2009-10FinalsGame 1
April 17, 2010 CET: 18:00
Local time: 18:00 FERNANDO BUESA ARENA
Players Power Electronics Valencia celebrates - Finals 2010 Vitoria-Gasteiz - EC09

Power Electronics Valencia has made it to the Eurocup final!

Power Electronics earned the right to fight for its second Eurocup title - its first since 2003 - by downing Panellinios OPAP BC 92-80 in the first semifinal at Fernando Buesa Arena in Vitoria, Spain on Saturday. Valencia reached its second Eurocup final - its fourth title game or series in European club competitions. Meanwhile, Panellinios will fight to finish third right before the final to have a great end to its best Eurocup season ever. Nando De Colo led 6 Valencia players in double digits with 20 points - all in the first half. Matt Nielsen added 16 and 6 assists, Thomas Kelati had 14 points, Rafa Martinez and Kosta Perovic each got 13 while Marko Marinovic contributed 10 for the winners. Devin Smith led Panellinios with a game-high 29 points on 8-of-9 two-pointers. Rod Blakney added 15 and 7 assists while Kostas Charalampidis had 10 points for Panellinios. Blakney and Smith shined early in the game to give Panellinios a 10-15 edge midway through the first quarter. Martinez stepped up with consecutive three-pointer and De Colo copied him soon after that to make Valencia get a six-point lead, 28-22, after 10 minutes. Thomas Kelati struck twice from downtown in a 8-0 run that boosted Valencia's lead to double digits, 39-27. Panellinios managed to get within 39-32 on a layup by Ian Vougioukas but Valencia improved its defense through an inspired Serhiy Lishchuk. Meanwhile, Marinovic and an unstoppable De Colo allowed Valencia to get a 14-point lead, 53-39, at halftime. Kelati and Nielsen stepped up after the break to make Valencia keep a safe lead, 71-58, after 30 minutes. Panellinios managed to get within 77-71 with 4 minutes left but Nielsen sank back-to-back three-pointers to seal the outcome down the stretch.

De Colo got Valencia going with a corner three-pointer, as Panellinios opted to get its big men in the opening minutes. Vougioukas shined with a big dunk and Smith scored in transition to give Panellinios its first lead, 3-4. Blakney collected a steal and fed Smith for an easy layup but an uncontested dunk by Perovic kept Valencia within 5-6. Vougioukas and Perovic traded layups, as Panellinios had started to use long possessions. Chris Owens downed a five-meter jumper but Nielsen erased it with a jump hook and a foul shot by De Colo tied it at 10-10. Blakney struck from downtown and Smith added a wild fallaway jumper to give Panellinios some fresh air at 10-15. Power Electronics found a go-to guy in Martinez, that took over with a four-point play and then bettered Smith's mid-range jumper with his second triple, good for a 17-17 tie. De Colo scored in penetration, as Georgios Kalaitzis came off the bench to try to stop Martinez. An unstoppable Smith scored again and Owens found space for an open triple but De Colo sank back-to-back shots from downtown to keep Valencia ahead, 25-22. Free throws by Kelati fixed the score at 28-22 after 10 exciting minutes.

Panellinios tried to play more aggressive with Josh Davis, Vassilis Xanthopoulos and Djuro Ostojic together on court early in the second quarter. Ostojic scored down low and managed to shut down Perovic in the other end, so Lishchuk quickly came off the bench to replace him. Panellinios entered the foul bonus really early but a three-pointer by Charalampidis kept Panellinios as close as 31-27. Kelati finished a long Valencia offense with a triple and a layup by Lishchuk soon boosted his team's lead to 36-27. Kelati grabbed a rebound and raced downcourt for a stop-and-pop triple that forced Panellinios to call timeout at 39-27, after a 8-0 run. Manolis Papamakarios tried to change things with a driving layup and Smith struck from downtown in a 0-7 run that Vougioukas capped with an easy basket to make it a five-point game, 39-34. Marinovic rescued Power Electronics with a three-pointer and De Colo added a fast break layup, as Valencia played with twin point guards now. Smith hit free throws but back-to-back triples by Marinovic and De Colo broke the game open, 50-36. Blakney joined the three-point shootout but De Colo - who else? - buried his fifth triple in as many attempts for a 53-39 Valencia margin at halftime.

Blakney tried to ignite Panellinios' comeback with a three-pointer immediately after the break. Smith soon dunked it in transition to get his team within 53-44. Valencia had been scoreless for more than 2 minutes but Perovic stepped up with a tip-in and Nielsen added an open triple to keep his team out of trouble, 58-46. Blakney buried another three-pointer from the same exact spot and Smith matched Nielsen's acrobatic layup with a five-meter jumper. Panellinios kept missing open shots despite having improved their defense, as free throws by Charalampidis only got his team within 61-51. Panellinios, however, had entered the foul bonus and its opponents made the most out of it. Perovic sank free throws that Ostojic erased with a backdoor layup. Kelati followed a baseline jumper with a three-pointer to boost Valencia's margin to 68-53 - its biggest lead this far. Panellinios tried to open the floor with Smith at power forward. Charalampidis sank foul shots but he didn't find much help around. Victor Claver send all Valencia fans to their feet with a wild triple but Smith got Panellinios within 71-58 after 30 minutes.

Panellinios changed its game plan and tried to speed up its offense early in the fourth quarter. Perovic, however, sank a jump hook, as Valencia tried to run its offense through him to force Panellinios to double-team. Smith followed free throws with a backdoor layup to give Panellinios some hope, 73-62, with over 7 minutes left. Valencia was not in a hurry, however, using Nielsen away from the hoop to extend each of its possessions up to 20 seconds and run the game clock down. Owens sank a mid-range jumper but free throws by Martinez made Valencia restore a double-digit lead at 75-64. Davis shined with a dunk and an acrobatic three-point play by Charalampidis made Valencia call timeout, 75-69, with over 4 minutes left. Martinez shined with an off-balance driving layup that Smith matched with free throws. Nielsen sank a critical triple and then matched Blakney's shot from beyond the arc with another bomb from downtown that boosted his team's margin to 83-74. A fallaway jumper by Martinez sealed the outcome, 85-74, as even when Panellinios kept fighting, all Valencia fans were already celebrating that their team will keep fighting for Eurocup glory!

Matt Nielsen - Power Electronics Valencia - Finals 2010 Vitoria-Gasteiz - EC09
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Javier Gancedo, Eurocupbasketball.com, Vitoria, Spain
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Attendance: 7000 (Tentative)
By Quarter1234
Power Electronics Valencia28251821
Panellinios OPAP Athens22171922
End of Quarter1234
Power Electronics Valencia28537192
Panellinios OPAP Athens22395880
Power Electronics Valencia
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
7 PEROVIC, KOSTA 30:12 13 5/7   3/4 1 6 7         1 2 3 17
9 CLAVER, VICTOR 25:39 4 0/1 1/4 1/2 1 3 4           2 3 4
10 SIMEON, JOSE 5:47                   1     1   -2
12 LISHCHUK, SERHIY 9:48 2 1/2 0/1             1 3   4 1 -1
14 MARINOVIC, MARKO 18:30 10 0/1 2/3 4/4   2 2 2   1     2 2 11
16 GARCIA, IVAN DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
17 MARTINEZ, RAFA 26:10 13 2/2 2/3 3/3       5 1       4 6 20
20 PIETRUS, FLORENT 6:31                           1 1
22 DE COLO, NANDO 24:04 20 2/4 5/8 1/2   4 4   1 2     1 1 17
23 SHENGELIA, TORNIKE DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
24 KELATI, THOMAS 20:42 14 1/2 3/4 3/3   1 1           3 3 13
44 NIELSEN, MATT 32:37 16 2/6 3/6 3/6   3 3 6 2 4     2 6 17
Team           1 1 2               2
Totals 200:00 92 13/25 16/29 18/24 3 20 23 13 4 9 3 1 21 26 99
        52% 55.2% 75%
Head coach: SPAHIJA, NEVEN
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
Panellinios OPAP Athens
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 XANTHOPOULOS, VASSILIS 2:18               1         1 1 1
5 PAPAMAKARIOS, MANOLIS 26:07 5 1/3 1/2     3 3 2       1 3   3
6 CHARALAMPIDIS, KOSTAS 20:43 10   1/3 7/9   1 1   2 2     4 6 9
7 KALAITZIS, GEORGIOS 3:39                   1     3   -4
8 OWENS, CHRIS 31:54 9 3/5 1/2     3 3 4   1   1 2 1 10
9 SMITH, DEVIN 32:47 29 8/9 2/5 7/10 1 4 5 1   3     5 8 28
10 PETROULAS, ALEKOS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
12 BLAKNEY, RODERICK 37:42 15 0/2 5/8   1 2 3 7 3       2 1 22
14 DAVIS, JOSHUA 12:35 2 1/1       3 3 1   1     2   3
15 VOUGIOUKAS, IAN 19:50 6 3/8     1 1 2 2   1 1 1 2 2 4
16 OSTOJIC, DJURO 12:25 4 2/3     1 1 2     2     2 2 3
17 KOLOKAS, MARKOS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Team             2 2     1         1
Totals 200:00 80 18/31 10/20 14/19 4 20 24 18 5 12 1 3 26 21 80
        58.1% 50% 73.7%
Head coach: ZOUROS, ILIAS

Head Coaches

Power Electronics Valencia
""I would like to congratulate my team for the big step we took tonight. We did a lot of stuff this season, and I think that we deserve it. Honestly, Panellinios played very, very good basketball. We won by our offensive talent and less defense than usual. And if we want to do something in the final, we have to play much better defense. We are a serious team, who wants to play hard and it doesn't matter to us who is the opponent in the final. The better team will be there and we want to be prepared. You don't play a final every day. Nando De Colo and Rafa Martinez are suffering a lot, but our medical staff is on it, and I think both will play on Sunday in the final.

Honestly it was not a typical Power Electronics Valencia game because we wanted to defend. We started with bad defense but at the same time we started with excellent three-point shooting and you cannot stop the players when they are playing well. My idea in the second half was to make some balance between the inside and outside game but we had so many open situations, that with our talent we won tonight. But I think that if you want to win this competition we need to come back with our defense."
Panellinios OPAP Athens
"First of all, congratulations to Valencia. They won the game, and I believe that in a game like this, when they score 55% of their three-point shots, it's impossible to lose. I am very proud of my players. They gave everything. We chose to risk something during the game, this was our tactic, and we risked the three-point shot of Nielsen in order to tougher inside the paint. In the crucial moment, though, when we cut it to six points, he made the crucial three-point shots. He made everything. De Colo was unbelievable in the first half, making 5 of 6 three-point shots. The good thing is we didn't give up. We showed everybody why we're here. Panellinios is a good team. My team is full of fighters and we have to congratulate them."


Power Electronics Valencia
"Playing hard and staying focused were the biggest keys tonight. We played really well as a team, stayed together and managed to make it to the final. I worked hard throughout the week to be ready for this game and showed it on the court. This is the Eurocup Finals and I needed to play tonight. It was not only me tonight, we played good together and this is important for the final tomorrow. We are realy close to reach our goal and need to win tomorrow, and nothing else. If we keep playing hard, we will have a good chance."
Power Electronics Valencia
"Being honest, the whole team spread the floor really well in this game. I felt pretty well at the end of the game, took a couple of three-pointer and was lucky enough to knock them in. We stayed together in defense and that was the key to this game. Panellinios managed to get pretty close and the pressure was on us, because we had been leading almost all the way. We stayed strong in defense and they never gave up, Panellinios is a really good team. I am back in the Eurocup final, and since I have been before, I know how much it hurts losing it. I don't want to go through that again but this is a whole different situation. We have a good bunch of guys and will be ready for the big game tomorrow."
Power Electronics Valencia
"It was really important to get everyone involved. We will need to do the same tomorrow. I am really happy about this win. We have been working hard throughout the whole season and this is just one more step to our goal. We have to rest, stay focused and prepare the final in the best way possible. It will not be easy us but the Eurocup final is a big, big thing for all of us - and this is our chance. We kept everyone involved in offense and stayed focused when Panellinios returned to the game."
Panellinios OPAP Athens
"The first half was key for us. They came out and hit amazing shots. They were on fire at that moment and we found ourselves in a hole and we couldn’t react later. Nando De Colo had an amazing game, he was almost unstoppable. Despite we managed to cool him down in the second half, they found some other players to keep scoring. It’s definitely hard to think of tomorrow’s game now, but we must think we came here to win and don’t want to lose another game. We want to leave this tournament with a good feeling."
Panellinios OPAP Athens
"I think Power Electronics Valencia had a great shooting game tonight, they had a great shot selection and that made the difference before halftime. I think that if we had been able to reach halftime with a smaller difference, the game could have been different in the second half. But when we managed to cut our deficit and get closer, to six points, we let Nielsen hit back-to-back three-pointers that killed us. We feel disappointed, but life goes on. We came here to enjoy the experience and I think we must face tomorrow’s game with a positive mood because being third is a great achievement for our team. I think that making it to the Final Four has been a great accomplishment for this club, to build a name in Europe, so hopefully we can repeat it in the following seasons."
Panellinios OPAP Athens
"We had a bad first half, their shooters made a lot of three-pointers, we weren’t close enough on their shooters to make them change the way they were playing. We should have played more aggressive in the first half, had only two free throws and that was also a key to be trailing at halftime. Letting them hit so many shots and the free throws difference were two of the main reasons why we lost tonight."
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