2006-07Regular SeasonRound 14
January 31, 2007 CET: 19:45
Local time: 20:45 PALAIS DES SPORTS

Winterthur FCB Barcelona 75-82 road win over Aris TT Bank

Winterthur FCB Barcelona ended a three game losing streak with a 75-82 road win over Aris TT Bank on Wednesday at Alexandrio Arena in Thessaloniki, Greece. Despite the defeat, Aris backed into the Top 16 thanks to Benetton Treviso's 62-64 win at Eldo Napoli. Aris finishes the regular season with a 6-8 record – the same as Napoli – but earns fifth place in Group C and with it the last automatic berth in the Top 16 thanks to a better head-to-head record between the sides. Barcelona led for most of the game, building a double-digit advantage in the second period and holding on for a 48-57 late in the third. However Jeremiah Massey rose to the occasion in the closing minutes and carried Aris back, eventually giving the hosts a 2-point lead. Jaka Lakovic sent the game to overtime at 72-72, but Aris then learned that it was through to the next stage and let up, as Juan Carlos Navarro and Gianluca Basile remained strong in the last 5 minutes to guarantee the win. Navarro scored 20 to lead Barca. Basile netted three triples on his way to 17, while Lakovic drew 10 fouls on his way to 13 and Jordi Trias was perfect from the field for 12. Mihalis Kakiouzis grabbed 10 rebounds for Barcelona. Massey led Aris with 22 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals. Savas Iliadis added 17 and Mike Wilkinson 10.

Backed by a sellout crowd of wild and boisterous fans, Aris came out hell-bent on dictating the tempo and showing who’s in charge. However, Fran Vazquez thought otherwise and displayed an array of long jumpers and hook shots for a 4-7 lead. In the next possession, veteran Giorgos Sigalas misfired, unlike Lakovic, who knocked down a triple to frustrate the yellow hordes in the stands and give Barca a 4-10 advantage after 3 minutes of play. After a timeout, Massey muscled his way inside and then forced Vazquez to the bench after committing his second personal foul. Moments later, Dimitris Tsaldaris drilled a triple to make it a one-point game. Still, Aris could not flash some of its trademark defense against Barcelona and soon the up-tempo guests rattled off 6 straight points. Iliadis came off the bench to beat the buzzer from beyond the arc, only to be copied by Euroleague-leading scorer Navarro. The three-point show was not over though, as Alex Scales stepped up and pulled Aris within 15-19. Still, Barcelona kept making the extra pass and held a 19-24 edge after 10 minutes thanks to a three-point play by Basile.

Wilkinson opened the second quarter scoring in the paint, but experienced Denis Marconato retaliated with back-to-back baskets that kept Barca firmly ahead, 23-28. Basile picked up the scoring slack with 5 points that carried the momentum, despite a flagrant foul by Roger Grimau. The fans were now pouring their hearts out in order to spark a yellow comeback, yet the hosts were struggling to find rhythm offensively and went scoreless through a 3-minute stretch. In the meanwhile, Basile combined with Roko-Leni Ukic to forge a double-digit lead, 28-38. Eventually, Aris got going when Terrel Castle took Kakiouzis off the dribble. Then Iliadis landed a wild off-balance triple from the corner to slice the margin to 34-40, something that forced Dusko Ivanovic to call for a timeout. It was about time for Basile to come up big once again and so he did, as the smooth shooter sank his second from downtown to give Barcelona a 34-43 lead at the intermission.

Early on in the second half, Aris chose to feed Massey who failed to get the scoreboard rolling. With Basile on the bench, Navarro shook off an unusually quiet first half and scored 4 points. It was evident that the hosts could not bounce back, due to their struggles offensively, so coach Andrea Mazzon asked Mahmud Abdul-Rauf to shoulder some responsibility. Massey won a hard-fought battle in the paint and converted a three-point play and later he stole the ball and hit a free throw to cap an impressive 8-0 run. With the score at 42-47, Lakovic got an open look and unleashed a triple to keep Barcelona in the driver’s seat. Wilkinson and Scales did not cave in and then Abdul-Rauf joined them, as he buried a shot from beyond the arc to keep the yellows close on Barca’s heels. Still the guests managed to get the monkey off their back thanks to Basile, who loaded his pistol and gunned one in from downtown for a 48-57 advantage. Massey was not willing to go down without a fight though and brought the crowd to its feet with a thunderous dunk over Grimau. Marconato answered back, before the energetic Massey grabbed the offensive rebound and hit a pair of free throws, as the third quarter ended 54-59 in favor of the guests.

The fourth quarter got underway with Navarro scoring on a drive. Tsaldaris bettered him with a triple and then Iliadis hit a jumper to cut the lead at 59-61. Navarro added 2 points, but Aris came roaring back behind Sigalas, who scored his first basket of the game and then he put his defensive stamp, as he picked Trias’s pocket. Powerhouse Massey was now carrying the hosts on his shoulders and scored a rare triple to make it 64-65. First Lakovic and then backcourt mate Navarro penetrated on defense to trigger a 0-4 run, however Iliadis retorted on a layup and hit the subsequent free throw to keep the hosts alive. After a point by Basile, both teams were locked for a while in a battle at 67-70, until Iliadis scored on a gutsy drive with 1:45 left. Kakiouzis missed a layup and then Lakovic bricked a triple, leaving Aris the chance to take the lead. Massey bore the responsibility and knocked down the triple that turned the game topsy-turvy and established a 72-70 margin for the yellows with 34 seconds to go. Nothing was over yet though. Lakovic took the ball to the basket to draw a foul from Giorgos Kalaitzis and sent the game to overtime, as Barca did not allow Aris to attempt a game-winning shot before the buzzer.

Before the extra period began, word reached the arena that Napoli lost to Benetton and that Aris had already qualified to the next round. The home team perhaps celebrated a bit too early as Basile set Navarro up for a basket-plus-foul to start the overtime. Massey scored inside, but Trias corrected a Lakovic miss and Navarro stripped the ball from Abdul-Rauf for a layup to make it 74-79. Castle made only one from the line, but it mattered little, as Barcelona held on for the victory on a night were both teams were winners.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Danos Tsakalos, Thessaloniki
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Attendance: 5500
By Quarter1234Extra 1
Aris TT Bank191520183
Winterthur FC Barcelona2419161310
End of Quarter1234Extra 1
Aris TT Bank1934547275
Winterthur FC Barcelona2443597282
Aris TT Bank
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 CASTLE, TERREL 29:30 4 1/2   2/4   3 3 1 2 3 1   3 5 7
5 SIGALAS, GIORGOS 21:00 4 1/3 0/1 2/2   1 1 2 2     1 5 1 1
7 SERAPINAS, SIMONAS 1:15   0/1                         -1
8 SCALES, ALEX 15:15 7 1/2 1/4 2/4   2 2 1 1 1       3 7
9 KALAITZIS, GEORGIOS 13:45     0/1   1 3 4 1 3       4 1 4
10 ILIADIS, SAVVAS 33:15 17 5/7 2/3 1/1   2 2 2 1 4     4 4 15
11 WILKINSON, MIKE 34:30 10 5/8     3 3 6     1     3   9
14 MASSEY, JEREMIAH 36:15 22 4/13 2/2 8/9 3 7 10 4 4 2     2 8 34
15 GIANNOULIS, YANNIS 3:15   0/2       1 1           1   -2
16 TSALDARIS, DIMITRIOS 22:00 8 1/2 2/4   1 3 4     1     3 1 6
17 PANTELIADIS, SPYRIDON 3:00                   1     1   -2
20 ABDUL-RAUF, MAHMOUD 12:00 3 0/1 1/2             1          
Team           1   1               1
Totals 225:00 75 18/41 8/17 15/20 9 25 34 11 13 14 1 1 26 23 79
        43.9% 47.1% 75%
Head coach: MAZZON, ANDREA
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
Winterthur FC Barcelona
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
5 BASILE, GIANLUCA 38:00 17 3/7 3/7 2/3   1 1 4 1 4     3 3 10
8 TRIAS, JORDI 32:45 12 6/6     3 4 7 2 2 2     1 1 21
9 MARCONATO, DENIS 22:00 6 3/4     2 3 5 3         2   11
10 LAKOVIC, JAKA 31:45 13 1/3 2/9 5/7 1 1 2 4 2 2     1 10 17
11 NAVARRO, JUAN CARLOS 28:15 20 7/9 1/6 3/3   2 2 3 1 1   1 5 5 17
12 MONCASI, ALBERT DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
14 DE LA FUENTE, RODRIGO 8:00           2 2     1     2 1  
17 VAZQUEZ, FRAN 9:45 7 3/4   1/2   2 2     1     4 1 3
20 KAKIOUZIS, MICHAILIS 25:30 2 1/4 0/3   4 6 10     1 1     1 7
21 UKIC, ROKO 14:30 3 0/1 1/2     1 1   1 1     1 1 2
44 GRIMAU, ROGER 14:30 2 0/1   2/2 1 2 3 2         4 3 5
Team           1   1   7           8
Totals 225:00 82 24/39 7/27 13/17 12 24 36 18 14 13 1 1 23 26 101
        61.5% 25.9% 76.5%
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Head Coaches

Aris TT Bank
"I believe everyone on the team deserves to be in the Top 16. I am not happy for the loss today, but it was difficult to keep the players focused on the game after being informed about the other results and the confirmation of the qualification for the Top 16. To be honest, bad luck prevented us from winning some previous games, but today I feel myself lucky to be here and celebrate the qualification despite having players with no experience in the Euroleague. We have lived our first dream and now we have to try to achieve another one. No one could have bet that Aris would make it to the Top 16, but we proved that we belong among the elite teams of the Euroleague."
Winterthur FC Barcelona
"I believe that both teams had chances to win the game. It was a very tough match with strong defenses in front of such excellent fans. I am very glad because we changed our mind in this game and won what we lose last week against CSKA. This is an excellent end of our regular season and we are waiting for the draw of the Top 16. To be honest, today the crowd was exceptional. The atmosphere remains the same old one when I visited Alexandreio as a player of Jugoplastika. They are so fired up, but correct toward the guests. Despite our bad performances the last weeks, we stood up today and achieved."


Aris TT Bank
"It's a good opportunity to be again in the Top 16. I feel that all my teammates contributed to every win at home and on the road to achieve the dream of the Top 16. I cannot separate any crucial moment in this regular season but I strongly believe that Aris deserves it. It's time to wait for the draw and try to increase our possibilities to keep going in the Euroleague."
Winterthur FC Barcelona
"Everyone wants to win in front of such an excellent crowd. I think that we kept our mind between the lines and managed to win a very important game. This will help all my teammates, who now have experienced a game in Alexandreio, to build a strong mentality for the future. Barcelona always tries to win every game because it's a huge club. Personally, I am really proud of Aris because they deserve to pass to the next round in their comeback to the European elite after 15 years. Don't underestimate the yellows because they can make it even to the quarterfinals. I felt a little nervous because of the standing ovation and I would like to thank the fans of Aris because they welcomed me here in an incredible way."
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