Ulker was unable to stop CSKA

Jon Robert Holden (photo cskabasket.com)
The Army Club won another game in the Euroleague Group C. There were two periods in the game when Ulker looked better than CSKA. They were the first and the last. But so far it was not enough as every CSKA player did his best for the team to keep on winning. CSKA starting five brought all but 14 points. The best scorer was J.R.Holden (18), followed by Andersen (15), Granger, Dikoudis (both –14) and Brown (12):

Ulker vs CSKA: 82-87

The key player of the first quarter was Eurelius Zukauskas. He was dominating under the boards and together with his teammate Saulus Stombergas helped Ulker to increase its 2-points percentage to 76,9. CSKA managed to put the right defensive pressure on the player only in the second quarter. There was no other scoring leader on the Ulker’s side. The team performance in 3-pointers and free throws was far below average and the club began to slow down. CSKA made an 11-0 run in the beginning of the second quarter but paid much more attention to the defence and seemed not to be interested encouraging growth of the gap between the two teams. After the half time the score was 35-43.

The offence did not become CSKA focus in the 3rd quarter. But the actions became more spectacular. The Army club controled the game made another run 9-3 in the middle of the period. The things went pretty good for CSKA before the start of the last quarter. 3 points of Dimos Dikoudis appeared to be the only Army club offensive archievement for five minutes. And of course this scoreless period gave Ulker a hope of winning the game – 68-72 with 4 minutes to go. CSKA tried to avoid the last minute tactical games and even managed to make a 5-0 run – 79-70 with a minute to go. But as soon as the last 60 seconds started to count down on the game clock Ulker started to foul the Army club players. J.R.Holden and Marcus Brown made all 8 free throws but the Turkish came closer as Praskevicius and Stombergas scored 3 points each in just 20 seconds. But that was not enough to keep CSKA away from the 4th win in the regular championship.

The head coach of CSKA Dusan Ivkovic:

First of all, I want to stress that I'm glad to be in Istanbul. Tonight we deserved to win the game. We started the game very bad and let Ulker to control the first period. We especially gave free space to Eureljus Zukauskas to score 10 points. This is what we didn't expect. But we found our rhythm in the second and third periods and took the control of the match. We had a good advantage of score especially in the third quarter. But we forgot that the game is for 40 minutes in the last quarter. My players slowed down thir rhythm and started to play individually. Because of that, Ulker equalled the tempo of the game. But led by Marcus Brown, my players got the responsibility of the win and made critical points to save the game. I have big respect on the Ulker coach Ergin Ataman. Ulker has a good experienced team, led by a good coach. I wish them good luck in the next games and believe that they will qualify to Top 16.

The head coach of Ulker Ergin Ataman:

We knew that it was going to be a very hard game. CSKA Moscow is the most powerful, richest team of our group and one of the candidates to the thropy. I think we did our best if you compare our power with CSKA's. Despite the advantages of CSKA, we brought the game back in the last minutes. But CSKA used the experience very well in those critical moments. They used our fouls very well in these last minutes. I think we played well tonight. In the next games, we have to build up some more on these good game and win against our real rivals like Benetton, Pau-Orthez and Unicaja Malaga. I want to congratulate my players for their effort."

Demos Dikoudis (photo cskabasket.com)
Jon Robert Holden (photo cskabasket.com)
David Andersen (photo cskabasket.com)
Marcus Brown (photo cskabasket.com)
Theodoros Papaloukas (photo cskabasket.com)
Martin Muursepp (photo cskabasket.com)
CSKA defence (photo cskabasket.com)
CSKA fans (photo cskabasket.com)