Final: FC Barcelona is Euroleague champ after 19 years of frustration
FC Barcelona is finally the Euroleague champion! Barcelona conquered its first-ever title and sent an entire city to celebrate by downing Benetton Treviso 76-65 in the title game played in front of over 16,600 fans at Palau Sant Jordi on May 11, 2003 - a date that few Barcelona fans will ever forget. Dejan Bodiroga paced the winners with 20 points and earned Final Four MVP honours for the second consecutive season - something that only Toni Kukoc had achieved in the past. Gregor Fucka added 17 while Gregor Fucka had 11 in a historical night for Barcelona. Tyus Edney led Benetton with 16 points. Massimo Bulleri added 11 while Denis Marconato got 10. A trio of three-pointers midway through the final quarter - from Sarunas Jasikevicius, Juan Carlos Navarro and Bodiroga - broke open a three-point game to give Barca an 11-point lead with 90 seconds left. Everything was said and done and all those Barcelona fans that mourned so many losses at the Euroleague final could finally celebrate that their team was the reigning Euroleague champion!
Montepaschi Siena finished a fantastic Euroleague season in style by edging CSKA Moscow 79-78 in the Third Place game. Alphonso Ford led the winners with 19 points. Vrbica Stefanov added 17 while Mirsad Turkcan had 16 and 14 rebounds for Montepaschi. Darius Songaila had 15 points for CSKA. Victor Alexander and Nikos Hatzivrettas each added 14 while Sergey Monya had 10 for the Russian powerhouse. It all came down to the final seconds, as Ford grabbed an offensive rebound and scored for a 79-77 Montepaschi lead with 2.8 seconds to go. Incredibly enough, Ford fouled on Hatzivrettas, who missed his second attempt, sending thousands of Montepaschi fans into delirium to see their team officially as the third best in European club basketball.