Semifinals: Panathinaikos, CSKA Moscow to play for title
Panathinaikos bested archrival Olympiacos Piraeus 82-84 in a memorable second semifinal of the 2009 Euroleague Basketball Final Four at the o2 World in Berlin. The Greens advance to face defending champion CSKA Moscow in a rematch of the 2007 title game. In front of an electric crowd, the game lived up to all its billing and came down to the final shot but Ioannis Bourousis missed in the final seconds and Josh Childress couldn’t hit the follow-up as the Greens celebrated a big win. Panathinaikos enjoyed a well-balanced attack led by Nikola Pekovic with 20 points. Mike Batiste added 19, while Vassilis Spanoulis and Sarunas Jasikevicius netted 18 apiece. Meanwhile Olympiacos, that would face Regal FC Barcelona in the third-place game, got 18 points from Lynn Greer, 14 from Nikola Vujcic, 11 from Childress and 10 from Bourousis. Pekovic scored the go-ahead basket, allowing the Greens to celebrate a memorable victory and berth in the title game.
CSKA Moscow advanced to its fourth consecutive Euroleague final by knocking off Regal FC Barcelona 78-82 in the opening game of the 2009 Euroleague Basketball Final Four at the o2 World in Berlin. Ramunas Siskauskas was the hero after scoring 18 of his career-high 29 points in the fourth quarter - including all the points in a 0-11 run that gave CSKA its first lead. CSKA earned the right to become the seventh club to win back-to-back Euroleague crowns, a feat last accomplished by Maccabi Tel Aviv in 2004-05. Barcelona led by double figures already in the opening quarter, but CSKA never folded and saved its best for last. Trajan Langdon added 15 for the champs and Viktor Khryapa posted 9 points, 10 rebounds and 3 steals. Former CSKA star David Andersen paced Barcelona with 24 points and Jaka Lakovic and Juan Carlos Navarro netted 13 apiece in defeat. Navarro brought Barcelona within 74-76 but a fallaway jumper by Siskauskas and free throws by Langdon sealed the outcome.