2009-10 Final Four semifinals: A first step towards making history!
Regal FC Barcelona and Olympiacos made it to the Euroleague final! Both teams survived tough semifinals against CSKA Moscow and Partizan, respectiely, in an unforgottable Friday night at the at the Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy in the French capital. Barcelona is a step closer to its ultimate dream and reached its first Euroleague final since winning its only title in 2003 after topping CSKA Moscow 64-54. Barcelona avenged defeat against the same CSKA team from last season’s semifinals thanks to a strong showing from star playmaker Ricky Rubio, who scored 10 points and tied a Final Four record with 8 assists. It was a tough battle that went the way CSKA wanted, slow and physical, but a 10-0 second-quarter run gave Barcelona the lead for good and head coach Xavi Pascual’s men made it hold up in what was the lowest scoring Final Four game of the decade. Fran Vazquez led all Barcelona scorers with 11 points, while Juan Carlos Navarro added 10 and Erazem Lorbek posted 7 points and 9 rebounds against his former team. Barcelona will play Sunday's title game against Olympiacos, that survived an overtime thriller to beat Partizan Belgrade 80-83 in the second semifinal - arguably one of the best games ever played in Final Four history. The Reds forced overtime on a Josh Childress offensive rebound and dunk in the closing seconds of regulation and then rode the foursome of Childress, Linas Kleiza, Ioannis Bourousis and Milos Teodosic, who scored 4 points apiece in overtime, to secure a remarkable win. The game was the first semifinal to go to overtime since 2004. Alphonso Ford Top Scorer Trophy winner Kleiza paced the Reds with 19 points and 11 rebounds, Childress and Teodosic added 17 points each, Sofoklis Schortsanitis scored 11 and Theo Papaloukas tallied 10 points and 5 assists for Olympiacos, which lost in the Final Four semifinal last season and has not lifted the crown since 1997. Partizan, which is appearing in its first Final Four in 12 years, got 21 points, 4 assists and 4 steals from Bo McCalebb. Aleks Maric had 17 points, 8 rebounds and 2 blocks, Jan Vesely posted 13 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 blocks and Dusan Kecman scored 11.