CSKA in TOP16 - 100% wins

24.03.2004
Jon Robert Holden (photo Euroleague.net)
The fourth game in TOP16 of Euroleague between Moscow army team and Olympiacos Greece promised implacable fight. But in spite of furious support of local fans Piree club could not do anything against CSKA:

Olympiacos vs CSKA: 69-93

Before tipoff, the Olympiacos fans welcomed with applauds and songs Dusan Ivkovic, who led the Reds to its only European title and a triple crown in 1996-97. But when the game started, CSKA was all business. Holden nailed 5 consecutive points for an early 0-5 CSKA advantage. Brown and Victor Alexander followed him and the visitors soared ahead 0-11 before Olympiacos knew what had hit it. The Reds missed their first 5 shots before Liadelis scored for 2-11, but CSKAs aggressive defense and balanced offense meant an 11-point gap, 3-14, after 5 minutes of play. Goran Jurak hit a three-pointer for 6-14, but nothing changed for the Reds. Despite the three personal fouls committed by Victor Khryapa, CSKA had few worries. Liadelis and Milan Tomic scored in a 7-2 run that got Olympiacos within 16-22, but CSKA had the last points of the first quarter to hold a 16-25 lead after 10 minutes.

Olympiacos continued to struggle in the second quarter and CSKA quickly opened the gap to 14 points, 16-30, on a Brown three-pointer and a layup by Mirsad Turkcan. Olympiacos coach Dusan Sakota tried to add some energy to his team in the person of Vangelis Sklavos and also changed the defense from individual to zone. That allowed the Reds to cut the difference to 21-30, but they didnt get closer. Sergey Panov and Aleksey Savrasenko came up big to dominate in the paint and to continue the excellent scoring started by Brown. Thanks to all those alternatives, the visitors didnt allow Olympiacos to play their game at all, and instead roared ahead 26-40 on a Panov triple. Savrasenko was good for a basket-plus-foul and Brown another three-pointer as CSKA coasted to the half fully in charge at 27-46.

CSKA got back on court after intermission and not only to guarded the lead, but added to it. With a take-no-prisoners defense and great shooting percentages, CSKA turned the game into showtime. The visitors were unstoppable as Anton Yudin scored a jumper for a 24-point margin, 33-57, after 24 minutes. But the nightmare wasnt over yet for Olympiacos. As the lead reached 30 points, 36-68, the fans recognized and applauded CSKAs superiority, although their team was its way to suffering its biggest home loss ever. An outstanding zone defense by CSKA kept Olympiacos from cutting points as the third quarter closed with the visitors coasting at 40-68 in a basketball exhibition.

There was little that Olympiacos could accomplish in the final quarter, and little CSKA let the hosts do. CSKA continued scoring easily in fastbreak situations and set plays to keep the lead above 25 points. Only Liadelis could make it through CSKAs defensive jungle, and his 7 consecutive points allowed Olympiacos within 59-82. CSKA simply answered with a 0-9 run to a 32-point lead, 59-91, on a layup by Turkcan. That indeed would mean that Olympiacos suffered the biggest home loss ever in its contemporary European history and CSKA could celebrate its fourth consecutive victory, continuing as the only undefeated team in the Top 16, although the final score of 69-93 might have been even more intimidating to its future opponents.


CSKA head coach Dusan Ivkovic:

- First of all I am very happy because I returned to Athens and met a lot of friends. I have to thank the fans of Olympiacos for their welcome, but I dont like the way they treated coach Dragan Sakota. This is my philosophy, as the president of the World Coaches Association. Having wonderful memories from Olympiacos, I wish them to solve their problems and achieve better in the near future. Regarding the game, it doesnt need a lot of analysis. To be honest, I was also surprised the way we played tonight. I didnt expect such a performance and such an easy win. We keep playing an uptempo game and also we took advantage of the early personal fouls Charissis was called and Tomics injury. Anyway, CSKA likes to play uptempo game and this is what we have done against Olympiacos.

CSKA guard Theodoros Papaloukas:

- We took advantage of the low shooting percentage of Olympiacos and achieved an early lead. Our tough defense and the domination under the boards were the key factors of our win. Now we play Tau and this game looks like a final. All of us feel more experienced than last season and if we take the ticket for the Final Four, we will be more competitive and ready to fight for the trophy.

Olympiacos head coach Dragan Sakota:

- Our team didnt adjust to the special requirements of this match. There is a big quality gap between the two teams and it is clear. CSKA has a 4-0 and has a great potential, but despite this, we should play better, especially in defense. This loss is a kind of lesson, so we have to learn from that game and to focus on the Greek League.

Photos
Marcus Brown (photo Euroleague.net)
Sergey Panov (photo Euroleague.net)
Theodoros Papaloukas (photo Euroleague.net)
Mirsad Turkcan (photo Euroleaague.net)
Alexey Savrasenko (photo cskabasket.com)
Before the game (photo cskabasket.com)
CSKA fans (photo cskabasket.com)
Theodoros Papaloukas (photo cskabasket.com)
Panov vs Wolkowysky (photo cskabasket.com)
Turkcan vs Bagaric (photo cskabasket.com)
J.R.Holden (photo cskabasket.com)
Georgiy Tsintsadze (photo cskabasket.com)
CSKA won (photo Euroleague.net)