2007-08Top 16Round 2
February 20, 2008 CET: 20:30
Local time: 20:30 FERNANDO BUESA ARENA
Zoran Planinic - Fenerbahce Ulker - EB07

Tau Ceramica is alone atop Group E after burying Fenerbahce Ulker 103-84

Tau Ceramica took the showdown between undefeated teams in Group F by thrashing Fenerbahce Ulker 103-84 at the Fernando Buesa Arena in Vitoria, Spain, on Wednesday night. Tau Ceramica improved to 2-0 and is now the only unbeaten team in Group F. Meanwhile, Fenerbahce Ulker is tied with Lietuvos Rytas for second place, each with a 1-1 record. Both teams face each other next week in a pivotal game. Sergi Vidal and Zoran Planinic paced seven scorers in double figures for the winners each with 14 points. Igor Rakocevic added 13, Mirza Teletovic and Tiago Splitter had 12 apiece, Will McDonald 11 and Gabe Mouneke 10 for Tau. Oguz Savas had a career-high 20 points for Fenerbahce, Willie Solomon added 14, Damir Kaan 12 and Tarence Kinsey 10. McDonald, Teletovic and Rakocevic helped Tau to get a solid lead, 25-17, after 10 minutes. A layup by Splitter boosted the hosts' margin to 38-22 midway through the second quarter, but Kaan and Kinsey brought Fenerbahce within 50-38 at halftime. A 13-0 run that Rakocevic capped with a triple broke the game open, 63-40, right after the break. Tau boosted its margin to 82-58 early in the fourth period and cruised to a well-deserved win.

Tau opened fire with a Planinic layup as he was pretty active in the early going, taking advantage of his size against Omer Onan. The guests used a matchup-zone defense very early, but Tau seemed prepared to break it as the hosts amassed a comfortable margin at 15-9 midway through the first quarter after a corner three-pointer by Teletovic. Although the hosts were not very accurate in shooting, they managed to win the rebounding battle and prevented Fenerbahce from taking control of the pace of the game. The Turkish champs found Solomon on the perimeter to stay alive as Fenerbahce switched to different defensive schemes in an attempt to break Tau’s rhythm. It didn’t work however, as Pete Mickeal and Teletovic added a fastbreak layup and a triple, respectively, to maintain a safe margin, 23-15, after nine minutes. The first problem for Neven Spahija came when Planinic committed his third foul, granting 2 free throws to Onan and forcing Pablo Prigioni to replace him. Rakocevic added 2 free throws to finish the first period with Tau leading 25-17.

The hosts kept rocking from the three-point line, as Teletovic hit his third to boost Tau to a double-digit lead early in the second quarter. Vidal came out to guard Solomon, but Fener head coach Bogdan Tanjevic soon replaced him in an attempt to preserve his top scorer for the key moments. With Kaan running the offense, Fenerbahce looked for the inside players, but both Omer Asik and Savas struggled against Splitter and Muoneke, who provided dominant play in the paint at both ends. Splitter added a layup and Muoneke capped a fast-break with a monster dunk for a 36-22 edge midway through the second period, forcing an urgent timeout by the guests. Tanjevic kept rotating his frontcourt players, trying to find the right combination to stop Tau from easy scoring. It didn’t work, however, as the hosts kept adding points easily. But the main problem for Fenerbahce was on offense. The guests scored only 6 points in the first eight minutes of the period, allowing the hosts to increase their self-confidence. Kaan and Kinsey came to the rescue and combined for 4 triples to enter the last minute with some hopes, 47-34. Vidal answered from the corner with another three, as Kaan sunk his third to cap an incredible shooting festival for a 50-37 Tau edge. Kinsey shortened the gap even more with a free throw, as the first half finished with a 50-38 lead for the hosts.

Fenerbahce started the third period using Solomon and Kaan together at point, but it didn’t help the guests to find a good scoring rhythm. McDonald and Teletovic combined for 7 points in a row to widen the margin to 57-40 after 23 minutes, as Tau got very bad news after Pete Mickeal had to be replaced after hurting his leg in an offensive play. Planinic added a basket-plus-foul for a 20-point lead right after that, which seemed to become the definitive break for the visitors. The streak didn’t finish at that point, as Rakocevic sank a triple and Simas Jasaitis followed him with another one to raise the difference to 66-42 after 26 minutes. The game got crazy for a while, as both teams started playing run-and-gun basketball that didn’t help the guests in their attempt to reduce the margin to less humiliating numbers. Five straight points by Solomon helped Fenerbahce to reach the end of the period trailing 74-56, taking advantage of Tau’s erratic offense in the last three minutes.

The hosts solved the situation with back-to-back triples by Sergi Vidal and Muoneke, as Prigioni got a technical foul that wasn’t exploited by Solomon at the free-throw line. Although the outcome was in no doubt for Tau, the pace of the game turned slow and discontinuous for a while due to many personal fouls called at both ends. A timeout was useful to recover normalcy, as differences remained stable at 20-points with both teams exchanging baskets. Neither Tau nor Fenerbahce stopped playing, however, as both sides were aware of that point-difference could become crucial at the end of the Top 16. The visitors tried to reduce differences by feeding their inside players, but it wasn’t enough as an alley-oop by Splitter and a triple by Planinic raised the difference to 97-70 with two minutes to go. Another alley-oop finished by Planinic allowed Tau to break the 100-point mark, although Savas hit twice from downtown, once from inside the paint and twice again from the free throw line to prevent Tau from taking a 30-point lead and finishing the game with a 103-84 win for the hosts.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Natxo Mendaza, Vitoria
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Attendance: 7200
By Quarter1234
Tau Ceramica Vitoria-Gasteiz25252429
Fenerbahce Ulker17211828
End of Quarter1234
Tau Ceramica Vitoria-Gasteiz255074103
Fenerbahce Ulker17385684
Tau Ceramica Vitoria-Gasteiz
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
5 PRIGIONI, PABLO 21:52 5   1/3 2/2       7   1     3 3 9
6 GARCIA, ANDER 0:48                              
8 RAKOCEVIC, IGOR 25:34 13 2/5 1/4 6/6   2 2 5   2     2 3 13
9 VIDAL, SERGI 16:58 14 2/2 2/2 4/4   1 1 3 1 1     1 2 19
10 PLANINIC, ZORAN 22:50 14 5/7 1/1 1/1   2 2 3 1 4     3 4 15
11 FERNANDEZ, LUCHO DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
12 TELETOVIC, MIRZA 19:25 12   4/5     4 4     1     1   13
13 JASAITIS, SIMAS 16:30 6   2/3     1 1     1         5
21 SPLITTER, TIAGO 17:07 12 4/8 0/1 4/6 1 3 4     1 2 3 3 3 7
30 MUONEKE, GABE 20:35 10 2/4 2/2   1 2 3 2 2       3   12
33 MICKEAL, PETE 15:28 6 3/5     2 5 7 1   1     2   9
45 MCDONALD, WILL 22:53 11 4/6   3/3   7 7 1   3 1 1 2 2 14
Team           2   2   1           3
Totals 200:00 103 22/37 13/21 20/22 6 27 33 22 5 15 3 4 20 17 119
        59.5% 61.9% 90.9%
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
Fenerbahce Ulker
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 WHITE, JAMES 18:07   0/1 0/1     4 4 1 1 2       2 4
5 SOLOMON, WILLIE 26:26 14 3/6 2/4 2/3 2 2 4 2 2 2       4 18
7 ONAN, OMER 17:09 5 1/4 1/2         2 1 1   1 1   1
8 BASAK, RASIM 9:19           1 1     1     2 1 -1
9 ERDEN, SEMIH 10:19 1 0/1   1/2         1 2     3 2 -3
12 MRSIC, DAMIR 20:07 12   4/6             1         9
14 VIDMAR, GASPER 18:17 9 4/7   1/2       2 3 2   1 1 3 9
15 DEMIREL, HAKAN DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
21 SAVAS, OGUZ 17:53 20 6/11 2/4 2/3 3 2 5 1 1       3 3 19
22 KINSEY, TARENCE 23:49 10 3/6 1/3 1/2 1   1 1         2 2 6
24 ASIK, OMER 17:45 7 1/6   5/6 3 4 7   1 2 3 2 1 2 9
55 PRELDZIC, EMIR 20:49 6 0/3 2/2     3 3 3 1 1 1   4   6
Team           3 1 4     1       1 4
Totals 200:00 84 18/45 12/22 12/18 12 17 29 12 11 15 4 4 17 20 81
        40% 54.5% 66.7%

Head Coaches

Tau Ceramica Vitoria-Gasteiz
"It was another game in which we played great offense. I think our defense was good except in the last minutes when we lost concentration, allowing Oguz Savas to score 10 points in a row and reduce our margin a little bit. Pete Mickeal will undergo a medical test to know how serious his injury is. He felt pain in a different place than in which he got his last injury, but right now I cannot say more. The win in Vilnius was good for us but we have to focus only in our upcoming games. The most important thing is that we won tonight. We now have to win the following game, too."
Fenerbahce Ulker
"I think that Tau played excellent basketball tonight ans showed it is in great shape. We didn't show our real potential and didn't have a good game. When a team scores more than 100 points against you, it clearly shows that you haven't done a good job, but now we must think about the next game. We faced some difficulties tonight, as we missed Mirsad Turkcan and some of our players were not in the best condition, like Tarence Kinsey or James White. Under these circumstances, it is difficult to play against such a powerful opponent like Tau, especially at their home court."


Tau Ceramica Vitoria-Gasteiz
"It was a very important win as we are one step closer to reach our next goal. We must forget about it and focus on the next game, which will be a tough road trip againt Aris in thessaloniki. It is good that we amassed a 20-point win in the end but I think we should have played better defense in the last quarter."
Tau Ceramica Vitoria-Gasteiz
"It was a big win and I think it is important that we managed to get a 20-point margin in the end. Anyway, we could have got a bigger win but they managed to reduce the gap due to some quick shots. We got a good balance tonight between backcourt and frontcourt. The team has showed its character and reacted pretty well after the upset in the Spanish King's Cup final."
Fenerbahce Ulker
"We didn't expect such a big loss against Tau tonight but they played very well, got really high percentage both in two-point and three-point shooting and shot the ball extremely well. We must forget about that and focus only in our next game. We tried different defenses during the game, we played men-to-men and zone defense, switching them very often, but they were able to break it and adjusted pretty well. It seemed that Tau prepared the game very well. Now we must regroup, practice hard and get ready for the following game. This game could be taken as a learning experience for some of our young players, to know how Tau plays but I don't think it is a matter of lack of experience. We played enough games in regular season and in the Top 16. The guys already know what they can expect from the competition, they are no young players anymore, many of them are 20 or 21 and they know every game is tough. We all have to play basketball at the highest level. We have to change different things in the future if we want to beat Tau at home. Above all, we must stay aggressive all game long. I think we are at the same level as a basketball team but they had a great shooting night."
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