2006-07Regular SeasonRound 1
October 25, 2006 CET: 00:00
Local time: 01:00 PALAIS DES SPORTS

Aris TT Bank downing Fenerbahce 66-58

Aris TT Bank enjoyed a pleasant return to the European basketball elite and got its first Euroleague win in 14 years by downing Fenerbahce 66-58 in front of a wild crowd in Thessaloniki, Greece in Group C opener for both teams on Wednesday. Aris, which last played in the top European competition in 1992, used strong defense down the stretch and outrebounded Fenerbahce 47-35 to win. Mike Wilkinson led the winners with 16 points on 8-for-13 shooting and 8 rebounds. Alex Scales added 14 points, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf had 11 off the bench, while Jeremiah Massey grabbed 13 rebounds. Ibrahim Kutluay had 18 points for Fenerbahce, Kaspars Kambala added 12 while Mirsad Turkcan posted a double-double of 10 points and 14 rebounds. Abdul-Rauf erupted for 9 points during a game-breaking 13-1 second-quarter run that gave the hosts a 38-26 halftime lead. Will Solomon and Ira Clark heated up late in the third to bring Fenerbahce back within 4 points, but the visitors could get no closer as Aris had an answer for every Fenerbahce point in a low-scoring fourth quarter.

The visitors scored first on a Kambala lay up, while Jeremiah Massey copied him to open the scoring for the hosts. Giorgos Sigalas found the open man, Scales, who fired from long range to give Aris an early lead. Both teams went scoreless for 2 minutes, during which time Giorgios Kalaitzis caused Will Solomon to commit 2 fouls and find himself on the bench. Wilkinson and Kalaitzis continued to build the Aris lead, but Kutluay answered from the arc. Even though Aris was out-rebounding Fenerbahce, Turkcan capped a seven-point run that put the visitors on top 9-12. Aris's Terrel Castle was there to tie the game for the first time at 12-12. Fenerbahce coach Aydin Ors switched to zone defense, but Castle found Wilkinson for a pick-and-roll basket that lifted the hosts back in front. Kutlay had the last word, however, burying his second three-pointer to tie the score 17-17 after 10 minutes.

The scoring pace remained slow early in the second quarter as free throws by Kevin Fletcher and a close basket by Kambala were the only points scored in the first 2 minutes. Kalaitzis made a pair of free throws and Giannis Giannoulis added a put-back layup, but Fenerbahce still managed to tie the game on another layup by a very active Kambala. Aris found a go-to guy in Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, who entered the game and had an immediate impact. Abdul-Rauf followed Wilkinson's layup with an off-balance jumper, then added a huge triple, another tough jumper and a fastbreak layup off a steal in a game-breaking 13-1 run, during which he had 9 points to give Aris a 36-24 lead. Free throws by Turkcan and a layup by Castle fixed the score at 38-26 as both teams headed to the locker rooms.

Kambala tried to change the picture after the break with back-to-back layups to bring Fenerbahce within 38-30. Scales hit a three-pointer from the right wing, but Fenerbahce was a different team now. Turkcan joined the three-point festival, as Scales hit another one from downtown, as did Kalaitzis and Solomon. The crowd was amazed as Kutluay also scored from beyond the arc, but Aris still led 49-39 midway through the third quarter. Wilkinson hit another jumper and Massey took over with an outstanding put-back dunk to make it a 14-point game, 53-39. A three-pointer by Damir Mrsic ignited a 0-10 run in which Solomon had 4 points, including a layup that brought the visitors back at 53-49. Massey shined again with a put-back layup, but Clark hit free throws to close the gap to 55-51 after three quarters.

Aris improved its defense in the final period, while baskets in the paint from Wilkinson and Scales gave the hosts a 59-51 lead. But Fenerbahce wasn't done, as Kutluay buried his fourth three-pointer and Turkcan scored around the basket to get the guests within 60-56 midway through the final period. Massey stepped up with a second-chance basket, which Kambala erased with free throws. Fenerbahce failed to score on three straight trips down the court as the pressure mounted. However the visitors' defense kept them in the game. Both teams went scoreless for more than two minutes before Abdul-Rauf stepped up with a five-meter jumper and then fed Wilkinson for a basket that gave Aris a 66-58 lead with under two minutes to go. Fenerbahce called timeout, but it was already too late. The guests could not find the way to the basket and went scoreless in the final three minutes, allowing Aris to have a pleasant Euroleague return.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006
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Attendance: 5000
By Quarter1234
Aris TT Bank17211711
Fenerbahce Ulker179257
End of Quarter1234
Aris TT Bank17385566
Fenerbahce Ulker17265158
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 35:00 4 1/4 0/2 2/4 2 3 5 4 3 2     2 3 8
5 SIGALAS, GIORGOS 11:15           2 2 2         1   3
7 SERAPINAS, SIMONAS 3:00 4   1/2 1/2 1   1           1 1 3
8 SCALES, ALEX 26:00 14 2/6 3/6 1/3 1 4 5   2 1     1 4 14
9 KALAITZIS, GEORGIOS 20:00 5   1/2 2/2 1 3 4 1 1 2     3 2 7
10 ILIADIS, SAVVAS 1:00                              
11 WILKINSON, MIKE 32:30 16 8/13 0/2 0/3 4 4 8   2 2 1 1 2 4 16
12 FLETCHER, KEVIN 4:45 2 0/2 0/1 2/2   1 1           1 1  
14 MASSEY, JEREMIAH 31:00 8 4/13 0/1   5 8 13 1 2       2 3 15
15 GIANNOULIS, YANNIS 11:45 2 1/2     2 2 4 1 1 1   1 4   1
17 PANTELIADIS, SPYRIDON 4:45         1   1 1   1     2   -1
20 ABDUL-RAUF, MAHMOUD 19:00 11 4/9 1/3     3 3 1 3 3     1 1 8
Totals 200:00 66 20/49 6/19 8/16 17 30 47 11 14 12 1 2 20 19 74
        40.8% 31.6% 50%
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
Fenerbahce Ulker
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 MUTAF, MAXIM DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
5 SOLOMON, WILLIE 30:30 7 1/4 1/6 2/2   3 3 3   6 1   4 4  
6 TURKCAN, MIRSAD 33:15 10 1/6 2/4 2/4 4 10 14   1 2 1     4 19
7 ONAN, OMER 24:15 3 1/2 0/2 1/2   2 2 1 4       2 1 5
8 BASAK, RASIM 3:30                         1   -1
9 ERDEN, SEMIH DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
10 KUTLUAY, IBRAHIM 35:00 18 2/4 4/11 2/2       4 2       2 3 16
11 SAVAS, OGUZ 9:00         1   1     1   1 1 1 -1
12 MRSIC, DAMIR 26:45 3 0/3 1/3     3 3   4 2     2 1 2
13 CLARK, IRA 16:00 5 1/4   3/4 2 5 7   1 1     4 3 7
14 GULAY, ZEKI DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
15 KAMBALA, KASPARS 21:45 12 5/8   2/3 1 4 5 1   2     3 3 12
Totals 200:00 58 11/31 8/26 12/17 8 27 35 9 12 14 2 1 19 20 59
        35.5% 30.8% 70.6%
Head coach: ORS, AYDIN
This game is not yet played

Head Coaches

Aris TT Bank
"I'm very happy to be here after such a big win. I am very proud to be the coach of Aris who won the first Euroleague game after 14 years. If the fans are so close to the team, we can really improve as a team because we have players that need their support. As a coaching staff, we did a very good job before the game and pressured the visitors into shooting 33 percent and minimized their evaluation to 59. It is really important to push a team like Fenerbahce Ulker in these low levels of evaluation.

"Even though we lost some easy shots, our hard defense gave us a huge credit for the win. This win will not only give us energy to work a lot more, but also will improve our final ranking in the Group C. Aris will try to prove that not only money and names can build a big team. We will fight to prove this every day. Our main target is to work every day and think only about tomorrow and nothing else."
Fenerbahce Ulker
"First of all, I would like to pay respect to the fans of Aris and thank them for this unbelievable atmosphere. The fans were real gentlemen and supportive for their team and the game itself. This was the worst game that we have played this season, especially on offense. My players cannot play today like we are used to doing in the Turkish League. Aris was really tough on defense in the second quarter, when we missed many easy shots inside and outside the paint. The crucial factor of the game was the second-chance points of Aris in the whole game. The hosts netted 14 points after taking the offensive rebounds and this is the reason why we could not win our first game. However, the Euroleague has many more games to win, as we just lost a game on the road. No player apart from Ibo played at his real level and we have to keep working to be ready to play at our highest potential."


Aris TT Bank
"I believe the first game is always difficult for each team. We worked really hard both on the court and on scouting to prepare the game. The crucial point for the win was to take the defensive rebounds and make fewer turnovers than Fenerbahce. Even though we were a bit nervous and we lost some easy opportunities, our huge effort let us begin Group C with a very precious win in front of our fans. If we keep playing like that, we have chances to move on the next level."
Fenerbahce Ulker
"It was a very important game for us at the starting point of Euroleague, We struggled a lot to try to win the game but didn't play how we planned to do, both offensively and defensively. After a harmful second quarter, we tried to catch Aris and to steal the win, but we made too many mistakes. I have to congratulate Aris and their incredible fans for this game and I hope to improve ourselves and gain the next game in Istanbul. Today, there was a great atmosphere in Alexandreio and this is really important for a game and the players to have motivation for the win.

"The Euroleague is a very big competition. We need to play much better because no game is easy before you make it easy. Everything can affect a game. Aris was really good in defense and we committed easy mistakes such as missing layups under the basket."
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