Panathinaikos has the chance to win its fifth Euroleague title? Panathinaikos won Europe's top competition in 1996, 2000, 2002 and 2007. No other teams has won four Euroleague titles since the Final Four era started in 1988. Panathinaikos will tie at five titles with Varese (1970, 1972-73, 1975-96) and Maccabi Tel Aviv (1977, 1981, 2001, 2004-05) if it wins the title. Real Madrid leads the all-time standings with eight titles while CSKA has six - and may lift its seventh trophy on Sunday.
Fragiskos Alvertis won Euroleague titles with the Greens in 1996, 2000, 2002 and 2007? Alvertis is an active player on Panathinaikos' roster despite having played just three minutes this season. Dino Meneghin leads the all-time standings with seven top continental titles. Aldo Ossola and Clifford Luyk each lifted the European Cup trophy five times. Alvertis is one of seven players - Wayne Brabender, Cristobal Rodriguez, Emiliano Rodriguez, Lolo Sainz, Carlos Sevillano and Marino Zanatta are the others - to have won four titles in competition history.
Head coach Zeljko Obradovic is the winningest coach in Euroleague history? He has won six Euroleague titles with Partizan in 1992, Joventut in 1994, Real Madrid in 1995 and Panathinaikos in 2000, 2002 and 2007 - and has the chance to add a seventh crown tonight. The late Alexander Gomelskiy, Pedro Ferrandiz, Ettore Messina and Bozidar Maljkovic are next on the list, each with four Euroleague titles. Coach Messina has the chance to add a fifth Euroleague title on Sunday if CSKA beats Panathinaikos.
Coach Obradovic is also the only coach to win the Euroleague title with four different teams?
Nikos Hatzivrettas, Kostas Tsartsaris and Dimitris Diamantidis are members of a select club of 11 players to have won the Euroleague title while also being a European champion with their respective national teams in this decade? Other players on the list are J.R. Holden, Viktor Khryapa and Zakhar Pashutin (Russia 2007, CSKA 2008), Theodoros Papaloukas (Greece 2005, 2006 CSKA), Sarunas Jasikevicius (Lithuania 2003, Barcelona 3003 and Maccabi 2004), Dejan Bodiroga (Yugoslavia 2001, Panathinaikos 2002 Barcelona, 2003), Marko Jaric (Yugoslavia 2001, Kinder Bologna 2001) and Demos Dikoudis (Greece 2005, Panathinaikos 2007).
Sarunas Jasikevicius has the chance to become the first-ever player to win the Euroleague with his third different team? Jasikevicius already won the Euroleague with FC Barcelona in 2003, and did so it again - and again - with Maccabi Tel Aviv in 2004 and 2005.
Jasikevicius is the only player to win three consecutive Euroleague titles - Barcelona 2003; Maccabi 2004, 2005 - since several Split players did so in 1991? Ramunas Siskauskas - Panathinaikos 2007, CSKA 2008 - will be next on the list if CSKA wins the title.
Jasikevicius is in his fourth Final Four - and has the chance to win his fourth Euroleague title? Seven wins in as many Final Four games - so far so good for Saras.
Five Panathinaikos players - Alvertis, Mike Batiste, Hatzivrettas, Tsartsaris, and Diamantidis – remain from the squad that won the Euroleague title in 2007? Dusan Sakota was with the team, but did not play in the 2007 Final Four.
Antonis Fotsis has the chance to win his first Euroleague title in 10 years? As a teenager, Fotsis helped Panathinaikos to win the Euroleague title in 2000. He also took part in the 2001 FIBA SuproLeague final four with the Greens.
Alvertis made his Panathinaikos debut during the 1990-91 season? He is in his 19th season with Panathinaikos. Some European basketball superstars, such as Ricky Rubio of DKV Joventut, were not even born when Alvertis started playing for the Greens' first team!
Drew Nicholas has the chance to win both the NCAA and the Euroleague titles? Nicholas won the NCAA Championship with Maryland in 2002 and is now at the 2009 Final Four with Panathinaikos. Tony Delk - Kentucky 1996, Panathinaikos 2007 - was the one of the only three players to do it. Tyus Edney and Jiri Zidek (UCLA 1995, Zalgiris 1999) complete this exclusive list. Sasha Kaun, who won the NCAA title with Kansas in 2008, also has the chance to do so if CSKA beats Panathinaikos.
Diamantidis and backcourt mate Jasikevicius are both former Final Four MVPs. Diamantidis received the award in 2007 when Panathinaikos won in Athens and Saras was MVP in Moscow in 2005 with Maccabi Tel Aviv. Both times their teams defeated CSKA in the Final Four. Trajan Langdon of CSKA won the award last season. Langdon, Diamantidis and Saras have the chance to win a second Final Four MVP award? Diamantidis was the 2007 Final Four MVP while Jasikevicius won the award in 2005. Only Toni Kukoc (1990, 1991, 1993) and Dejan Bodiroga (2002, 2003) have won multiple Final Four MVP awards since the format was chosen in 1988.
Hatzivrettas played for CSKA in the past? Hatzivrettas and Ramunas Siskauskas are the only players in this final that worked for both teams. Hatzivrettas made it to the Final Four with CSKA in 2003. J.R. Holden is the only CSKA player that played with him in 2003 and is facing him in the 2009 final.
CSKA has reached its fourth consecutive Euroleague final? Only three teams have previously done so that in European basketball history: ASK Riga (1958-61), Real Madrid (1962-65) and Varese (1970-79).
CSKA is looking for its seventh top continental title? CSKA won European crowns in 1961, 1963, 1969, 1971, 2006 and 2008, becoming the second winningest team in Euroleague history. Real Madrid leads the standings with eight title (1964-65, 1966-67, 1974, 1978, 1980, 1995)
Ramunas Siskauskas has the chance to win a third consecutive Euroleague title? Siskauskas won the Euroleague with Panathinaikos in 2007 and lifted the trophy again with CSKA last season. The only player to threepeat in Europe's top competition since 1991 is Sarunas Jasikevicius (Barcelona 2003, Maccabi 2004, 2005).
Head coach Ettore Messina is the only coach to win multiple Euroleague titles with different teams? He coached Kinder to Euroleague titles in 1998 and 2001 and won the competition with CSKA in 2006 and 2008.
Coach Messina has the chance to become the second winningest coach in Euroleague history? Panathinaikos’s Zeljko Obradovic has six Euroleague titles. Messina has already won four Euroleague titles as a coach, just like Pedro Ferrandiz, Alexander Gomelskiy and Bozidar Maljkovic.
Coach Messina has the chance to win back-to-back Euroleague titles for the first time in his career? Every time that he has won the title, Messina lost the Euroleague final (Kinder 1999, 2002; CSKA 2007) in the following season.
Coach Messina has advanced to the Euroleague final in every Final Four he has taken part in? Messina won three titles (Kinder 1998, CSKA 2006, 2008) and reached four other finals (Kinder 1999, 2002; Benetton 2003; CSKA 2007). Messina also won a Euroleague title in 2001 in a playoff format.
J.R. Holden and Viktor Khryapa are members of an impressive list of players in the last decade to win the Euroleague title while also being a European champion with their respective national teams? Holden and Khryapa won the gold at EuroBasket 2007 with Russia and the Euroleague title with CSKA last season. Other players to simultaneously be both Euroleague and European champions in that span are Theodoros Papaloukas (Greece 2005, CSKA 2006), Jasikevicius (Lithuania 2003, Barcelona 2003 and Maccabi 2004), Dejan Bodiroga (Yugoslavia 2001, Panathinaikos 2002 and Barcelona 2003), Zakhar Pashutin (Russia 2007, CSKA 2008), Marko Jaric (Yugoslavia 2001, Kinder Bologna 2001) and Nikos Hatzivrettas, Demos Dikoudis, Kostas Tsartsaris and Dimitris Diamantidis (Greece 2005, Panathinaikos 2007)
Matjaz Smodis and coach Messina won the Euroleague together with Kinder Bologna in 2001? Smodis and Messina won it again with CSKA in 2006 and 2008. David Andersen, now playing with Regal FCB, also won the 2001 and 2008 titles.
Smodis has played the Euroleague final with three different teams? Smodis appeared in the title game with Kinder Bologna (2002) and Fortitudo Bologna (2004) before doing so with CSKA (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009). Added to the 2001 finals, Smodis is in his seventh Euroleague final.
Smodis has the chance to win his fourth Euroleague title, becoming the 11th player to do so? He would join legendary center Dino Meneghin as the only players to win at least four Euroleague titles and to do so with more than one team.
Smodis is one of the only two players to reach the Euroleague final with three different teams? He played for the title with Kinder Bologna in 2001 and 2002, with Fortitudo in 2004 and again with CSKA in 2006, 2007 and 2008. Sarunas Jasikevicius (Barcelona 2003, Maccabi 2004, 2005, Panathinaikos 2009) has just joined him on this exclusive list.
Sasha Kaun has the chance to become the fourth player to win both the NCAA and the Euroleague titles? Kaun won the NCAA Championship with Kansas last season. The three players to have previously accomplished this feat are: Tyus Edney and Jiri Zidek (UCLA 1995, Zalgiris 1999) and Tony Delk (Kentucky 1996, Panathinaikos 2007). Drew Nicholas, who won the NCAA title with Maryland in 2002, will join this club if Panathinaikos beats CSKA in the final.
Siskauskas had 20 points to make Panathinaikos beat CSKA in the 2007 Euroleague final? He was the Greens’ top scorer. Both teams have not played since that game – and meet again in the Euroleague final!