Semifinals: Maccabi, TAU Ceramica to face off in title game
Maccabi reached the 2005 Euroleague final by downing Panathinaikos 91-82 in the first semifinal of the Final Four at Olympiyski Arena in Moscow. Maccabi kept its chances alive to become the first team to succesfully defend the Euroleague title since Split did it 1991. Derrick Sharp paced the winners with a Euroleague career-high 20 points off the bench. Maceo Baston and Tal Burstein each added 14 while Anthony Parker and Sarunas Jasikevicius got 13 apiece for Maccabi. Ibrahim Kutluay led Panathinaikos with 17 points while Vlado Scepanovic and Dimitris Diamantidis each added 16 for the Greens. Maccabi's will to provide showtime showed in the opening play, as Jasikevicius just needed seven seconds to feed Baston for an alleyoop layup. Panathinaikos trailed most of the way but briefly got a 54-55 lead midway through the third quarter. Sharp, Parker and Jasikevicius stepped up to make Maccabi seal the outcome minutes before the final buzzer.
Tau Ceramica provided one of the biggest upsets ever in the Euroleague Final Four by beating mighty CSKA 78-85 in the second semifinal of the Final Four in the Olympiysky Arena, Moscow. CSKA had been almost unbeatable all season long, reaching the Final Four with a 21-1 record. Arvydas Macijauskas led the winners with 23 points, including a shot-clock beating three-pointer that sealed the outcome down the stretch. Calderon added 13 and Kornel David posted a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds, 6 of them in the final period. Luis Scola had 10 points despite playing less than 21 minutes due to foul trouble. J.R. Holden led CSKA with 20 points. Demos Dikoudis added 13 points, Marcus Brown 12 and David Andersen 10. A 2-11 run that Macijauskas capped with that critical corner triple broke the game open, 64-73, with less than 3 minutes to go. Tau made it to its second final, as it reached the 2001 title series in Euroleague Basketball's original season.