2006-07Top 16Round 6
March 21, 2007 CET: 19:45
Local time: 20:45 PALAIS DES SPORTS
Jeremiah Massey - Aris TT Bank Aris TT Bank please treated its fans to the club's first-ever Top 16 victory in the last chance of the round by downing Group G champion Unicaja 83-65 at home in Thessaloniki, Greece on Wednesday. Aris finished Group G with a 1-5 record and avoided to become the only team to lose all of its Top 16 games. Meanwhile, Unicaja dropped to 4-2 but was already the Group G champion despite finishing in a first-place tie with Dynamo Moscow due to tiebreak advantages. Simonas Serapinas led the winners with 16 points off the bench. Alex Scales added 13 points, Mike Wilkinson and Dimitris Tsaldaris each had 11 while Savvas Iliadis scored 10 points for Aris. Marcus Faison had 18 points for Unicaja while Daniel Santiago added 13 for the guests, who travelled without Pepe Sanchez and Ignacio De Miguel. Aris limited Unicaja to just 14-of-35 two-pointers and 8-of-29 triples tonight, and forced the guests into 20 turnovers. Aris broke the game open at halftime, 38-23, and Unicaja never recovered, allowing the home fans in the stands to finish a historical Euroleague season with a smile on their faces.

Aris came out poised to please its crowd with a first Top 16 victory and, thanks to the backcourt tandem of Alex Scales and Terrel Castle, burst in front 6-2. Marco Tusek then scored a layup for Unicaja, but Jeremiah Massey answered by grabbing an offensive rebound and making it 8-4. Celebrating a rare start, Thessaloniki native Kostas Vasiliadis knocked down a jumper, while Scales mde sure Aris stayed in front, 10-6. Carlos Cabezas converted a Jiri Welsch assist into a triple, but Massey continued dominating inside with 4 points in the paint. Tusek hit a triple to pull Unicaja within 14-12, however it was evident that the guests were not as concentrated as usual by the unusual number of turnovers they coughed up. So, when Savvas Iliadis delivered from downtown for Aris, the gap widened to 17-12 after 10 minutes of play.

Kostas Vasiliadis - UnicajaIliadis opened the second quarter with a jumper and then veteran Mahmud Abdul-Rauf copied him, boosting the Aris margin to 21-12. Playing his farewell game for the hosts, Abdul-Rauf was determined to satisfy the Yellow hords in the stands and so he did. He stole the ball from Daniel Santiago and fed rarely used Kevin Fletcher for a three-pointer that put Aris up by double digits, 24-12. During a four-minute span, Abdul-Rauf enjoyed 3 steals and even though Marcus Faison provided a mini-spark for Unicaja, Aris added to its lead. Finally, Santiago scored 3 free throws, but it wasn't long before Dimitris Tsaldaris drained a triple that triggered a 6-0 run. Soon after, the half ended with Aris holding a solid 38-23 lead.

The second half commenced with Michael Wilkinson connecting from beyond the arc to make it 41-23. Scales did not have trouble striking from downtown, either, propelling Aris to an emphatic 49-26 advantage. Tusek tried to awaken his teammates with his second triple, but Scales was now gunning without conscience and carrying the momentum. Another triple courtesy of Wilkinson stretched the lead to 54-29 after 26 minutes. Aris had turned – for this game - into a scoring force, while Unicaja head coach Sergio Scariolo called for a timeout in order to regroup his forces for a counter-offensive. Unicaja found a go-to-guy in Vasiliadis, who scored 6 points then, but little else changed, as defensively the visitors could not keep Aris from marching to a 58-37 lead after three quarters.

Terrel Castle - Aris TT BankAris started the final quarter in high gear once again, as Iliadis drilled a triple at 61-37. Unicaja replied with a dunk by Santiago, while Faison knocked down a triple that trimmed the lead to 61-42. Abdul-Rauf upped the ante with a triple. The guests fed the ball inside to Santiago who bullied his way inside and finished it with authority, however this was an exception as otherwise nothing seemed to work for them on offense. Meanwhile, Serapinas and Tsaldaris loaded their pistols and fired in decisive triples that vaulted Aris to a 72-50 lead. Everyone was happy. Aris and its fans had their first-ever Top 16 victory while Unicaja was going home to prepare for the playoffs. Danos Tsakalos
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Danos Tsakalos, Greece
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Referees: FACCHINI, FABIO; CHIARI, ROBERTO; VIATOR, EDDIE
Attendance: 2500
By Quarter1234
Aris TT Bank17212025
Unicaja12111428
End of Quarter1234
Aris TT Bank17385883
Unicaja12233765
Aris TT Bank
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 CASTLE, TERREL 12:45 2 1/3 0/1     3 3 1 1       1 1 4
5 SIGALAS, GIORGOS 8:00           1 1 1         1   1
7 SERAPINAS, SIMONAS 22:15 16 3/4 3/4 1/2   6 6   2 2     4 2 17
8 SCALES, ALEX 14:45 13 5/6 1/1     1 1   4 2     1   14
9 KALAITZIS, GEORGIOS 11:30           2 2           2    
10 ILIADIS, SAVVAS 17:45 10 2/2 2/2             1     2   7
11 WILKINSON, MIKE 25:15 11 1/4 2/2 3/4 2 3 5 6 3 1     1 3 22
12 FLETCHER, KEVIN 14:45 8 1/1 1/3 3/4   2 2     2     5 3 3
14 MASSEY, JEREMIAH 19:00 7 3/5 0/1 1/2 2 2 4     3 1     2 7
16 TSALDARIS, DIMITRIOS 22:00 11 2/2 2/4 1/2   3 3 3 1       1 2 16
17 PANTELIADIS, SPYRIDON 14:15   0/2       1 1 2 2 1     1 1 2
20 ABDUL-RAUF, MAHMOUD 17:45 5 1/2 1/4     1 1 3 3 1   1 1 1 6
Team           1   1   4           5
Totals 200:00 83 19/31 12/22 9/14 5 25 30 16 20 13 1 1 20 15 104
        61.3% 54.5% 64.3%
Head coach: MAZZON, ANDREA
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
Unicaja
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
5 RODRIGUEZ, BERNI 19:00 3 0/3 1/2   1 2 3 2   2         2
7 VASILEIADIS, KOSTAS 21:45 8 3/5 0/6 2/3 3 1 4   2 3   1 1 3 3
9 WELSCH, JIRI 16:45 5 2/2 0/2 1/1   1 1 2 2 6     2 1 1
10 CABEZAS, CARLOS 23:45 3 0/2 1/3   2   2 1 1 5       2  
11 PIETRUS, FLORENT 25:15 7 2/3   3/4 4 6 10 2         2 3 18
17 TUSEK, MARKO 18:45 8 1/3 2/4     1 1 1             6
20 JIMENEZ, CARLOS 16:00   0/3 0/1   1 3 4   3       3 1 1
22 SANCHEZ, ALFONSO 15:30   0/1 0/2         1   1     3 1 -5
24 FAISON, MARCUS 23:15 18 1/7 4/9 4/4 4 4 8 1   1     1 2 16
25 SANTIAGO, DANIEL 20:00 13 5/6   3/6 3 3 6   1 1 1   3 7 20
Team                   4 1         3
Totals 200:00 65 14/35 8/29 13/18 18 21 39 10 13 20 1 1 15 20 65
        40% 27.6% 72.2%
Head coach: SCARIOLO, SERGIO
This game has no play by play yet

Head Coaches

MAZZON, ANDREA
Aris TT Bank
“To be honest, we have competed very well in the Top 16. Unfortunately, we lost the first game against Dynamo and the players lost their winning mentality due to lack of experience. Today, we won another game with pride playing like a highly motivated team. Summarizing the whole Euroleague season, I have to say that we did a very good job and we never gave up either in the regular season or in the Top 16. Let me thank Mahmoud Abdul Rauf for contributing to the team's Euroleague season and wish him good luck.”
SCARIOLO, SERGIO
Unicaja
“Obviously, Aris deserved the win. They were highly motivated during the whole game and showed a winning mentality on the court. Our goal was to share playing time among the players. Everybody played according to their current physical condition and hopefully nobody got injured. Aris stands in the second position in the Greek League and they have been very competitive in the whole Euroleague year. Therefore, they deserve to end the Top 16 with a win and maybe more. From now on, we have to stay focused in the couple of games in the Spanish League before facing Barcelona in the Euroleague playoffs. Despite having the lowest budget among the eight [remaining] teams, we will try to compete in the series and reach the Final Four. Finally, I hope that Marcus [Brown] will recover from his injury soon, because we have missed him very much during all year.”

Players

CASTLE, TERREL
Aris TT Bank
“We played really aggressive against Malaga and we earned the win easily. In my opinion, we have kept on improving our defense for the last month. This is the reason why we beat Olympiacos and Malaga during four days despite being tired. I am really happy having participated in the Euroleague 2006-07 and I am sure that Aris will be back again next year.”
VASILEIADIS, KOSTAS
Unicaja
“I am glad coming back to my hometown. I haven't been in Thessaloniki for eight months and it was a great opportunity for me to breathe the Greek basketball air. Aris deserved the win. We tried to do some new things on the court in order to get ready for the playoff series against Barcelona. Personally, I am trying very hard to improve myself so as to help my team achieving our goals. It's very important for a young player to live and work in a team like Malaga with such pride and fans.”
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