2015-16Regular SeasonRound 9
December 09, 2015 CET: 18:00
Local time: 19:00 PAOK SPORTS ARENA
Sofoklis Schortsanitis - PAOK Thessaloniki - EC15 (photo PAOK - megapress - pavlosmakridis)

Sofo, Vasileadis lead PAOK to key win

PAOK Thessaloniki stayed in the race to reach the Eurocup Last 32 in regular season Group E by downing Avtodor Saratov 104-99 at home on Wednesday. PAOK improved to 4-5 and will make it to the Last 32 if it beats already-eliminated Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius next week or if Besiktas Sompo Japan Istanbul loses against Zenit St Petersburg. Saratov dropped to 6-3 and will be second no matter what at the end of the regular season. Kostas Vasileiadis and Sofoklis Schortsanitis led the winners with 27 points apiece. Milenko Tepic added 16 while William Hatcher had 11 for PAOK. Paul Stoll led Avtodor with 21 points and 10 assists. Travis Peterson added 19 points, Jeff Brooks had 14, Artem Zabelin got 13 while Jeremy Chappell contributed 12 for the guests. Vasileadis hit 5-of-5 three-point shots to give PAOK a 35-21 lead after 10 minutes. He soon added another one to make it a 20-point game, 44-24, but Stoll and Chappell allowed Avtodor to get within 49-44 at halftime. Artem Zabelin completed the guests' comeback, 71-72, late in the third quarter, and Brooks gave the guests an 82-88 margin. Schortsanitis led a 10-0 run that put PAOK ahead for good, 92-88, and took over in crunch time to make sure his team grabbed a much-needed win.

Peterson needed just 7 seconds to strike from downtown. Schortsanitis hit a jump hook but free throws by Alan Makiev gave Avtodor a 2-5 lead. Vasileadis downed back-to-back three-pointers, igniting a 13-1 run which he capped with a running triple to make the guests call timeout at 15-6. Peterson hit one from beyond the arc, Schortsanitis answered with a power layup and Denys Lukashov kept Avtodor within 17-12. Vasileiadis nailed another three-pointer, and another one to make it a double-digit game, 23-12. Chappell stepped up with a layup which Evgeny Koleshnikov followed with a triple for a 24-17 Avtodor deficit. An unstoppable Vasileiadis scored again and Brooks answered to keep the guests within 27-21. Nikola Markovic shined with 3 consecutive layups and a jumper by Tepic gave PAOK a 35-21 lead after 10 minutes. Tepic banked in a triple early in the second quarter. Stoll and Apollon Tsochlas also struck from downtown and Vasilieadis added a seven-meter bomb for a 44-24 PAOK lead. Zabelin scored down low and a triple by Chappell gave Avtodor hope at 44-30. Artem Klimenko shined with a layup-plus-foul and Koleshnikov added a fast break layup but Schortsanitis and Tepic kept PAOK way ahead, 49-37. Stoll hit a triple and Brooks added consecutive layups to bring Avtodor back in the game, 49-44, at halftime.

Schortsanitis scored down low immediately after the break and a three-pointer by Hatcher restored a 54-44 PAOK lead. Brooks and Hatcher traded triples and Tepic copied them soon after that for a 60-49 PAOK margin. Stoll hit a three-pointer which Zabelin followed with a fast break layup to keep Avtodor within 60-54. Markovic scored off a steal but Zabelin and Stoll made PAOK call timeout at 62-58. Georgios Dedas and Chappell traded three-pointers and free throws by Hatcher gave PAOK a 67-61 lead. Peterson scored in transition and hit a catch-and-shoot triple for a 67-66 Avtodor deficit. Schortsanitis hit a jump hook and a three-pointer by Chappell tied it at 69-69. Schortsanitis and Vasileadis made free throws but Zabelin completed the guests' comeback, 73-74. A triple by Hatcher put PAOK back ahead, 76-74, after 30 minutes. Schortsanitis split free throws and Tepic scored again but Peterson, Stoll and Zabelin combined for all points in a 0-10 Avtodor run that made PAOK stop the game at 79-83. Stoll struck again from downtown and free throws by Brooks made it a six-point game, 82-88. Tsochlas nailed a key triple, igniting a 10-0 PAOK run which Schortsanitis capped with foul shots for a 92-88 edge with 3 minutes left. Schortsanitis hit 4-of-4 free throws but a wild four-point play by Peterson kept Avtodor within 96-93. Tsochlas hit a jumper and Schortsanitis added a power layup that sealed the outcome, 100-93, with 40 seconds left. Avtodor never gave up but Vasileadis allowed PAOK to round a great night.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015
Eurocupbasketball.com
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Referees: BELOSEVIC, ILIJA (SRB), KARTAL, ERSAN (TUR), HORDOV, TOMISLAV (CRO)
Attendance: 1074 (Tentative)
By Quarter1234
PAOK Thessaloniki35142728
Avtodor Saratov21233025
End of Quarter1234
PAOK Thessaloniki354976104
Avtodor Saratov21447499
PAOK Thessaloniki
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 TEPIC, MILENKO 34:16 16 4/4 2/7 2/2   6 6 4 2 1     3 2 21
5 LIAPIS, MICHAIL 0:20                              
7 VASILEIADIS, KOSTAS 36:04 27 1/2 6/11 7/7   7 7 3 2 1     3 3 32
9 TSOCHLAS, APOLLON 16:09 9 1/1 2/2 1/2       4         3   9
10 DEDAS, GEORGIOS 13:10 4   1/3 1/1           1     1    
11 MARGARITIS, VANGELIS 18:47   0/1 0/1     2 2 3 2 2 1   4 2 2
12 KOTTAS, THOMAS 0:04                              
15 SCHORTSANITIS, SOFOKLIS 33:22 27 9/10   9/13 1 5 6 3   4 1   3 10 35
19 KAMARAS, NIKOS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
20 DUVNJAK, UROS 10:36 2 1/2 0/1             2     2 1 -3
21 MARKOVIC, NIKOLA 11:42 8 4/7     2 3 5   2 1     1 2 12
25 HATCHER, WILL 25:30 11 0/4 3/4 2/2 2 2 4 3   2   1 3 3 10
Team             1 1               1
Totals 200:00 104 20/31 14/29 22/27 5 26 31 20 8 14 2 1 23 23 119
        64.5% 48.3% 81.5%
Head coach: MARKOPOULOS, SOULIS
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
Avtodor Saratov
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 STOLL, PAUL 26:46 21 2/2 5/7 2/3   1 1 10   6     4 5 24
7 LUKASHOV, DENYS 26:14 6 0/1 2/6     3 3 3         1 1 7
11 BEKKIEV, TAMIRLAN 2:07                              
12 KLIMENKO, ARTEM 13:42 6 2/3   2/3   3 3   1       3 5 10
21 CHAPPELL, JEREMY 20:31 12 1/3 3/4 1/2   3 3   1 1     5 4 10
24 KOLESNIKOV, EVGENY 22:05 6 1/2 1/4 1/2         1 3     3 1 -3
32 BROOKS, JEFF 36:47 14 4/5 1/2 3/4 1 4 5 1 2 1     2 3 19
35 ZABELIN, ARTEM 14:27 13 5/6 1/2     3 3 1     1   2   14
42 PETERSON, TRAVIS 32:08 19 4/7 3/6 2/3 1 3 4 6 1 2   2 4 2 17
77 MAKIEV, ALAN 5:13 2 0/2   2/2 2   2 1         1 1 3
Team             2 2               2
Totals 200:00 99 19/31 16/31 13/19 4 22 26 22 6 13 1 2 25 22 103
        61.3% 51.6% 68.4%
Head coach: VASILYEV, ALEXEY

Head Coaches

MARKOPOULOS, SOULIS
PAOK Thessaloniki
"I would like to congratulate my players; they did a great job, especially in offense, which actually gave us rhythm in defense as well. Saratov is a very good team, I personally think they are the best team in the group, and they have been playing very well during the last month, so this makes it all the more important that we got the victory. We need to keep calm, take our time to prepare, and remain focused till the end in our last game of the Regular Season so as to secure the Last 32."
VASILYEV, ALEXEY
Avtodor Saratov
"First of all congratulations to PAOK, they are a good and tough team and beat us because we just did not step up to the needs of the game. We were coming off a great victory on the road and it is very difficult to convince your players that they need to bring more heart on the floor and that it will not be easy, since the other team wants the victory as well. We prepared to play against Sofo, we respect him a lot, but Sofo did what Sofo does and our big guys should have done more defense-wise. We also know [the] captain, Vasileiadis, he’s a great scorer, he had an amazing first quarter, it was an unbelievable streak and we couldn’t stop it either. I believe this loss is going to help us in the long run though to try and fix things."

Players

VASILEIADIS, KOSTAS
PAOK Thessaloniki
"I’m very happy for my teammates, because they did a great on the floor. We played a great offensive game tonight and we even got the rebounds, which is an area that usually hurts us. I’m proud of my team, because regardless of the ups and downs we have had this season, we believed in the victory to the end and got a very important victory against a great team. In regard to my performance, it just happened, when you get going with a couple of tough shots that go in, then you build up confidence and you start rolling. It’s going to be tough if we don’t qualify, since we were almost out and now we can advance and it will be a pity if we don’t do it at the end. We need to win in Vilnius; they are a very dangerous team and we should not let our guard down for a minute. We need to play the way we did tonight."
BROOKS, JEFF
Avtodor Saratov
"It all had to do with not having the right mindset for the game. It started off with me and the technical foul I received and that set the wrong tone for the rest of the team. PAOK is tough, they are a good team and they played like one, we just came on the floor with the wrong mentality and attitude. We should first look in the mirror and see what we did wrong to be able to move forward."