley-oop layup, which Splitter bettered with a basket-plus-foul. McIntyre sank his second triple to restore a 72-70 Montepaschi edge midway through the fourth quarter. Sato and Rakocevic traded free throws before a power layup by Carraretto gave Montepaschi a 76-72 edge. Splitter shined with another three-point play and soon added a layup after a Montepaschi timeout. Sato sank free throws, as Tau called timeout at 1:46 remaining. Splitter scored again, after which Sato and Rakocevic missed respective jumpers. With the game winding down and Montepaschi down 1, Lavrinovic was fouled after grabbing a McIntyre miss. He made one but missed the second to tie the score and Planinic’s last ditch effort to win it went wide, sending the game to overtime.

McIntyre scored the first points of the extra session from the line after drawing a foul while trying to shoot from beyond the arc. Rakocevic kept his team on track with a fast-break layup. Lavrinovic free throws kept Montepaschi ahead and Mickeal countered with only 1. Montepaschi didn’t capitalize and a Singleton triple put Tau ahead by 1, but just as quickly, Lavrinovci buried a three from the top of the key after which Stonerook made it 88-85 from the line. Singleton missed a jumper and Ilievski pushed the lead to 5 with a minute to go. Tau took a timeout, but Rakocevic missed a layup and Stonerook sealed the Montepaschi win with a triple.

Ksistof Lavrinovic - Montepaschi Siena - 3rd place Montepaschi vs. Tau Ceramica - Final Four 2008
Sunday, May 4, 2008
Javier Gancedo, Madrid
Referees: BRAZAUSKAS, ROMUALDAS (LTU), RYZHYK, BORYS (UKR), GKONTAS, SPIROS (GRE)
Attendance: 13480
By Quarter1234Extra 1
Montepaschi Siena2117231818
Tau Ceramica1922201814
End of Quarter1234Extra 1
Montepaschi Siena2138617997
Tau Ceramica1941617993
Montepaschi Siena
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 BERTI, SIMONE DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
5 MCINTYRE, TERRELL 31:31 16 1/3 2/6 8/8 1 3 4 12   3     2 4 25
6 ILIEVSKI, VLADO 19:34 6 3/4     1 2 3 1   1     2 2 8
8 EZE, BENJAMIN 12:35 4 2/3     1 1 2   1 1     4   1
9 CARRARETTO, MARCO 14:53 4 2/6 0/1   2   2 1   1     2   -1
10 SATO, ROMAIN 37:11 15 4/13 1/3 4/4 2 7 9 1 5 1 1 1 3 5 20
11 THORNTON, BOOTSY 18:42 14 5/6 0/2 4/5       1   1     5 5 10
12 LAVRINOVIC, KSISTOF 32:23 19 5/7 1/2 6/8 2 5 7 1 1 5 2   2 6 24
14 RESS, TOMAS 5:50                 1   1   1 1 2
16 DIENER, DRAKE 14:15 7   2/7 1/2           1     1 1  
19 ROMERO, HECTOR 2:38                         1   -1
20 STONEROOK, SHAUN 35:28 12 2/3 2/5 2/4 1 8 9 1 2       4 4 18
Team             4 4               4
Totals 225:00 97 24/45 8/26 25/31 10 30 40 18 10 14 4 1 27 28 110
        53.3% 30.8% 80.6%
Head coach: PIANIGIANI, SIMONE
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
Tau Ceramica
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
5 PRIGIONI, PABLO 25:48 5   1/5 2/2   3 3 11 3 4     4 2 12
6 GARCIA, ANDER DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
8 RAKOCEVIC, IGOR 28:15 10 1/5 1/5 5/7 2 2 4 2 1 1     4 3 5
9 VIDAL, SERGI 19:59 3 0/1 1/4         2   1     2   -2
10 PLANINIC, ZORAN 20:18 5 0/4 1/1 2/4   3 3 2       1 2 2 3
11 FERNANDEZ, LUCHO DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
12 TELETOVIC, MIRZA 26:25 14 1/2 4/5 0/2 1 1 2 1 1 2   1 4 1 8
13 JASAITIS, SIMAS 4:46 5 1/2 1/1     1 1         1 1 1 4
15 SINGLETON, JAMES 22:22 13 2/3 2/2 3/3 3 3 6     1     4 3 16
21 SPLITTER, TIAGO 21:52 15 6/12   3/4 1 1 2 2   5 1   3 3 8
33 MICKEAL, PETE 37:00 16 5/13   6/7 1 9 10   2 2   1 3 6 19
45 MCDONALD, WILL 18:15 7 2/3   3/4 2 4 6     1     1 6 15
Team           1 4 5               5
Totals 225:00 93 18/45 11/23 24/33 11 31 42 20 7 17 1 4 28 27 93
        40% 47.8% 72.7%
Head coach: SPAHIJA, NEVEN

Head Coaches

PIANIGIANI, SIMONE
Montepaschi Siena
“First of all, congratulations to both teams because they played another good game. It was not easy being a little tired and having less motivation. Both teams played really hard, strong and a beautiful game. This is the symbol for a strong mentality of both teams. Special thanks to the Siena fans who made many sacrifices to come here and support us. Many small things can decide a game like this. And my players resisted in the right way in what was a difficult matchup for us. They were bigger than us in nearly every position and they double inside very strong. But we really moved the ball in the right way on offense. It was a really great game tonight between two great teams. It's not at all a little prize. Many people stayed and the fans enjoyed the game. Our mentality was to play a great game and win the right way. My players have more confidence to react after a big loss. It would not have been very good at all if we came out of here with two losses. Now my players are happy and smiling in the locker room. And that's important.”
SPAHIJA, NEVEN
Tau Ceramica
“Congratulations to Siena on this third place. I think it was a good game. It is always hard to play after being frustrated from the first game. But you saw that both teams really wanted to win. But you also saw that both teams did not play like they did during the semifinals. I cannot say anything bad about my team, which fought until the last second. If the people enjoyed the nice basketball, that's nice. But you have to understand the basketball from tonight and two nights ago were totally different. The pressure is totally different. And both teams love to play with lots of pressure.”

Players

MCINTYRE, TERRELL
Montepaschi Siena
”Did I break a Final Four record in assists? Wow! My teammates must get credit for finishing. We wanted to play hard, even though this is not the game we wanted to play here, but still we had to play hard. Every time you step on the floor, you have to compete and try to win every game. We had a good Euroleague season. We came here in an unexpected way, as the underdog nobody believed in at the beginning of the season. We finished third and proved we are a great team full of good basketball players. We definitely belong on this stage. Being in the All-Euroleague team is a great achievement. I have stayed true to who I am, and also to my teammates. I always get on court with the same work ethic. If you work hard and believe in yourself, good things happen.”
THORNTON, BOOTSY
Montepaschi Siena
“We came here to win. I think at the beginning of the game, both teams came out a little disappointed that they weren’t playing in the final game. In the second half, I think both teams picked it up a little and tried their best to win. Some day we’ll look back and say we had a great season. Our season isn’t done. We have to go back and win the title in Italy. And then we can say we had a great season. We played strong defense today against their pick-and-roll and we finally played good defense for more than just a half. Against Maccabi we only played defense for one half, tonight we kept it going.”
EZE, BENJAMIN
Montepaschi Siena
“This is a good win for us, even though it is not the game we wanted to play today, of course. What we wanted is to play the final and try to win the title, so even when our Euroleague season was good, it could have been even better. We have to prepare for next season and try to get here with the experience we already have. We played hard and got this win, did what we are supposed to do. We played together, managed to focus on the important things and we won. Of course, I would trade it for a win on Friday, but we hope to be back next year to try to win the Euroleague title.”
ROMERO, HECTOR
Montepaschi Siena
”We deserved this win, because we worked hard all season long. We had a little bit of bad luck in the fourth quarter against Maccabi, things did not go they way we expected. At least we managed to finish third in the end. We really wanted to win this game tonight, especially since we had to play the game we didn't want to at the beginning of the Final Four. We played really well all season long and we wanted to finish well, too. I believe we had a very good Euroleague season, because not every team makes it to the Final Four. We finished third overall and now we have to go back to the Italian League and try to win the championship to round a historical season over there.”
TELETOVIC, MIRZA
Tau Ceramica
“It's not easy to play for the third place. If it was the finals, then everybody would play in full speed, but after we lost the semi's things were different. We didn't want to go home with two losses but that's what happened. Montepaschi is a very good team, and we were close to beat them, but it wasn't enough."
PRIGIONI, PABLO
Tau Ceramica
“It's very tough to play for the third place. It's a different level of intensity. We made some mistakes down the stretch that probably cost us the game. It's small things – missing a foul here and there and things like that. Losing two games in the Final Four isn't a nice feeling. We wanted to win this game, but after losing the semifinals then the feeling is different.”
JASAITIS, SIMAS
Tau Ceramica
“It was very difficult to come concentrated for this game. I started well but my palm injury made it very tough to play so I asked coach to take me out. I wish we would have won this game. It's tough to go home with two losses.”
MICKEAL, PETE
Tau Ceramica
”There's not much to say. We put a lot of effort, we gave a good fight and we came very close, but we made some small mistakes and we just lost the game. We should have played tougher on defense down the stretch. It's plain and simple like that. We just lost it and finished fourth.”