29.04.2006
CSKA Moscow reached the Euroleague championship game for the first time since 1973 by beating Winterthur FC Barcelona 75-84 in their Euroleague semifinals on Friday night at sold-out Sazka Arena in Prague. CSKA will meet Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv, which earlier defeated Tau Ceramica 85-70, in Sunday’s final. Theodoros Papaloukas and J.R. Holden led the winners each with 19 points. Papaloukas made 7 of 10 shots coming off the bench while Holden had all his points in the last 23 minutes, helping CSKA to rally and win the game. CSKA ended a string of three semifinals losses in a row by reaching Sunday’s title in its record fourth consecutive Final Four.
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CSKA is in the Euroleague Finals!
CSKA Moscow reached the Euroleague championship game for the first time since 1973 by beating Winterthur FC Barcelona 75-84 in their Euroleague semifinals on Friday night at sold-out Sazka Arena in Prague. CSKA will meet Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv, which earlier defeated Tau Ceramica 85-70, in Sunday’s final. Theodoros Papaloukas and J.R. Holden led the winners each with 19 points. Papaloukas made 7 of 10 shots coming off the bench while Holden had all his points in the last 23 minutes, helping CSKA to rally and win the game. CSKA ended a string of three semifinals losses in a row by reaching Sunday’s title in its record fourth consecutive Final Four.

Barcelona – CSKA: 75-84

Ettore Messina, CSKA head coach:

- “It was a tough game for us. Even when we were down by 10 in the second quarter, we just kept playing because we believed in ourselves. We kept doing our job and in the end we found our chemistry. It was hard because Barcelona has more players than us and we had to find another way. But we did it, it was hard but we are happy. My players played with great confidence and weren't afraid of losing even when we were down 12 or 13. We had the great combination of offense and defense in the fourth quarter that we needed. The technical foul on Fucka and the triples by Langdon were the turning points in the game. When we were down 12, I think that the same referees were at the game as were in the end. You must respect your opponents whether you win or lose. I am disappointed to hear that Dusko would speak of a plot against him. He must have changed since he coached at TAU. We have a great deal of respect for Maccabi, but we'll do what we need to be successful. We need to do better against Maccabi than we did tonight. Six assists in the whole game will not be enough. After the way Maccabi played tonight, we know that no one in the building will put even one Euro on CSKA winning on Sunday. Smodis is one of those players who something good happens everywhere he goes. I'm happy already because we already got a chance to play in the NBA Europe tournament in Cologne. I might get a chance to coach against my young boys Manu Ginobili and Nesterovic.”

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