July 31, 2014
Final Four Round 2 - May 06, 2007 CET: 17:30 Local time: 18:30 - O.A.K.A.
FINAL FOUR, ROUND 2

Records

Ave.   Ave.
0-0 Final Four 0-0
0-0 Playoffs 0-0
1-0 Top 16 0-0
0-1 Regular Season 0-0
20-3 Overall 13-11

Referees

Crew Chief
PITSILKAS, NIKOLAOS, Greece
Referee
SAHIN, TOLGA, Italy
Umpire
VIATOR, EDDIE, France

Team Stats

Ave.   Ave.
84.3 Points 71.5
33.0 Rebounds 32.0
11.4 O. Rebounds 8.7
21.6 D. Rebounds 23.3
16.3 Assists 13.0
13.1 Steals 9.5
1.9 Blocks 2.4
12.6 Turnovers 16.5
53.7 % 2PT 52.0 %
37.8 % 3PT 35.1 %
68.2 % FT 70.6 %
96.5 Index 76.0

Player Stats

Ave.   Ave.
15.6 / SCOLA, LUIS Points 10.8 / RODRIGUEZ, BERNI
5.9 / SCOLA, LUIS Rebounds 4.8 / JIMENEZ, CARLOS
2.6 / SPLITTER, TIAGO OR 1.5 / Pietrus
4.3 / SCOLA, LUIS DR 3.5 / JIMENEZ, CARLOS
4.9 / PRIGIONI, PABLO Assists 2.7 / RODRIGUEZ, BERNI
2.5 / PRIGIONI, PABLO Steals 1.3 / Welsch
0.6 / Peker Blocks 0.9 / SANTIAGO, DANIEL
2.1 / Rakocevic Turnovers 2.4 / Welsch
77.3 % / PRIGIONI, PABLO 2PT 67.5 % / Pietrus
47.0 % / Rakocevic 3PT 42.9 % / TUSEK, MARKO
91.3 % / PRIGIONI, PABLO FT 83.3 % / SANCHEZ, PEPE
18.2 / SCOLA, LUIS Index 13.8 / SANTIAGO, DANIEL

THE TAKE

For the second consecutive season, an all-Spanish showdown takes place in the third place game when Tau Ceramica meets injury-plagued Unicaja at Athens Olympic Indoor Hall (OAKA) in the Greek capital on Sunday at 17:30 CET. Both teams lost their respective semifinals and are ready to fight for a prestigious win and one last honor. CSKA downed Unicaja 62-50 in the first semifinal while Panathinaikos beat Tau 67-53 later on Friday. Both teams know each other very well, as Unicaja beat Tau to win its first Spanish League title last season and they already faced twice in the same competition this season. Unicaja will be without Daniel Santiago and Carlos Cabezas, who underwent eye surgery after the first semifinal on Friday. As such, Pepe Sanchez will be the only pure playmaker available for coach Sergio Scariolo, while Berni Rodriguez and Jiri Welsch are set to share the point guard duties if needed be. Tau has an advantage this time, as Pablo Prigioni and Zoran Planinic are one of the best point guards dup in the entire competition. Unicaja also has a limited frontcourt without Santiago, too, especially since Marko Tusek is not fully recovered from an ankle injury while center Iñaki De Miguel arrived to Athens with two broken teeth. As such, Florent Pietrus and Carlos Jimenez are set to share the most minutes around the baskets. Tau has a deep frontcourt led by Luis Scola, the Euroleague's All-Star top scorer. Tiago Splitter, Kaya Peker and Mirza Teletovic are ready to complement his team's superstar forward. A big shootout is expected between Marcus Brown of Unicaja, the Euroleague's all-time second top scorer, and Igor Rakocevic, who won the Alphonso Ford Top Scoring trophy this season. Streak shooters Marcus Faison and Kostas Vasileadis will be ready to come off the Unicaja bench and offer three-pointers and intensity. Meanwhile, Tau counts on bomber Serkan Erdogan, defensive ace Sergi Vidal and steals specialist Fred House to help Rakocevic at both wings. Unicaja will look for its first-ever Final Four win while Tau never gives up, so expect nothing but a big game right before the Euroleague final.
Saturday, May 5, 2007
Euroleague.net

Quotes Head Coaches

MALJKOVIC, BOZIDAR
Tau Ceramica
"We don't feel well after our semifinals loss against CSKA Moscow, we only had one night to get back to reality. In addition, both teams lost a couple of important players, as we will be without Kaya Peker and Serkan Erdogan while Unicaja's Berni Rodriguez and Carlos Cabezas are out, too. I am not worried only about tomorrow, but what can happen with my players in days to arrive. My players are expected to be out at least for two weeks. We will play with what we have available."
SCARIOLO, SERGIO
Unicaja
"I don't think this game is a good test for the upcoming Spanish League playoffs. Some players will be missing, the game preparation is very different, not as in-depth as it would be. I think Unicaja and Tau are in a completely different situation regarding this game. We will remember this Final Four as the first time that we made it here, and the game that, despite our injury problems, we were able to look the Euroleague reigning champion for 37 minutes. We had a physical game last night, with a lot of contact against players with big size."

Players

PRIGIONI, PABLO
Tau Ceramica
"Of course, it is not the best game to play, but we have to use it to get back on track, regain our momentum and show our playing level. Besides, we will be a top-seeded team in the regular-season draw next season if we win the game. We have to try to play the best game possible under these circumstances. We have to win this game not only for our fans, but also for everyone in the Tau organization, including ourselves. We have to go back to Vitoria with a good feeling and get ready for the Spanish League playoffs."
PLANINIC, ZORAN
Tau Ceramica
"We want to get back to Vitoria with a win. This is still competition, and every player wants to win when he steps on the court. We hope to play a good game tomorrow. It is very tough to lose the way we did against Panathinaikos. I hope that it will be a lot better in the future. We have unbelievable fans who came here and cheer for us to win the Euroleague title. We disappointed them a little bit but I hope we can win tomorrow and then win the Spanish League title for them."
HOUSE, FRED
Tau Ceramica
"We want to go home with a win, because losing two games in a row this weekend would be a bit embarrassing. Because even if you don't go back home with the title, you want to get there with something. I am very happy to be here, but yesterday's game was very tough. It was an emotional game and we didn't want to lose it. I like the fact that our fans are very supportive. The biggest thing I saw that makes me proud is that Tau Ceramica fans are great and loyal to us. They stuck with us during the season, even when we lost, and got with us to the plane to come and see us in Athens and support us. They even came around to cheer us even when we lost. That's a big thing and we want to beat Unicaja to saw them our appreciation."
TUSEK, MARKO
Unicaja
"We are here to play, not on holiday, so we have to play hard against Tau Ceramica tomorrow and try to win the game tomorrow. Unicaja has done a good job in the last few years, winning the Spanish King's Cup title, the Spanish League and making it to the Final Four. Maybe next year we will do something more. When I was in the 1997 Final Four, the players were different than now. The basketball style is quicker and you get more shots than 10 years ago. Basketball changes every year."
WELSCH, JIRI
Unicaja
"It is great to be in the Final Four, it is an unbelievable experience, a great event. We were really happy to be here, but we felt like we had a great chance against a strong team like CSKA. We played a very good game for 35 minutes, but we came up short down the stretch. Definitely, we want to get back to Spain with a win, especially for the fans who came all the way from Malaga. It would be great to finish this on a winning note. It's a shame to play for third place when you come to an event like this, but we have to compete and give everything."
PIETRUS, FLORENT
Unicaja
"Of course, it is not a final but we must win the game to end the Final Four in a good way. If we win, this will help us in the upcoming Spanish League playoffs and I just hope the team will give everything on court tomorrow. The club is growing every year and I hope that next season it gets even bigger. We gave our best last night and we couldn't win the game. We are proud of what we did in the Euroleague season, and I am sure our fans also feel that way. We still have a game to go, that we have to win for us and our fans."
Marcus Brown - 3rd place - Final Four Athens 2007
Slide Show: Tau Ceramica | Unicaja
Marcus Brown's driving layup with 1.2 seconds remaining allowed Unicaja to cap its first trip to the Euroleague Basketball Final Four with a 74-76 victory over Tau Ceramica on Sunday at Athens Olympic Indoor Hall (OAKA). Unicaja trailed by 10 points at the end of the third quarter, but rode the momentum of Marko Tusek's outside shooting and Brown's clutch play down the stretch to come back and secure the victory. Brown and Tusek combined for 18 of Unicaja's 25 points in the decisive fourth quarter. Tusek finished with a game-high 18 on 5-of-6 three-point shooting, while Brown had 14. Carlos Jimenez added 10 and Pepe Sanchez ran the show with 8 assists. Igor Rakocevis led Tau with 16, Zoran added 15, Luis Scola 14, Pablo Prigioni 13 and Tiago Splitter finished with 10 points and 8 rebounds. The free-flowing game was even for much of the first half, at the end of which Tau led 40-35. Coach Bozidar Maljkovic's side pulled away in the third period behind strong minutes by Planinic and Prigioni, but Unicaja would have the last laugh down the stretch. Nevertheless, both teams have plenty to be proud of as they head back to Spain after reaching the Final Four – for Tau the third straight time and for Unicaja the first ever.

Spanish version
Russian version
Greek version


Unicaja struck first with a three-pointer by Marcus Faison. Scola fed Splitter for a power layup, which Prigioni followed with a driving basket for a 4-3 Tau lead. Points came the hard way, as both teams tried to recover from Friday's losses. Jiri Welsch buried a long two-pointer and then Jimenez hit one from downtown to put Unicaja back ahead, 5-8, after 5 minutes. Rakocevic joined the three-point festival, but Welsch answered with a driving layup. Fred House woke Tau up with a dunk after a midcourt steal and Rakocevic buried his second triple for another lead change, 13-10. Kostas Vasileadis and Alfonso Sanchez stepped on court, making their Final Four debuts, and Jimenez then made free throws for Unicaja. Scola stepped up with a put-back basket, but Vasileadis answered from downtown for a 15-16 Unicaja edge after 10 minutes.

Pablo Prigioni - 3rd place - Final Four Athens 2007Unicaja kept Alfonso Sanchez at the point guard spot early in the second quarter and he fed Tusek for a triple. Planinic answered the same way before House made free throws to put Tau back ahead, 20-19. Vasileadis finished a third-chance Unicaja offense with a power layup off the baseline. Scola scored down low for Tau, but Tusek bettered it with a three-pointer, good for a 22-24 Unicaja lead. Tau kept looking for Scola, who shined with a layup-plus-foul. A red-hot Vasileadis erased it with one from downtown. Planinic showed its talent with a driving layup, but Iñaki De Miguel followed a free throw with a five-meter shot to keep Unicaja ahead 27-30. Rakocevic scored in penetration, and even though Tusek canned another three-pointer, a layup-plus-foul by Planinic got Tau within 32-33. De Miguel paced Unicaja with another jumper, but Rakocevic fired in back-to-back three-pointers to help his team regain the lead, 38-35. Planinic corrected his own missed jumper to make it 40-35 at the end of a first half that saw six ties and 11 lead changes.

De Miguel opened the second half with a baseline jumper, as Tau now tried to open the floor with Mirza Teletovic at power forward. Prigioni buried a big triple in transition, but De Miguel scored in the paint to get Unicaja within 43-39. Rakocevic stepped up with a six-meter jumper and by the time Splitter hit an easy layup, Tau had its biggest margin yet, 47-39. Unicaja was not done, however, as Faison took over with a driving layup and Jimenez followed a triple with an easy basket to get his team within 1 on a 0-7 run. Splitter stepped up with a tip-in, but Pepe Sanchez answered from downtown to tie the game again. Prigioni replied the same way and then collected a pair of steals for Tau as Unicaja had lost its momentum. Sergi Vidal dunked after another midcourt steal and Planinic's elegant driving layup caused Unicaja to call timeout at 56-49. Unicaja went scoreless for 4 minutes while Scola capped a 9-0 run with an easy basket. Brown scored in penetration and Pietrus had a huge block on House, but a three-pointer by Planinic fixed the score at 61-51 after three quarters.

Carlos Jimenez - 3rd place - Final Four Athens 2007Tusek tried to ignite a Unicaja comeback with a triple early in the final period as Tau now had trouble finding Scola in the low post. The big man stepped up with a put-back layup, but an active Tusek answered with a basket-plus-foul to get Unicaja within 63-57. Brown shined with a driving layup only to see Splitter erase it with a big basket at the other end. Brown fired one in from downtown to bring Unicaja back to life at 65-62 with 6 minutes to go. Scola hit back with an acrobatic layup, and Unicaja called timeout down 67-62. Pepe Sanchez hit free throws, but Splitter stepped up with another put-back layup. Tusek buried his fifth three-pointer in as many attempts and now Tau called timeout at 69-67. Brown collected a steal and made free throws for a 69-69 tie with less than 3 minutes remaining. Both teams missed shots down the stretch until Brown hit a triple to complete the Unicaja comeback, 69-72, with 1:19 to go. Prigioni immediately answered from downtown to tie it at 72-72. Pietrus made a tip-in with 54.4 seconds remaining and Scola committed a turnover at the other end, but Brown missed a driving layup that allowed Prigioni to tie the game again, 74-74, with 8.4 seconds to go. Brown took over with the game-winning driving layup with 1.2 seconds to go allowing the Unicaja fans that traveled all the way to Athens to return home at the end of a historical Euroleague season with a smile in their faces.
Sunday, May 6, 2007
Javier Gancedo, Athens
Referees: PITSILKAS, NIKOLAOS (GRE), SAHIN, TOLGA (ITA), VIATOR, EDDIE (FRA)
Attendance: 18363
By Quarter1234
Tau Ceramica15252113
Unicaja16191625
End of Quarter1234
Tau Ceramica15406174
Unicaja16355176
Head coach: MALJKOVIC, BOZIDAR
Tau Ceramica
# 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
4 SCOLA, LUIS 33:00 14 6/11   2/5 3 2 5 2   2   1 3 5 12
5 PRIGIONI, PABLO 21:00 13 2/3 3/3           3 3     4   8
7 CILLA, JESUS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
8 RAKOCEVIC, IGOR 24:00 16 2/5 4/7     2 2   1 6     4 2 5
9 VIDAL, SERGI 31:00 2 1/2 0/1   1 3 4 5 1 1     2 2 9
10 PLANINIC, ZORAN 21:15 15 4/6 2/4 1/1 1 2 3 2         1 4 19
11 ERDOGAN, SERKAN DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
12 TELETOVIC, MIRZA 13:00   0/1 0/1     1 1             1  
14 PEKER, KAYA DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
20 ESLAVA, ARIEL DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
21 SPLITTER, TIAGO 33:45 10 5/8     5 3 8 3   3 1 1 1 2 16
32 HOUSE, FRED 23:00 4 1/3 0/1 2/2   1 1   3   1 1 2 2 5
Team           2 1 3               3
Totals 200:00 74 21/39 9/17 5/8 12 15 27 12 8 15 2 3 17 18 77
53.8% 52.9% 62.5%
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: SCARIOLO, SERGIO
Unicaja
# 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
4 SANCHEZ, PEPE 28:15 5 0/1 1/1 2/2   2 2 8 2 4     1 3 14
7 VASILEIADIS, KOSTAS 26:15 8 1/2 2/5   1 1 2     1         5
9 WELSCH, JIRI 18:45 4 2/4 0/2   1   1     4     1 2 -2
11 PIETRUS, FLORENT 20:00 2 1/4     4 1 5 1 1   2   2 1 7
15 DE MIGUEL, IGNACIO 20:00 9 4/6   1/2 1 2 3     1     3 1 6
17 TUSEK, MARKO 21:15 18 1/4 5/6 1/1 4 1 5 2         3 1 19
20 JIMENEZ, CARLOS 18:45 10 1/2 2/4 2/2 2 2 4 2 2 1 1 1 2 2 14
22 SANCHEZ, ALFONSO 11:45 1   0/2 1/2       1         1 3 1
24 FAISON, MARCUS 13:00 5 1/3 1/2   1 1 2 1 1 1     3 2 4
41 BROWN, MARCUS 22:00 14 3/7 2/4 2/2   1 1 2 1     1 2 2 11
Team           1 3 4               4
Totals 200:00 76 14/33 13/26 9/11 15 14 29 17 7 12 3 2 18 17 83
42.4% 50% 81.8%
This game is not yet played

Head Coaches

MALJKOVIC, BOZIDAR
Tau Ceramica
"We can't be happy with our game in Athens at this Final Four because we didn't manage to have the individual or team level that we always have. Why? That is a very difficult question that I won't answer now because it will take a long time. We need to take some time and think about it. Unicaja played slow and put our players to sleep. we committed to many turnovers and made errors that made no sense. We had some good results because they made some turnovers in the first half. in the second, we improved our defense and made more steals. We played more calmly and we were more than 10 points ahead. They got some points off the bench and made a lot of shots. Now we have to keep our good work and play good basketball until the end of the season. We can surely play better. We played with a lot of pressure. We'll have to make a serious analysis so the team will get the mental and individual strength that is important for the future. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. We are a family and when you don't play well everybody suffers."
SCARIOLO, SERGIO
Unicaja
“Sixteen years after I reached my first Final Four, I win thits place. Maybe I will reach the final in 16 years and with the Euroleague in 32. I want to congratulate my players for their effort. Someone just told me that when you see the Malaga fans' reaction to this game, you understand why you play a third-place game. I think the most important thing is that my players showed their pride by playing even when the motivation was not there. I want to congratulate them. I think they played a great Final Four. They stayed close most of the game against the champions and stayed close again and won tonight. So lets let our fans enjoy this and our players leave the Final Four with a sweet taste in their mouths.”

“To play very well is subjective. I'll give you a soccer example. If Liverpool and Milan have 100 potential and they play at 50, it is horrible. But if Espanyol and I don't know, Parma, play at 50, it is great. So it's a matter of personal taste and potential. You give what you can give, you gotta try to give your best always. But what is your best? Is it Panathinaikos best? CSKA best? I feel that we played over our level for most of the games. I think there is no basketball fan that could expect that we can play at this level. So from my perspective, we played very well.”

Players

SPLITTER, TIAGO
Tau Ceramica
"We had a 10-point lead at the end of the third quarter, but they were more motivated than us, which happened to be decisive to win the game. We had three very good seasons in the Euroleague, but never had the luck to play well in the Final Four. There are four tough teams, very good teams and only one team can win. We still have the chance to win the Spanish League and the team has to recover from this."
TUSEK, MARKO
Unicaja
“It was the first Final Four for Unicaja and I was very happy when we beat Barcelona to get here. We had a great chance to beat CSKA Moscow in the semifinals, we really believe we had a very good chance to make it to the final. We did well tonight, managed to finish third and I hope we can return to another Final Four. This game-winning shot is very important for Marcus Brown, as he came off of an injury and we need him to play well. It is not good only for him, but for the team.”
BROWN, MARCUS
Unicaja
“Anytme you step put on the court you have to respect yourself, your team and the game of basketball. It was a little difficult to get motivated in the beginning, but like I said, you have to respect the game. We made some open shots in the fourth quarter and that was the difference from Friday. We shot 53% from the three-point line today, and I think we shot 27% on Friday. We had the chance to hit a couple of three-pointers to try to stop their run. Given all our injuries, to still have the chance to try to win the Euroleague title is great. All these guys played hard, having the chance to win down the stretch. The win makes you feel a little bit better about yourself, it is always good to win. Winning cures a lot of pains, and it is a learning experience because we might have to face this team in the Spanish playoffs."
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