2008-09QuarterfinalsGame 1
April 03, 2009 CET: 21:00
Local time: 21:00 PALASPORT OLIMPICO
Janis Blums - iurbentia Bilbao - Final Eight Turin 2009 - EC08

Iurbentia Bilbao Basket advanced to semifinals by downing Zadar 76-67

Iurbentia Bilbao Basket kept beating the expectations in its European club competitions debut season and advanced to the Eurocup semifinals by downing Zadar 76-67 in the fourth and final quarterfinals showdown at Palasport Olimpico in Turin, Italy on Friday night. As such, Bilbao kept its title dreams alive and is now ready to face BC Khimki Moscow region in the semifinals tomorrow. Meanwhile, Zadar had a bitter end to an otherwise fantastic Eurocup season. Janis Blums led the winners with 21 points. Drago Pasalic added 12 while Javi Salgado had 10 for Bilbao, that made 31-for-36 free throws tonight. Hrvoje Peric led Zadar with 17 points while Desmon Farmer added 11. Blums and Paco Vazquez fueled a 12-0 opening run that allowed Bilbao to dominate the game in the first half. Free throws by Salgado and Drago Pasalic made it a 13-point game, 24-11, at the end of the first quarter. Peric and Farmer tried to change things midway through the second quarter, getting Zadar within 35-29 late in this period. Three-pointers by Blums and Salva Guardia boosted their team's lead to 47-32 immediately after the break. Tomislav Ruzic an Peric led a 2-15 Zadar run to bring his team back to life, 51-49. A wild triple by Damir Rancic tied it at 53-53 after 30 minutes. A 10-0 run put Bilbao ahead for good, 65-55, and even when Zadar managed to get within 71-67, free throws by Salgado and a big basket by Quincy Lewis sealed the outcome down the stretch.

Janis Blums beat Zadar's zone defense with a three-pointer and soon tacked on a driving layup for a quick 5-0 Bilbao lead. Seibutis added a five-meter jumper to the Bilbao lead as Zadar kept struggling to score and Paco Vazquez buried his trademark corner triple to make it 10-0. Zadar head coach Zmago Sagadin called a much-needed timeout to readjust his team's offense while free throws by Seibutis capped Bilbao's 12-0 opening run. Zadar had gone almost 5 minutes, missing 4 shots and committed 3 turnovers until Desmon Farmer stepped up with a driving layup and a free throw to get his team on the board. Gecevski soon struck from downtown to bring Zadar back to life at 12-6, but soon Salva Guardia and Damir Markota scored in close as Bilbao restored a big margin, 16-7. Javi Salgado banked in a stop-and-pop jumper, as Bilbao kept limiting Zadar to one tough shot, and when Quincy Lewis added free throws, it was a 13-point game, 20-7. Tomislav Ruzic tried to change things with a layup and Hrvoje Peric added a turnaround jumper for Zadar, but free throws by Salgado and Drago Pasalic kept Bilbao way ahead, 24-11, after 10 minutes.

Farmer took over with a driving layup right at the start of the second quarter, as Zadar played with even more intensity at both ends now. Drago Pasalic dunked in response for Bilbao, but Gecevski nailed another triple to get his team within 26-16. Jere Macura got the Zadar fans involved with a two-handed dunk, as Bilbao could not find the way to the basket now. Pasalic corrected that problem soon, however, with a layup, after which Blums drove for a basket to regain a double-digit margin, 30-19, for Bilbao. Hrvoje Peric took over with a big slam while free throws by Farmer kept Zadar in the game, 30-23. Seibutis sank free throws, but a now-unstoppable Farmer matched them with a power layup. Seibutis stepped up with a driving basket that Damir Markota followed with a free throw on Gecevski's third foul. Damir Rancic sank a jumper and Peric followed him with an outstanding put-back dunk as Zadar pulled within 35-29. Paco Vazquez shined with a driving layup that Rok Stipcevic erased with free throws - his first points tonight - but subsequent foul shots by Vazquez kept Bilbao in charge, 39-31, at halftime.

Just as at the start of the game, Blums struck from downtown in Bilbao's first offense after the break. Banic soon added a second-chance basket while a corner triple by Guardia broke the game open, 47-32. Or, so it seemed. Farmer tried to change things with a driving layup but Blums answered with an acrobatic basket. Peric stepped up next for Zadar, making a long two-pointer for a 49-36 scoreboard. Zadar tightened its defense midway through the third quarter, while free throws by Ruzic and a reverse layup by Juby Johnson brought the difference down to single digits again, 49-40. Bilbao could not find the way to the basket while a baseline jumper by Ruzic capped a 0-8 run and brought Zadar back to life, 49-42. Pasalic rescued Bilbao with free throws but Peric matched that with a power layup. Ruzic scored in transition Peric downed a triple from the left wing off a Bilbao timeout to make it a two-point game, 51-49. Zadar's game-long comeback was complete when an incredible, second-chance, buzzer-beating triple by Damir Rancic tied it up, 53-53, after three quarters.

The game turned into a physical battle early in the fourth quarter and Bilbao made the most out of it. Blums and Rancic traded free throws while more foul shots by Pasalic gave Bilbao a 57-55 edge. Guardia provided a highlight - and sent Bilbao fans to their feet - with an off-balance put-back layup - and the free throw that came with it. Gecevski fouled out with 7 minutes to go while Guardia fed Blums for an open triple. Rancic fouled out soon after that, while a foul shot by Blums capped a go-ahead 10-0 Bilbao run, good for a 65-55 score. Stipcevic tried to change things with a three-pointer while Johnson added a wild driving layup over two defenders for a 65-60 Zadar deficit. Blums scored in transition but Banic fouled out immediately after that. Peric provided an outstanding highlight with a dunk-and-foul over Lewis to get Zadar even closer, 67-64, with under 4 minutes remaining. Salgado made 4-for-4 free throws but Gecevski kept Zadar in the game with a three-point play, 71-67, with 2:52 remaining. Stipcevic fouled out and Salgado sank more foul shots while an off-balance layup by Lewis sealed the outcome, 75-67. Zadar did not recover, allowing all Bilbao fans to celebrate that their Eurocup season is far from being over!

Paco Vazquez - iurbentia Bilbao celebrates - Final Eight Turin 2009 - EC08
Friday, April 3, 2009
Javier Gancedo, Eurocupbasketball.com
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Attendance: 2996
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iurbentia Bilbao
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
7 HAMPL, TOMAS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
8 GUARDIA, SALVA 31:39 9 2/3 1/1 2/3 2 8 10 3 1   1   3 5 24
9 RECKER, LUKE 9:45     0/2         1   1       1 -1
10 SEIBUTIS, RENALDAS 27:32 8 2/4 0/1 4/4   1 1     2     4 3 3
11 SAVOVIC, PREDRAG DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
13 BANIC, MARKO 12:19 2 1/3     1   1     2     5   -6
14 SALGADO, JAVI 20:59 10 1/2 0/3 8/8   2 2 2   2     1 5 12
19 VAZQUEZ, PACO 28:18 7 1/2 1/2 2/2   1 1 1 3 2     2 4 10
20 LEWIS, QUINCY 18:35 4 1/4 0/1 2/3   3 3 1 2       2 3 6
24 PASALIC, DRAGO 17:05 12 2/3   8/8 1 2 3     3     5 5 11
25 MARKOTA, DAMIR 14:47 3 1/1   1/4 1 3 4     3     3 2  
45 BLUMS, JANIS 19:01 21 4/7 3/4 4/4 1 2 3   1     1 2 3 21
Team           2 1 3     1         2
Totals 200:00 76 15/29 5/14 31/36 8 23 31 8 7 16 1 1 27 31 82
        51.7% 35.7% 86.1%
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
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 RANCIC, DAMIR 17:39 7 1/1 1/3 2/2 1   1 2 1 2     5 3 5
5 PERIC, HRVOJE 34:00 17 6/11 1/4 2/7 2 2 4 1 3     1 4 5 12
6 STIPCEVIC, ROK 37:14 9 1/1 1/5 4/5   1 1 5         5 5 10
8 JOHNSON, JUBY 28:10 5 2/2 0/3 1/2   3 3 1         2 4 7
10 PROSTRAN, TONI DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
11 GECEVSKI, TODOR 17:11 7   2/3 1/2 1 2 3 1   3     5 2 3
12 OLIVARI, SIME DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
13 RUZIC, TOMISLAV 19:04 9 3/4 0/2 3/4 1 8 9 1     1   5 3 14
14 POPOVIC, DANIEL DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
15 MACURA, JERE 17:07 2 1/2       2 2   2 3     2 1 1
24 CAR, MARKO 2:46   0/1     2   2     1     1   -1
33 FARMER, DESMON 26:49 11 4/6 0/3 3/5       1 1 4     3 4 3
Team             1 1               1
Totals 200:00 67 18/28 5/23 16/27 7 19 26 12 7 13 1 1 32 27 55
        64.3% 21.7% 59.3%

Head Coaches

iurbentia Bilbao
"The game for us was good in the first quarter, with very good defense and aggressiveness, especially against the playmaker Stipcevic. We also got good shots from two- and three-point distance that gave us easy looks at the basket. But Zadar is a good team and they reacted well in the second and especially the third quarter, playing good defense and taking advantage of the pick-'n'-roll in the middle with Ruzic. After we had an advantage of 15 points, they came back to tie the score at the end of the third quarter. This was a difficult moment for us and our mentality, which wasn't the best on defense at that time. We needed to do what we did in the first quarter, but when we needed it, our reaction was excellent to kill the game. We did what we had to do on offense and defense to get the win and put us in the semi tomorrow against Khimki."
"I must congratulate Bilbao Basket. They were better and they won the game. We were too nervous in the beginning. We let them start very good scoring, and then we spent a lot, a lot of energy to come back. But we still came back at the right time and at the end of the third quarter tied the game. Then we missed some really open shots, we lost some concentration, maybe talking to much with the referees. First of all, we are a shooting team. We don't have such big bodies inside. We're a team of shooters. That was probably the difference today, that we didn't score much from the perimeter, 22.5 percent. Normally we are much better from the perimeter. Actually, inside were pretty good today, but perimeter and free throw shooting, 59 percent, killed us. These two things, poor perimeter shooting and lousy free throws, killed us. Once again, I will congratulate Bilbao, their coach and team. They deserved and they won the game."


iurbentia Bilbao
"Even when we were leading by 15 points and lost our advantage, the team still believed that it could win the game. We deserved to win the game and managed to do it. Of course, Zadar played with more intensity in the second half and hit some incredible shots that got them back in the game. Free throws are key to winning close games. We managed to stay calm and that helped us to keep a lead in the final two or three minutes. I don't know if it is the same hitting free throws in the Eurocup quarterfinals than in the Spanish third division, but in the end, it is always the same. It is you, the ball and the rim, nothing else."
iurbentia Bilbao
"Everybody is happy with this win, because Zadar is a good team that plays good basketball, like all Croatian teams. We have a good coach and we knew before the game that is was going to be tough to beat them. We played hard from the very first second and showed great character. We wanted to win the game and not let them play. My team did a good job today. Our fans are unbelievable, our sixth player and even more. I want to thank them and hope that their support tomorrow will be even better."
iurbentia Bilbao
"First of all, I want to congratulate my team for giving 100 percent on the court and being able to beat Zadar. I am very happy for the team. The main key was our defense, trying to stop their leaders, like Desmon Farmer, Rok Stipcevic and Todor Gecevski. We did that pretty well and this is why we won the game. Our fans were fantastic tonight. I can only thank them for coming to Turin to support us. They helped us a lot tonight."
iurbentia Bilbao
"I think we played good defense and had a good start, which is important. I don't think we were ever behind in the game and that was important to us. Janis Blums played great and a lot of guys played good for us tonight. We are very happy. We had great support from our fans, who came all the way from Bilbao. It is a city that loves basketball and we were very happy to see them here. We exceeded expectations and played really well in the Eurocup. This is our first year in European competitions and we all hope to have a great game tomorrow."
iurbentia Bilbao
"I would probably say that defense was the key to win tonight. We played good defense in the end of the game and also in the first half. We managed to get a 15-point lead in the beginning of the second half but lost all our advantage. Good defense allowed us to win it in the end. We were concentrated on free throws and that was another key for us. We had the desire to win the game and this is what we did. Zadar never gave up, they are a team of this kind. They played 100% and we knew that we had to do the same coming into the game."
"I am very disappointed. I thought we had a very good chance, but unfortunately we lost. We had a bad start in this game, so basically we had to catch up the whole first half. In the third quarter we did it a very good job and came basically to 0-0, but we had one or two minutes of poor concentration and they went up by 10 points again. We made a big effort, and then we didn't have enough concentration to make it to the next step. We didn't shoot free throws well and that was a big difference too, especially in the beginning."
"A couple of our guys fouled out of the game, and I think after that we played scattered basketball, everybody was trying to do it, and we went out of our system. But I give Bilbao credit, they played well. They had a game-plan together, they studied us very well and made things difficult for us. I think we still played well, as teams didn't even expect us to be here anyway. So at least we showed that we belong here by playing a good game. We played hard and we made it tough for them, so it wasn't an easy win for them. I think we played better than people expected. Everybody who's on our team is good, so when some of our players were in foul trouble, it was an opportunity for other guys to step up. Guys went out there and tried hard, and that's all that we can ask from them. It's very disappointing not to go to the last four, but this is an experience for everybody on our team: none of our guys have been to the Final Eight before. Guys enjoyed being here, guys played well and guys can say they went home and lost with a fight, and that's all that matters."
"I am very disappointed, because three times we were down by 9 or 10 points and came back in the game. We showed that we have the energy and the quality, we showed that we can play with them, we had a chance to win, but coming back three times in one game isn't easy. In the end, they had some plays going to their side and that decided the game. Our biggest problem was that some of our leaders were in foul trouble. For me, it was very tough to play most of the game without having a rest, because they changed Blums and Salgado, and they had Seibutis guarding me, too. So three players pressured me full-court all game. Sometimes they doubled me, sometimes they had three guys on me, and I saw that they were well-prepared to play against me. I have the energy, but it was very tough to play for almost 40 minutes against three guys who pressure you in the Final Eight. We've got experience at this Final Eight, and we have to play Cibona in three days, so we must forget this game, because in sport, if you think too much about losing, it will make it worse. You must put out the things that you do bad, correct them and go forward."
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