Gescrap Bilbao stunned CSKA Moscow 94-81 to cut the deficit to 2-1 in the best-of-five quarter-final series.
Roared on by a passionate sell-out crowd in the Bilbao Arena, the hosts made the favourites for this year’s Euroleague crown look ordinary, forcing CSKA to commit 16 turnovers, which led to their downfall.
This is CSKA Moscow’s second defeat of this Euroleague season, meaning if they do win this series, they won’t be heading to Istanbul with the best win-loss record and after this setback, fans might start to doubt the Russian side a little, especially if you compare them to Barcelona, who have only lost to Montepaschi Siena in Italy during the pool stage.
But, could this of unleashed a different and more aggressive CSKA Moscow side with game four back in Bilbao on Friday?
For the hosts, they have stayed alive in the Euroleague thanks to self belief and great team basketball, they were secure with the basketball as well. They withstood Moscow’s usual sufficating defense, and coped with it well. They recorded their first Euroleague playoff game and it was well deserved.
Kostas Vasiliadis led Gescrap Bilbao with 20 points, including four triples with Marko Banic contributing with 18.
Serbian Nenad Krstic led CSKA with a game-high 2 points, hitting all nine of his field goal attempts, his one free throw miss the only blemish on a solid night, individually. Andrei Airilenko hit 16 and Alexey Shved dropped 15.
Milos Teodosic was contained and was kept quiet all night, something that Bilbao coach Fotios Katsikaris was thrilled about.
“The keys were the rebounding and those low turnovers, and also the defense on Teodosic,” he said. “We know [Andrei] Kirilenko is so important, but without Teodosic pasing CSKA is less dangerous.
OLYMPIACOS ONE GAME AWAY FROM PERFECT REVENGE.
Olympiacos continued their solid home form with a 75-55 thrashing of Montepachi Siena, as they take a 2-1 lead.
Siena were held to just nine points in the second and third quarters as Olympiacos are now one game away from returning the favour that Siena dealt them last season at the same stage.
Vassilis Spanoulis was held to just two points, but Kyle Hines picked up the slack, hitting 15 points and grabbing nine rebounds with Kostas Sloukas hitting 11. Montepascchi were led by 15 points from Bo McCalebb.