2008-09PlayoffsRound 1
Nikola Vujcic, Olympiacos

Playoffs Game 1: Tau turns tables, while CSKA, Greens, Reds hold serve!

Despite four single-digit results in Game 1 of the best-of-five Quarterfinal Playoffs, only one team was able to win on the road and negate the hard-won homecourt advantage of its opponent in the Top 16. That team was none other than Tau Ceramica, which not only beat Regal F.C. Barcelona 75-84, but never trailed or was tied in the game. The fact that Tau is the only team to every win a playoff series it began without homecourt advantage - and did so twice - bodes well for its chances now. Tau was led by a magic Pablo Prigioni, who scored a team-high 17 points and had more assits, 8, than Barcelona's entire team. But if one road warrior topped the charts in Game 1 on Tuesday, however, it wasn't for lack of competition from record-grabbing home winners. A record-setting pace was set in Moscow, where defending champs CSKA downed Partizan 56-47, the lowest points allowed in the playoffs. A 13-3 first quarter clampdown by CSKA, also a defensive record in the playoffs, proved the difference. Erazem Lorbek scored 16 points when almost no one else could, but Viktor Khryapa's 8 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 blocks led CSKA. Meanwhile, an old friend of the champs was busy, too, asOlympiacos stopped Real Madrid 88-79 with Theo Papaloukas distributing 13 assists, his career best. Papaloukas, the career assists leader in the competition, tied both a playoff record and the second-most in any Euroleague game all decade. His passes helped Nikola Vujcic and Lynn Greer score 19 points each to lead the Reds. In the fourth quarterfinal, also played in Athens,Panathinaikos survived 90-85 against Montepaschi in an unexpectedly offensive battle which was the highest-scoring playoff game since 2005. Nikola Pekovic anchored the Greens with 21 points, while Antonis Fotsis stepped up with a pair of triples with Montepaschi pulled within a basket of the lead with under 5 minutes left. All four series stay in the same cities for Game 2 of each on Thursday night.