2007-08Final FourFinal
May 04, 2008 CET: 18:00

Team Stats

Ave.   Ave.
78.6 Points 82.2
28.5 Rebounds 32.0
8.0 O. Rebounds 8.7
20.5 D. Rebounds 23.3
13.1 Assists 13.0
14.6 Steals 8.0
3.0 Blocks 2.7
11.6 Turnovers 12.5
52.4 % 2PT 57.2 %
38.1 % 3PT 37.8 %
74.4 % FT 72.5 %
86.4 Index 89.0

Player Stats

Ave.   Ave.
13.7 / McIntyre Points 15.1 / Rakocevic
5.1 / Stonerook Rebounds 5.1 / Splitter
1.5 / Eze OR 1.6 / Splitter
4.4 / Stonerook DR 3.5 / Splitter
4.6 / McIntyre Assists 3.8 / Prigioni
2.6 / Stonerook Steals 1.5 / Prigioni
1.0 / Lavrinovic, K. Blocks 0.8 / Splitter
2.4 / McIntyre Turnovers 2.0 / Prigioni
72.7 % / Romero 2PT 63.5 % / Splitter
58.2 % / Lavrinovic, K. 3PT 48.8 % / Jasaitis
91.2 % / McIntyre FT 89.7 % / Prigioni
15.0 / Lavrinovic, K. Index 16.4 / Splitter


Ave.   Ave.
0-1 Final Four 0-1
2-0 Playoffs 2-1
4-2 Top 16 5-1
10-4 Regular Season 9-5
16-7 Overall 16-8


Crew Chief

The Take

Tau Ceramica and Montepaschi Siena will meet with plenty of pride and third place on the line Sunday in Madrid at the Euroleague Final Four at 18:00 CET on Sunday. Both teams are not new to the third place game, as Tau and Montepaschi have already been in this situation twice in the past. Tau Ceramica is playing its third consecutive third place game, something that only Aris (1988-90) and CSKA Moscow (2003-05) did before. Meanwhile, Montepaschi has previously played in third place game in all its previous Final Four appearances in Barcelona 2003 and Tel Aviv 2004. Although both teams were disappointed to lose in Friday's respective semifinals against CSKA Moscow and Maccabi Elite and miss out on a chance to play for the championship, they nevertheless will want to walk away from the Spanish capital with a prestigious win. Both teams faced each other in the regular season, splitting home wins. One of Tau's mejor concerns will be stopping All-Euroleague nominee Terrell McIntyre, who had 26 points and 5 assists in his team's semifinal game against Maccabi. Defensive stopper Pablo Prigioni will be ready to face him in one of the most important matchups in this game. Zoran Planinic is set to provide size and court sense while Vlado Ilievski is set to come off the bench to offer deep range and creativity. McIntyre will try to get All-Euroleague nominee Bootsy Thornton and Romain Sato involved at both wings. Both players combined for 2-for-11 three-pointers against Maccabi, as Montepaschi broke a Euroleague record with 45 shots taken from beyond the arc. Thornton and Drake Diener will test his scoring skills against Igor Rakocevic, while Sato will have a strong test against Pete Mickeal in a very balanced matchup. Players like Sergi Vidal of Simas Jasaitis, who did not play against CSKA, could be key contributors in this game, just as sharp shooter Drake Diener or former Tau guard Marco Carrareto. Tau has a deeper frontcourt in which All-Euroleague nominee Tiago Splitter is the player to watch due to his strength and post skills. James Singleton, Will McDonald and three-point threat Mirza Teletovic give Tau extra versatility and power. Teletovic will have an interesting matchup against Shaun Stonerook, a key player for coach Simone Pianigiani at both ends. Meanwhile, McDonald and Singleton are set to battle against All-Euroleague nominee Ksistof Lavrinovic and Ben Eze. Both coaches will be looking for their first win and the third place game has always been exciting in recent years. Unicaja beat Tau last season on a buzzer-beating basket by Marcus Brown while Panathinaikos edged CSKA Moscow in double overtime in 2005. Montepaschi will need to be its usual self in defense to win the game, as it allowed 59 points in the second half of its semifinal against Maccabi. Meanwhile, Tau will need to play up-tempo and get Rakocevic, Splitter and Mickeal involved. Expect nothing but an interesting game as the perfect way to get ready for the Euroleague final.
Saturday, May 3, 2008

Quotes Head Coaches

Montepaschi Siena
“I think that we can’t think too much about losing the next game. We have to stay within our system, which has allowed us to arrive here and also gave us a great season in the Italian League. We have to remember what we want from our system, because yesterday in the last quarter especially, we forgot some things. We have to stay focused on our game plan for 40 minutes. There is not a lot of time to adjust. Just to stay, because yesterday we played a great game for 25 minutes, but then when you arrive against top teams like Tau or Maccabi with experienced players, veterans, you have to pay attention to details when the game is tight. We play a lot of games and next week are our Italian League playoffs. So maybe we will have a few minutes less for players who are tired, but we won’t change too much.”
Tau Ceramica
“I cannot tell you that I am disappointed. Disappointment is when you do something very bad. I would say that I am empty. And I hope that I can find the energy for tomorrow. It's very important for my team because I am the leader of the team as coach, and I have to show them that I am strong enough. If they see you like that of course they're going to react better. Honestly, this is the worst possible game to play because everybody came here to win. But it is part of our lives. Tomorrow we will be playing a good opponent and we will try to win. We just want to finish this tournament well. That's very important for a serious team and a serious coach. And it will be like a small trophy for me.”


Montepaschi Siena
“We blew a big chance yesterday. Of course, we want to win tomorrow, but we all wanted to have the chance to be first in the Euroleague, not to be third or fourth. We had a chance to beat Maccabi yesterday, but we blew it. They didn't beat us, we lost the game. Tau is a tough team and it is not going to be an easy game. We have to come out, play hard and give all that we can. We are proud that we made it to the Final Four, but we didn't win the title, so we now have to focus on winning the Italian League when we get back and work hard to get another chance next season.”
Montepaschi Siena
”We want to get better. And we want to win. Any time you step on the court you want to win. We want to learn from the mistakes that we made last night and not make the same mistakes tomorrow. And that will be good for us. The biggest difference was our transition defense. Maccabi is a transition team, Tau is a transition team. So, transition defense is very key for us tomorrow. I think we represented ourselves well. There are a lot of great teams that are not here. So it says a lot that we're here. We just want to show that we are one of the top teams in Europe and build from this.”
Montepaschi Siena
”Obviously, winning the third place game is our next goal. It is not something that you look forward coming in here, as nobody wants to play for third place before the Final Four, but there is a game and you have to play. Third is better than fourth, we played Tau this season and it is a strong team. It will be a good game. Having played against them makes it easier for our staff, as they know the scouting a little better. It is going to be a tough game, we split wins against them this year and hopefully we will get the tiebreaker. Maybe in five years down the road, being in the Final Four will mean something, but right now it doesn't mean a whole lot. We lost the semifinal less than 24 hours ago and we weren't surprised to be in the Final Four.”
Montepaschi Siena
“You really can't ever forget about the loss we had last night. We were really close, both teams actually. We all have to focus on the game, but both teams, Tau and us, feel like they should have won the game. We definitely should have won that one, because we were up by 18 points. Talking to the players in Tau, they feel like they should have won the game, too. It is going to be tough to play, but we have to. The fact that we played against each other, it is not easier, but it helps even when the circumstances are not the same. We wanted to play Tau in the final instead of the third place. I am pretty sure that neither team wanted to be playing in this game. We have to go out and try to win the game to be third in Europe.”
Tau Ceramica
“We had a good game but unfortunately lost. We have to prepare for the next game against Montepaschi and do our best to win it. Having played them already this season is an advantage for both teams, as we know what to expect. We played twice against them and shared wins in the regular season. We know we are a very tough team and that we must prepare the game well to win it. We have to be play defense, like always. That has to be our main goal. This Final Four is very different from my first one last season. I didn't play much last season and it is a big thing to be back with a better role in the team. Tau is one of the best four teams in Europe and being able to play for them in the Final Four is special.”
Tau Ceramica
“It is very difficult to get ready for a game like this. You spend a whole week getting ready for a certain game and you have to get ready for the next game in just one practice. You have to see a couple of things, get physically ready for the next game and come out to compete, because they have as much as us to prepare the game. The team that has more determination to win the game will finish third. Before the Final Four, nobody wants to play this game, but in the end, it is not the same finishing third and fourth. Once you step on court, you try to play well and win. We always seem to face the toughest opponent in the semifinal, but if CSKA wins, you can always think that you lost against the Euroleague champions in a very close semifinal game. As for the final, I still think that CSKA is the top candidate to win the Euroleague.”
Tau Ceramica
”We want to do something special. We want to get a victory. We wanted the victory last night. But we want to leave Madrid with a victory. We don't want to leave with nothing. That's not taking anything away from this Siena team. They got this far just like we did. But for sure our goal is to win. We have to find a way to get one win to make our fans happy.”
Tau Ceramica
“It’s important to win this game for next year, because we want to be the leader for our [regular season] group. But I think it’s hard for us and for them to play this game after we lost the chance to play in the final. You just have to go out there and try to win the game. It doesn’t matter if it’s only for third place. It’s going to be hard. It’s a tougher game to play. If we were in the final, I’m sure everyone would go out there and explode, but now this game is a little bit hard. I’m sure Siena wants to beat us and we want to beat them and it’s going to be a good game. We already played Siena twice this season. They are a tough, defensive-minded team, with a lot of shooters. What they do best is defend. They have great guys like Sato, Stonerook, McIntyre, just a great team.”
Tau Ceramica
”You never want to be fourth if you can be third, you always want to get out of the Final Four with a win. If you cannot win the championship, you have to try to do what's next-best. We most definitely are going to try to go out there and be strong. They are a good three-point shooting team and they shoot a lot. Yesterday they shot 45 three-point shots, which is an unbelievable number. We know this team well, just like we knew CSKA before the semifinal, and I think this is a good thing. We know them well, we played them twice and can prepare for the game a lot better. The motivation depends on the player. Of course, I am motivated and ready to play this game just as much as the first game. We want to finish strong. Sometimes people don't think there is anything to play for because they didn't win the championship. You gotta find something positive out of every bad situation.”

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
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%
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

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.”
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.”


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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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."
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.”
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.”
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.”
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