2009-10Regular SeasonRound 8
December 17, 2009 CET: 19:15
Local time: 20:15 AYHAN SAHENK SPORTS HALL
Georgios Printezis - UnicajaAn early ticket to the Top 16 was the pre-holiday present Unicaja gave itself and another team by outlasting Efes Pilsen 77-79 on the road in Istanbul on Thursday. Unicaja moved to 6-2 in Group B, matching records with Olympiacos, which also qualified with the loss by Efes. Olympiacos holds first place, however, based on a margin of victory 3 points better in the victories it split, head to head, with Unicaja. Efes, meanwhile, drops to 3-5, a victory behind all-important fourth place, the last that means a Top 16 berth. Unicaja broke open a close game after halftime to lead by as much as 13 points but had to withstand a late Efes rally thanks to free throws in the final minute by Omar Cook. He was among six Unicaja scorers between 8 and 15 points in a triumph of balanced scoring. Georgios Printezis led the way with 15 points, while Jiri Welsch and Carlos Jimenez had 12 each, Joel Freeland 11. For Efes, Igor Rakocevic pumped in 21 points while Charles Smith added 14 and Mario Kasun 11. Its 19 turnovers at home to just 12 for Unicaja probably hurt Efes most.

Ender Arslan got the scoreboard started for Efes with a quick layup before Freeland did the honors for Unicaja with a post-up shot. When the guests went ahead on a second Freeland layup, Kasun answered with a put-back dunk, Smith stole for a fastbreak layup and Bootsy Thornton drilled a triple on the break to make it 9-4 for Efes. Unicaja was ready to answer, however. Freeland scored despite an intentional foul, and with the ensuing possession, Jimenez downed his own triple from the wing to tie 9-9. Kasun's free throw put Efes in front again and his back-down layup made it 12-9. There the score was stuck for awhile until Robert Archibald, injured a week ago, returned with free throws. Preston Shumpert responded from downtown for Efes and Arslan drove untouched for a layup to make it 17-11. Unciaja could manage only free throws until a surprise fullcourt press to finish the quarter yielded a layup by Shammond Williams, although free throws by Rakocevic meant that Efes still led 19-17 after 10 minutes.

Kasun kept Efes rolling inside while Rakocevic launched from long-range to push the hosts ahead by 24-18 early in the second quarter. Taquan Dean got a basket back for Unicaja, but Smith had another steal and layup to make it 27-20. Printezis joined the Unicaja scoring column with a baseline jumper and then Williams, off a steal by Jimenez, hit from downtown in transition to revive the guests at 27-25. On the next fastbreak, Williams fed Freeland for an alley-oop slam to tie it up. Although Smith's free throw kept Efes ahead, Printezis dropped a triple that took the lead back for Unicaja, which then added to it with a back-door reverse by Jimenez at 28-32. A put-back by Printezis forced an Efes timeout, after which Daniel Santiago assisted a layup by Smith, Berni Rodriguez put back his own miss and Rakocevic drilled another triple. But when Freelend fed Guillem Rubio for a layup, Unicaja was still ahead by 35-38. Rakocevic lowered the difference with free throws before Efes regained the lead, 39-38, on Thornton's assist to Kaya Peker. It lasted one possession, however, until Omar Cook spoke up from long range, sending Unicaja into halftime holding a 39-41 lead.

Igor Rakocevic - Efes PilsenArchibald added a basket to Unicaja's lead to open the second half. Kasun took it back with a follow-up slam for Efes. Cook and Printezis then connected twice, for a jump-hook and a triple, as Unicaja went up 41-48. Again Kasun answered for Efes, but left clutching his back after fouling Archibald, who made a free throw before Jimenez rifled in a corner triple to make it 43-52, the game's biggest lead. Efes got a layup from Santiago in response, but suddenly Welsch took over for Unicaja with 3 consecutive baskets ending in a fastbreak dunk and a huge 45-58 lead for the visitors. Efes needed something, and Rakocevic gave it, a triple from the corner that Santiago followed with free throws. Next, Welsch posted up for another 2 points, but Santiago's put-back lowered the difference again to single digits, 52-60. Efes finished the thrid quarter stronger as a block by Kaya Peker led to Smith's reverse layup and a 55-60 score after 30 minutes.

The momentum stayed with Efes as Smith opened the fourth quarter with a smooth triple. Unicaja, meanwhile, couldn't score on a five-shot possession. Efes had three shots at the lead before Santiago plucked a rebound and put it back for a 60-60 tie. That woke up Unicaja, and especially Archibald, who dunked and then stole and fed Jimenez on the break to preserve a 60-64 lead. Out of nowhere, Kerem Tunceri took 3 points back with one shot for Efes. Cook answered by flying in for a fastbreak layup, but Rakocevic matched him with free throws. A running hook by Jimenez made it 64-68. After a timeout, Rakocevic drilled a fallaway jumper, but not the extra free throw, while Welsch scored in close. After Freeland blasted a triple at 66-73, Efes needed a new timeout with less than 4 minutes left. Despite a basket by Rakocevic to pull Efes closer, Unicaja was killing time with offensive rebounds. Thornton went backdoor for a layup, but the Efes defense left Printezis alone in the corner to make it 70-76 with a triple entering the final minute. Thornton got back to the free throw line, making 1 of 2, before the big play Efes needed came, a layup-plus-free throw by Shumpert with 22 seconds left, making it 74-76. Now, Unicaja needed the timeout, after which Efes fouled, putting Cook on the line, where he made 2 of 2. Smith got a quick layup in response, but Thornton's near-steal on the ensuing Efes press caromed out of bounds. Cook went back to the foul line and made 1 of 2 with 8 seconds left, allowing Efes a chance at 76-79. Unicaja fouled now, and when Rakocevic missed his second, Unicaja had made it to the Top 16!
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Euroleague.net
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Referees: LAMONICA, LUIGI (ITA), CHRISTODOULOU, CHRISTOS (GRE), VOJINOVIC, MILIJA (SRB)
Attendance: 4000
By Quarter1234
Efes Pilsen19201622
Unicaja17241919
End of Quarter1234
Efes Pilsen19395577
Unicaja17416079
Efes Pilsen
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 KASUN, MARIO 16:09 11 5/5   1/2 2 2 4   1 2     4 3 12
7 SMITH, CHARLES 30:15 14 5/6 1/6 1/2   4 4 4 3 2     1 1 16
8 RAKOCEVIC, IGOR 24:29 21 2/3 3/5 8/13   4 4 2   2     1 11 27
9 SHUMPERT, PRESTON 28:19 8 2/4 1/2 1/1   4 4 1           1 11
10 TUNCERI, KEREM 17:33 3 0/1 1/4         1 2 4     3   -5
11 THORNTON, BOOTSY 21:14 6 1/1 1/2 1/2   5 5 3   4     3 1 6
14 PEKER, KAYA 16:16 2 1/6     2 5 7   1   1   1   5
15 CANTEKIN, DUSAN DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
21 NACHBAR, BOSTJAN 2:31                   1         -1
25 SANTIAGO, DANIEL 20:34 8 3/4   2/2 2 3 5 2   1 2   2 2 15
32 GULER, SINAN 3:09   0/1 0/1   2 1 3     1     2   -2
33 ARSLAN, ENDER 19:31 4 2/4 0/3 0/1   1 1 3   1     2 3 2
Team           1 4 5     1         4
Totals 200:00 77 21/35 7/23 14/23 9 33 42 16 7 19 3 0 19 22 90
        60% 30.4% 60.9%
Head coach: ATAMAN, ERGIN
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
00 COOK, OMAR 25:23 8 1/1 1/5 3/4   2 2 5   2     1 3 10
5 RODRIGUEZ, BERNI 9:42 2 1/3 0/2   1   1 1       1 1   -2
7 PRINTEZIS, GEORGIOS 26:42 15 3/9 3/4   3 2 5     1   1   2 13
8 DEAN, TAQUAN 13:00 4 1/2 0/2 2/2   1 1   1 1     4 1 -1
9 WELSCH, JIRI 24:42 12 5/9 0/1 2/3   4 4 2 4 1     5 3 13
10 JIMENEZ, CARLOS 32:32 12 3/4 2/5   1 7 8 3 2       3 2 20
16 RUBIO, GUILLEM 3:46 2 1/1     1   1           1   2
17 LIMA, AUGUSTO DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
19 FREELAND, JOEL 21:35 11 4/8 1/3 0/1 2 1 3 2   1   1 2 3 8
20 WILLIAMS, SHAMMOND 14:43 5 1/2 1/3 0/2   2 2 1 2 3       1 3
21 ARCHIBALD, ROBERT 18:23 8 2/4   4/6 1 3 4 1 2 2     4 4 9
22 LEWIS, LARRY 9:32   0/1 0/1   1 1 2     1     1   -2
Team           2 1 3               3
Totals 200:00 79 22/44 8/26 11/18 12 24 36 15 11 12 0 3 22 19 76
        50% 30.8% 61.1%
Head coach: GARCIA RENESES, AITO

Head Coaches

ATAMAN, ERGIN
Efes Pilsen
"It was a game full of mistakes on our side. We made terrible turnovers, which cost us to lose the game. We were down by 13 points in the middle of the third quarter, but managed to come back at the beginning of the last period. But when we tied the game, we gave the momentum again to our opponent, Unicaja Malaga, just with two quick errors. You can never handle those kind of easy mistakes at this level. Unicaja used those mistakes very well and we lost another game by a small difference. We still have the chance and will be digging for it until the end."
GARCIA RENESES, AITO
Unicaja
"We had our full roster on the court for the first time this season against Efes Pilsen. We were challenged with injuries from than the beginning of the season. Generally I’m happy with the result and the way we played in the game. Somehow, we started to struggle in the game when we reached the 60-point level. We struggled to score and at the same time, our defence went down. But I’m really very happy that we were resistant enough to win the game in the last couple of minutes. They took advantage of our bad moments in the game with Igor Rakocevic and made trouble for us. But we fought back to take the momentum and change the destiny of the game."

Players

KASUN, MARIO
Efes Pilsen
"Tonight we lost a game that we could have won. We were a little bit too impatient because of the stress of the game. That's because we made too many easy turnovers. However, the luck was also not on our side. We lost another game that we could have won. But we still have the chance for qualifying for the next stage. We have to play more carefully in the last two games, which are very important for us."
COOK, OMAR
Unicaja
"It was an interesting game. We tried to play as fast as we can to break their balance and the rhythm in defense. I can say that we were really good at that for most of the game. When we had a 13-point advantage in the middle of the third quarter, normally we feel like the game is coming. But they came back soon. Then we remained resistant in the last quarter and patient in offense. We moved the ball as quick as we can and my teammates did a great job to finish. It’s a fantastic win."
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