Turkish Airlines Euroleague
July 23, 2014
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50 YEARS MEMORIES: LIMOGES' 1993 TITLE
1993 brings a surprise from France
Perhaps the biggest surprise in Euroleague history came in 1993, when CSP Limoges became the only French team to lift the top continental trophy. Limoges had landed head coach Bozidar Maljkovic, who had already led Split to the 1989 and 1990 Euroleague titles. Limoges had lost Stephane Ostrowski, but kept players like Richard Dacoury, Jim Bilba and Frederic Forte to go along with star guards Michael Young and Jure Zdovc. Limoges registered early losses against PAOK and Virtus Bologna and few people expected them to reach high in the competition. Maljkovic had opted for slow-paced basketball looking for good options for both Zdovc and Young. It paid off with five consecutive wins that allowed Limoges to get closer to the quarterfinals. In the end, Limoges, Virtus, PAOK and Scavolini joined a four-way tie atop the standings in one of the most balanced group stages ever seen. Due to point differential, Limoges was second and faced Olympiacos in the quarterfinals. Zarko Paspalj had 27 points to lead Olympiacos past Limoges 70-67 in Game 1. The best-of-three series moved to Limoges for Game 2 and the hosts got a 59-53 win behind 20 points from Young. It all went down to Game 3, in which Limoges edged Olympiacos 60-58. With the game tied at 58-58, Paspalj stepped out of bounds, while Zdovc beat the buzzer with a four-meter jumper, allowing Limoges to reach the Final Four. Real Madrid, featuring Arvydas Sabonis, was the opponent in the semifinals but Limoges got a 62-52 win behind 20 points from Young and 14 from Dacoury. Once in the final, Limoges rallied from a 6-point halftime deficit to edge Benetton Treviso 59-55. Forte had a critical steal on the great Toni Kukoc to seal the outcome down the stretch. One of the biggest upsets in sports history was a fact and Limoges's dream came true simply through hard work.
INTERVIEW: JURE ZDOVC
"The way we won showed the way that ball would be played for some time after that."
There are journeymen and then there are journeymen. Jure Zdovc not only played on 12 teams in a 20-year career, but he was a leader everywhere he went, although never moreso than in Limoges, France in 1993.
"It was a completely new team and definitely we didn't have the great talent to think about winning the Euroleague. In our mind was just to try to win as many games as we could."