2008-09Regular SeasonRound 2
October 29, 2008 CET: 21:00
Local time: 21:00 MEDIOLANUM FORUM

Efes Pilsen outlasted Armani Jeans Milano 71-81

Efes Pilsen stayed undefeated in Group D and ties with CSKA for first place by downing Armani Jeans Milano 71-81 on the road on Wednesday night. Efes improved to 2-0 while AJ Milano dropped to 0-2. Milos Vujanic led the winners with 19 points. Bootsy Thornton added 17, Charles Smith had 14, Michalis Kakiouzis got 12 while Kerem Gonlum contributed 10 and 9 rebounds for Efes. David Hawkins led Milano with 20 points. Jobey Thomas added 14, Marco Mordente had 13 while Mike Hall got 10 for the hosts. A three-point play by Vujanic gave Efes a 17-20 lead after 10 minutes. Efes improved its defense while Smith, Vujanic and Kakiouzis boosted the guests' lead to 33-43 at halftime. A three-pointer by Thornton broke the game open, 39-58, late in the third quarter. Thomas, Mordente and Hawkins brought Milano within 69-75 but Thornton stepped up to make a more experienced Efes seal a well-deserved win.

Hall got Milano going with a turnaround jumper but Smith answered from downtown for a 2-3 Efes lead. Yohann Sangare took over with a big move in the low post while Thomas added a reverse layup to put Milano ahead, 6-3. Thornton shined with his trademark fallaway jumper and fed Kaya Peker for an easy basket, good to restore a 6-7 Efes edge. Smith nailed his second three-pointer to cap a 0-7 run but Hawkins took over with a driving basket to get Milano within 8-10. Vujanic joined the three-point shootout but Hall and Thomas combined for 5 quick points to tie the game at 13-13. Milano had improved its defense, not allowing any easy shots now. Gonlum stepped on court to give Efes more intensity at both ends while Smith made free throws. Thomas sank a mid-range jumper that Gonlum erased with an easy layup. Joey Beard shined with a jump hook that Vujanic improved with a layup-plus-foul to give Efes a 17-20 edge after 10 minutes.

Hawkins provided a highlight with a power layup - and the free throw that came with it - early in the second quarter. Thornton sank his first three-pointer while Kakiouzis added an easy layup to give Efes a 20-25 lead. Smith shined with a big block on Marco Mordente, as Efes used its experience to slow down the game tempo. Kakiouzis struck from downtown to give Efes a 20-28 margin. Milano had been scoreless for more than 5 minutes until Thomas sank a mid-range shot. Efes dominated the game with its zone defense but Mason Rocca stepped up with a layup to get the hosts within 24-30. Kakiouzis took over with another triple but Rocca shined with his trademark power layup. Peker and Ender Arslan sank free throws to boost Efes' lead to 27-36. Hall and Thornton traded free throws while Hawkins sank a step-back triple to make Efes call timeout at 32-38. Vujanic followed a three-point play with foul shots to give Efes a 33-43 halftime margin.

Vujanic collected a steal in the inbound pass and fed Peker for an easy basket that Hawkins matched with a big dunk. Thornton quickly answered from downtown for a 35-48 Efes margin early in the third quarter. Hawkins kept pacing Milano with free throws that Gonlum erased with a layup. Kakiouzis took over with a layup-plus-foul while Thomas fired in a jumper to get Milano within 39-53. Thornton scored off another steal by Vujanic and then beat the hosts' 2-3 zone defense with a triple coming off a screen to break the game open, 39-58. Rocca tried to change things with a fast break layup while Mordente fired in a running three-pointer to make Efes call timeout at 44-58. The guests slowed down the game tempo and Smith beat the shot clock with a wide open triple. Mordente and Smith traded shots from downtown while free throws by Kakiouzis and Hawkins fixed the score at 49-65 at the end of the third quarter.

Milano needed a major comeback to keep its options alive but Efes stayed focused early in the fourth quarter. Cenk Akyol stepped up with an easy basket while the guests did not allow any points in the opening two minutes of this period. Mordente nailed another three-pointer and fed Beard for a reverse layup to give the hosts some hope, 54-67, with 7 minutes to go. Gonlum silenced the crowd with a dunk but Hall answered to keep Milano within 58-69. Efes now struggled against the hosts' zone defense but coach Ergin Ataman called timeout to solve his team's problems. Vujanic and Hawkins traded three-pointers while free throws by Mordente brought the hosts within 63-72 with less than 3 minutes to go. Thomas struck from downtown to give Milano some hope, 66-72. Vujanic and Hawkins joined the three-point shootout while Thornton sealed the outcome with a layup already in the final minute, as Milano ran out of time to complete its comeback.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008
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Attendance: 2151
By Quarter1234
AJ Milano17161622
Efes Pilsen20232216
End of Quarter1234
AJ Milano17334971
Efes Pilsen20436581
AJ Milano
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
6 FILLOY, ARIEL 1:37                              
7 HALL, MIKE 33:06 10 4/8 0/4 2/2 4 2 6 2 1 1     2 1 9
9 MORDENTE, MARCO 25:19 13 1/5 3/6 2/2 1   1 2 1     1 3 2 8
11 THOMAS, JOBEY 28:05 14 4/8 2/6   1 1 2 1 2 1     3 1 8
12 ROCCA, MASON 20:23 7 3/6   1/2 2 4 6   1 1     4 3 8
15 KATELYNAS, MINDAUGAS 12:27 1   0/1 1/2 1 1 2 1   1     4 2 -1
16 MICEVIC, MARKO DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
18 MERCANTE, JACOPO DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
19 BEARD, JOEY 17:29 4 2/3     1 1 2   1 1     2 1 4
20 SANGARE, YOHANN 28:55 2 1/1 0/3     2 2 2 1 5     2   -3
34 HAWKINS, DAVID 32:39 20 3/8 3/7 5/5 1 2 3   2 4     2 5 15
Team           4 2 6               6
Totals 200:00 71 18/39 8/27 11/13 15 15 30 8 9 14 0 1 22 15 54
        46.2% 29.6% 84.6%
Head coach: BUCCHI, PIERO
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
Efes Pilsen
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
7 SMITH, CHARLES 34:25 14 0/2 4/9 2/2 1 4 5 1 2 3 1   2 3 14
10 ABI, MUSTAFA DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
11 THORNTON, BOOTSY 35:24 17 3/4 3/6 2/4   3 3 4 4 3     1 4 22
12 GONLUM, KEREM 33:24 10 4/5   2/2 2 7 9   1 4     3 2 14
13 VUJANIC, MILOS 29:40 19 3/3 3/8 4/4   4 4 1 2 6     2 4 17
14 PEKER, KAYA 17:36 3 1/2   1/2 2 1 3 2 1 1     4 2 4
15 KAKIOUZIS, MICHAILIS 28:44 12 2/2 2/4 2/3 1 1 2 1         2 3 13
22 ATSUR, ENGIN DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
32 GULER, SINAN 0:27                              
33 ARSLAN, ENDER 10:07 4 0/1 0/1 4/4 1   1 1   2       2 4
55 AKYOL, CENK 10:13 2 1/1 0/2                   1   -1
Team           3 3 6               6
Totals 200:00 81 14/20 12/30 17/21 10 23 33 10 10 19 1 0 15 20 93
        70% 40% 81%
Head coach: ATAMAN, ERGIN

Head Coaches

AJ Milano
"We had many problems in the middle of the game. We were okay at the beginning and we had a good finish in the last quarter. We struggled on offense and didn't find our rhythm. Sangare struggled a lot against their pressure, but we had a good reaction as a team. This is a very hard period for us, because of the defeats and the injuries. But our team never gave up. Mike Hall is doing better and better and I think we saw good signs of things to come from our team."
Efes Pilsen
"We dominated the game from the first to the last minute. We missed our center [Mario Kasun], but we were lucky because Milano is without Pape Sow at the same time. We missed some easy shots against their zone defense in the last quarter, but winning on the road is always difficult. This is a good result for us, a deserved win. They played with zone defense in Moscow and we knew that it was a good option for them. Maybe we would have had more problems, had they used it earlier."


AJ Milano
"Our biggest problem tonight was defense. We have to be better on defense, for sure. I don't know why we didn't play the whole game like we did in the last quarter, with that intensity. We don't really have any problems on offense: We missed some open shots, but offense is not the problem. We really have to play 40 minutes with intensity. Am I angry? Of course, I never like to lose. We must now focus on winning the next game. I know we have some injuries and a short bench, but this is basketball, that's not an excuse for us."
AJ Milano
"The game was up and down for us. We had a lot of problems in the first three quarters and it was too late when we tried to come back in the game. We played with more intensity and also looked better on offense, getting some easy baskets. We went to the zone [defense] and had some defensive stops. We were able to run in transition and get some rhythm, which we missed the rest of the game. On offense we were not able to get the type of shots we want to and also were a second late in everything we did. We are not ready to search for a second option if we cannot reach the first one."
Efes Pilsen
"It was a very important game for us. We knew that Milano was coming off some defeats, both in the Euroleague and in the Italian League, and they wanted to be tough in their first Euroleague home game. We stayed focused for most of the game and it was a deserved win. I don't think we slowed down in the last quarter, we made some mistakes like missing open shots or committing some turnovers, but I think that is normal at this level. We just tried to run the 24-second clock down and managed to win the game in the final minutes."
Efes Pilsen
"I think it was a very important road win for us, because both teams missed some key players. My mismatch with David Hawkins was a little rematch of last year's Italian [League] finals. He is a very good player and a nice guy, we know each other well and I think we both did a good job tonight. We tried to slow down the tempo in the last quarter because we had a big lead. We also had to adjust our play against the zone defense. We missed some good shots and they came back in the game, but i think we played well all 40 minutes tonight."
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