Game center: Fenerbahce Istanbul joins list of EuroLeague champions!
Fenerbahce Istanbul has joined the list of Turkish Airlines EuroLeague champions! Fenerbahce captured the 2017 crown by overpowering Olympiacos Piraeus 80-64 in the championship game at Sinan Erdem Dome in Istanbul, Turkey on Sunday. Fenerbahce became the first Turkish team to win the EuroLeague title, after losing against CSKA in overtime in the championship game one year ago. Head coach Zeljko Obradovic added more hardware to his impressive legacy by lifting the trophy for the ninth team with five different teams. Kostas Sloukas and Pero Antic won their third EuroLeague title together, after back-to-back crowns with Olympiacos in 2012 and 2013. The Reds kept it close in the first half and trailed by 4 early in the second, but Fenerbahce broke the game open with an 11-2 third-quarter run and led by 18 early in the fourth quarter. Nikola Kalinic scored 17 points on 4-of-6 three-point shooting and Bogdan Bogdanovic also scored 17 for the winners. Luigi Datome scored 10 of his 11 points in the second half to help Fenerbahce pull away and Final Four MVP Ekpe Udoh posted 10 points, 9 rebounds and a EuroLeague championship game record 5 blocked shots. Fenerbahce outrebounded Olympiacos 40-30 and blocked 9 shots in a dominant effort in the paint. Khem Birch led Olympiacos with 14 points, Nikola Milutinov netted 10 and Vassilis Spanoulis finished with 9 points and 8 assists.
CSKA finishes season in third place
CSKA Moscow wrapped up its 2016-17 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague season by downing Real Madrid 70-94 in the third place game at Sinan Erdem Dome in Istanbul, Turkey on Sunday. The victory over Madrid not only served as a sweet finish to an otherwise disappointing Final Four for the outgoing champs, but ensured CSKA the league’s overall best record for the season at 26-9. Kyle Hines paced six CSKA scorers in double figures with 14 points and 7 rebounds. Nando De Colo and Aaron Jackson added 13 points each, Cory Higgins and Vitaly Fridzon scored 12 apiece and Andrey Vorontsevich totaled 10. Hines moved into fifth place on the all-time Final Four rebounding list with 55, while Milos Teodosic, who finished with 7 points and 6 assists, is now seventh in Final Four history with 155 points and tied with Euroleague Basketball Legends Dimitris Diamantidis and Sarunas Jasikevicius with for second place with 46 assists. Gustavo Ayon and Jonas Maciulis led Madrid with 11 points each. Sergio Llull scored 7 points to overtake Jaka Lakovic for sixth place in EuroLeague history with 2,528 points. The biggest difference between the sides was three-point shooting; while CSKA made 12 of 26 (46.1%), Madrid attempted the same amount and made only 6 (23.1%).