Semifinals: CSKA Moscow, Maccabi will be the final duel!
In a rematch of the 2005 final, Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv got closer to win its third consecutive Euroleague title by downing Tau Ceramica 85-70 in the first Final Four semifinal game at sold-out Sazka Arena in Prague. Maceo Baston paced the winners with 20 points, 7 rebounds and 6 blocks to help Maccabi to make it to its seventh Euroleague final. Meanwhile, Tau lost the chance to reach its third Euroleague final after previous appearances in 2001 and 2005. Reigning Euroleague MVP Anthony Parker had all his 19 points in the first half while Nikola Vujcic added 16, 8 rebounds and 7 assists for Maccabi, supported by a majority of fans in the stands. Luis Scola led Tau Ceramica with 17 points while Travis Hansen had 15. In addition to clinching a spot in the final, Maccabi advanced to the first annual NBA Europe Live tournament in Cologne, Germany in October 2006. Maccabi led 51-32 at halftime and boosted its margin to 77-48 after 30 minutes to seal the outcome. CSKA Moscow returned to the Euroleague championship game for the first time in 33 years by rallying to beat Winterthur FC Barcelona 75-84 in their Euroleague semifinals on Friday night at sold-out Sazka Arena in Prague. Theodoros Papaloukas and J.R. Holden led the winners each with 19 points. Holden had all his points in the last 23 minutes, helping CSKA to win the game and end a string of three semifinals losses in a row since 2003. Matjaz Smodis had 17 points and 12 rebounds for a double-double while Trajan Langdon had 13 points for CSKA. Shammond Williams led Barcelona with 24 points while Bootsy Thornton had 15 off the bench. In addition to clinching a spot in the final, CSKA advanced to the first annual NBA Europe Live tournament in Cologne, Germany in October 2006. CSKA trailed 45-34 early in the third quarter but Papaloukas had 8 points in a 0-13 run that got his team back in the game. A 1-9 run that Smodis capped with a triple sealed the outcome, 64-72, with 2:40 remaining.