2017-18Final FourTHIRD PLACE GAME
May 20, 2018 CET: 17:00
Local time: 17:00 STARK ARENA

Zalgiris survives CSKA comeback to finish third

Zalgiris Kaunas finished the 2017-18 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague season in style by holding off a late CSKA Moscow surge to win the third place game 77-79 on Sunday at Stark Arena in Belgrade, Serbia. Zalgiris led by as many as 24 points in the third quarter, but CSKA dominated the fourth to get within 2 and set up a tight finish. Vasilije Micic and Paulius Jankunas scored 15 points apiece to pace Zalgiris and Edgaras Ulanovas added 14. Othello Hunter and Misha Kulagin led CSKA with 14 points each and Cory Higgins netted 12 in defeat.

Pangos got Zalgiris going with a jumper, but back-to-back three-pointers by Higgins put CSKA in charge, 6-2. Jankunas stepped up with a driving layup only to see Hunter and Sergio Rodriguez boost their team's lead to 11-4. Micic had a dunk and 4 free throws in a 0-8 run that put Zalgiris back in charge, 11-12. Victor Khryapa and Kulagin each struck from downtown and got help from Kyle Hines to establish a 19-16 CSKA lead. A layup by Aaron White and back-to-back baskets by Antanas Kavaliauskas gave Zalgiris a 19-22 edge after 10 minutes. Hines took over with a coast-to-coast basket and Nando De Colo beat Micic's layup with a triple to tie the game at 24-24. After a dunk by White, Jankunas improved on Sergio Rodriguez's jumper with a three-pointer. Higgins and Micic joined the three-point shootout and Ulanovas scored in the low post, which prompted CSKA to stop the game at 29-34. Ulanovas followed a floater with a jump hook, but Hunter kept CSKA close. Milaknis nailed a triple to fix the halftime score at 35-41.

Jankunas shined with a put-back layup and Toupane followed an acrobatic basket with free throws for a double-digit Zalgiris lead. Brandon Davies capped a 0-11 run with a wild coast-to-coast basket and Jankunas erased Hunter's free throws with a layup, good for a 37-51 Zalgiris margin. Ulanovas hit a triple and consecutive floaters by Pangos broke the game open at 37-60. Ulanovas hit free throws and Kavaliauskas added a layup, but Higgins and Rodriguez answered for CSKA. Ulanovas and Toupane kept Zalgiris fully in charge, 48-69, after 30 minutes. Victor Rudd tried to ignite the CSKA comeback with back-to-back three-pointers, which caused Zalgiris to call timeout at 54-71. Rodriguez also struck from downtown and a jumper by Hunter brought CSKA a bit closer. Pangos rescued Zalgiris with a three-pointer, but Kulagin and Vitaly Fridzon brought CSKA within 73-78, with 1:19 left. Micic Split free throws and Kulagin struck again from downtown to make it 76-79 CSKA in the final minute. Kulagin split foul shots and CSKA got the ball back with 34.5 seconds to go, but turned the ball over on the inbound pass off a timeout, however Micic missed around the basket with 11.3 seconds left. CSKA missed its final two shots and Zalgiris celebrated its first victory at a Final Four since 1999.

Paulius Jankunas - Zalgiris Kaunas - Belgrade 2018 - EB17
Sunday, May 20, 2018
Euroleague.net
Referees: HIERREZUELO, DANIEL (ESP), KOROMILAS, ELIAS (GRE), LOTTERMOSER, ROBERT (GER)
Attendance: 14548 (Tentative)
By Quarter1234
CSKA Moscow19161329
Zalgiris Kaunas22192810
End of Quarter1234
CSKA Moscow19354877
Zalgiris Kaunas22416979
CSKA Moscow
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
1 DE COLO, NANDO 25:38 5 0/3 1/5 2/2   1 1 2 1 3     3 4  
3 RUDD, VICTOR 12:07 7   2/5 1/2   1 1 1 1   1     2 9
7 FRIDZON, VITALY 11:04 5 1/1 1/1             1 1   4   1
11 ANTONOV, SEMEN 18:16     0/3         1     2   2   -2
13 RODRIGUEZ, SERGIO 23:59 9 3/8 1/4   1   1 3       1 1 2 5
21 CLYBURN, WILL 18:59 2 1/5 0/1 0/1 2 1 3 1   2     2 1 -3
22 HIGGINS, CORY 16:54 12 1/5 3/4 1/3 2 1 3   2 1     4 5 10
30 KULAGIN, MIKHAIL 13:15 14 2/3 3/4 1/2   2 2 1 1 1       1 15
31 KHRYAPA, VICTOR 7:37 3 0/1 1/2 0/2   1 1     1       1  
41 KURBANOV, NIKITA 12:12   0/3           3         2   -2
42 HINES, KYLE 20:35 6 2/4   2/4 1 2 3 3 2   1   3 3 11
44 HUNTER, OTHELLO 19:24 14 4/4   6/8 3 5 8   1       2 6 25
Team           4 4 8               8
Totals 200:00 77 14/37 12/29 13/24 13 18 31 15 8 9 5 1 23 25 77
        37.8% 41.4% 54.2%
Head coach: ITOUDIS, DIMITRIS
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
Zalgiris Kaunas
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
0 DAVIES, BRANDON 19:01 2 1/4   0/2 1 3 4 1 1 2   1 3 1 -2
3 PANGOS, KEVIN 23:14 9 3/4 1/1   1   1 4   3   1 4 5 10
6 TOUPANE, AXEL 11:36 6 2/2 0/1 2/3 2 2 4     1     3 2 6
9 UDRIH, BENO 11:15 2 1/3     1 1 2 2   3     2   -1
13 JANKUNAS, PAULIUS 20:59 15 6/8 1/1   2 3 5 2   1   1 3 2 17
20 MASIULIS, GYTIS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
21 MILAKNIS, ARTURAS 22:30 3   1/3     3 3 1         1 2 6
22 MICIC, VASILIJE 24:52 15 2/6 1/1 8/10   4 4 4   4   1 1 5 16
30 WHITE, AARON 16:09 4 2/2     2 5 7 2   1     1   11
44 KAVALIAUSKAS, ANTANAS 20:30 9 4/5   1/2   5 5     1     4 2 9
66 VALINSKAS, PAULIUS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
92 ULANOVAS, EDGARAS 29:54 14 4/9 1/4 3/4 1   1     3 1 1 3 4 4
Team             1 1               1
Totals 200:00 79 25/43 5/11 14/21 10 27 37 16 1 19 1 5 25 23 77
        58.1% 45.5% 66.7%
Head coach: JASIKEVICIUS, SARUNAS

Head Coaches

ITOUDIS, DIMITRIS
CSKA Moscow
"Congratulations to Zalgiris for the outcome. We fought at the beginning of the game where we showed the pace of the game and picking it up full court. We were having a very bad percentage on twos and free throws. We were trying to get back into the game and we managed to do so in the last quarter with full-court pressure and a lot of traps and obviously digging very deep in our bench. Mikhail Kulagin gave us a different picture. We came back and we could have won in the last possessions. Zalgiris was better for most of the game, so well deserved that they won. Obviously we are frustrated because we came here to win the title. I am proud that we fought, we did not give up. We showed life; that’s important for what comes after this for us. Positive things. The last quarter that we showed character and we didn’t give up. We fought, but it wasn’t enough. It was a bad weekend for us. But we cannot forget what this team has accomplished. We have fought the whole season, we played good basketball. We had a lot of adversities, which is not an excuse, but we fought through those adversities and are here again. Everybody is now mad, frustrated. But we have shown how we closed this game and the fight and the spirit that gives us hope of what is coming."
JASIKEVICIUS, SARUNAS
Zalgiris Kaunas

"The nerves got the best of them. But they came through. It doesn’t take away from the great job that they did this year. How they acted as humans was great. I am proud of their unbelievable character. They work so hard. I know a lot of coaches say that. But these guys want to improve. The locker room is like family. Our team has been like that for many years.

"A coach’s life is absolutely crazy. Maybe I am exaggerating. But this job is crazy. It costs a lot more nerves and a lot more responsibility. Being a player is probably the best job you can have."

Players

DE COLO, NANDO
CSKA Moscow
"It was a tough game. We were down because of the semifinals, and playing this game is always difficult. When you play against a team with such big support, it's complicated. In the end we showed we could stand our ground. It was not easy but we did it. Now we have to keep on going."
RODRIGUEZ, SERGIO
CSKA Moscow
"It was complicated. We all wanted to forget about the game on Friday. Sometimes you fight but things don't work out. However, in the second half, except for the first minutes, we fought and that's what we have to take from this game."
HINES, KYLE
CSKA Moscow
"We fought, we fought hard it was the last game. Now we have to stay together. We have to remember this feeling, of being here at the Final Four, and use it next season to get motivated and go to Vitoria."
ULANOVAS, EDGARAS
Zalgiris Kaunas
"This game meant a lot for our club, our city, for our fans who were amazing from the first day. Sometimes I even felt they were louder than Fenerbahce fans. I want to thank them for coming here, and I believe a lot of fans watched us at home on TV. We were without a Final four for almost 20 years, so all this is amazing. Today, our play in the third quarter was our plan, and in the fourth quarter it was not how we want to play. A lot of emotions, a couple unsportsmanlike fouls, a lot of talking to the referees; we did not need that, for sure. But they are a big team, a talented team with big ambitions. We relaxed, and it showed us one more time we are not a team that can relax, we need to fight 40 minutes."
PANGOS, KEVIN
Zalgiris Kaunas
"We are obviously disappointed we did not get to play in the championship game, but to end the season with a win, to finish third, caps an unbelievable season. It is the first Final Four for all our guys. It's hard to prepare for if you've never been here. It is hard to do your best, the nerves that come with it and the level of play. But this experience was awesome. Fans were amazing. You are ready to go to work and work hard every single day when you have a support like this. They were like that the whole season. We are so lucky to have such support."
DAVIES, BRANDON
Zalgiris Kaunas
"CSKA is a very good tam, we knew they will not back down, even though we were up. It was a hard-fought game. You heard our fans, from the minute the ball went up they were behind us. You could see it means a lot to them, so this game meant a lot to us, also. The least we could do is bring it home to them. This Final Four was a great learning experience for all us. A lot of us were here for the first time."