CSKA and Skipper Into the Final

Marcus Brown (photo G.Philippov)
Today in the Serbian town of Novi Sad, the finalists of the Champions Cup were determined. Skipper, which defeated Euroleague champion Barcelona, will face CSKA, which relatively easily defeated the Belgrade club Red Star.

Group B
Red Star vs CSKA: 74-97 (15-26, 11-25, 20-30, 28-16)

There were a lot more fans at this game than at CSKAs game with Unicaja. The Belgrade club arrived with its own fans, who greeted the team with huge applause. During player introductions, the fans tried to drown out the names of the CSKA players with noise when they were read by the announcer, with the exception of Tarlac and Turkcan, whom they still refer to here as Jahovic.

The bench given to the Moscow club had already been designated as unlucky by the local journalists. Every team that sat on it in the tournament (Barcelona, Unicaja and Panatinaikos) had lost their games. CSKA was either going to keep the streak alive or end it.

Holden, Brown, Monya, Savrasenko and Turkcan started the game for CSKA. Play was sloppy from both teams in the beginning. Turkcan opened up the scoring in the second minute. That got things rolling, as CSKA took the momentum. Nonetheless, Ivkovic continued standing at the edge of the floor talking to his players. His counterpart - Zmago Sagadin - on the other hand, didnt get up off the bench, even though his team gave him a lot more reason to than Ivkovics. Red Star continued missing shots and turning the ball over, resulting in a 26-15 CSKA lead at the end of the first quarter.

In the second quarter the CSKA coach substituted practically the entire lineup, leaving only Marcus Brown on the floor. Brown seemed as if he had forgotten how to miss. He was joined on the floor by Papaloukas, Panov, Khryapa and Bashminov. The substitution wave didnt change the course of the game on the scoreboard, only in style. CSKA increased its lead, and Viktor Khryapa, paying no attention to the crowds whistling, knocked down 8 of 9 free throws to punish the Serbian team for its rough play. The fans, for the first time in the game, sat down. By halftime Red Star was trailing 26-51.

Only in the fourth quarter did Ivkovics team let up a little on offense, turning more to individual play. Yegor Vyaltsev did not play particularly well. His immense desire to prove himself was his undoing. His rushed shots that led to misses allowed Red Star to fastbreak. The loss of discipline cost the Army club 12 points in their margin in the final quarter. But even that had little effect on the outcome of the game. Sergey Monya threw down a huge dunk that was rewarded with applause by the crowd which gave the final score, 97-74.

In two games, CSKAs won by a combined margin of 58 points.

Group A:
Barcelona vs Skipper: 75-84 (14-24, 23-26, 21-21, 17-13)

Barcelona: Grimau (11), Ilijevsky (11), Fucka (10), M. Gasol (10), Bodiroga (8)
Skipper: Basile (19), Delfino (16), Van Den Spigel (11), Pozzecco (9)

The final will be held on Thursday, Sept. 25, at 23:00 Moscow time. Tomorrow the final games of the group tournament will be held, which will decide the final pairings for the last stage. The winners of tomorrows games will meet on Sept. 25 at 20:00 Moscow time, the losers at 17:00.

September 24 (Wed.)
Group A: Panathinaikos - Barcelona (23.00 Moscow time)
Group B: Unicaja - Red Star (20.00 Moscow time)

Before the game (photo G.Philippov)
Defence (photo G.Philippov)
Viktor Khryapa vs Michael Campbell (photo G.Philippov)
J.R.Holden (photo G.Philippov)
Sergey Monya vs Michael Campbell (photo G.Philippov)
Marcus Brown (photo G.Philippov)
Theodoros Papaloukas (photo G.Philippov)
Dusan Ivkovic (photo G.Philippov)
Sergey Panov (photo G.Philippov)
Anton Yudin vs Regi Freeman (photo G.Philippov)
Dragan Tarlac (photo G.Philippov)
Jestratjevic vs Bashminov (photo G.Philippov)
Mirsad Turkcan (photo G.Philippov)
Mirsad Turkcan (photo G.Philipppov)
Yegor Vyaltsev (photo G.Philippov)