2004-05Final FourFinal
May 08, 2005 CET: 17:40
Local time: 18:40 OLYMPIYSKY ARENA

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 Points 18.1 / Macijauskas
5.7 / Vujcic Rebounds 6.3 / Scola
2.1 / Baston OR 2.0 / Scola
4.9 / Parker DR 4.3 / Scola
5.3 / Jasikevicius Assists 3.1 / Prigioni
2.0 / Parker Steals 1.5 / Macijauskas
1.6 / Baston Blocks 0.7 / Scola
3.0 / Jasikevicius Turnovers 2.6 / Scola
68.3 % / Baston 2PT 61.1 % / Prigioni
47.6 % / Parker 3PT 50.0 % / David
93.8 % / Jasikevicius FT 100.0 % / Gabini
25.5 / Parker Index 18.5 / Macijauskas


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


Crew Chief

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

Quotes Head Coaches


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.

Tau 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.

Jasikevicius 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!

Maccabi Elite - FF Moscow 2005
Sunday, May 8, 2005
Javier Gancedo, Euroleague.net, Moscow
Attendance: 13607
By Quarter1234
Maccabi Elite26241525
Tau Ceramica15242316
End of Quarter1234
Maccabi Elite26506590
Tau Ceramica15396278
Maccabi Elite
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
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%
Head coach: GERSHON, PINI
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
Tau Ceramica
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
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%
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