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Media Reaction to the 2012 Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four
May 16, 2012
HURRIYET DAILY NEWS
Olympiacos completes inspiring comeback story
"Olympiacos’ Turkish Airlines Euroleague victory is the perfect comeback story - both on and off the court. Georgios Printezis made a last-second shot to beat CSKA Moscow 62-61 on May 13, giving Olympiacos Piraeus its first Turkish Airlines Euroleague title in 15 years, in arguably the greatest comeback European basketball has ever seen. After the game, Ivkovic was asked whether winning the trophy with this unheralded team was in any way sending out a message to the basketball world. A humble and cool Ivkovic said: "I will go to the dressing room now and celebrate with my players. And then the message will be to keep working," adding: "This victory is not important. It’s how we came to this point that’s important." This brilliant team effort has resulted in one of the most memorable victories in the history of European basketball. And the way this club was able to cope with dire circumstances is likely to show the way to other middle-level clubs aspiring to go all the way to the top."
"Olympiacos Piraeus won the Euroleague in dramatic style after being written off, even by many of their own fans, as title candidates before this season’s premier club basketball competition. Led by their Serbian coach Dusan Ivkovic, a trophy-laden tactical maestro in his second spell in charge of Olympiacos, the Greek outfit upset 2010 winners Barcelona in the semis before overpowering six-time winner CSKA."
"The greatest miracle in the history of European basketball took place in Istanbul, with Olympiacos taking the most exciting final in history (62-61) and wrote an epic!"
"With a legendary comeback, Olympiacos came from 19 points behind against the absolute favorite of the event, CSKA Moscow, and won the final of the Euroleague by 62-61 to stand at the top of Europe. The team upset all predictions, some of which didn't even put them in the Final Four."
Olympiakos defy odds to win Euroleague
"Trailing strong favourites CSKA Moscow 53-34 midway through the third quarter in the final, Olympiacos dug deep and completed a stunning fightback after Georgios Printezis scored on the buzzer to give them a 62-61 win. For Ivkovic, it was a gratifying finale as he won the second Euroleague title with Olympiacos after guiding them to their first success in Europe's elite competition in 1997."
"Regarding the final? Without a doubt the most thrilling one in recent history, probably ever. Something that goes beyond the limits of reason when a team with an average age of 22 takes the title from the hands of the best players in Europe. Olympiacos is the second youngest team ever to win the European title."
"I had prepared an analysis of the title game. I had it ready before the end of the third quarter. In it I wrote that Olympiacos was too light against CSKA Moscow and that the defense seemed to have no order at all. In fact I also wrote that Olympiacos had made more mistakes (9) than points (7). (...) And at the end I took that page and tore it apart. I pushed the "delete" button..."
The legend is alive and reigns
"The magic and apoteosis of basketball. Olympiacos forced Europe to bow down and even earned the ovation from the Panathinaikos fans. In the most surprising Euroleague outcome, Olympiacos repeated the 1997 success in a way that will be always remembered. In the end, Printezis scored the basket that was the coup de grace on CSKA for the 61-62 final. A finale that only basketball can offer. And Istanbul also knows how to deal that kind of emotion. It was in 1992 that Djordjevic's three-pointer gave Partizan the title for the then rookie and now master Obradovic, and Printezis did the same to give Ivkovic his second crown."
"The 'enfants terribles' of Olympiacos managed to bend the experience of the CSKA Moscow stars by 61-62 and became Euroleague champions for the second time ever!"
Olympiacos Comeback Our Fault - CSKA's Kirilenko
"Kirilenko, who was named Euroleague MVP this season, insisted the Russians only had themselves to blame. 'You can't let your opponents catch up like that, after having a 19 points lead,' Kirilenko told RIA Novosti. 'We gave up the initiative in the third quarter and didn't control the game, waiting for the match to finish instead of playing. We can only bow down before Olympiacos. They showed a strong will and rescued this match with great basketball.'"
Ivkovic upset CSKA
by Evgeniy Dzichovsky
"The gap between CSKA and Olympiacos melted before our eyes. Ten points, seven, five and then three with four minutes to go. Our dismay combined with the frenzy of the Greeks that was setting the venue on fire."
The Greeks were not really afraid of anything. The very young Papanikolaou played the best game of his life, and Printezis won it by beating his opponents at the rim a split second before the final siren. That's just how things turned out.
MOSKOVSKY KOMSOMOLETS - MKRU
Tears in Istanbul: CSKA loses Euroleague title
CSKA Moscow was one hundredths – even one thousandths – of a step from victory in the main event of the Olds World – the Euroleague final. After the buzzer, Sinan Erdem in Istanbul was like a boiling pot of red and white colors. The army team’s sector instantly deserted.
A chic boat took us to the ceremony of awarding the best players in the Euroleague. Amazing in its beauty was the view from the Bosphorus. Our Turkish guide, explained to us not to go this evening on the street. Somewhere a distant flame flickered in a football stadium where Galatasaray played Fenerbahce. After a 0-0 result, the former became the champion of Turkey. The last time CSKA won the Euroleague was in 2008. In Madrid. CSKA won and on the same day local football team Real did too. Here's Istanbul and Galatasaray wins .A good agreement. Alas…
Kirilenko: Victory should not be missed after leading by 19
Kirilenko: “Olympiacos demonstrated the strength of its character. Of course, it should be impossible to lose when leading by 19, but before the Ivkovic and his players I can only take my hat off; they played really well, especially in the second half… [This loss] is even tougher than the defeat to the French in the semifinals of the European championship.”
Printezis performs the miracle and serves the cup to Olympiacos
by Alvaro Sanchez
"The threes of young Papanikolaou illuminated his teammates. Spanoulis was the spiritual leader and the points came from Printezis and Papanikolaou himself, stellar during all the tourney. After exchanging fouls and free throws, a basket by the former Unicaja player with one second to go made it 62-61, allowing the team from Pireaus to take the cup back to Greece."
Olympiacos performs the miracle and knocks CSKA out
by Josep Margalef
"Fifteen years had to go by so that the old cat that Dusan Ivkovic is could take Olympiacos back to the top in European basketball, and on top of that do it in style: beating the CSKA Moscow of Teodosic and Kirilenko, the big favorite, after coming back from minus 19. A triumph that was the one of faith and not wanting to bend before the Russian giant. In 1997, Ivkovic gave the Reds the first title in a final against Barcelona. Yesterday he repeated the feat in Istanbul in a finale not for the faint of heart."
Olympiacos is champ after a huge comeback
"The Greek team got over a first half not worthy of a Euroleague finalist and persisted until having the Russian team against the ropes and let them be the ones to have the fear to win. And all that even if the game had a clear CSKA color after seeing the first half. CSKA Moscow managed to overcome a disastrous first quarter - the worst scoring quarter in the history of the Final Four (10-7) - and also probably regarding the level of the game. On the other hand, it looked like Olympiacos would bear that burden all game long."
A comeback for the ages
by Jose Ignacio Huguet
"All the Euroleague titles are worth the same, but some of them are regarded as more valuable because of the way they were won. That is the case of the Sunday final between CSKA Moscow, the superfavorite of the competition, and Olympiacos, who detsroyed all odds to be the protagonist in an unthinkable success. The Greeks came back from minus 19 in the last 12 minutes to turn a 53-34 into a 61-62 after the Printezis basket in the last second."
CSKA fooled at the Buzzer. Title to Olympiacos!
By Stefano Valenti
"An incredible victory, if you consider that at 12 minutes to the end CSKA was in full control of the game, at 53-34, a score that told all about the poor offensive performance by the Greeks, who until that point had only three players who scored. But nobody could've foreseen at that moment that they would experience a completely different game, best told by what was written on the scoreboard from that moment forward: CSKA 8 - Olympiacos 28."
GAZZETTA DELLO SPORT
Euroleague, Olympiacos champions, CSKA Moscow fooled at the last moment
By Luca Chiabotti
"Georgios Printezis enters the history of basketball: with seven-tenths of a second to the end, he scores the basket that gives Olympiacos the second continental title in its history after an incredible comeback. Fables do exist; Dusan Ivkovic’s team is down by 19 points after 28 minutes and beats CSKA 62-61 playing with three players born in 1990 - Sloukas, Mantzaris and a stellar Papanikolaou; with Hines, the smallest center in Europe a few seasons ago in Legadue; and obviously, with Printezis, author of 10 points in the last quarter. When the star Spanoulis comes back in, the comeback is already a river in full flow. It's the fable for those who say that winning and losing is decided only on the money spent. The CSKA of the NBA stars seem too superior to throw away the trophy, but this is Europe."
The Olympiacos exploit
"Improbable. Unbelievable. It is difficult to avoid the superlatives when narrating the impossible explosion made by Olimpiacos, miraculous European champion at the expense of the big favor made by CSKA Moscow (62-61)..."
Olympiacos, champions of Europe despite the crisis
"Olympiacos has made without any doubt the biggest explosion in Euroleague history, Sunday May 13, overcoming CSKA Moscow in the Final of the biggest competition of the old continent."
Olympiacos Wins Euroleague Championship on Buzzer Beater
"Spanoulis, often maligned for his tendency to hog all the late game heroics for himself, saw Georgios Printezis alone on the baseline and sent it his way. Without dribbling, the Greek power forward thrust the ball delicately over Andrei Kirilenko’s head and through the net with only 0.7 seconds left on the clock. Siskauskas tried to call a timeout that CSKA didn’t have — the refs either didn’t notice or didn’t care— and Milos Teodosic chucked the ball nearly the length of the court toward a streaking Kirilenko. As AK leapt for it, it was Olympaicos’ 6-foot-6 center Kyle Hines who jumped with him to poke it away from the MVP and secure Olympiacos their first Euroleague Championship since 1997 with a 62-61 win. Quickness beating length. Appropriate."
Law unsung hero of Olympiakos success : Ivkovic
"Olympiacos Piraeus point guard Acie Law (...) shrugged off an ankle injury to help Olympiacos to a 62-61 win over CSKA Moscow in Sunday's rip-roaring Euroleague final. 'Law is the unsung hero of our success because after the semifinal win over Barcelona on Friday, his ankle was in such a bad shape he couldn't walk down the stairs from his hotel room for meals,' Olympiacos coach Dusan Ivkovic said. 'He played through the pain and was instrumental in the fightback because CSKA's offence was ground to a halt when he came off the bench,' said the 68-year old Serb who also coaches his country's national team."
Printezis Priceless, Papanikolaou Perfect And Olympiacos Are Euroleague Champions
"You can analyze this game which ever which way you want but it came down to one team being able to trust each other down to the last man and another team who couldn’t. Whether it was a Euroleague rookie stepping up and nailing a clutch three or the young Papanikolaou counted on as the second scoring option all game, everyone believed in each other. Heart, a drive to win, and being brought along by the best teacher in the business, Dusan Ivkovic, was a perfect storm for Olympaicos."
Ynet – YEDIOT AHRONOT
Sensation: Olympiacos is the champion of Europe!
"A wild night. Olympiacos recorded one of the biggest surprises in European basketball history with a dramatic 62-61 win over Moscow with a game-winning basket by Printezis with 0.7 seconds left."
There is another way: Olympiacos’s road to the title
by Eran Sela
"The really big story is that the Greeks won the title with 0 points from their three American foreign players: Joey Dorsey, Acie Law and Kyle Hines completed 43 minutes together without a single point, and still Olympiacos won. How? All the right reasons. An experienced coach who proved that even with less money you can build a good team; one local mega-star, Vassilis Spanoulis, who was named MVP and was always a dangerous offensive player; and a group of tough and determined young players around him who stepped up in an outstanding way."
Olympiacos the Kings of Europe
"What a final! In the really last second Olympiacos Piraeus wins in Istanbul the Euroleague title 2012. The Hero: Georgios Printezis, who made in the last 0.7 second the winning point. The Greeks win 62:61 against the favorites from CSKA Moscow. So crazy: 12 minutes before the end of the game the Russians lead by 19 points (53:34). But Olympiacos fought and didn't give up and turned things around with the eventual final MVP, Vassilis Spanoulis (15 points). But the unsung hero is definitely Kostas Papanikolaou with his 18 points. Papanikolou: 'There are no words which can describe how I feel now. It the greatest moment in my life. We have the best fans in the world.' The fans can be looking forward to the next year: The Final Four 2013 will host in the O2 Arena in London."
Incredible comeback: Piraeus shock CSKA!
"The Russian star ensemble of Andrei Kirilenko (new Euroleague MVP and Defensive Player of the Year), Milos Teodosic and Nenad Krstic were leading with unbelievable 19 points (53:34). They seemed to outclass the apparently weaker opposing team of Olympiacos Piraeus, when suddenly Olympiacos came back with a 14:0 run. With a last attack from Georgios Printezis they managed to turn things around, and whilst having taken the lead only once in the whole game, it was enough to make the big win. The top-scorer for the Greek side was Kostas Papanikolaou (18 points), and the Finals MVP was Vassilis Spanoulis (15 points). Kyle Hines: “When we felt worst, we showed our best side. An incredible feeling. Oh my God! Nobody thought that we would make it, nobody! We were the only ones who believed in us.”
The floater to Happiness
Interview Jordi Bertomeu: “Real Madrid is more valuable than every NBA-Team”
SPOX: "Last Sunday, European Basketball passed an unforgettable evening: Underdog Olympiacos Piraeus triumphed against the stars from CSKA Moscow in one of possibly the most dramatic Euroleague finals in Euroleague-history. Which status will this game have?"
Jordi Bertomeu: "It was a game of historic proportions. We saw a final that held the tension and athleticism of few elite sports. A finish to the game of epic proportions. Today Euroleague Basketball has made a great step forward and far exceeded expectations."
Olympiacos wins the Euroleague in the last second!
"CSKA Moscow reached the final with Olimpiacos Piraeus after trumping the champion Panathinakos Athens. Most of the game saw Olympiacos running behind CSKA Moscow. After 20 minutes it was looking good for the Russians, and the halftime result was 34:20. But then Olimpiacos made a sudden comeback, with a triumphant last-second pointer from Georgios Printezis bringing about a 62:61 win for Olympiacos. In front of 15,550 fans, Kostas Papanikolaou proved to be the top scorer with 18 points. It's the second time that Olympiacos have been awarded the highest competition title in Europe. In 1997 they won the former FIBA Euroleague, and now they have won again, their first time since the new Euroleague was established in 2000. The Olympiacos Piraeus team must be proud of their player Kyle Hines, who joined the team this season from German champions Bamberg, and found himself in the Euroleague final depite Bamberg being kicked out of the competition in the first round."
The greatest comeback ever
"Olympiacos Piraeus caused a sensation in the Euroleague final. The Greeks came from 19 points down to stun CSKA Moscow. Kostas Papanikolaou said with a smile: 'Just look at the result, I don't need to say anything. I could never dream of this. Olympiacos is my family.'"
Crazy: Olympiacos wins the Euroleague
"After one of the most outrageous comebacks in history of sport, Olympiacos Piraeus is Euroleague champion for the second time. The Greeks had already won the semifinal in a surprise victory against FC Barcelona, and so they continued with a memorable final game against CSKA Moscow (62:61). CSKA coach Jonas Kazlauszkas appeared perplexed: 'It's not easy to find words after such a game. In the end of the third quarter we had lost the control of the game. Maybe we thought that the game was over.' Olympiacos coach Dusko Ivkovic: 'The last quarter is hard to explain…'"
Olympiacos: Crisis brings about progress
What happened next, some are inclined to call a miracle, others chance, but you've seen it all yourself. "Duda" fought not only with the Kazlauskas, but with himself. The search for optimal lineup combinations took a long time, but eventually they were found. He finally sat down Acie Law and turned to the young Evangelos Mantzaris and Kostas Sloukas. They were destined to run the engine and Spanoulis later appeared as well as Papanikolaou. In the end, Siskauskas could not match Spanoulis’s desire and will to win. Olympiacos goes down in history, having made the biggest comeback in the history of the Euroleague finals, and deservedly won the trophy.
Olympiacos knocks out Teodosic and Krstic in the last second, Ivkovic European champ
"Olympiacos came without options to win the title, but first it defeated Barcelona and then, against CSKA, showed that they were the better team and that to win the title, players with multimillion contracts are not necessary."
Interview with winning coach Dusan Ivkovic
Ivkovic: "This result must be an encouragement to all countries, to all clubs who never stopped working with the young players."
Ivkovic: "We rose from the ashes"
"We rose from the ashes, not only in the game against CSKA Moscow. I think we can speak for the whole season."
"The Greek national team has given international basketball some thrills the past several years with a European title in 2005 and a stunning upset of the United States in the semifinals of the 2006 FIBA World Championship. Georgios Printezis could become a key man in the national side again, too, if his heroics at the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four in Istanbul on Sunday are anything to go by. The 27-year-old had 12 points, including a floater on the left baseline with 0.7 seconds remaining, to cap a remarkable comeback for Olympiacos and give them a 62-61 victory over CSKA Moscow in Sunday’s title game at the Sinan Erdem Arena – the venue of the 2010 FIBA World Championship."
FC Barcelona Regal
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Final Four schedule
Friday, May 11, 17:00 CET
CSKA Moscow 66-64 Panathinaikos
Friday, May 11, 20:00 CET
Olympiacos Piraeus 68-64 FC Barcelona Regal
Sunday, May 13, 17:00 CET
Panathinaikos 69-74 FC Barcelona Regal
Sunday, May 13, 20:00 CET
CSKA Moscow 61-62 Olympiacos Piraeus
Aito analyzes the four teams
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2012 Final Four Fan Guide
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