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The DraftExpress Daily
       
  Friday, April 8, 2005

Euroleague quarterfinals: Bargnani vs. Splitter
By Luis FernŠndez

The href=/profile//> results href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> Top-16 href=/profile//> had href=/profile//> delivered href=/profile//> an href=/profile//> extremely href=/profile//> interesting href=/profile//> matchup href=/profile//> facing href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> two href=/profile//> most href=/profile//> promising href=/profile//> prospects href=/profile//> from href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> 1985 href=/profile//> international href=/profile//> class: href=/profile//> Andrea href=/profile//> Bargnani href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> Tiago href=/profile//> Splitter. href=/profile//> Both href=/profile//> Benetton href=/profile//> Treviso href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> Tau href=/profile//> Vitoria href=/profile//> had href=/profile//> advanced href=/profile//> by href=/profile//> winning href=/profile//> four href=/profile//> games href=/profile//> out href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> six href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> that href=/profile//> round, href=/profile//> with href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> two href=/profile//> youngsters href=/profile//> having, href=/profile//> if href=/profile//> not href=/profile//> prominent, href=/profile//> at href=/profile//> least href=/profile//> significant href=/profile//> roles. href=/profile//> It href=/profile//> looked href=/profile//> like href=/profile//> one href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> closest href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> most href=/profile//> thrilling href=/profile//> series href=/profile//> (remember, href=/profile//> three-games href=/profile//> long) href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> this href=/profile//> stage.

Nevertheless, href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> first href=/profile//> game, href=/profile//> played href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> Treviso, href=/profile//> saw href=/profile//> Tau href=/profile//> Vitoria href=/profile//> fiercely href=/profile//> rolling href=/profile//> over href=/profile//> Benetton href=/profile//> Treviso href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> point href=/profile//> that href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> Spanish href=/profile//> team href=/profile//> finished href=/profile//> 38 href=/profile//> points href=/profile//> ahead href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> Italian.

Of href=/profile//> course, href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> stars href=/profile//> were href=/profile//> others: href=/profile//> Luis href=/profile//> Scola, href=/profile//> amazing href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> paint href=/profile//> by href=/profile//> scoring href=/profile//> 34 href=/profile//> points href=/profile//> (15/16 href=/profile//> from href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> field!), href=/profile//> Arvydas href=/profile//> Macijauskas, href=/profile//> deadly href=/profile//> from href=/profile//> long href=/profile//> range href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> finish href=/profile//> with href=/profile//> 21 href=/profile//> points href=/profile//> (19 href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> third href=/profile//> quarter!) href=/profile//> or href=/profile//> Josť href=/profile//> Manuel href=/profile//> Calder√≥n, href=/profile//> who href=/profile//> was href=/profile//> unstoppable href=/profile//> driving href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> basket. href=/profile//> But href=/profile//> Tiago href=/profile//> Splitter href=/profile//> gave href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> hand href=/profile//> too, href=/profile//> being href=/profile//> intense, href=/profile//> very href=/profile//> solid href=/profile//> on href=/profile//> defense href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> fighting href=/profile//> for href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> rebound. href=/profile//> He href=/profile//> had href=/profile//> only href=/profile//> 3 href=/profile//> points, href=/profile//> but href=/profile//> 7 href=/profile//> rebounds, href=/profile//> 3 href=/profile//> assists href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> 2 href=/profile//> steals.

Andrea href=/profile//> Bargnani href=/profile//> was href=/profile//> another href=/profile//> victim href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> Tau's href=/profile//> massacre, href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> had href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> settle href=/profile//> for href=/profile//> 5 href=/profile//> points href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> 16 href=/profile//> minutes href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> played. href=/profile//> Although href=/profile//> we href=/profile//> can href=/profile//> say href=/profile//> that href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> looked href=/profile//> terrific href=/profile//> when href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> knocked href=/profile//> down href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> three-pointer href=/profile//> as href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> stepped href=/profile//> into href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> court.

The href=/profile//> second href=/profile//> contest href=/profile//> was href=/profile//> different. href=/profile//> In href=/profile//> Vitoria, href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> Italians href=/profile//> weren't href=/profile//> going href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> tolerate href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> similar href=/profile//> outcome, href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> game href=/profile//> result href=/profile//> was href=/profile//> much href=/profile//> closer. href=/profile//> In href=/profile//> this href=/profile//> context, href=/profile//> Tiago href=/profile//> Splitter href=/profile//> stepped href=/profile//> up href=/profile//> as href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> key href=/profile//> presence, href=/profile//> again href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> Tau's href=/profile//> defense href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> cleaning href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> boards. href=/profile//> He href=/profile//> was href=/profile//> really href=/profile//> effective href=/profile//> on href=/profile//> Denis href=/profile//> Marconato href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> chasing href=/profile//> any href=/profile//> shot href=/profile//> near href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> basket, href=/profile//> while href=/profile//> certifying href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> recent href=/profile//> improvements href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> rebounding href=/profile//> department. href=/profile//> Late href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> fourth href=/profile//> quarter, href=/profile//> with href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> game href=/profile//> on href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> line, href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> couple href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> bad href=/profile//> decisions href=/profile//> forced href=/profile//> Ivanovic href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> send href=/profile//> him href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> bench. href=/profile//> Too href=/profile//> much href=/profile//> pressure href=/profile//> for href=/profile//> such href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> young href=/profile//> guy. href=/profile//> Anyway, href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> finished href=/profile//> with href=/profile//> 8 href=/profile//> points, href=/profile//> 7 href=/profile//> rebounds href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> 2 href=/profile//> blocks.

Regarding href=/profile//> Bargnani, href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> went href=/profile//> even href=/profile//> more href=/profile//> unnoticed href=/profile//> than href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> previous href=/profile//> game. href=/profile//> Coach href=/profile//> Messina href=/profile//> didn't href=/profile//> want href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> take href=/profile//> any href=/profile//> risks, href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> played href=/profile//> him href=/profile//> only href=/profile//> 6 href=/profile//> minutes.

Tau href=/profile//> Vitoria href=/profile//> finally href=/profile//> won href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> game href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> has href=/profile//> advanced href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> Final href=/profile//> Four href=/profile//> that href=/profile//> will href=/profile//> be href=/profile//> played href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> Moscow href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> May. href=/profile//> Two href=/profile//> other href=/profile//> teams href=/profile//> have href=/profile//> qualified href=/profile//> already: href=/profile//> last href=/profile//> year's href=/profile//> winner href=/profile//> Maccabi href=/profile//> Tel href=/profile//> Aviv href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> hoster, href=/profile//> CSKA href=/profile//> Moscow. href=/profile//> The href=/profile//> last href=/profile//> spot href=/profile//> still href=/profile//> has href=/profile//> no href=/profile//> owner, href=/profile//> with href=/profile//> Panathinaikos href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> Efes href=/profile//> Pilsen href=/profile//> having href=/profile//> an href=/profile//> open href=/profile//> fight href=/profile//> for href=/profile//> it href=/profile//> (the href=/profile//> Greeks href=/profile//> lead href=/profile//> 1-0).

 
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