2013-14Final FourSemifinal
May 16, 2014 CET: 18:00
Local time: 18:00 MEDIOLANUM FORUM

Maccabi rallies from 15 down to stun CSKA, advance to championship game!

Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv booked its date with basketball history on Friday as the five-time continental champion fought back from a 15-point deficit late in the third quarter to beat CSKA Moscow 67-68. Tyrese Rice’s basket with 5.5 seconds left secured Maccabi its spot in Sunday’s Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four Championship Game. In the semifinal showdown at the Mediolanum Forum in Milan with CSKA - a rematch of the 2006 and 2008 Euroleague finals - Tel Aviv’s David Blu scored 15 points on 5 three-pointers which jumped him into a tie for the fifth most triples in Final Fours. Blu has made 19 of 35 in seven Final Four games. Rice finished with 13 points while Ricky Hickman and Alex Tyus both scored 10 points. Maccabi will be playing in its 15th final and shooting for its first title since 2005. CSKA meanwhile will have to live with another nightmare collapse at the Final Four and settle for the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four Third Place Game despite Sasha Kaun collecting 14 points, 5 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 blocks. Milos Teosodic added 12 points. Victor Khryapa, whose costly turnover gave Maccabi the chance to win the game, scored 9 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. CSKA big man Kyle Hines scored 6 against Maccabi but lost his bid for a historic three-peat – something that only Sarunas Jasikevicius has done since Spilt won its third consecutive Euroleague title in 1991.

First quarter: Kaun dominates inside for Muscovites

Ricky Hickman opened the scoring at the Final Four with a driving layup, and Kaun answered on the other end with a basket from close range. Yogev Ohayon scored on a fastbreak for Maccabi, but free throws from Kaun and Andrey Vorontsevich gave CSKA a 6-4 lead. Kaun continued to be the biggest factor on the floor, scoring again from close range, then blocking Aley Tyus’s attempt, before his tip-in made it 10-4. Ohayon’s jumper snapped an 8-0 run, but Kaun scored again from close range before Kyle Hines made a short, but tough, fadeaway jumper for a 14-6 lead. Joe Ingles was quick to answer for Maccabi, before Sofoklis Schortsanitis muscled his way for a pair of baskets. That was not the end of Maccabi’s run as Hickman raced for a fastbreak layup that evened the score at 14-14. After a timeout taken by CSKA coach Ettore Messina, Vladimir Micov hit a turnaround jumper to snap the Moscow club’s drought. Tyrese Rice banked in a floater to tie things up again, but Victor Khryapa scored a reverse layup and Sonny Weems split free throws for CSKA, rounding out the scoring in the first quarter at 19-16.

Second quarter: Despite Maccabi’s threes, CSKA remains ahead

Aaron Jackson’s put-back started things, but David Blu hit the first three-pointer of the game to make it 21-19. Khryapa’s dunk and a baseline jumper from Milos Teodosic kept CSKA in front, but Blu nailed another three-pointer to keep Maccabi within 25-22. Maccabi tried to put extra pressure on CSKA’s ball handlers with the occasional full-court press, and after Khryapa’s jumper, Ohayon buried a third Maccabi shot from downtown. But Teodosic answered with a triple-plus-free throw, making it 31-25. Tyus had a tip-in to keep Maccabi in range, but Micov and Kaun protected CSKA’s paint, not allowing the Israeli champs to get any closer. A third personal foul for Schortsanitis was a new issue Maccabi had to deal with, and free throws from Teodosic and Vorontsevich made it the largest margin of the evening, 35-27. In the final minute of the half, Rice split foul shots, then drove for a layup, but Vitaly Fridzon sank a three-pointer, giving CSKA a 38-30 halftime lead.

Third quarter: Difference reaches 15 before Maccabi hints at comeback

The margin reached 10 points at the start of the third quarter, when Weems threw an alley-oop pass to Kaun’s for a dunk. Blu hit a three-pointer before both teams failed to convert on several trips down the floor. It was CSKA that struck next; layups from Micov and Hines made it 44-33, putting the Russian side in control. Devin Smith nailed a triple for Maccabi, but after Teodosic and Tyus traded baskets, Fridzon knocked down a three to restore an 11-point lead. Maccabi’s shot was not falling, and even though Smith came through with another tip-in, Hines answered right back with a second-chance basket of his own. After Krstic nailed a long jumper (his first points of the night), and Weems drove for a little floater, the lead had reached 55-40. However Maccabi managed to cut the deficit in the final minute of the quarter. Rice made free throws, and Hickman buried a triple, making it 55-45.

Fourth quarter: Blu, Rice complete another Maccabi miracle in Milan

Rice continued the run from the end of the third quarter, driving through a crowd for a layup to start the fourth. Kaun continued to be the presence inside, banking it in from two meters, but Tyus fought back with a pair of baskets, including a put-back dunk to make it 57-51, as the Maccabi fans raised the level of the noise to another lever. Khryapa briefly silenced them with a corner triple, but Blu nailed one of his own, keeping Maccabi at the same distance, 60-54. Teodosic made a mid-range jumper, but Hickman’s three-pointer cut the deficit to 62-57 with less than four minutes remaining. Maccabi did not allow a basket for almost three minutes, and Rice drove for a layup that made it a 3-point game. Krstic ended CSKA’s drought, battling under the rim for a tough layup, but Tyus made a put-back for 64-61 with a minute to go. Weems split free throws, and after Smith answered with a layup that cut it to 2 points, Weems sank an off-the-dribble jumper from 5 meters away, giving CSKA a 67-63 lead with 19.2 seconds on the clock. The game was far from over, however. After a Maccabi timeout, Blu hit a three-point shot that made it 67-66, then Blu stole the ball and passed to Rice, who raced for a game-winning layup with 5.5 seconds left. Weems last shot was off and Mediolanum Forum’s yellow majority erupted.

Tyrece Rice and Alex Tyus celebrates - Maccabi Electra - Final Four 2014
Friday, May 16, 2014
Igor Petrinovic, Euroleague.net in Milan
Attendance: 11843 (Tentative)
By Quarter1234
CSKA Moscow19191712
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv16141523
End of Quarter1234
CSKA Moscow19385567
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv16304568
CSKA Moscow
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 TEODOSIC, MILOS 27:52 12 3/4 1/5 3/3   6 6 2 1 2     4 4 14
5 MICOV, VLADIMIR 11:47 4 2/2       3 3     1 1   2 1 6
7 FRIDZON, VITALY 14:52 6   2/4     1 1 1   1     3   2
9 JACKSON, AARON 14:16 2 1/1 0/2   1   1           3   -2
11 PARGO, JEREMY DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
12 KRSTIC, NENAD 15:28 5 2/8   1/2 2 2 4   1 2   1   4 4
13 WEEMS, SONNY 31:52 6 2/8 0/5 2/4 1 2 3 6   3   3 2 2 -4
14 ZOZULIN, ALEKSEY DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
20 VORONTSEVICH, ANDREY 19:17 3   0/2 3/4   2 2     1     1 2 2
24 KAUN, SASHA 22:25 14 6/7   2/2 2 3 5   3 1 2   1 3 24
31 KHRYAPA, VICTOR 28:45 9 3/5 1/2   1 9 10 3 1 1     3 3 19
42 HINES, KYLE 13:26 6 3/4   0/1 1 1 2       1   1 1 7
Team           2 4 6     1         5
Totals 200:00 67 22/39 4/20 11/16 10 33 43 12 6 13 4 4 20 20 77
        56.4% 20% 68.8%
Min: Minutes played; Pts: Points; 2FG M-A: 2-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); 3FG M-A: 3-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); FT M-A: Free Throws (Made-Attempted); Rebounds: O (Offensive), D (Defensive), T (Total); As: Assists; St: Steals; To: Turnovers; Bl: Blocks (Fv: In Favor / Ag: Against); Fouls: Cm (Commited), Rv (Received); PIR: Performance Index Rating
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 RICE, TYRESE 23:59 13 5/9 0/1 3/4   5 5 2 1       3 7 19
6 SMITH, DEVIN 22:07 7 2/4 1/3   1 8 9     1     3 2 10
7 HICKMAN, RICKY 33:55 10 2/7 2/3 0/1 1 2 3 1   2   1   5 9
8 INGLES, JOE 15:11 2 1/1 0/2             1     1 1 -1
9 TYUS, ALEX 22:38 10 5/8     4 1 5       3 1 4 1 11
10 PNINI, GUY 17:20     0/2     3 3           2 1  
11 ZIZIC, ANDRIJA 2:20   0/1           1              
12 OHAYON, YOGEV 16:01 7 2/4 1/2     1 1 4 1 2   1 2   5
13 BLU, DAVID 31:57 15 0/2 5/9     2 2 1 1 1     2   10
14 ALTIT, BEN DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
21 SCHORTSANITIS, SOFOKLIS 14:32 4 2/6   0/1   2 2     2 1 1 3 3 -1
22 HARARI, ARAD DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Totals 200:00 68 19/42 9/22 3/6 6 24 30 9 3 9 4 4 20 20 62
        45.2% 40.9% 50%
Head coach: BLATT, DAVID

Head Coaches

CSKA Moscow
"Obviously my congratulations to Maccabi for this win. I don’t have much to say. It’s hard to be up for 39 minutes and then lose it in the end. For the first three quarters we played with good discipline, we were controlling the rebounding and the tempo of the game. In the last quarter we didn’t do any of those things. We gave up 23 points. We made a lot of little mistakes and that summed up one after another and that led us to losing the game. I’ve seen enough shit in my life and this is serious, but it’s handle able. This is painful. This is different. "
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv
"I can’t tell you much. It’s hard for me to even talk about it right now. First of all, respect and appreciation to CSKA, this coach and their assistants. I’ve worked with both of them. And the great players. I feel we beat a better team than us today and we did it in amazing fashion. There are games that you always remember and this will be one of those for us. And I hope we can take that momentum into the final because we will need it.

"At 15 down, I said we just have to gain a little bit of ground before the end of the quarter. It was too much to say we can still win this game. We got within striking distance and the most important thing I said was with five minutes left. l didn’t talk tactics. I said, ‘look at the scoreboard. Remember when it was 10. Now it’s five. Now they have the monkey on their back.’

"I thought we had a chance. I never felt that we couldn’t win that game. We’ve done this before, maybe not against such a formidable opponent like CSKA. But no, I didn’t think it was over and I didn’t hear the fat lady singing.

"When we stole the ball [on the inbounds play with 13.5 seconds left], my eyes went black. I didn’t see anything. I don’t remember the play that Tyrese Rice made. All I said was, wow, we’re going to win the game. It has to be. But I still haven’t seen the shot.

"I will tell you who the best player was today, that was the fans. I walked into the gym and it was yellow. I thought I was in Nokia Arena. What respect to the fans."


CSKA Moscow
"We controlled the game, then they put pressure on us making a couple of late runs, making big shots including that incredible one by David Blu. They made the big plays, we didn't, turning the ball over. We had the control of the contest for 39 minutes, but basketball's 40. In the end, Maccabi did what they were supposed to do. Pressure? Everybody feels pressure in a Final Four, when you're playing to win the title."
CSKA Moscow
"They wanted it more than we did. We didn't execute our offense; they made shots and we turned the ball over. We cannot do that, especially in an important game like this. We didn't execute well down the stretch like we have been doing all year and it cost us tonight; it cost us a loss. We gave it away, of course we did. We had the game won and all we had to do is stay together and play hard as a team down the stretch. And we didn't do that."
CSKA Moscow
"I don't know what happened; I think we stopped playing. It is hard to say because we were playing well. There is nothing to say; when you have a game in your hands, leading by 15 points and everything goes well for us, they started to make some shots and tried to go all or nothing, and won. You cannot point our one or two bad plays; we were playing really well and stopped playing for 6-7 minutes. It has been our biggest mistake all season. Sometimes we stop playing for a few minutes and that caused us to lose the game."
CSKA Moscow
"Tough loss. We didn't play well in the last quarter. We made some mistakes and let them come back in the game. We made many mistakes and I think we gave it away. It is tough, but we have to bounce back from this and try to get ready for the next game. They had great intensity and great support. Their crowd allowed them to think they could win the game. There is noone to blame but us. We let them come back in the fourth quarter."
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv
"Unbelievable. I just saw the one on one situation, and tried to go and make the play. Plain and simple. This means everything. This is everything. This is what you play basketball for, to be in these situations, with game-winning shots to go to the championship game. You can't write a script any better than that."
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv
"We've been in that situation many times before. We can play very well in the second half, adjusting during the halftime. I'm just really proud of everybody. CSKA has plenty of big, strong guys packing the paint, they never give easy baskets. In the last quarter I tried to do different things, to find the holes in their defense, getting some offensive rebounds. Just do those things that help a team to win."
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv
"Is Milan a magic place for us? I don't know about magic, we know that we all kept fighting, we never stopped playing to the end of the clock. We showed that anything can happen. We felt confident coming here: CSKA played a great game, we were just able to make the right plays when we needed."
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv
" I think this is a testament to our team. Everybody choses to fight, no matter the situation we are in. And we continue to grow throughout the year. Being in this type of situation before, especially in here in Game 1 against Milan, everybody kind of grew up, and realized that the spirit of Maccabi, the history of the club and out great fans can carry you a long way. We have great coaches, great management, they always support us and that keeps us confident in our abilities and our work. We fought out some pretty impressive games in this building. We came here, everybody considered us an underdog without a chance, but we always believed in our preparation and feel like we can compete with anybody. We came here to win."
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv
"This feels great. To get a win like that, it been done all year. We fought all year. Team and players and lots of people have written us off, but we stuck with what we believed in those games. We play on size, we fight, we just do whatever we can. We are not willing to lose and it is a pleasure to play on this team. Now, we are one game away."