Sunday’s Euroleague championship game might see the teacher in Zeljko Obradovic taking on his student Dimitris Itoudis, but it is the pupil who has the upper hand going into the finale.
In five games where they have faced off against each other, the CSKA Moscow playcaller owns a 4-1 record against Obradovic, with an 86-80 victory in last season’s third place game and the Muscovites possess a 20-7 overall record against their Turkish counterparts.
For 13 years, Itoudis was Obradovic’s assistant at Panathinaikos, where they captured five Euroleague crowns. The two coaches complimented each other sublimely until the tandem mutually broke up in 2012.
Four years on, Itoudis, now appearing in his second straight Euroleague Final Four as CSKA Moscow coach isn’t bothered about history, often dismissing the questions asked relating to the topic at the pre-game press conference in Berlin.
“History is history,” Itoudis said. “We want to write history.”
Obradovic never considered Itoudis as his assistant, but saying that he was a brother and that the bond they had was special. But, as said – it is confined to the realms of history.
Fenerbahce coach Zeljko Obradovic is the winningest person in Euroleague history. The 56-year-old has eight Euroleague titles (Partizan 1992, Joventut 1994, Real Madrid 1995, Panathinaikos 2000, 2002, 2007, 2009, 2011), which is more than any player or coach since the competition began in 1958.
Kostas Sloukas and Pero Antic have the chance to win their third Euroleague title. Sloukas and Antic helped Olympiacos win consecutive Euroleague titles in 2012 and 2013. Also Antic is undefeated in Final Four action: Five games; five wins.
Big man Jan Vesely could become the third Czech player to win the Euroleague title. Jiri Zidek won with Zalgiris in 1999 and Lubos Barton won it with Barcelona in 2010.
Ekpe Udoh has beaten a record for most blocks in a Euroleague season? Udoh has blocked 57 shots – and we could still be counting on Sunday.
Vesely needs just five points to reach 1,000 in his Euroleague career. Vesely has scored 995 points in 104 games so far.
Ricky Hickman needs 29 points to reach 1,000 in his Euroleague career? Hickman has scored 971 points in 93 games so far. He also lifted the Euroleague trophy with Maccabi Tel Aviv in 2014.
CSKA Moscow guard Milos Teodosic is in his seventh Final Four and is still looking to win his first title. If Fenerbahce win on Sunday, it would be an all-time record: Seven Final Four appearances without lifting the trophy. Six Final Fours; no titles.
Teodosic also needs 23 points to be one of the top ten scorers in Euroleague history The Serbian international has scored 2,321 points until now, ranking 12th. Sarunas Jasikevicius is currently tenth with 2,343 points.
The Euroleague final will be Victor Khryapa’s 20th Final Four game. No other player has appeared in more games.
As a team, CSKA is the highest-scoring team in the Euroleague this season with 90.7 points per game and leads the league in performance index rating (105.6), assists (19.7 apg.), two-point shooting (57.9 percent) and three-point shooting (42.5 percent).
WHEN THEY LAST PLAYED IN THE EUROLEAGUE FINAL FOUR