Final Four, Finals: Panathinaikos wins sixth European crown!
Panathinaikos won its sixth Euroleague title on Sunday evening by holding off Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv 70-78 in the championship game of the 2011 Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four at Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona. Dimitris Diamantidis starred with 16 points and 9 assists becoming only the third person in history to win Final Four MVP honors twice and setting and tying breaking a pair of assists records along the way. Mike Batiste added 18 points, Drew Nicholas scored 14 and Romain Sato 13 to lead a well-balanced team effort. The win also adds a title for Panathianikos’s Zeljko Obradovic, who was already the winningest head coach in Euroleague history and now owns eight rings – the last five all with the Greens. Panathinaikos’s six titles make it second to only Real Madrid on the list of all-time champions. Panathinaikos controlled the paint, blocking several shots early and keeping All-Euroleague center Sofoklis Schortsanitis scoreless in the first half. Sofo got going for a bit in the third quarter and gave Maccabi a 36-35 lead, but it was short-lived. Drew Nicholas heated up and Romain Sato nailed 3 three-pointers in an 8-19 charge to finish the quarter ahead 43-54. Even after the lead hit 14 in the fourth quarter, Maccabi climbed to within 5 late only to have Diamantidis put the game away down the stretch. Maccabi, which was also targeting a sixth continental crown, got 17 points and 7 rebounds from Chuck Eidson. David Blu added 14, Jeremy Pargo scored 12 and dished 9 assists and Lior Eliyahu also netted 12. Montepaschi Siena completed an outstanding Turkish Airlines Euroleague season by beating Real Madrid 62-80 on Sunday in the Third-Place Game at the 2011 Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four at Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona, Spain. Ksistof Lavrinovic scored 17 points to pace the Italian champs in a game they controlled from start to finish.