2007-08Regular SeasonRound 13
January 23, 2008 CET: 19:15
Local time: 20:15 SIEMENS ARENA
Hollis Price - Lietuvos RytasLietuvos Rytas put the keys to Group B in its own hands when it turned back visiting Unicaja 71-63 in thrilling fashion at home in Vilnius, Lithuania on Wednesday. Both teams had entered the game in a first-place tie with Maccabi Tel Aviv, which plays Thursday. Now holding a 10-3 record, L. Rytas will clinch first place even if it ties with Maccabi, Unicaja or both at the end of the regular season next week. The winners had a hero in Hollis Price, whose amazing six-point play to close the third quarter stopped Unicaja's biggest charge of the night, while his steal and three-point play in the closing seconds made doubly sure of the victory. Prive finished with 23 points and 6 assists for L. Rytas, which also got 11 points each from Martynas Gecevicius and Marijonas Petravicius. Unicaja, whose record fell to 9-4, got 22 points from Marcus Haislip and 16 from Boniface N'Dong but otherwise struggled to score.

Matt Nielsen and Mindaugas Lukauskis connected on three-pointers to get the home crowd rocking. Neilsen's inside basket made it 10-4 before Davor Kus downed a baseline jumper for Unicaja. Daniel Santiago blocked Chuck Eidson before Price fed Petravicius cutting then hit a lane jumper to double Unicaja on the scoreboard, 14-7. Petravicius added a free throw and L. Rytas kept pressing fullcourt, with Lukauskis finishing a fastbreak for the first double-digit lead, 17-7. Price feeding Praskevicius for another basket was answered by a jump hook from Haislip, who then put back an offensive rebound to make it 19-11. Price got open and buried a triple, however, to raise the roof and the lead to 22-11. Haislip and Kus finished the first quarter with free throws that trimmed the difference to 22-15.

Marcus Haislip - UnicajaKenan Bajramovic's turnaround baseline jumper opened the second quarter for L. Rytas, but Carlos Jimenez answered with a triple from the corner and N'Dong downed an offensive rebound for Unicaja to close within 24-20. Petravicius and N'Dong traded points, as did Joao Paulo Batista and Jimenez before the latter's steal led, at the other end, to a triple on the shot-clock buzzer by Berni Rodriguez, getting Unicaja within 28-26. Missed foul shots could have hurt L. Rytas but great defense and acrobatic fastbreak layups by Arturas Jomantas and Gecevicius made it 33-26. After a Unicaja timeout and a lull in scoring, Gecevicius launched and hit from the arc to reestablish a double-digit lead, to which Price added a driving layup to finish the half with L. Rytas fully in charge, 41-28.

Carlos Cabezas drilled corner triple while N'Dong blocked a Praskevicius dunk attempt and hit a short jumper as Unicaja sought to rally after halftime. L. Rytas went 3 minutes without scoring and saw Nieslen leave the game with an ankle injury. Meanwhile N'Dong downed a hook to cut the difference to 41-35. Bajramovic broke the hosts' cold spell, but N'Dong stayed hot with a high-flying dunk. Lukauskis buouyed L. Rytas with a big triple to make it 46-37. Unicaja answered, however, with a trio of dunks - alley-oops to N'Dong and Haislip, who also slammed a free throw rebound as the guests got within 46-43. A couple tense, defensive-minded minutes followed before Haislip's post-up turnaround fell and Price responded with a jumper. Jiri Welsch's free throws got Unicaja within 48-47, but a foul called while Price tried a three-point shot earned visiting coach Sergio Scariolo's ire - and his technical foul. Price hit 4 of 5 free throws and a reverse layup on the same possession to restore a 54-47 L. Rytas lead after 30 minutes.

Marijonas Petravicius - Lietuvos RytasPrice went high over N'Dong for a layup to start the final quarter. N'Dong and Joamantas traded points before Cabezas buried a triple to make it a new game at 58-54 . Gecevicius stepped up again with a short jumper, then he found Petravicius with a lob to keep L. Rytas up 62-54 and force a Unicaja timeout with just over 5 minutes left. Unicaja went inside again to the unstoppable N'Dong, then used a steal and layup by Rodriguez to make it 62-58. After a huge long defensive standoff, Welsh missed free throws and left the same score entering the final 2 minutes. After a timeout, it was Price - who else? - who struck first, hitting a lane jumper at 64-58. Haislip's free throws made it 64-60 with 1:14 left, but a big offensive rebound by Bajramovic led to his game-sealing layup off an inbound pass from Price with 39 seconds left. For good measure, Price stole Unicaja's inbounds pass, scored and hit a free throw to make sure that L. Rytas would decide the Group B winner for itself.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008
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Referees: ZAVLANOS, NIKOLAOS; PUKL,SASA; GKONTAS, SPIROS
Attendance: 11000
By Quarter1234
Lietuvos Rytas22191317
Unicaja15131916
End of Quarter1234
Lietuvos Rytas22415471
Unicaja15284763
Lietuvos Rytas
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
5 SLEZAS, ANDRIUS 3:12                         1   -1
7 STELMAHERS, ROBERTS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
8 LUKAUSKIS, MINDAUGAS 16:19 8 1/3 2/3     2 2   3 2     1   7
10 PRICE, HOLLIS 33:28 23 7/12 1/5 6/8       6 1 1     1 4 21
13 BATISTA, J.P. 7:29 3 1/1   1/4 1 1 2           4 3 1
15 PETRAVICIUS, MARIUS 29:51 11 4/6   3/4 2 2 4 1   1 1 2 4 4 11
21 JOMANTAS, ARTURAS 23:41 4 2/4       6 6   5 2   1 4 3 9
25 JORDAN, JARED 9:12               2 1 2       1 2
31 GECEVICIUS, MARTYNAS 17:21 11 2/3 1/2 4/4   2 2             2 13
33 EIDSON, CHUCK 21:13   0/5               3   1 4   -13
44 NIELSEN, MATT 10:24 5 1/2 1/1     1 1 1 2       2 1 7
51 BAJRAMOVIC, KENAN 27:50 6 3/4 0/2 0/1 2 2 4   1 2     2 4 7
Team           3 2 5   5           10
Totals 200:00 71 21/40 5/13 14/21 8 18 26 10 18 13 1 4 23 22 74
        52.5% 38.5% 66.7%
Head coach: TRIFUNOVIC, ALEKSANDAR
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
4 POPOVIC, BOJAN 4:02   0/1       1 1     2         -2
5 RODRIGUEZ, BERNI 19:03 5 1/3 1/2   2   2 1 1 1     4   1
7 KUS, DAVOR 22:38 4 1/4 0/3 2/2   2 2 1   1     2 1 -1
9 WELSCH, JIRI 23:20 4 1/1 0/2 2/4 1 1 2 3 2 5 1   3 5 5
10 CABEZAS, CARLOS 27:28 8 1/3 2/4     1 1 1   2   1 2 2 3
12 NDONG, BONIFACE 26:52 16 7/9   2/4 2 4 6 1     1   2 5 23
13 GABRIEL, GERMAN 9:40   0/1     1 2 3           1 1 2
20 JIMENEZ, CARLOS 17:24 4 0/1 1/2 1/2   3 3 1 1 1 1   1 1 6
24 HAISLIP, MARCUS 26:59 22 5/8 1/5 9/10 2 2 4     2     3 6 19
25 SANTIAGO, DANIEL 8:31       0/2 1   1     2 1   3 2 -3
34 SANDERS, MELVIN 14:03     0/1     2 2   3 2     1   1
Team           5 3 8   6       1   13
Totals 200:00 63 16/31 5/19 16/24 14 21 35 8 13 18 4 1 23 23 67
        51.6% 26.3% 66.7%
Head coach: SCARIOLO, SERGIO

Head Coaches

TRIFUNOVIC, ALEKSANDAR
Lietuvos Rytas
"Tonight we saw two different parts of the game. Most of the times before, playing with other teams, we had an advantage because there are so many players on our rotation. But tonight it was Unicaja that had this advantage. They have so many equally great guys. We decided to play tough from the very beginning. We did quite good except in the rebounding department. We missed Chuck Eidson in the second half, but Marty Gecevicius stepped up for him. It is safe to say that one of the biggest moments of the game was a technical foul to Scariolo. It helped us find our rhythm again. This win is like a stamp on all our efforts this season. It shows that we are ready to go far."
SCARIOLO, SERGIO
Unicaja
"First of all, I want to congratulate Lietuvos Rytas for a great win. I also applaud Hollis Price, who was a great leader tonight. I think that if we had played as tough all game as we did after the halftime break, we would have had a solid chance to win. We have a problem of lack of concentration and focus, especially playing on the road. It didn't help us tonight. Overall, I would say I'm quite happy with the way we played in the last two quarters. It gives us hope to get better and better in the future."

Players

PRICE, HOLLIS
Lietuvos Rytas
"They beat us by 2 points back in Malaga, so we wanted to beat them here. We did good, but we must also not forget about the game next week and take care of that one in Zagreb. We were a little stagnant for a while, but we got livelier and won. Our coach simply told us to be more aggressive. We did that and you see that we won. Yeah, Unicaja came pretty close in the third quarter, but I think we managed to keep our composure. I pretty much agree that this game was more a hustling than basketball. It was like American football, you know. Everybody got bumped several times but things like that happen. Our guys did a great job defensively down the stretch, we stuck together and came out with a win."
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