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The DraftExpress Daily
       
  Friday, March 11, 2005

Euroleague: Zissis and Lorbek did it again
By Luis FernŠndez

The href=/profile//> Euroleague's href=/profile//> Top-16 href=/profile//> first href=/profile//> half href=/profile//> is href=/profile//> over, href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> every href=/profile//> week href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> excitement href=/profile//> grows. href=/profile//> Like href=/profile//> last href=/profile//> week, href=/profile//> two href=/profile//> young href=/profile//> guys, href=/profile//> Lorbek href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> Zissis, href=/profile//> were href=/profile//> absolutely href=/profile//> key href=/profile//> for href=/profile//> their href=/profile//> team's href=/profile//> victory, href=/profile//> while href=/profile//> this href=/profile//> time href=/profile//> two href=/profile//> others, href=/profile//> Gelabale href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> Splitter, href=/profile//> added href=/profile//> nice href=/profile//> performances href=/profile//> but href=/profile//> couldn't href=/profile//> avoid href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> loss href=/profile//> for href=/profile//> their href=/profile//> teams.

Sure, href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> isn't href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> quickest href=/profile//> or href=/profile//> most href=/profile//> explosive href=/profile//> guard href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> draft, href=/profile//> but href=/profile//> you href=/profile//> can't href=/profile//> stop href=/profile//> loving href=/profile//> Nikolaos href=/profile//> Zissis, href=/profile//> who href=/profile//> is href=/profile//> (along href=/profile//> with href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> team href=/profile//> AEK href=/profile//> Athens) href=/profile//> having href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> dream href=/profile//> season href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> Euroleague href=/profile//> so href=/profile//> far. href=/profile//> The href=/profile//> Greek href=/profile//> team href=/profile//> had href=/profile//> its href=/profile//> third href=/profile//> consecutive href=/profile//> win href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> Top-16 href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> remain href=/profile//> undefeated href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> this href=/profile//> stage href=/profile//> by href=/profile//> rolling href=/profile//> over href=/profile//> Prokom href=/profile//> Trelf href=/profile//> Sopot href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> Poland. href=/profile//> So href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> team href=/profile//> that href=/profile//> few href=/profile//> took href=/profile//> into href=/profile//> account href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> qualify href=/profile//> for href=/profile//> this href=/profile//> stage, href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> even href=/profile//> less href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> advance href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> quarterfinals href=/profile//> next href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> powerhouses href=/profile//> like href=/profile//> Benetton href=/profile//> Treviso href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> Efes href=/profile//> Pilsen, href=/profile//> is href=/profile//> just href=/profile//> one href=/profile//> step href=/profile//> away href=/profile//> from href=/profile//> making href=/profile//> it href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> reality. href=/profile//> Zissis, href=/profile//> everyday href=/profile//> more href=/profile//> comfortable href=/profile//> as href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> point href=/profile//> guard, href=/profile//> playing href=/profile//> like href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> veteran, href=/profile//> was href=/profile//> again href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> best href=/profile//> player href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> Greeks href=/profile//> while href=/profile//> leading href=/profile//> them href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> an href=/profile//> early href=/profile//> rush href=/profile//> that href=/profile//> left href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> rest href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> game href=/profile//> almost href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> foregone href=/profile//> conclusion. href=/profile//> He href=/profile//> was href=/profile//> effective href=/profile//> with href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> shooting, href=/profile//> with href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> slashing href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> distributing href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> ball, href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> finish href=/profile//> with href=/profile//> 19 href=/profile//> points, href=/profile//> 5 href=/profile//> rebounds href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> 4 href=/profile//> assists. href=/profile//>

Erazem href=/profile//> Lorbek href=/profile//> is href=/profile//> quickly href=/profile//> becoming href=/profile//> one href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> biggest href=/profile//> stars href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> Climamio href=/profile//> Bologna href=/profile//> with href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> play href=/profile//> as href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> late. href=/profile//> Game href=/profile//> after href=/profile//> game, href=/profile//> he's href=/profile//> not href=/profile//> only href=/profile//> successfully href=/profile//> replacing href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> frontcourt href=/profile//> scoring href=/profile//> reference href=/profile//> that href=/profile//> Matjas href=/profile//> Smodis href=/profile//> was, href=/profile//> but href=/profile//> even href=/profile//> improving href=/profile//> on href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> countryman's href=/profile//> production. href=/profile//> As href=/profile//> usual, href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> came href=/profile//> off href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> bench, href=/profile//> but href=/profile//> it href=/profile//> doesn't href=/profile//> seem href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> bother href=/profile//> him, href=/profile//> as href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> finished href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> game href=/profile//> with href=/profile//> 20 href=/profile//> points, href=/profile//> 5 href=/profile//> rebounds href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> 2 href=/profile//> blocks. href=/profile//>

Lorbek href=/profile//> used href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> all href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> versatile href=/profile//> skills href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> score href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> number href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> ways, href=/profile//> ultimately href=/profile//> leading href=/profile//> Climamio href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> one-point href=/profile//> victory href=/profile//> over href=/profile//> Zalgiris. href=/profile//> This href=/profile//> leaves href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> Bologna href=/profile//> team href=/profile//> tied href=/profile//> with href=/profile//> Panathinaikos href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> Tau href=/profile//> Vitoria href=/profile//> for href=/profile//> 1st href=/profile//> place href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> group href=/profile//> (remember href=/profile//> just href=/profile//> two href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> them href=/profile//> advance href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> quarterfinals).

Those href=/profile//> same href=/profile//> two href=/profile//> teams href=/profile//> above href=/profile//> were href=/profile//> part href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> another href=/profile//> thrilling href=/profile//> game href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> Athens, href=/profile//> where href=/profile//> Tau href=/profile//> Vitoria href=/profile//> got href=/profile//> off href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> huge href=/profile//> start href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> first href=/profile//> half, href=/profile//> but href=/profile//> couldn't href=/profile//> do href=/profile//> anything href=/profile//> against href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> relentless href=/profile//> Greek href=/profile//> comeback href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> second href=/profile//> that href=/profile//> eventually href=/profile//> left href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> Spaniards href=/profile//> knocked href=/profile//> out. href=/profile//>

With href=/profile//> Tau's href=/profile//> rotation href=/profile//> short-handed href=/profile//> by href=/profile//> injuries, href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> foul href=/profile//> trouble href=/profile//> started href=/profile//> soon, href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> Tiago href=/profile//> Splitter href=/profile//> took href=/profile//> advantage href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> it href=/profile//> early href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> get href=/profile//> into href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> game, href=/profile//> but href=/profile//> suffered href=/profile//> from href=/profile//> it href=/profile//> too href=/profile//> eventually, href=/profile//> committing href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> first href=/profile//> four href=/profile//> personal href=/profile//> fouls href=/profile//> very href=/profile//> quickly. href=/profile//> Splitter href=/profile//> showed href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> inexperience href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> bit href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> was href=/profile//> outsmarted href=/profile//> by href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> rivals, href=/profile//> baiting href=/profile//> him href=/profile//> into href=/profile//> some href=/profile//> defensive href=/profile//> mistakes, href=/profile//> but href=/profile//> also href=/profile//> was href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> victim href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> some href=/profile//> questionable href=/profile//> calls. href=/profile//>

He href=/profile//> still href=/profile//> found href=/profile//> time href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> impress href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> large href=/profile//> European href=/profile//> audience, href=/profile//> though, href=/profile//> taking href=/profile//> advantage href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> Panathinaikos' href=/profile//> lack href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> size href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> frontcourt. href=/profile//>

Some href=/profile//> very href=/profile//> nice href=/profile//> post href=/profile//> moves, href=/profile//> an href=/profile//> alley-oop href=/profile//> finish, href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> strong href=/profile//> put href=/profile//> back, href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> flashy href=/profile//> block, href=/profile//> all href=/profile//> were href=/profile//> glimpses href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> excellent href=/profile//> potential. href=/profile//> He href=/profile//> finished href=/profile//> with href=/profile//> 12 href=/profile//> points href=/profile//> (5/6 href=/profile//> FG) href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> 3 href=/profile//> rebounds href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> 12 href=/profile//> minutes.

MickaŽl href=/profile//> Gelabale href=/profile//> was href=/profile//> more href=/profile//> effective, href=/profile//> but href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> end, href=/profile//> CSKA href=/profile//> Moscow href=/profile//> managed href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> remain href=/profile//> undefeated href=/profile//> (20-0) href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> this href=/profile//> year's href=/profile//> Euroleague. href=/profile//> It href=/profile//> was href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> great href=/profile//> game, href=/profile//> as href=/profile//> Real href=/profile//> Madrid href=/profile//> didn't href=/profile//> give href=/profile//> up href=/profile//> until href=/profile//> overtime, href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> Frenchman href=/profile//> had href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> chance href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> show href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> stuff. href=/profile//> It href=/profile//> was href=/profile//> particularly href=/profile//> interesting href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> watch href=/profile//> him href=/profile//> attacking href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> basket href=/profile//> with href=/profile//> unusual href=/profile//> desire, href=/profile//> while href=/profile//> showing href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> very href=/profile//> nice href=/profile//> soft href=/profile//> touch href=/profile//> finishing href=/profile//> those href=/profile//> slashing href=/profile//> movements. href=/profile//> He href=/profile//> once href=/profile//> again href=/profile//> showed href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> shooting href=/profile//> range, href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> displayed href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> well-known href=/profile//> athleticism href=/profile//> cleaning href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> boards, href=/profile//> getting href=/profile//> some href=/profile//> steals href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> intimidating. href=/profile//> It href=/profile//> was href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> first-round href=/profile//> caliber href=/profile//> performance; href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> finished href=/profile//> with href=/profile//> 15 href=/profile//> points, href=/profile//> 6 href=/profile//> rebounds href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> 2 href=/profile//> steals.

 
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