Semifinals: FC Barcelona, Benetton are 2003 finalists
In a thriller that was everything the experts expected, Barcelona sent a whole city to celebrating by beating CSKA Moscow 76-71 in the second semifinal. Barcelona joined Benetton Treviso in the Euroleague title in front of a sellout crowd of 16,670 fans at Palau Sant Jordi, a new Final Four record. Gregor Fucka led the winners with 23 points. Dejan Bodiroga added 17 for Barcelona, but Juan Carlos Navarro provided the biggest highlight of the game with a fast break layup off a steal that sealed the outcome with 22 seconds to go, allowing a majority of Barcelona fans to celebrate a major win. Barcelona is now ready to keep fighting to win its first-ever Euroleague title after five finals lost in 1984, 1990, 1991, 1996 and 1997. J.R. Holden led CSKA with 21 points. Darius Songaila added 14 while Victor Alexander had 13 for CSKA in defeat. CSKA trailed 70-68 with a minute to go but Bodiroga hit free throws right before Navarro sealed the outcome down the stretch.
Benetton Treviso made it to the Euroleague final for the first time since 1993 by edging Montepaschi Siena 62-65 in the first semifinal at Palau Sant Jordi. Benetton trailed 58-52 with 3 minutes to go but Garbajosa and an outstanding Bulleri - who scored his team's last 7 points - stepped up in crunch time to lead Benetton to a historical win. Garbajosa hit all of his 12 free throw attempts to lead the winners with 14 points. Bulleri and Denis Marconato each added 12 for Benetton. Vrbica Stefanov led Montepaschi with 17 points. Alphonso Ford added 15, Dusan Vukcevic 14 and Michalis Kakiouzis 10 for Montepaschi, that rallied from a 19-point deficit to keep its options alive in the final period. As such, coach Ettore Messina made it to his fifth Euroleague final in six years - his first without Kinder Bologna -, cementing his status as one of the best bosses in European club basketball history.