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Final Four
#1
So all the teams are clear now. All teams are pretty even. As I said in other topic I don't want Maccabi to win it. Who do you think will win it?

Semifinal B

Maccabi Elite vs Tau Ceramica 28 April

Semifinal A

Winterthur FCB vs CSKA Moscow 28 April
#2
my bets on CSKA
#3
They have a strong squad. CSKA have been performing without any crisis this season so as every season they are one of the favourites. But personally I'd like TAU Ceramica to win it.
#4
As you know Final Four will be held in Prague, Czech Republic so Euroleague website has interviewed Jiri Zidek former Zalgiris player who has won Euroleague with them. Here's what he told to euroleague.net

Quote:For more than a few experts, the 1999 continental title won by Zalgiris of Lithuania remains a turning point in European basketball. At the Final Four in Munich, Germany, Zalgiris averaged over 10 points more than any champion for the previous decade, demonstrating that scoring could win titles, too. No less an authority than Pini Gershon, then new to Maccabi's bench, was an early believer. "It was always said that the best offense is a good defense, but now maybe the best defense is a good offense," Gershon has said. "I think that idea started from the season that Zalgiris won the championship, in 1999." Euroleague.net is proud to have Jiri Zidek of the Czech Republic, one of those Zalgiris champions, as special analyst at the 2006 Final Four in Prague. One of Czech basketball's claims to fame is that Zidek and the man he was named after, Jiri Zidek Sr., are the only father and son ever to both reach European club title games. After having won an NCAA title with UCLA in 1995 and played two seasons in the NBA, Zalgiris was Zidek's first team in Europe. He arrived with his former UCLA teammate, Tyus Edney, and NBA veteran Athony Bowie as perfect complements to a Zalgiris team packed with Lithuanian talent.

"We were thought to be favorites for only a brief moment that season, back in January, for the few days that Arvydas Sabonis signed on to play for us. The NBA was in a lockout and Sabonis joining us was a big, big story. We were in Dubai for the Ramadan tournament we went to for two years at Christmas. It was nice there. You got a few games and easy practices, but we were with our families and very relaxed for the holidays. That's when the club president told us Sabonis had signed up to play. He had been practicing with us the whole lockout, but only two or three days a week. That week he practiced every day. Then we went to our next Euroleague game in Belgrade, and he did the pre-game press conference with Vlade Divac, who was going to play for Red Star. The morning of the game, the lockout lifted, however. Divac played, but Sabonis did not have an NBA contract at the time, and since he was still negotiating, did not want to risk it. It was still a memorable game for us. There were 8,000 or 9,000 people there in Belgrade and it was fun to see that."

"During the rest of the year, Panathinaikos was the favorite team. They had lost only two games, but lost to one of the Bologna teams in the playoffs. We thought that our playoff opponent, Efes Pilsen, was the toughest team to beat. They were compact, well put together. We thought that if we beat them, we had a good shot in Munich. One major thing we had going for us was the fact that the Lithuanian League was not a hard competition. We play 12 players in those games and rested guys who played more in the Euroleague. Compared to other teams, we had it easy. I remember talking to Johnny Rogers from Olympiacos, the team we beat in the semifinal, a year later, and he told me they were just dead that night. Later, playing for Real Madrid, I saw how the local competition in some countries takes a lot of energy out of you. To compare, before Munich, we took a few days off to rest for the Final Four. We had the advantage of rested bodies and fresh minds. But our team was special in the sense that we could switch players from the one to four positions, and had two big guys, me and Eurelijus Zukauskas, taking turns on Dragan Tarlac with Olympiacos and then Radoslav Nesterovic of Kinder in the final. And we had Tyus Edney too, the MVP of the tournament and a player all teammates love to play with, because he involves the whole team."

"It was a special thing because it was my first year playing in Europe after not getting much time on-court in the NBA. In Lithuania, you can really feel and tell that basketball is the national sports. There are hoops all around, inside and outside the cities. The gyms were always full with people playing at an amateur level, after work, schools. Everyone understands the gaame. Our games were packed. The arena held about 3,500 people at that time, but the atmosphere was unbelievable compared to the NBA, where the arenas held 20,000 people, but they sat and waited to be entertained. In Lithuania, the fans were like Larry Bird says in his book about the fans at the old Boston Garden, true basketball fans. You could also tell it was Lithuania's national sport by the way they played. They taught the game in a playful way, not just drills and systems. They taught individual skills and gave players the freedom to use them. Just think of the big men used as passers there, Sabonis and Zukauskas. That was one aspect of the game that was new to me in Lithuania. Whenever I got the ball in the post in the NCAA and NBA, the first thought was to score. Now, I was looking for cutters and making passes. It opened my eyes a lot."

"We had one of the most special teams that season. The players and wives and families were always hanging out together outside the basketball arena. We were always getting together for team dinnners, birthdays, even kids' birthdays. We spent a lot of time together outside the gym and that gave us a lot of togetherness on the court. It wasn't something that was forced on us by the club. Everyone just liked each other. No one complained about minutes or shots or anything like that. You never had that feeling there. We went 55-4 on the season, losing only four games in the Euroleague, and we had been 1-2 in the first three weeks. After that we lost only two more times. In seasons like that, everything is easier. But like I said, that team was special. The Lithuanians by nature are very unselfish players. It was their first year in the Euroleague, too, after winning the Saporta Cup the previous year. Tyus is also that kind of player, as anyone who has played with him will tell you, a favorite with teammates. Anthony Bowie was a veteran who had started in NBA playoffs and had nothing to prove to anybody. There was no reason for him to be selfish. And that year in Lithuania was crucial for me. I had not played much the two previous seasons in the NBA, and now I shared 40 minutes with Zukauskas, almost evenly. I just wanted to play, and to win at all costs. And we did. It was everything we hoped for."
#5
my bet goes for cska... it's shame that they miss Anderson..
#6
Me too. Anything but not Maccabi Smile Anderson was one of their key players but CSKA seem to be adjusting to play without him.
#7
yeah anything just not Maccabi.. but they don't have golden boy (saras) so no chance for them Smile
#8
Unfortunately Maccabi are in the final for the 3rd straight time after defeating TAU Ceramica 85-70 in today's semi-final. Barca vs CSKA starts in 10 minutes.
#9
A bit late apdate but it's better later than never. So CSKA Moscow have won Euroleague champions title for the first time in 35 years by defeating defending champions Maccabi 73-69 in the final. The match was very tight and great defence from CSKA gave them the victory.



TAU Ceramica won 87-82 against Barcelona to take the 3rd place.



FINAL

CSKA Moscow 73-69 Maccabi



THIRD-PLACE GAME

Barcelona 82-87 Tau Ceramica



SEMIFINALS

Maccabi 85-70 Tau Ceramica

Barcelona 75-84 CSKA Moscow



Also All-Euroleague team has been named.

Point Guard: [Image: peq_2089_2.jpg] Theodoros Papaloukas CSKA Moscow

Shooting Guard: [Image: peq_2089_1.jpg] Juan Carlos Navarro Barcelona

Small Forward: [Image: peq_2089_5.jpg] Anthony Parker Maccabi

Power Forward: [Image: peq_2089_4.jpg] Nikola Vujcic Maccabi

Center: [Image: peq_2089_22.jpg] Luis Scola Tau Ceramica



CSKA celebrating (CSKA coach Ettore Messina is in the middle)

[Image: med_2084_36.jpg]
#10
glad they won


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