2012-13Final FourSemifinal
May 10, 2013 CET: 18:00
Local time: 17:00 O2 ARENA

Team Stats

Ave.   Ave.
79.4 Points 76.6
33.3 Rebounds 35.8
8.2 O. Rebounds 10.3
25.1 D. Rebounds 25.4
17.9 Assists 15.6
6.3 Steals 5.1
3.4 Blocks 3.3
13.2 Turnovers 12.2
56.6 % 2PT 50.2 %
39.5 % 3PT 35.3 %
73.8 % FT 72.5 %
93.9 Index 83.7

Player Stats

Ave.   Ave.
13.7 / Weems Points 14.7 / Spanoulis
7.5 / Khryapa Rebounds 5.9 / Hines
1.4 / Kaun OR 2.6 / Hines
6.6 / Khryapa DR 3.3 / Papanikolaou
5.0 / Teodosic Assists 5.6 / Spanoulis
1.6 / Khryapa Steals 0.9 / Spanoulis
1.1 / Kaun Blocks 1.1 / Hines
3.0 / Teodosic Turnovers 3.4 / Spanoulis
72.8 % / Kaun 2PT 60.2 % / Hines
100.0 % / Krstic 3PT 52.7 % / Papanikolaou
85.2 % / Khryapa FT 85.1 % / Sloukas
17.9 / Krstic Index 15.4 / Spanoulis


Ave.   Ave.
0-0 Final Four 0-0
3-1 Playoffs 3-2
11-3 Top 16 9-5
9-1 Regular Season 8-2
23-5 Overall 20-9


Crew Chief

The Take

CSKA Moscow, Links

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Olympiacos, Links

VIDEOS: Pre-game Interview, Sasha Kaun, Pre-game Interview, Georgios Printezis

The 2013 Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four starts with a rematch of last season's final, as CSKA Moscow and Olympiacos Piraeus face each other for the first time since that classic showdown in the first semifinal at The O2 in London, England, on Friday. Olympiacos rallied from a 19-point deficit to edge CSKA Moscow 61-62 in the 2012 final in one of most memorable comebacks ever seen in professional sports. Naturally that game will be on the back of both teams' minds. Olympiacos returns to the Final Four with nine of the players that won the title last season – a 10th, Vangelis Mantzaris, is injured. CSKA is back with a reloaded lineup that includes three former Olympiacos players – Milos Teodosic, Zoran Erceg and Theo Papaloukas, who is in his ninth Final Four, a record since the format was adopted in 1988.

Of course, stopping CSKA's experienced point guard duo will be a priority for Olympiacos, as both Papaloukas and Teodosic are former Euroleague MVPs. Teodosic, chosen to the All-Euroleague Second Team this season, offers deep shooting range and creativity, while Papaloukas provides court sense, size and of course, his legendary experience. Teodosic will not have it easy against Reds playmaker Acie Law, who is a known ball hound. Papaloukas must use his know-how against Dimitrios Katsivelis. Aaron Jackson will see minutes at point guard and could be CSKA's main option to guard Olympiacos superstar Vassilis Spanoulis, who was named to the All-Euroleague First Team for the second consecutive season. Spanoulis is a great pick-and-roll player, who is able to pull the trigger from downtown, drive to the basket or find the open man in double-team situations. Spanoulis will get plenty of help at both wings from two-time Euroleague champion Stratos Perperoglou, three-point threat Martynas Gecevicius, clutch hero Kostas Sloukas and 2012-13 Euroleague Rising Star award winner Kostas Papanikolaou, who can change any game with his shooting range, aggressiveness, driving skills and determination. His matchup against star forward Sonny Weems will be one of the keys to this interesting game. Weems has a very quick first step, great explosiveness and outstanding athleticism. Vladimir Micov does a little bit of everything for CSKA, from defense to rebounding to the occasional three-pointer. Anton Ponkrashov and Evgeny Voronov offer intensity and size off the CSKA bench. The battle in the paint will be the biggest key to this game, as Olympiacos needs to stop Nenad Krstic and Sasha Kaun down low. Krstic, who is back on the All-Euroleague First Team, can dominate with his low post moves and mid-range jumpers and Kaun is a great pick-and-roll player who never hesitates to dunk. Victor Khryapa is CSKA's silent leader, doing it all for the Russian powerhouse at both forwards. Andrey Vorontsevich and Dimitry Sokolov give Coach Ettore Messina plenty of options around the baskets. Khryapa will not have it easy against Georgios Printezis, who hit the game-winning shot in Istanbul last season. Kyle Hines, Josh Powell, Giorgi Shermadini and Pero make up the rest of the Olympiacos frontcourt, a group that faces a big, physical battle against their CSKA counterparts.

CSKA must run its offense through Teodosic and Krstic, expect an all-around game from Khryapa, control the defensive board to dominate the game tempo and get Weems involved, especially in one-on-one opportunities. Olympiacos must keep its fighting spirit, just as it did all season, expect Spanoulis to make the difference in crunch time, use as many fouls as needed to stop Krstic and Kaun down low and expect Law to play good on-the-ball defense against Teodosic. Expect nothing but an exciting game – as good as it gets to get the 2013 Final Four going at The O2!
Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Game Notes

CSKA Moscow

CSKA leads the Euroleague this season in team performance index rating with an average of 93.9 per game.

Only four CSKA players – Aaron Jackson, Sasha Kaun, Vladimir Micov and Milos Teodosic – have appeared in every game this season. Coach Ettore Messina has used a total of 12 different players in his starting lineups and 17 players overall this season.

Milos Teodosic has made at least 1 three-pointer in 12 straight and 24 of his last 25 Euroleague games.

Teodosic trails Anadolu Efes point guard Kerem Tunceriby by 2 assists for 10th place on the Euroleague’s list of all-time assists leaders. Teodosic enters the Final Four with 499 career assists.

Teodosic needs 3 more three-pointers to move into the all-time top 10 on the list of three-pointers made at the Final Four. Teodosic has made 12 three-pointers at Final Fours. Three players –Ibrahim Kutluay, Derrick Sharp and Ramunas Siskauskas – share ninth place with 15 triples apiece.

Viktor Khryapa has at least 1 steal in five straight and 15 of his last 16 Euroleague games.

Khryapa is third on the Euroleague career rebounding list at Final Four games. Khryapa has collected 65 rebounds in 12 games. The all-time leader is former CSKA big man Matjaz Smodis with 73. David Andersen, who played at Final Fours with four different teams, is second with 70.

Khryapa is 4 assists away from reaching the all-time top 10 in Euroleague Final Four games. Khryapa has dished 20 assists in Final Four games; Nikola Vujcic is 10th with 24.

Khryapa, with his next blocked shot, will pass Nikola Vujcic for sole possession of fourth place on the all-time shot-blocking leaders list. They each have 122 career blocks. Aleksey Savrasenko is third with 130 rejections.

Andrey Vorontsevich has made 13 consecutive free throws in Euroleague games.

Vladimir Micov has made at least 1 three-pointer in five straight and 16 of his last 17 Euroleague games.

Nenad Krstic needs 9 more points to reach the 1,000-point milestone for his Euroleague career.

Theodoros Papaloukas is tied with Euroleague legend Dejan Bodiroga for fourth place on the all-time Final Four scoring charts with 164 points. Former CSKA star Trajan Langdon is third with 172 points.

Papaloukas is tied with former teammate Matjaz Smodis for fifth place on the all-time list of free throws made at the Final Four. They have each drained 43 free throws over their careers. Another former CSKA here, Ramunas Siskauskas, is fourth with 46 made free throws.

Papaloukas has dished more assists than any player in Final Four history with 56.

Olympiacos Piraeus

Twelve different Olympiacos players have appeared in the starting lineup this season. Vassilis Spanoulis is the only player to start every game.

Spanoulis leads the league lead in fouls drawn with 5.4 per game.

Spanoulis was the playoff leader in assists with 6.6 per game.

Spanoulis needs 36 more points to become the 13th player in competition history to reach the 2,000-point milestone. Kyle Hines leads the league in offensive rebounding with 2.62 per game.

Hines has blocked at least 1 shot in four straight and 13 of his last 14 Euroleague appearances.

Kostas Papanikolaou is this season’s most accurate three-point shooter at 52.7%.

Georgios Printezis is Olympiacos’s top scorer in the playoffs with 13.6 points per game.
Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Quotes Head Coaches

CSKA Moscow
“It is surely a great feeling to be here. The Final Four and Euroleague Top 16 are second only to the NBA playoff in terms of intensity, drama and interest to the fans. I am grateful to CSKA and my players for the opportunity to be here again. I hope all the bad luck went to CSKA last year and this year we just get a little bit of good luck. We need to show that we are mature, we are looking ahead and we will see on the floor tomorrow.”
Olympiacos Piraeus
“Without a doubt this is my biggest challenge so far. When I decided to become the coach of this team, I knew it would be a difficult task. We will try to make use of all our talent and fighting spirit. Till the end we’ll fight to win. We’ll of course try to express the talent of our players. In my opinion, it always exists. We have survived many tough games. From here we want to become a better team than what we were when we came here."


CSKA Moscow
"It’s a new team this year. We played up and down all year. In the last two months we found a rhythm and played really good. Of course one of our advantages is that we have [Coach Ettore] Messina. We are more experienced after last year and now we are ready for everything. Of course that final from last year helped us prepare for the game. They are a really good team that has been together a long time and are European champions. We really respect them a lot; they play a tough and strong basketball. All I know is that tomorrow will be a really, really hard game. Our defense will be the key. If we play at the level we have all season, I think it will be good for us."
CSKA Moscow
"We prepared well and we expect a tough game. It's a Euroleague semifinal and everybody wants to reach the final. I hope that we prepared well enough and that we win the game. Final Fours are always nice, here in London also. We have a nice arena in a nice city so hopefully we will make it even better."
CSKA Moscow
"It feels great being in my first Final Four. It's great to be here to try to help my team and hopefully win it. So far it's a great experience for me and hopefully it will turn into a better one. I have my family with me here and I am spending a lot of time with them so I am enjoying their company. I try to keep my head away from what is going around and that keeps me level-headed. I wasn't there last year, but of course, we are trying to keep everything in place and my job is to make sure that doesn't happen again."
CSKA Moscow
"Just walking into this arena is incredible. It is kind of humbling to get here - I worked so hard in my career and finally got my first Final Four! It could be overwhelming, but I am doing a good job at keeping my composure. We have to play smart. Olympiacos is a team that never gives up. We can never really settle or relax against them. We have to play – and make them play – our basketball and never, ever think that that the game is over. I know Acie Law very well and getting the chance to play against him at the highest level is good."
CSKA Moscow
"It is very nice to be here. This is my first Final Four, I am glad to be part of CSKA in this Final Four and I hope we are going to win. Of course, there are a lot of Olympiacos players that remain on the team from last season. We are playing against them for the first time since last year's final. For sure, we have something to show against them. They didn't change the team a lot, but I think we are a better team. We just have to play our game, be concentrated and stop Spanoulis, who is their main option, even though they have a lot of good players who follow him on the court. We have to be focused from the first minute and stay like that until the end. It is only one game, there will be more chances. You have to give your maximum."
Olympiacos Piraeus
“It’s a blessing for me in my first year in the Euroleague to be able to get to this point. The Final Four is a place where a lot of teams want to get to. Obviously this is an amazing accomplishment being the team that won it last year. For the team I think we’re all excited about this opportunity. We’ve prepared all year long to get to this point. I just feel we’re going to go out here and do what we’re supposed to do out there. It’s going to be one possession at a time. We just have to fight and ground it out. What’s size against heart? For me, I just feel like at the end of the day when you get to a point like this, it’s going to be about who wants it more. I think we’re going to really fight hard and they’re going to be ready with the motivation from last year. But we’ve been preparing and I feel good about what we’re going to come out and do.”
Olympiacos Piraeus
"It's a different game from last year, but it's still an important game. We have to stay focused for such a strong team as CSKA. We have to stay physical and aggressive so we get stops on the defensive end so we can do what we do best: get out in transition and run. I am loving this Final Four. We have been here for a couple days and London is amazing: with all the sites, the scenery, the history...They have been doing a wonderful job to make this Final Four happen."
Olympiacos Piraeus
“It’s going to be a lot of fun. These chances don’t come around a lot. We were fortunate enough to win the whole thing last year. Coming back the second year and making it all the way is a tough challenge and now playing CSKA, I’m sure they will have a lot of motivation to beat us. I’m really looking forward to it. I don’t think beating them last year helps us necessarily. I don’t think they’re as strong as they were last year. They’re a different team, but a good team and [they] have some very good players. But we’re a different team as well. It’s just going to be a fun and competitive game between two teams fighting for a championship. A lot of people are going to point to the size differential. They have some very good bigs. But they have a good team from top to bottom. I don’t think there is any key match-up. It will really be about us going out there and playing good basketball for 40 minutes.”
Olympiacos Piraeus
"I feel great; every time I am here, it is great. Being in a Final Four is the highest honor for any basketball player, so I feel blessed. CSKA is a good team, one of the favorites to win. We have to play our game, fight until the last second and see what we did in the end. Sonny Weems is a great offensive player, that's for sure, with a lot of talent. He is good shooter and even though it will be tough for Kostas [Papanikolaou] and I to slow him, we will try to do so."
Olympiacos Piraeus
"It is perfect to be back to the Final Four. Some people said we were lucky to win the Euroleague last season, but we are a good team with great chemistry that deserved to return to the Final Four – and I am glad that we are here. I believe we are a little more experienced this time, but every team out there grows and tries to improve. CSKA did a good job and so did we, working hard on our chemistry to be here. We have to play strong all 40 minutes, from the beginning. We cannot go down 15 points and say 'let's go, let's rally and beat them!' You cannot win every time like this. We need hard defense; we can beat anybody if we do that."

Olympiacos trounces CSKA, eyes repeat!

Reigning champion Olympiacos Piraeus has the chance to become the first repeat champion in eight years after it rolled past CSKA Moscow 52-69 in the first semifinal at the 2013 Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four at The O2 in London. The Reds never trailed after the first quarter and led by double digits throughout the second half. Olympiacos will target its third continental crown against the winner of Friday’s second semifinal between FC Barcelona Regal and Real Madrid in the title game on Sunday. Kyle Hines paced a balanced Olympiacos attack with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Pero Antic added 13 points for the winners and seven other players netted between 5 and 8 points, including newly crowned bwin MVP Vassilis Spanoulis, who tallied 8 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists to reach his third final in as many Final Fours. Sonny Weems led CSKA with 13 points and Victor Khryapa scored 11. CSKA coach Ettore Messina lost for the first time in 10 Euroleague semifinal appearances. Olympiacos rolled ahead with 8 straight points to finish the first quarter and extended its lead to 13 before taking a 28-40 advantage at the break. The lead reached 17 by the end of the third as the Reds repelled any and all CSKA comeback attempts. With its sizeable traveling support singing in the background, Olympiacos finished in style and rolled into Sunday’s title game.

First quarter: Olympiacos finishes quarter on 0-8 tear

Weems nailed a long jumper to score the first points of the Final Four, before Georgios Printezis opened Olympiacos’s account with a layup. The opening minutes were packed with action as Weems countered with a triple, but Kostas Papanikolaou drove baseline for a big dunk . After Victor Khryapa hit another shot from downtown for CSKA, Spanoulis scored a layup, missed his additional free throw, but Printezis was there for a put-back. The Reds grabbed their first lead of the night on the next possession when Printezis added another close-range basket for 8-10. Khryapa answered with a long jumper, and after Acie Law made a driving layup, Weems hit a triple over Spanoulis for 13-12. Nenad Krstic added to CSKA’s tally with a dunk after a nifty assist from Zoran Erceg, but in the meantime Law, Spanoulis and Stratos Perperoglou went 6 for 6 from the foul line. Olympiacos went on to finish the quarter scoring 8 unanswered points, as Hines made a basket-plus-foul, and the Olympiacos faithful erupted when Kostas Sloukas hit a triple in the dying seconds of the quarter to give the Reds a 17-24 after 10 minutes.

Second quarter: Reds stretch advantage to double figures

Khryapa started the second quarter with a three-pointer, but Hines scored from close range and Antic from downtown to make it 20-29. Aaron Jackson briefly cut into the lead with a triple of his own, but a long jumper from Antic and a fastbreak layup from Law extended it to 23-35. After Coach Ettore Messina called for timeout, Sasha Kaun tried to get CSKA going with a slam dunk on one side and blocking couple of shots on the other. But Giorgi Shermadini muscled his way for a put-back-plus-foul and a 13-point advantage. Kaun continued to hustle, making a reverse layup, but Sloukas nailed a jump shot just inside the arc before both teams went into a two-minute scoring drought. Khryapa split free throws with 11 seconds to go, rounding out the scoring as Olympiacos grabbed a 28-40 halftime advantage.

Third quarter: Champs squash CSKA’s comeback attempts

A driving layup by Spanoulis opened the third quarter, and a Papanikolaou triple made it 28-45. In the first five minutes of the quarter, Weems went 4 for 4 from the foul line for the only CSKA points. Shermadini was called for an unsportsmanlike foul on Kaun, who made both free throws to cut the deficit to 34-45. But Moscow turned the ball over yet again on the ensuing possession, missing a chance to cut the margin to single digits. And Hines, who had grabbed the steal, made them pay with a long jumper to increase the gap to 13. Two Khryapa foul shots made it 36-47 before an Olympiacos timeout with three minutes left in the third. Moscow failed on three more occasions to inch below that magical 10-point deficit with Theo Papaloukas, Weems and Krstic all missing before a Hines put-back and an Antic triple had the reigning champs back up 16 points – 36-52. Krstic continued Moscow’s free throw woes by missing both foul shots with 5.6 seconds left in the quarter. Antic showed how it’s done with one foul shot with 0.2 seconds to give Olympiacos a 36-63 lead through three quarters.

Fourth quarter: Olympiacos marches on

At the start of the fourth quarter, Perperoglou and Hines scored from close range to put Olympiacos up 36-57. The reigning champs were not letting down defensively, not allowing a field goal until a fast break layup from Jackson. But Perperoglou answered right back with a triple for 40-60 with seven minutes to play. CSKA tried to make a final push by playing half-court pressure. Andrey Vorontsevich made a runner off the glass and Teodosic hit a triple for 47-62. But a pair of free throws from Antic, after an unsportsmanlike foul from Teodosic, coupled with two offensive rebounds, helped Olympiacos eat out the clock and keep it at safe distance. In the final minutes, Spanoulis made a layup and Antic added a put-back for 49-69 before a triple by Vladimir Micov rounded out the scoring.

Bench Olympiacos Piraeus celebrates - Final Four London 2013
Friday, May 10, 2013
Attendance: 9218
By Quarter1234
CSKA Moscow1711816
Olympiacos Piraeus24161316
End of Quarter1234
CSKA Moscow17283652
Olympiacos Piraeus24405369
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 29:05 5 0/4 1/5 2/4   3 3 1   2 1   2 5 1
5 MICOV, VLADIMIR 18:32 3 0/1 1/4     2 2 1   1     3 2  
7 JACKSON, AARON 22:09 7 1/1 1/4 2/2 1 1 2     2     3 2 3
12 KRSTIC, NENAD 14:55 2 1/5   0/4   2 2     1 1   1 3 -2
13 WEEMS, SONNY 35:37 13 1/2 2/5 5/8   3 3 1 1 1     1 4 13
17 ERCEG, ZORAN 5:10 2   0/1 2/2   1 1 2         2 1 3
18 VORONOV, EVGENY DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
20 VORONTSEVICH, ANDREY 4:57 2 1/2             1           2
24 KAUN, SASHA 29:24 7 2/3   3/4 2 5 7       3   1 2 16
31 KHRYAPA, VICTOR 29:10 11 1/3 2/3 3/6 2 3 5 2 1 3     2 6 14
33 PONKRASHOV, ANTON DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
44 PAPALOUKAS, THEODOROS 11:01     0/2     1 1 1   2     2   -4
Team           1 2 3     1         2
Totals 200:00 52 7/21 7/24 17/30 6 23 29 8 3 13 5 0 17 25 48
        33.3% 29.2% 56.7%
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
Olympiacos Piraeus
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 HINES, KYLE 19:48 13 5/10   3/3 3 7 10   2     2 4 2 16
5 LAW, ACIE 27:52 6 2/3   2/2 1   1 1   1   1   1 6
6 ANTIC, PERO 22:03 13 2/4 2/5 3/4 1 2 3         1 2 2 9
7 SPANOULIS, VASSILIS 32:01 8 3/6 0/6 2/3   5 5 4 1 3     3 7 9
8 PERPEROGLOU, STRATOS 20:17 8 1/2 1/2 3/4   2 2 2 1       3 2 9
9 SHERMADINI, GIORGI 12:19 5 2/5   1/1 2 1 3     2   1 3 2 1
10 SLOUKAS, KOSTAS 20:18 5 1/3 1/4   1 3 4 3         2   5
12 POWELL, JOSH 7:53   0/2               2     3   -7
13 GECEVICIUS, MARTYNAS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
15 PRINTEZIS, GEORGIOS 17:46 6 3/4     1 4 5     1     2 1 8
16 PAPANIKOLAOU, KOSTAS 14:41 5 1/2 1/1   1 2 3   1 2     2   4
19 KATSIVELIS, DIMITRIOS 5:02           1 1           1    
Team           2 2 4     1         3
Totals 200:00 69 20/41 5/18 14/17 12 29 41 10 5 12 0 5 25 17 63
        48.8% 27.8% 82.4%

Head Coaches

CSKA Moscow
"I think the only thing we can do is to congratulate Olympiacos for a great game. They overwhelmed us with their physicality and their aggressiveness. They forced us too poorly on offense to win this game. They forced us to play individually when all season we were the team that had one of the highest number of assists per game. They forced us to become lonely on offense. And they controlled the tempo of the game. It’s a tough loss after getting here and after all the talk about last year. It’s a very, very tough loss. We have to make an effort to be able to handle this. I wish them to play another great game in the final because it’s not easy to get back to the final the year after you win. With CSKA we did it a couple of times and it was a great, great accomplishment. I just wish them to be a little bit more lucky than we were in those two times. For sure our plan was to try to take away their two-point game but if you look at the scoring chart you see a lot of red points inside our three seconds area because they went to the basket a lot of times."
Olympiacos Piraeus
"We wanted to control the rebounds and we had the patience to reach the end. The shooting percentages are not always high in a game like this but in the end the defense won the game. The players played for each other and played together, psychologically and tactically. I would really like to thank our fans. In these difficult times in Europe financially, they paid a lot of money to be here. We will all do our best to win the final. I don’t really believe we played a perfect game. Defensively our goals succeeded. The most important thing is that we played together. We had a psychological plan and a tactical plan. Both were very important in handling the pressure and dealing with a very good team with a lot of experienced players and a very experienced coach. Obviously our psychological plan was correct. If we played tomorrow with Moscow the result would have maybe been different."


CSKA Moscow
"I think we just did not play well. We had a lot of mistakes, we did not have the team flow we usually do. On offense we could not do anything. I thought defensively, overall, we played good, as they did not score too many points. But it is hard to base the game solely on defense if you are not going to score. So it was difficult for us, and unfortunately, Olympiacos was better than us and ended up beating us. "
CSKA Moscow
"It is hard to say something smart because it was a catastrophe how we as a team played. It is the second time in row we are losing a Final Four game against Olympiacos, and this time they really deserved to win. They totally outplayed us. Those of us who need to carry this team must take the responsibility for this loss."
CSKA Moscow
"I tip my hats off to Olympiacos. We played terrible today. I haven't seen us play like that in a long time. Some of the guys did not show up, and it is the worst game we played the whole season. Especially in the Final Four, you should not play like this. And we played terrible. If we wanted to play like this, we should have stayed at home. It was terrible."
Olympiacos Piraeus
"It was amazing defensive effort from us tonight. Our coach gave us a great game plan and it was a great team effort. From the beginning, we wanted to set the tempo of the game – and we did that. The guys that were on the court played as a team. Everybody came in, played well and played their role. Probably, under these circumstances, it was our best defensive game this season. Hopefully we have a better one in us and can do that on Sunday!"
Olympiacos Piraeus
"What a great feeling... I can't explain it. We are the best group of guys in Europe. Nobody has better mentality than us. It's about team, playing together, brotherhood. We're always there for each other. That's our secret. We were underdogs for this game, but maybe it was even more motivation. We dominated the game almost all 40 minutes. CSKA is a very good team, but we did a great job today stopping them. Last season we won only in the last second, but this season it was a totally different story. But it doesn’t matter. In the Final Four the key is to get a win. By a point or by 20. I don't know what people expected from the game, but we gave a good show today. If I'm a fan of basketball who bought a ticket to the Final Four I cannot be disappointed from what we showed today."
Olympiacos Piraeus
"It's a big win for us. We were underdogs coming here. Everybody thought that we're like outsiders in this Final Four, but we showed today what we can do. This is a great feeling for all of us and we're also very happy for our fans. We showed that we deserve to be here, if anyone had any doubts. We don't care who will play with us in the finals on Sunday. We come to win against any team as we did all season. We will try to win again on Sunday. Both are very good teams."
Olympiacos Piraeus
"We're very excited to make it to the finals of the Euroleague two years in a row. I don't think anybody expected that from us, but we made it. We're a group of players that play together. This is the way to win basketball games, especially in the Final Four. Today we played very good defense. We were focused on what we wanted to do. We had a plan and this is how we limited such a great team as CSKA on 52 points. Olympiacos is a big club in European basketball. Not that many clubs made the Euroleague finals back to back. I had to have a bigger role from January when we had some injuries, and I'm happy I was able to help my team as much as I can. We have on our jersey a patch of the 2012 trophy. Now we want 2013 as well. It could be an amazing achievement."
Olympiacos Piraeus
"We were focused all 40 minutes and that is one of the biggest reasons why we won the game. We played with a lot of heart, as we have always done this season. It doesn't matter who we play in the final, Real Madrid or Barcelona. What I prefer is to play the way we did today! If we play like that, we can beat any team."
Olympiacos Piraeus
"It was an unbelievable defensive game for us. We played great defense all the way and that helped us to beat a really tough opponent. This is one of the best defensive efforts I have ever seen! We played great defense and did it as a team. We were unbelievably focused on defense and everyone had an excellent game, with big heart. After a very hard season, we are back in the Euroleague final. It is one more game; we played 30 games in this Euroleague season and we need one more win!"
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