2006-07Regular SeasonRound 9
January 09, 2007 CET: 17:00
Local time: 18:00 UNIVERSIADA
Rimantas Kaukenas - Montepaschi First place in Group C was clinched by Montepaschi Siena when it escaped from Sofia, Bulgaria on Tuesday with a thrilling 76-81 victory over host Lukoil Academic. Montepaschi improved to 7-2 and as group leader will enjoy home court advantage in the upcoming elimination rounds. Lukoil Academic dropped to 4-5 and must wait to know its destiny. Montepaschi ran out to an early 7-13 lead, but it proved only to be the first of several runs by both teams. The guests led 32-3 at haltime, but Lukoil used a 21-5 after the break to surge ahead, 53-44 advantage. Siena answered with a 9-2 run and added another of 7-0 in the final quarter to take control for good. Rimas Kaukenas led the way for Siena with 17 points, while Romain Sato amassed a double-double of 16 points and 10 rebounds, and Joe Forte added 12 with 5 assists. Todor Stoykov and Riste Stefanov bagged 12 apiece for Lukoil. Big man Mate Skelin added 10 and pulled down 18 rebounds, tying the third-best rebound total in ULEB Cup history, while Lamont Jones dished 5 assist and tallied 10 points.

Shaun Stonerook opening the scoring from downtown for Montepaschi, but by the time Riste Stefanov did the same for Lukoil, the score was tied 5-5. Back-to-back triples from Kaukenas and Sato sent Siena on an 8-2 run to a 7-13 lead, but Stefanov stayed on fire leading the hosts trail that Lamont Jones capped with a lay up for the 14-15. Montepaschi called timeout and got Skelin to the foul line, but Jones soon gave Lukoil its first advantage of the game by beating the buzzer to go ahead 18-17 at the end of the first quarter. Newcomer guard Donta Smith added a bucket to the Lukoil lead early in the second quarter, but 6 points amassed quickly by Stonerook and Lonnie Baxter took it back for Siena at 20-23. Lukoil kept struggling with its downtown shooting, but found free throws from Smith and a layup by Jamel Brown to take another slim cushion, 26-25. Brown posted 4 more points in a row, but saw Marco Carraretto and Forte repy for a new Montepaschi lead at 30-31. Gjorgji Cekovski tied it up 32-32 for Lukoil before Siena exploded again, with a quarter-ending 0-7 blast capped by Forte that left the guests in charge, 32-39, at halftime.

Riste Stefanov - Lukoil AcademicStoykov, the ULEB Cup all-time scoring leader, hit 5 consecutive points to get Lukoil rolling in the second half, however Skelin copied him almost point-for-point to make it 41-41. Cekovski kept the hosts going, however, with a triple that capped a 12-2 run with Lukoil up 44-41. An exchange of baskets and free throws came before Cekovski was back and rocking from long distance. Stoykov then added a dunk after a steal to push the hosts to their best advantage of the game, 51-44, midway through the quarter. Skelin pulled down and converted an offensive to start Montepaschi coming back. Kaukenas proved that the guests were still alive by nailing 4 consecutive points that reduced the difference to 53-48. Lukoil did not respond, but instead let youngster Lorenzo D'Ercole score a huge bomb that brought Siena within 55-53. A dunk by Smith finished the quarter with Lukoil hanging onto a 60-55 margin. Montepaschi started the final quarter with another explosion, 7 unanswered points in which Kaukenas downed 5 to take a new lead at 60-62. Lukoil responded as Smith slammed to re-take the lead, 64-62, but a three-point-play by Eze changed again the leading team. Forte gave Siena a 66-68 cushion before Stoykov answered from downtown coming off a pick to boost Lukoil in front again, 69-68. Sato used all his athletic skills to score 5 points that put Siena in front 69-73 with under 3 minutes left. A thriller was in the air, even though Kaukenas found an easy layup at 69-75, Siena's biggest lead awhile. Stefanov stepped up big-time and excited the crowd with an incredible four-point triple-plus-free throw to put Lukoil back on track at 73-75. After Sato was perfect from the foul line, Jones reduced the gap to 76-77, then Forte scored both his free throws and Eze blocked the attempt of Stoykov to seal win and first place in group C for Siena.
Tuesday, January 9, 2007
ULEBCup.com
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Referees: HIERREZUELO, DANIEL; LEPETIC, NIKOLA; NURAN, RUSTU
Attendance: 3000
By Quarter1234
Lukoil Academic18142816
Montepaschi17221626
End of Quarter1234
Lukoil Academic18326076
Montepaschi17395581
Lukoil Academic
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 JONES, LAMONT 33:30 10 3/8 1/3 1/2   2 2 5   2     3 2 6
7 STEFANOV, RISTE 22:15 12 2/2 2/5 2/2   1 1   1 1     3 3 10
8 KOSTOV, CHAVDAR DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
9 CEKOVSKI, GJORGJI 21:00 8 1/3 2/4 0/2 2 3 5   2 3   1 5 1 1
10 DAVIDOV, GEORGI 18:15 8 3/4   2/2 1 2 3     1     2 1 8
13 VELIKOV, ASEN DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
14 MLADENOV, BOYKO 9:30         1 1 2         1 3 1 -1
15 STOYKOV, TODOR 32:00 12 3/5 2/8   1 1 2 1 2 1   1 4 3 6
16 STOYANOV, ZHIVKO DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
20 SKELIN, MATE 30:30 10 4/7   2/4 6 12 18 1   1     1 7 29
22 SMITH, DONTA 16:45 8 3/5   2/2 3 1 4 2 2       1 1 14
23 BROWN, TALIEK 16:15 8 4/9 0/2   1   1 1   1     3 1  
Team           1   1     1          
Totals 200:00 76 23/43 7/22 9/14 16 23 39 10 7 11 0 3 25 20 73
        53.5% 31.8% 64.3%
Head coach: DOKUZOVSKI, MARIN
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
Montepaschi
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 FORTE, JOSEPH 30:15 12 4/9 0/1 4/4 1 1 2 5 1 5     2 4 11
5 MCINTYRE, TERRELL DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
6 BAXTER, LONNY 16:45 7 2/4   3/3 1 3 4 1     1   3 2 10
7 BOISA, VLADIMER 13:15 2 1/3           1         2 1  
8 EZE, BENJAMIN 23:15 9 4/6   1/1 1 3 4 1 1 1 2   3 1 12
9 CARRARETTO, MARCO 12:15 5 1/1 1/1         1         2 1 5
10 SATO, ROMAIN 29:00 16 2/5 2/3 6/10 3 7 10 2 1       2 6 25
11 DATOME, LUIGI 11:00   0/2     1 2 3               1
12 D'ERCOLE, LORENZO 13:00 5 1/2 1/3   1   1 1         1 1 4
13 KAUKENAS, RIMANTAS 24:30 17 4/8 2/3 3/4 1 1 2 2 1 2     3 6 17
18 LECHTHALER, LUCA DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
20 STONEROOK, SHAUN 26:45 8 0/1 2/6 2/2 1 8 9 3 1 2     2 3 15
Team                                
Totals 200:00 81 19/41 8/17 19/24 10 25 35 17 5 10 3 0 20 25 100
        46.3% 47.1% 79.2%
Head coach: PIANIGIANI, SIMONE
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Head Coaches

DOKUZOVSKI, MARIN
Lukoil Academic
"We let ourselves be defeated at a moment that was extremely unacceptable. It was our chance to make it to the next phase. During the first two quarters, we played very nervous and were very respectful of our opponent. After halftime, our team did better on the court and performed well but we were in foul trouble. The team of Montepaschi is one that punishes every mistake you make on the court. But I am really pleased with the performance of my players, no matter the loss. I am extremely satisfied by what Donta Smith showed in the game. It is obvious that he is a player of very good quality. I think he needs a little bit of time and he will adapt the team really very well. Our leaders – Lamont Jones and Todor Stoykov - weren't perfect! Once again, we were terrible in three-point shooting, scoring 7 out of 22 attempts. This is our second home loss in a row. We still have chances to go through to the eighthfinals, but they are very small. We will go for a win in Moscow next Tuesday. I hope that good luck will be with us this time."
PIANIGIANI, SIMONE
Montepaschi
"We started very well but after that made a few turnovers. I thought we could determine the outcome of the game in our favor even earlier. Lukoil Academic is a very good team, but I really don't know what are their chances against Khimki in the last round. The Russian team is very tough and experienced. We don't have a certain goal in the tournament, but rather play game by game, and we just concentrate on doing that the best possible way. I think it was an interesting game. We ere extremely tired because we had very tough game on Sunday in Milano. That's why we performed under the usual potential of the team. No matter, it is good that we are still winning. Lukoil Academic deserves to play in the next phase of the tournament, too. Good luck to the team and we will try to win our last game also."
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