Media Reaction to Athens Final Four

May 10, 2007 by Print
Media Reaction to Athens Final Four
Eurobasket "The OAKA Olympic Stadium before the opening tip-off was simply the best basketball atmosphere in the world. The noise level produced by the 19,000 screaming fans was amazing and the basketball people from the United States could not believe the European supporters intensity. There is nothing like it in the NBA or any major NCAA college game environment and at one point prior to the tip off the Panathinaikos crowd chants sent chills through my body. The CSKA contingent brought about 1000 fans but they were overwhelmed by an estimated 10,000 Panathinaikos supporters dressed in their Irish green. If they could have purchased a million tickets they probably would have."

The Green Dynasty "In one of the most fascinating finals ever, Panathinaikos beat ongoing European champion CSKA and won its four title. Now the Greens are building a big dynasty and aim to go further. President Paul Giannakopoulos stated: 'We want to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the club, in 2008, with back to back European crowns.' Captain Fragiskos Alvertis doesn't feel tired and says that Panathinaikos is such a big club that they can think of making a record similar to Real Madrid's eight Euroleague trophies."
(All-Star Basket)

I get crazy! "Fragiskos Alvertis lived his dream, as the only contemporary player who has four Euroleague trophies and 19 titles overall. The captain of Panathinaikos says that the first goal of the team is to repeat it next year in Madrid and tie Maccabi Tel Aviv with five crowns."
(Goal News)

Sport DayNothing can stop them "Panathinaikos proved once again that they are an all-time classic team. The management, the coach, the players and the whole philosophy of the team led them to the top and can keep them there. Nobody can imagine Panathinaikos without Obradovic, not even Zeljiko can imagine this! Diamantidis is the clutch player, without him Panathinaikos might not make the Final Four. Papaloukas lost but he is a great winner."

SportimeFrom dynasty to… institution "As Pat Riley said, a great team becomes a champion and the champion becomes a dynasty. Panathinaikos is not only a dynasty, but an institution of basketball. The team looks like the epitome of basketball's tradition, and they can go further."

Sport"The 2007 Euroleague allowed Panathinaikos and head coach Zeljko Obradovic to stay in the place where only European champions are. (...) The Greek team showed all the basketball it can offer, that is a lot and of the best quality. A backcourt featuring Dimitris Diamantidis, Nikos Hatzivretas, Sani Becirovic and Milos Vujanic riddled CSKA with a demolishing efficiency, with a know-how that only great champions have. That's how Panathinaikos lifted its fourth Euroleague title: in the best way possible."
(Sport, Spain)

Mundo Deportivo"Panathinaikos confirmed itself that the dominant team in European basketball in recent years, as it got its fourth Euroleague title in the last 11 years once it lifted the trophies in 1996, 2000 and 2002. The Athens-based team, backed with a majority of fans cheering for them, beat CSKA Moscow 93-91 in one of the best basketball games seen in recent years. (...) The game last 2 hours and 20 minutes, but none of the 18,000 fans that sold out the OAKA thought it was too long. Panathinaikos and CSKA offered a first-class show in which talent and offense beat both teams' defensive intensity."
(Jose Ignacio Huguet, Mundo Deportivo, Spain)

As"Zeljko Obradovic, the title collector, need more than the finger in one hand to show how many Euroleague titles it own, as many as six. He is insatiable, too, being able to win using any basketball style. He is the pride of Serbia and is own his way to be as important as the clover in the Panathinaikos logo, as it led his team once again to the Euroleague title: Green poker. (...) With an outstanding left-handed player, Dimitris Diamantidis, the all-around player stereotype. Not only he was the Euroleague's Defensive Player of the Year, but Diamantidis did not miss shot in the opening 37 minutes. Diamantidis managed to beat a fouri classi like Papaloukas that once again offered a basketball lesson."
(Juan Jimenez, As, Spain)

Diario Sur"A great experience. Three days to remember lived with the hope of repeating them. Unicaja gave its fans the chance to enjoy a dream almost hard to imagine just several years ago. Moreover, and despite its loss against its CSKA, its basketball level allowed them to get out of Athens with their heads up high and congratulated by all the fans cheering for different teams in this year's Final Four"
(Javier L. Ruiz, Diario Sur, Spain)

Kathimerini"Panathinaikos won its fourth Euroleague title last night with a tense 93-91 victory over defending champion CSKA Moscow at a packed 18,000-capacity Olympic basketball arena in Athens."

"Panathinaikos led by a point at the quarter-time break but established a promising 10-point lead, 46-36, by half time as a result of effective attacking play. The Russians managed to cut this lead during the third period and overtook Panathinaikos for a 51-50 advantage. But Panathinaikos rebounded for a sturdy lead, 65-57, by the quarter’s end. Two three-pointers by American Trajan Langdon brought CSKA within two points with just over a minute of play remaining."
Kathimerini, Greece

ESPN"Imagine the glitz and glamour of the NBA Finals, mixed in with the heavyweight importance of the NCAA Final Four and throw in a healthy dose of European soccer tribalism. Now, you can begin to get a feel for what the Euroleague Final Four is all about.

The event, which features reigning champions CSKA Moscow and Spanish clubs Tau Ceramica and Unicaja Malaga would have been big enough in its own right, even before you factor in the identity of the fourth finalist, Panathinaikos."

Kommersant"CSKA Moscow failed to defend its Euroleague title against Panathinaikos in a highly-anticipated final at Athens Olympic Indoor Hall (OAKA) in the Greek capital. Before the thriller, CSKA had lost only two games in the entire Euroleague season and arrived to the final with a strong chance to win consecutive Euroleague titles but failed to materialize that hope in the end."
Kommersant, Russia

Haaretz"Until last night, CSKA had given up an average of 64 points a game in Euroleague play. But the best defensive team in the last decade, which had not given up more than 80 points in a game, did not play well from the outset of last night's contest. Two Panathinaikos players led by Dimitry Dimiantidis, who celebrated his 27th birthday last night, shot from all parts of the court."
Haaretz, Israel

France24 News"Panathinaikos Athens on Sunday won the European basketball championship, edging defending champions CSKA Moscow 93-91 in a highly-charged Euroleague final in Athens in front of a frenzied crowd of over 15,000 Greek supporters.

The Russians got within two points on a desperation three-pointer by American guard JR Holden in the final second, but the Greek hosts had earlier held their cool in the face of a CSKA onslaught to win their fourth continental title.

"It was a great game tonight, both teams played good basketball," said Panathinaikos coach Zeljko Obradovic, who won his sixth Euroleague championship, setting a new league record."
France 24 News

"Obradovic beats one more time the former Virtus Bologna and Benetton Treviso coach (93-91), but CSKA remains alive until the end thanks to an outstanding performance of Papaloukas. 18,000 fans celebrate the fourth title of Panathinaikos."

"Panathiniakos, European champion for the fourth time, it wasn't written because they played at home, they had to beat a team like CSKA, the defending champions, who never die. CSKA has a shorter team and its five players had also played against 18,000 fans, but at the end Panathinaikos deserved to win."

"Papaloukas played a perfect game, his best of the season after being named the 2006-07 MVP, but his twin in the national team Diamantidis, won their duel making the difference, to be elected the Final Four MVP."

"The Euroleague is back in green, Athens can celebrate."
(La Gazzetta dello Sport, Italy)

"In front of its excited fans, the Greeks from Panathinaikos Atehns won last Sunday the Euroleague Final by beating last season champions CSKA Moscow (93-91) and obtaining their fourth title in their history after 1996, 200 and 2002 (...) and the team of Panathinaikos as well as the thousands of Greeks in the Arena were able to celebrate."
(L'Equipe, France)

"I attended the Euro Final Four in '05 in Moscow, and a number of other European basketball events, as well as numerous NBA and NFL playoff games, but I have never seen a crowd like this. It is not unlike a symphony as the crowd is led by a conductor and and set of drums. The synchronization is truly remarkable and the chants come together and sound like one loud voice yelling in your ear."