Final Four Round 2 - May 08, 2005 CET: 17:40 Local time: 18:40 - OLYMPIYSKY ARENA
FINAL FOUR, ROUND 2

Records

Ave.   Ave.
1-0 Final Four 1-0
2-0 Playoffs 2-0
0-0 Eighthfinals 0-0
0-0 Top 16 0-0
0-0 Regular Season 0-0
19-4 Overall 13-10

Referees

Crew Chief
BRAZAUSKAS, ROMUALDAS, Lithuania
Referee
CAZZARO, STEFANO, Italy
Umpire
JUNGEBRAND, CARL, Finland

Team Stats

Ave.   Ave.
92.1 Points 83.7
34.2 Rebounds 33.0
8.3 O. Rebounds 9.8
25.9 D. Rebounds 23.2
17.3 Assists 15.2
11.5 Steals 10.5
4.3 Blocks 2.2
11.7 Turnovers 12.9
57.8 % 2PT 53.0 %
39.9 % 3PT 38.3 %
77.7 % FT 77.6 %
112.3 Index 93.5

Player Stats

Ave.   Ave.
18.2 / PARKER, ANTHONY Points 18.1 / MACIJAUSKAS, ARVYDAS
5.5 / BASTON, M. Rebounds 6.3 / SCOLA, LUIS
2.1 / BASTON, M. OR 2.0 / SCOLA, LUIS
4.9 / PARKER, ANTHONY DR 4.3 / SCOLA, LUIS
5.3 / Jasikevicius Assists 3.1 / PRIGIONI, PABLO
2.0 / PARKER, ANTHONY Steals 1.3 / SCOLA, LUIS
1.6 / BASTON, M. Blocks 0.7 / SCOLA, LUIS
3.0 / Jasikevicius Turnovers 2.6 / SCOLA, LUIS
68.3 % / BASTON, M. 2PT 61.1 % / PRIGIONI, PABLO
47.6 % / PARKER, ANTHONY 3PT 50.0 % / DAVID, KORNEL
93.8 % / Jasikevicius FT 100.0 % / GABINI, ROBERTO
25.5 / PARKER, ANTHONY Index 18.5 / MACIJAUSKAS, ARVYDAS

THE TAKE

Betts, Macijauskas and Calderon - Tau Ceramica - FF Moscow 2005 Tau Ceramica and Maccabi Tel Aviv will battle for the Euroleague title in the Final at the Olympiysky Arena, Moscow, on Sunday at 16:40 CET in a game that will make history no matter which team wins. Maccabi Tel Aviv could become the first team to win consecutive Euroleague titles since Split won three in a row from 1989 to 1991. Its head coach Pini Gershon has reached its fourth consecutive continental final with Maccabi. He could win his third consecutive title after leading Maccabi to the Suproleague title in 2001, retiring after that and making a big comeback to win the Euroleague title in 2004. Speaking of triple crowns, Maccabi point guard Sarunas Jasikevicius could become the first player to win three consecutive Euroleague titles since several Split players did it in the 1989-1991 period. Maccabi is also searching its fifth continental title, as along with those titles won by Gershon, the team clinched the Euroleague title in 1977 and 1980. Meanwhile, Tau Ceramica has reached its second Euroleague final, as it lost to Kinder Bologna in a best-of-five final series in the first edition of the competition, back in 2001. Only Luis Scola, Sergi Vidal and head coach Dusko Ivanovic stay on the team from back then. Ivanovic can join a select group of three people who won the Euroleague title both as a player as a coach, something that only Svetislav Pesic, Lolo Sainz and Armenak Alachatchan did before. Scola can become the 10th player in basketball history to win both the Euroleague title and the Olympic gold medal, joining the likes of Arvydas Sabonis, Bill Bradley, Sergei Belov or Mirza Delibasic, among others. Maccabi has won 22 consecutive games since losing to Winterthur FC Barcelona in Game 14 of the Euroleague regular season. It has been unbeaten throughout the Top 16 and the quarterfinals playoffs before downing Panathinaikos 91-82 in the first semifinal on Friday. Meanwhile, Tau Ceramica managed to beat CSKA Moscow 78-85 in the second semifinal to clinch a spot in the Title Game. CSKA had a 53-1 overall record this season before entering this game, but Tau managed to provide one of the most surprising results in Euroleague history. Both Ivanovic and Tau president Jose Antonio Querejeta have already won a Euroleague title against Maccabi, as Ivanovic's Jugoplastika beat Maccabi in the 1989 Euroleague final, while Querejeta played for Real Madrid when it won the Euroleague title back in 1980.

Maccabi Elite - FF Moscow 2005With the performance of both teams' benches in the semifinals, it is safe to say that the matchups for the final are varied and unpredictable. At the same time, both teams count on major stars that anchor their games inside and outside. For Maccabi, three all-Euroleague nominees head the list of options that Gershon can call on. Jasikevicius is not only a deadly shooter and master passer, but a born leader who communicates continually with all his teammates. His twin specialties, penetrating to dish assists or killing opponents from the arc, make him Tau's biggest challenge. The responsibility for trying to match Jasikevicius falls to the fearless Jose Manuel Calderon, whose strengths fall more to scoring, by driving or shooting, although he makes few mistakes in running Tau's offense. Maccabi's next go-to star is the Euroleague MVP, swingman Anthony Parker, whose relative quietness in the semifinal, until he led his team out of trouble in the third quarter, is a warning to Tau: Parker rarely is quiet for long, and showed when needed during the semifinal that his pull-up jumper remains essentially unstoppable. A first-year Euroleague player, jumping jack Travis Hansen, will have the chore of handling Parker. Inside, Maccabi looks to Nikola Vujcic, a key link to the system not only as a fine scorer, but as perhaps the best-passing big man in Europe. Tau counters with toughness and experience from Kornel David, whose consistency gives his team something to count on every night. His 12 rebounds in the semifinal were huge for Tau. If Maccabi's big guns play point guard, small forward and center, Tau certainly has the shooting guard and power forward spots under control. One of the sharpest shooters on the planet, Arvydas Macijauskas, was magic in the semifinal, his Final Four debut, delivering a memorable corner triple off an inbound pass with a second on the shot clock that killed CSKA. He'll have a big-game performer, Tal Burstein of Maccabi, to deal with on the defensive end, too. Inside, Tau's anchor on offense is Luis Scola, a virtuoso in the paint who struggled with foul trouble in the semi. Like Parker, Scola is more likely than not to explode in the next game, although he'll have an aggressive shot-blocker to deal with in Maceo Baston.

If it seems like Maccabi has a three-to-two advantage in scoring starters, however, the benches will have a lot to say in this Final, as they did in the semis. The littlest man on the court, Maccabi veteran Derrick Sharp, proved again on Friday that he, too, can take over a game if given the slightest opportunity. He'll see time against Tau defensive ace Pablo Prigioni, who also can hit the big shot. Elsewhere on the perimeter, steady Sergi Vidal of Tau got unexpectedly big help from Roberto Gabini against CSKA. Considering Hansen's inexperience, both will be key to coach Dusko Ivanovic's plans to stop Parker, whose backup is veteran Gur Shelef, an ace at giving strong cameo minutes. In the paint, Tau brings a little more experience to the Final, in part because Maccabi lost a key big man in Deon Thomas due to injury just two weeks ago. In the semifinal, Nestoras Kommatos put in 18 solid minutes, taking and making just a shot, but pulling rebounds while making steals and blocks. He and big man Yaniv Green, a capable scorer, will have their work cut out for them against veteran Andrew Betts, who played an inspired semifinal, and active young talent Tiago Splitter, himself a shot-blocking threat. Look for Tau's bench to be on the court more with the Maccabi starters, as in the semifinal, Ivanovic gave them plenty important minutes. How they handle those minutes against the Maccabi superstars will go a long way toward deciding the chances of Tau, a Final Four newcomer, to try to unseat the defending champions.
Saturday, May 7, 2005
Euroleague.net

Quotes Head Coaches

GERSHON, PINI
Maccabi Elite
"I do hope that tomorrow we're going see a top-level game. We'll go as the defending champions, we'll have a large Israeli audience here, and the game will be watched closely at home. I am sure that the two best teams have arrived at the Final, and are representing the best of the best in basketball. We have many talented players with great skills, both Maccabi and Tau, and those are the players who can really do something tomorrow to give a great push for the development of basketball. I think tomorrow's game will be much more critical and stressful than last year's Final."
"What I think and reality are sometimes two different dimensions. It's not because Tau is worse than CSKA. I think it is much easier to choose a team we know well than a team we don't know well. We knew CSKA much better than we know Tau. But I indicated that CSKA might lose. I know what I'm talking about, but I must say it's not easy to have predictions put into reality. Whenever you feel some kind of external pressure it's not easy to put up your best performances. Do I know all the teams well enough? I have seen many times how CSKA and Tau perform. We have been very attentive, reviewing and talking in meetings yesterday. We discussed all the scenarios in order to be perfectly prepared. That process we started six weeks ago. That doesn't mean we'll see the same things when we play. Yesterday we saw standard schemes, but surprises are always possible. I am talking about both teams and players."
"I see we have a Spanish spy working to find our secrets after having a CSKA spy. Tau is a great team. They have reached the final in excellent shape. They led by eight or nine points all game yesterday and sustained excellent capabilities. What amazed me was how robust their performance was. Should we have had CSKA and Maccabi in the Final, it would have been interesting, too. Now, it so happens, we have Tau. You can make your own opinion, but I can't be more specific about them."
IVANOVIC, DUSKO
Tau Ceramica
"It's true that we haven't played for awhile, but before we did. We lost a game to make the Final Four against them at home a few seasons ago. I don't think that can influence much now. But these days I am sure both teams have got to know each other well, and both teams will take advantage of the time we have now to know each other better."
"We'll see tomorrow. What's sure is that Maccabi is a good team with quality players who are capable of winning any game. They have several who can be decisive. Sharp can and has been many times, and then there are Jasikevicius, Parker, Vujcic. It's a complete team that is playing well, but if they are better or more talented than us, they have to show it tomorrow."
"I think that any time you have an opportunity to play like this one in a Final Four, there is pressure, yes, but I see it as good pressure, nothing negative at all. I don't see any reason at all to be scared or not play our best tomorrow. I have always said that when you play a final, the two teams are playing for the same prize under the same conditions. There is pressure for both, but not more or less for one or the other. It's the same, in my opinion."
"From Tau, you can always expect that we are going to give our best on the court and that we will try to play the best basketball we can in this moment."

Players

JASIKEVICIUS, SARUNAS
Maccabi Elite
"I think Tau is one team that really plays intense and aggressive, they come after you, and I think first of all, we have to sustain all the pressure they are going to put on us. They are going to be physical and we have to be physical, too. If we can achieve that, then we just need to play our game, which is we need to run our offense and concentrate on their key players. So, aside from the physical stuff, rebounding and all the little things like loose balls are always important in finals."
"For every game, there are theories and stuff. I think once the ball is up in the air, we can throw them out. Tau comes after you, they play aggressive and sacrifice their bodies. This to me is the most important. This is just exactly what we have to do in order to compete with them. If we can get past the physical point and how aggressive they play and play at that same level with them, then I think we can play with them and have a chance."
"It hasn't surprised me, knowing both teams, that Tau has won. It's just that CSKA was preparing years for this Final Four, and they were playing at home, and in that sense it's a surprise. But having seen many of the games between CSKA and Tau, I thought last year that Tau could have made it to the Final Four instead of CSKA, but they lost a big opportunity to do so in the last 30 seconds of a game here. Maybe Tau should have won two or three of those games. So Tau is not a poorer opponent. I just thought CSKA would be here because we are here in Moscow. I don' t think Tau is any lesser a team. I know Tau quite a bit. I always had great respect for the club, the coach, the fans and the players. They have high quality players, very athletic. A couple of them can change the game in any moment. They have a young kid from Lithuania who can put his team ahead at any time. If tomorrow we are going to have an option to win, we have to play a great game, with great concentration and be very tough, both physically and mentally."
"The most important thing is to win the title. We are talking about one game that we want to prepare well, mentally and physically. We have 36 hours to get ready for a team we know some, but want to know better so we know what the keys are to doing on the court what our coach asks us to do."
"I was happy the way I played. We weren't playing with kindergarten children. We played against Panathinaikos, a great team with a great coach who prepared for us a lot. Considering those circumstances, I was pretty pleased with myself. If I can do something more for you tomorrow, I'll try. I am here to contribute to my team the best I can. I did my best yesterday and I'll do my best tomorrow. We'll see tomorrow night. We have to play a great game to beat Tau, and we'll see if we can do it."
VUJCIC, NIKOLA
Maccabi Elite
"Tau is a great team which deserves to be there. It will be a really hard game for us. I said you need a guy from Split to win consecutive titles, but (Tau head coach) Dusko Ivanovic was one of the players to help Jugoplastika to win consecutive titles in their first two championships (1989 and 1990). We have played so many years against (Luis) Scola and (Kornel) David that we know each other very well, that will not be a problem. We need to play our game, play our system to win the game."
PARKER, ANTHONY
Maccabi Elite
"We know their personnel and that they're a tough team. They have great players, and they really wanted the game last night. They knew they were going to win it. They are playing great right now, even if they're regular season record doesn't reflect that. They had a lot of injuries and guys out during the season."
"I'm excited. We both had hard games last night, but theirs finished later, so maybe we have an advantage there. But when the ball goes up, all of that goes out the window. Everyone forgets about their aches and pains."
BURSTEIN, TAL
Maccabi Elite
"I never really thought that our opponent is as inexperienced in such situations as Skipper was last year. Tau are here because they deserve it. They were the better team in the semifinals, and they beat the hosting team that everybody expected to see in the Final. They had a slow start but lately they play great. The bench players are always important, and this game won't be an exception. It was great to see the fans in the semifinals, it made us feel like we play at home. I'm sure they'll give us a great support tomorrow as well."
BASTON, MACEO
Maccabi Elite
"Tau is a a tough team. I think a lot of people didn't expect Tau to beat CSKA. But those guys played the odds right and Tau had a great game last night. We have to be really prepared for them, not overlook or underestimate them. They're a talented team and it's going to be a nice battle. We've got to pick it up on defense better. We let Panathinaikos get too many open shots from three and that's how they stayed in the game. Tau has great shooters and inside play. We've got to combine post defense and perimeter defense and take it to them offensively. I'm sure (making history) is on everyone's mind a bit. Like last year we won scoring 118 points and winning by 44, and that beat records, too. I think it's in the back of our minds, but we just have to win the game first. Once that gets done, all the accolades can come after."
SHELEF, GUR
Maccabi Elite
"Tau is a very strong team which plays very tough, very physical. Besides, they are in great shape in the last two months, getting great results. I am not surprised to see them in the final. Still, if both teams play our average game, I think we will be the Euroleague champions. We have to play the way we have been doing it all year. Our fans will be with us, and they will prove they are one of the best crowds in Europe. They follow us everywhere and give all the support they can."
MACIJAUSKAS, ARVYDAS
Tau Ceramica
"Of course, it's the first Final Four for our team, for me and for other players. But most of our players are members of their national teams and have played tough games in the Spanish League, too. Of course, it's not easy to play in your first Final Four, but it's not so bad."
"The referees last night did a very good job. We were a little scared before the game, because CSKA was playing at home. But they did a good job, and tomorrow I think that they'll be great. Maccabi is not a home team tomorrow, either, so I don't expect any problems."
"It's difficult to say what are the keys. Maccabi didn't know us so good and we didn't know Maccabi. Maccabi probably prepared the final against CSKA, thinking two months ago and all season that the final would be Maccabi-CSKA. We broke this and now they play us. We didn't know this team, but today we have all day and tomorrow half a day to prepare and know what we have to do. What are the keys? I don't know: good defense, concentration and that's it."
SPLITTER, TIAGO
Tau Ceramica
"I expect a very tough game. I think it will be a close game for 40 minutes and that it will be decided in the end. We already know that we face a great team, with quality players, who have experience. We won’t feel uncomfortable playing in front of so many Maccabi fans. It’s something normal, we already know what is all about. I’d say that sometimes, when you play good and things are working fine, to play against a hostile crowd can help you."
HANSEN, TRAVIS
Tau Ceramica
"We are really excited about playing this Euroleague Final. We are here and now we want to win of course. We know we are facing a great team. I really think the chances are balanced, we have some time to prepare this game and try to defeat them."
VIDAL, SERGI
Tau Ceramica
"We are really excited and happy to be in a Euroleague Final. We can't wait for the game to start, really. We just have tp play like in the semifinal, going out there knowing that we are a good team and confident about our possibilities. We know we can win and the key is to take it as a normal game and try to play our game. I really think that if we play like we did yesterday, we can win."
DAVID, KORNEL
Tau Ceramica
"I think the final will be pretty much like the game against CSKA Moscow. Although they play almost at home I hope we can beat them. The fans are always is a factor, it’s like when we play at home, our fans are always our sixth man. They will put pressure on the referees but we have to play like yesterday against the Russians. When we win against Benetton in Treviso I think every of us knew that we can beat anybody anywhere."
PRIGIONI, PABLO
Tau Ceramica
"I think we are very happy now. We played good yesterday, a good game, a serious game. I think if we can repeat this tomorrow, play very concentrated and very aggressive, we have our options. Maccabi has a great team. They played great against Panathinaikos. I think they killed them on the fastbreak, which was very good. They have players who can decide games in the last minute, like Jasikevicius and Parker. We have to play hard, play our game and arrive at the end with options. This is a dream for me. A few years ago, I played on a small team in Spain. Now, I have the option of playing the final of the Euroleague. It's about work, working hard everyday and giving 100 percent in practice and in games."
CALDERON, JOSE MANUEL
Tau Ceramica
"We feel great, and we are ready and willing to play this big game. We didn't prepare anything in case we would face Maccabi because we never thought of the Final before. We try to go step by step so we were only ready for the semifinal. But now we are here, we have time to prepare this and we must face the game without fear. We just have to go out and play."
Sarunas Jasikevicius - Maccabi Elite - FF Moscow 2005 Maccabi Tel Aviv has won it all again! Maccabi became the first team to win consecutive Euroleague titles since 1991 by downing Tau Ceramica 90-78 in the Euroleague Final in front of a sellout crowd of 13,500 in the Olympiyski Arena, Moscow on Sunday night. Maccabi keeps the Euroleague title for the first time since Split won three in a row from 1989 to 1991. Sarunas Jasikevicius led the winners in yet another unforgottable perfomance: 22 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists, enough to be voted the MVP of the final. Maceo Baston added 18 points on 8-for-12 shooting, Nestoras Kommatos became a main factor with 13 points off the bench, Nikola Vujcic also had 13 and 7 assists while Anthony Parker added 12 for the back-to-back Euroleague champion. Luis Scola led Tau with 21 points and 9 rebounds, Jose Manuel Calderon added 16 while Arvydas Macijauskas and Travis Hansen each had 13. Maccabi had a strong first half in which Kommatos had all his 13 points to make his team led 50-39 with Baston and Jasikevicius also in double digits by that time. Scola, Calderon and Hansen led the comeback, helping Tau to cut its deficit to 62-60 late in the third. It all came down to the final 5 minutes in which Baston and above all Jasikevicius fueled a game-breaking 7-0 run in crunch time which sealed the outcome, sending no less than 7,000 yellow fans in the stand to celebrate their team's fourth top continental title! Maccabi lifted the Euroleague trophy in 1977 and 1981 before doing it again last season in Tel Aviv. The team also won a SuproLeague title in 2001, as well as reaching six other finals. Jasikevicius became the first player to win three consecutive Euroleague titles since five Split players did it between 1989 and 1991, while coach Pini Gershon won his third consecutive continental title with Maccabi.

Vujcic opened fire with a basket in the low post that Scola matched before Macijauskas slashed to score and add an additional free throw for a 2-5 Tau lead. Vujcic found Baston in the paint for an easy basket, as Maccabi's team defense looked for two-on-one situations all over the place. Jasikevicius drew a foul and made free throws to put Maccabi back in charge, 6-5. He added a steal on a double-team that led to Burstein nailing a big triple, as Tau had entered the foul bonus in less than 3 minutes. Maccabi used its passing game to find Jasikevicius wide open in the left wing, as he made one from downtown to force a Tau timeout at 12-5. Calderon had to go to the bench with 2 quick fouls, but Tau finally improved its defense. Travis Hansen drove for a power basket, but Vujcic answered with a dunk in traffic. Maccabi continued playing its usual transition game, and even when Scola scored twice in the paint, Parker took over with a fallaway jumper for a 16-11 Maccabi lead. Macijauskas was nowhere to be found so far, but Vujcic found Baston for a reverse layup that turned into a three-point play. Jasikevicius took his trademark short jumper in the paint and boosted Maccabi's lead to double digits, 21-11, after a 7-0 run. Kornel David tried to change things with a close basket, but Kommatos took over with a three-pointer, as Maccabi had the game right where it wanted it: 24-13 after 8 minutes. And when Baston flew for a big dunk, the lead was 26-15 as the quarter ended.

Luis Scola - Tau Ceramica - FF Moscow 2005Tau opened the second with both Calderon and Pablo Prigioni on court, looking for a more controlled offense, as Baston had to go to the bench with 2 fouls. Kommatos replaced him and immediately found a put-back layup in the paint, while Parker fed Vujcic for a layup and a 14-point Maccabi lead, 30-16. Tau now had troubles to score without top bombers Macijauskas and Hansen on court, but Scola returned to the floor to improve the offense. Macijauskas had a steal that allowed Vidal to score, while Scola stepped up with a basket in the paint to make it 30-20. Kommatos stepped up big-time, however, with back-to-back triples, one from each corner, giving Maccabi its biggest lead so far, 36-20. Calderon tried to get Tau going with a power layup and Vidal added free throws, but Maccabi was unstoppable from downtown, as Burstein hit his team's sixth three in as many attempts. Maccabi was already in foul trouble, however, with Baston, Sharp, Jasikevicius and Parker each having 2 fouls and Burstein 3 after just 17 minutes. Macijauskas finally woke up with 4 free throws and Splitter added a put-back dunk to cut its deficit to single digits, 39-31, after a 0-7 run. Jasikevicius became Maccabi's go-to guy, as he nailed a three-pointer and fed Baston for a fastbreak layup, making it a 13-point game, 44-31. Calderon shot from downtown to keep Tau's hopes alive, but Baston answered with a crowd-pleasing dunk. Hansen nailed another three-pointer for Tau before Kommatos finished the half with free throws for a 50-39 Maccabi lead.

Hansen tried to bring Tau back to life with a mid-range jumper early in the third and Calderon added a big three to bring Tau within 52-44. Tau missed a chance to cut its deficit once Hansen and Scola turned the ball over in a two-on-one fastbreak opportunity. Meanwhile, Burstein beat the shot clock with a four-meter jumper for a 54-44 Maccabi lead. Scola made a jump hook in the paint, but Jasikevicius fed Vujcic for a power basket answer. Tau struggled to score for 2 minutes until Macijauskas made a free throw. Parker, who had struggled to score, found a layup in penetration that Calderon matched at the other end, while Hansen added a big three to make it a seven-point game, 59-52. Jasikevicius came to the rescue with 3 free throws, but Maccabi still had severe foul trouble. Burstein was resting with 4 fouls while Jasikevicius, Kommatos and Baston had 3 apiece, enough for Maccabi to call timeout. Hansen came up with a big three-pointer and Macijauskas added free throws to get Tau within striking distance, 62-59. Maccabi failed to get open looks now, while Splitter capped a 0-8 run with a free throw which brought Tau even closer, 62-60. Maccabi went scoreless for almost 3 minutes until Jasikevicius - who else? - kept his team alive with a big three to let Maccabi keep a 65-62 edge after 30 minutes.

Nestoras Kommantos - Maccabi Elite - FF Moscow 2005Jasikevicius stayed on fire early in the fourth with a floating jumper which hit nothing but net, as Maccabi improved its defense with all its starters but Parker on the floor. Scola provided one of the highlights of the day with a wild unk in traffic, but the connection between Vujcic and Baston worked again for a 69-64 Maccabi edge. Vujcic scored around the basket, but Calderon used his jumping skills for a strong layup. Jasikevicius carried on reading the game well, finding an inspired Vujcic as often as possible. He drew a foul and made 1 of 2 free throws, but once again Jasikevicius took over with a close basket which forced a Tau timeout, 74-66, with 6 minutes to go. Parker returned to the floor and immediately made free throws to boost Maccabi's lead to double digits, 76-66, as Burstein was fouled out. Jasikevicius left no doubt about who would the MVP of the final, keeping full control of the game and making his team play with long possessions to avoid troubles already in the final 3 minutes. He slashed to keep Baston for a wild alleyoop dunk which capped a 7-0 run and sealed the outcome, 78-66, as Tau needed a miracle comeback now. Macijauskas tried to ignit one with 3 of 4 free throws, but 'Saras' and Parker were fully in charge, not allowing Maccabi to take any quick shot and tried to drew any many fouls as possible along the way. A close basket by Vujcic and free throws by Parker sealed the win. The Olympiysky Arena was covered in yellow, as Maccabi was once again the Euroleague winner!
Sunday, May 8, 2005
Javier Gancedo, Euroleague.net, Moscow
Referees: BRAZAUSKAS, ROMUALDAS (LTU), CAZZARO, STEFANO (ITA), JUNGEBRAND, CARL (FIN), ZYCH, WIESLAW (POL)
Attendance: 13607
By Quarter1234
Maccabi Elite26241525
Tau Ceramica15242316
End of Quarter1234
Maccabi Elite26506590
Tau Ceramica15396278
Head coach: GERSHON, PINI
Maccabi Elite
# Player Min Pts 2FG
M-A
3FG
M-A
FT
M-A
Rebounds As St To Bl Fouls PIR
O D T Fv Ag Cm Rv
4 FANAN, REGEV DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
5 BASTON, MACEO 28:45 18 8/12   2/4 4 3 7   3 1 1   4 4 22
6 SHARP, DERRICK 22:15     0/2           1 2     2   -5
7 VUJCIC, NIKOLA 28:45 13 6/9   1/3 2 2 4 7 2 4   1 3 6 19
8 PARKER, ANTHONY 31:00 12 3/12   6/6   3 3 6 1 5   1 3 6 10
9 SHELEF, GUR 1:15                         1   -1
10 BURSTEIN, TAL 25:30 8 1/2 2/3     2 2 2 2       5 1 8
11 HALPERIN, YOTAM 4:30 2 1/1           1         1   2
12 DOTAN, ASSAF 0:15 2 1/1                         2
13 JASIKEVICIUS, SARUNAS 36:15 22 4/8 3/4 5/5   6 6 5 2 3     4 3 26
20 KOMMATOS, NESTORAS 21:15 13 1/1 3/4 2/2 1 2 3   2 1   1 5 2 12
41 GREEN, YANIV 0:15                         1   -1
Team           2   2   7 1         8
Totals 200:00 90 25/46 8/13 16/20 9 18 27 21 20 17 1 3 29 22 102
54.3% 61.5% 80%
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
Head coach: IVANOVIC, DUSKO
Tau Ceramica
# Player Min Pts 2FG
M-A
3FG
M-A
FT
M-A
Rebounds As St To Bl Fouls PIR
O D T Fv Ag Cm Rv
4 SCOLA, LUIS 37:15 21 8/11 0/2 5/8 5 4 9 4 1 4 1   4 6 26
5 PRIGIONI, PABLO 8:45               1   1          
6 HANSEN, TRAVIS 28:00 13 2/3 3/6   1 2 3 1 2 2     4 1 10
7 MACIJAUSKAS, ARVYDAS 31:00 13 1/2 0/3 11/13   2 2 1 2 5   1 2 9 13
8 CALDERON, JOSE MANUEL 32:45 16 3/5 3/7 1/2 2 2 4   2 1     3 2 13
9 VIDAL, SERGI 19:00 5 1/3 0/3 3/4 1 1 2 1 3 2     1 5 7
13 CONLEY, ROBERT DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
18 DAVID, KORNEL 18:00 4 1/4   2/2   2 2           1 3 5
21 SPLITTER, TIAGO 24:45 6 2/4   2/4 1 3 4   1 3 2   4 3 5
22 GABINI, ROBERTO 0:15                         2   -2
51 BETTS, ANDY 0:15                         1   -1
Team           2 4 6   6 2         10
Totals 200:00 78 18/32 6/21 24/33 12 20 32 8 17 20 3 1 22 29 86
56.3% 28.6% 72.7%
This game is not yet played

Head Coaches

GERSHON, PINI
Maccabi Elite
"This is history? So I am part of history. Not only me. All these kids who have been working all season, every day, twice a day, along with my assistants, and they all deserve it. Listen, we had experience, first of all, after being in the same situation last year. Part of the game was tough, the third quarter. It was not a great game, but you have to know how to win a final. That's not tactics. Instead, that's fight and something you bring more from the heart and the legs. You have to push, and that's what did in the second half. We were tired, playing under pressure, the score was close to tied, but we did it finally."
"What can I tell you? Four titles, five finals, four cups. I'm happy. On Friday and today, we didn't play great basketball, but the Final Four is another story and we know how to do it. This is my way. Tonight, we took an advantage of their inexperience but we have a lot of respect for them, because of their big talent. I hope next year they could do the same we did tonight. My future? I don't think to my past or my future right now. I just want to get drunk and I hope I can walk back to my hotel. I didn't discover anything new in basketball. Players went with my system. I don't think it fits all players, but mine have found the way, the way to play nice basketball and win. Before the Top 16, many people said we were just offense. From the second round, we played good offense and good defense too."
"CSKA's season? It's not easy to face a Final Four when CSKA dominated all season long. But losing just one game put pressure not only on us, but on them too. I wanted to be the coach who would have beaten CSKA with CSKA unbeaten. But beating Tau is harder than facing CSKA, because we stood as favorite. Against CSKA, we would have been underdog and it's better to play as underdog. We won in Tel Aviv and here too, my players know how to face pressure and they showed it. You don't need only players who can score or shoot, you need personalities. And we had great personalities, a great team, a great group. I saw it when we reacted to the Tau rally."
"I didn't do anything. My team did it. They went out great, but in 6 or 7 possessions we couldn't pass the halfcourt. In those moments you have to play simple. Simple. There I put the four men away from Parker, with no picks, no motion, nothing. Maybe this trick won the game, because of forcing the players to go to my way. That's the deal. Yesterday, nobody was happy in the lockers. And I told them: I'm happy because you are not happy. That's the way to take the championship."
IVANOVIC, DUSKO
Tau Ceramica
"I don't believe there is much to congratulate us about tonight. We have to congratulate Maccabi. They played better than us. They played much more calm. We began the game too nervous. We came back and got in a rhythm, but in key moments, the thing was that they had more experience at those times, and it showed. I don't like having to say it, but this final will have to serve as experience for my players, so that next time they play one they can win it."

Players

JASIKEVICIUS, SARUNAS
Maccabi Elite
"We never had full control. Tau was such an excellent basketball team. They kept coming at us. A couple of times we thought we had control, but as soon as we thought that, they hit a couple threes to get back in it. They're an excellent team and deserve congratulations for an excellent season. But listen, yellow is still in fashion in European basketball."
"Kommatos really hurt them tonight. It's much different when you play with a 10-point lead and when you play even. He came, it was bam, bam, bam, and we were up 10. It was tough for him early in the season, but I think Pini did a great job by continuing to believe in him."
"Let me tell you something: Maccabi is Good."
BURSTEIN, TAL
Maccabi Elite
"Last year in Tel Aviv was a very big, special event. But it was also unbelievable here. We came here with a lot of expectations, but we were not the favourites. CSKA was the favourite team. They played amazing the whole year. But this is unbelievable."
"I knew a lot of people were coming, but I wasn't expecting so many fans to come. We want to thank them and appreciate them. This win was for them."
"We knew Tau was a good team. They were here because they deserve it. I really give them a lot of respect."
PARKER, ANTHONY
Maccabi Elite
"It is a different feeling than we had last season, since it was in Tel Aviv with the whole arena backing us, while this time it was in Moscow and we made history. Every year is a challenge and this time we made it. Tau is a great team, they have great players and great shooters. We had to work hard to stop Macijauskas, he is one of the best shooters I have ever seen. I tried to work defensively on him and try to make him take bad shots. I am really happy, this was our goal from the very beginning. Saras is a winner, he is always ready for big games and tries to do everything that is in his hands to win it. He has done it year after year, he has proven in everywhere, not only in the Euroleague but also with his national teams. He is a winner and I hope he stays in Maccabi Tel Aviv next season."
"It's just a dream man. We had great team play, Saras played big, Nestoras Kommatos came out and played big. And I'm just happy. I give all the glory and praise to god. I just want to say thanks to this organization, and to these fans who come out and support us all year. It's wonderful. The Final Four wasn't as easy as last year, and all through the season, we had a lot of injury problems we had to fight through. We did that, and mentally we tried to get better. We've won 10 in a row since losing to Barcelona in our original group. It was a great run and I'm just real happy. Our main objective is just to win. People criticize our defense so much, but I think we do all right. We do what we can, and what we do best. We try to take teams out of what they do best. And then, offensively, you going to have to score with us. It's a great system, with a great coach and a great organization and I'm just real happy to do it again."
VUJCIC, NIKOLA
Maccabi Elite
"The atmosphere in the game was great. It looked like the whole Nokia Arena was here. It was really nice, and made all players feel ready for the game and to take the title back to Tel Aviv. It was a surprise to see so many people, and I am so happy we made it. I am glad to be a member of Maccabi and part of Euroleague history. This team is unbelievable, we have great players and a great coach. Of course, Saras is an important part of Maccabi. Whatever he does next season, I wish him the best. He is the biggest leader in Europe and also a team player."
SHARP, DERRICK
Maccabi Elite
"I feel great. It was very tough today, from the beginning, but this is European Basketball. It's tough for us all the time. Everybody thinks that it's easy, but it's not. We are the champions, and we'll celebrate all night with the players and fans."
BASTON, MACEO
Maccabi Elite
"We're so excited. We made history. We all worked hard all year to get to this point and we're happy because we were able to pull out the win tonight. We made the game interesting, I guess. The game went back and forth a bit and we probably made our fans a little nervous, but we didn't want have another 34-point win. We wanted to make a game of it. But we pulled it out and I am just happy to be a part of it."
KOMMATOS, NESTORAS
Maccabi Elite
"For me, what I say is that I was the top scorer in Greece, but I came here and I know my role. If I score 20 or zero it's the same. I want to help the team in any way. I am very happy. For these guys it's the second time, for me the first, and I am very happy. We'll go for three next year."
SCOLA, LUIS
Tau Ceramica
"I really want to thank our fans who came all the way here. They were huge and we feel bad by not having been able to give them a new title. It was hard and we lost. It's a bit early now to try thinking about getting to the next Final Four in Prague. We need to sit down and overcome this defeat. we still have the Spanish League to play and we cannot think about other things now."
MACIJAUSKAS, ARVYDAS
Tau Ceramica
"What can you say? We lost the Final against a great team. We lost too many balls and allowed them easy shots as well as free throws. However, it was our first Final Four title game and I think we did great. However I still don't know why we lost. The team feels bad now of course, we lost the Final. It was an important appointment but this is basketball, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. Everybody said CSKA and Maccabi would be in the Final but we broke those predictions. To lose a Final you have to play it. I prefer this than winning the game for the third place, for sure."
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