2005-06Regular SeasonRound 2
November 10, 2005 CET: 20:45
Two teams with their own last-minute handicaps fought for a share of first place in Group A on Thursday, and when they finished fighting, Zalgiris had the upper hand with a 63-58 decision over visiting Tau Ceramica. Zalgiris zoomed to 2-0 despite not having its superstar center, Tanoka Beard, scratched due to injury before the game and possibly to miss several weeks. Reggie Freeman supplied the scoring leadership for the winners, with 17 points, while Darjus Lavrinovic stepped up with 12 points and 8 rebounds. Paulius Jankunas added 11 rebounds for Zalgiris. Tau, now 1-1, had its own troubles stemming from a 19-hour trip to reach Kaunas, Lithuania amid weather difficulties. Luis Scola again paced Tau with 22 points and 9 rebounds, while Pablo Prigioni scored 11 points and Serkan Erdogan 10.

Scola took advantage of the absence of Beard by opening the game back-to-back baskets from the low post. New Zalgiris player Elias Ayuso stayed calm in his debut, landing a bomb from downtown. Both teams enjoyed a run-and-shoot start, and a good sign came for the hosts as Lavrinovic was active on the both ends. Stille, despite its focused game on defense, Zalgiris could not score for more then 4 minutes, by which time Scola made in-your-face layup for 10 points of his own . Jankunas fed Lavrinovic for one easy basket underneath and the big man added another on the fast-break. Zalgiris almost completed the comeback as Freeman joined the scoring, but Sergi Vidal's triple vaulted Tau in front, 16-18, after 10 minutes.

Zalgiris started second quarter with big shots from big guys, Jankunas and Lavrinovic, while Freeman added a basket-plus-free throw for a 7-2 run that put the hosts ahead 23-20. While Scola rested, Tau kept playing inside and forcing Zalgiris to commit fouls. Jankunas came back to help the defense under the basket. Zalgiris extended the lead to 27-22 as Simonas Serapinas made his first points on a triple. When Lavrinovic came back on court, he immedately fed Jonas Maciulis with a nice assist for an easy layup. Tau responded with individual effort by Scola, who took and made 4 free throws to reduced the halftime difference to 29-28.

After halftime, the two teams traded baskets as Zalgiris tried playing with twin playmakers, Vidas Ginevicius and Ed Cota, but still lacked good ball distribution. Freeman hit a triple for the hosts, but Prigioni copied him twice, giving a lead back to Tau, 35-38. Zalgiris found its go-to-guy in Jankunas, whose triple from the corner and middle distance jumper tied it, 40-40. The fans got going when Ginevicius stole and fed Serapinas for fastbreak dunks twice in a row. Tau's defense seemed full of holes while Zagiris found leaders everywhere as Freeman penetrated for a basket-plus-free throw. At the same time, Tau struggled to put shots in, allowing Freeman to close the third quarter with a nice layup that boosted the Zalgiris lead to 49-41.

Zalgiris continued dominating to start the final quarter with 5-0 on a triple from Ginevicius and a jumper by Darius Silinskis. Tau responded with aggressive defense and 4 points by Scola and Prigioni. Despite various rotations, Tau's offense still relied on Scola, so Zalgiris focused on closing his way to the basket. When Scola sat, Predrag Drobjnak found an inside basket, but it seemed that Zalgiris could not miss now as Freeman downed a very tough layup, Lavrinovic made a reverse semi-hook and youngster Maciulis bombed from deep to make it 63-51. Tau started full-curt pressure with 2 minutes left and managed to get within 63-55 on a steal and dunk by Vidal, but it was too late for comeback and buzzer beater by Erdogan didn's spoil a second win in as many tries for Zalgiris.
Thursday, November 10, 2005
Antanas Pakula, Kaunas
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Attendance: 0
By Quarter1234
Tau Ceramica Vitoria-Gasteiz18101317
End of Quarter1234
Tau Ceramica Vitoria-Gasteiz18284158
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 GINEVICIUS, VIDAS 26:45 8 2/3 1/2 1/2 1   1 4 2 3     1 1 9
5 FREEMAN, REGGIE 29:00 17 6/7 1/6 2/2   5 5 1 2 1     2 3 19
7 LAVRINOVIC, DARJUS 29:00 12 4/8 1/1 1/2 3 5 8 3 1 4 2   4 1 14
8 MACIULIS, JONAS 6:15 5 1/2 1/2     1 1   2 1     1 1 5
10 COTA, ED 26:15   0/1 0/1     3 3 2 1 3     2 1  
12 DILYS, VILMANTAS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
13 JANKUNAS, PAULIUS 35:00 9 3/7 1/3   1 10 11 3 1 2 1 1 3 4 17
14 SILINSKIS, DARIUS 13:00 2 1/3       1 1   1   1   1   2
15 SERAPINAS, SIMONAS 15:30 7 2/4 1/3     2 2 1   2     2 1 3
22 ALEKSANDROVAS, ANDRIUS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
23 AYUSO, LARRY 19:15 3 0/2 1/2 0/2   2 2 1 1 2     1 1  
Team                   5           5
Totals 200:00 63 19/37 7/20 4/8 5 29 34 15 16 18 4 1 17 13 74
        51.4% 35% 50%
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
Tau Ceramica Vitoria-Gasteiz
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 SCOLA, LUIS 32:15 22 9/16   4/4 3 6 9 1   4 1 1 3 4 22
5 PRIGIONI, PABLO 34:00 11 1/2 3/5   1 1 2 6 4 1     2 1 18
6 HANSEN, TRAVIS 3:00     0/2             1         -3
9 VIDAL, SERGI 28:00 3 1/5 0/2 1/2 2 4 6 2 2 2   1   3 6
10 UKIC, ROKO 6:00 2 0/1 0/1 2/2   1 1   1 1       1 2
11 ERDOGAN, SERKAN 25:15 10 3/7 1/4 1/1   1 1 2 1 1   1 2 2 5
14 DROBNJAK, PREDRAG 12:15 2 1/4 0/1   1 1 2           1   -1
15 GRIMAU, JORDI DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
18 DAVID, KORNEL 9:45   0/4     1 2 3     1     1   -3
21 SPLITTER, TIAGO 25:45 6 2/7   2/7 5 6 11   1 4   1 2 5 6
23 JACOBSEN, CASEY 23:45 2 1/3     1 1 2 2 1 1     2 1 3
Team                   8           8
Totals 200:00 58 18/49 4/15 10/16 14 23 37 13 18 16 1 4 13 17 63
        36.7% 26.7% 62.5%
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Head Coaches

"We lost our key player Tanoka Beard just before the game but it had good influence to our team's attitude. We focused on the team game and it worked best for us. Ayuso had his first game in Euroleague with Zalgiris tonight. He had only three points but I am not disappointed with him. He hit the very first points in the game and charged our team for the rest of the match. I am happy with every my player tonight. We had problems with Scola in the first half. In the second half we decided to focus our defense on him and leave other players more space at the offense. It was a risky decision but it paid off. We improved our defense in the second half and that led us to the victory. But the key factor, of course, was our players who played with all heart and deserved that victory."
Tau Ceramica Vitoria-Gasteiz
"We had a bad game. We couldn't hit the shots and our defense was poor. In the second half we did too many mistakes. That was the main reason that prevented us from sealing the victory. It's not possible to win in the Euroleague with such unbalanced game. We had an unexpectedly long trip to Kaunas, spend a lot of time in the bus travelling here because flights were rejected due to bad weather, but I don't think it had influence on our game tonight. We knew Tanoka Beard wouldn't play but it didn't make the game easier because Zalgiris found other leaders."


"It was my only second Euroleague game and the first at home. I worked hard and tried to show that I can play at that level. I still have to prove that I deserve more playing minutes but I think it's just a beginning. Young players must earn respect and confidence with hard work in defense and only then think of offense. I had important games in the youth World Championship so it wasn't new or unexpected for me. I wasn't afraid and did what I had to do. I did a few mistakes but in general I am satisfied with my performance."
"I am very happy with the win. I played hard and I am very tired after the game now, but I would like to thank my teammates for this victory. We wanted to take revenge for the last year when we lost to Tau twice in the Top 16. And we did it. Scola is a great player and it's hard to defend him. He made difficult shots tonight but we all know he can hit incredible shots and we tried to keep him as low as it was possible. I had additional motivation when I heard that my brother Ksystov was named MVP in the ULEB Cup. I was happy about him and wanted to prove that I can play good, too."
Tau Ceramica Vitoria-Gasteiz
"I think we played a very hard game. It's sad that we lost it. We didn't play good defense at all. When you do not play defense its pretty hard to win. Zalgiris played as a team and that made difference between us and them. They have many good players. Lavrinovic hit pretty good shots tonight. I am not happy with my own performance because we lost the game and no matter how good you were if you lost you wasn't good enough. Basketball is a team sport and you can win if you play as a team."
Tau Ceramica Vitoria-Gasteiz
"Zalgiris prepared the game well. We knew that Zalgiris is a very dangerous team and they play really strong at home. They played good tonight. We missed many opportunities to make easy baskets and missed other shots. Our opponents, though, made important baskets, hit key three-pointers. Freeman had a good game tonight, Lavrinovic played good inside, he had some rebounds and played well offensive. On the other side we didn't play as we're supposed to. We have no excuses for a lost game. We didn't play our style of game. We didn't play as we can play. Normally we play faster, harder defense, we focus on defense more then on offense but today it was different. Today our team played more offense than defense. I know players from Zalgiris and they didn't surprise me. I played against them and with them. I am friends with many of them, so despite our loss I am happy about them."
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