We were all hoping for action and excitement in the Euroleague Final Four Semi Finals on Friday night and that is exactly what we got. This leaves with us a massive Championship game to look forward to while the two teams who sat at the top of the table in the regular season will have to play out the third and fourth match.
CSKA Moscow 78 – Olympiacos Piraeus 82
There was an upset in the first game of the Friday night action as the Greek side defeated the reigning Euroleague champions. The Russians held a 13 point lead at one point but this was pegged back and in the final minute of the game, the scores were level. This was the cue for Erick Green to grab three points to put the Greek side in front, and with CSKA failing to score again, the comeback had been completed in fine style.
Vassilis Spanoulis, as you would have expected, was at the heart of this comeback and he managed to deliver 10 points on the final quarter, and he grabbed 14 points on total. This was also the total delivered by Georgios Printezis and Kostas Papanikolaou in the win.
Milos Teodosic provided 23 points in the defeat for CSKA while Nando De Colo offered up 16 points and Aaron Jackson provided 12 points. Victor Khryapa grabbed 8 rebounds in the match and he was the first player to collect over 100 rebounds in the history of the Final Four.
Fenerbahce Istanbul 85 – Real Madrid 75
The second Semi Final may have lacked the dramatic ending of the first but this was a game that had the majority of the crowd rocking and rolling straight from the start. Fenerbahce Istanbul led from the beginning of the game all the way through and the Turkish team will take part in their second straight Euroleague Championship, and this time, it is in their home city.
Ekpe Udoh was a key player, with 18 points, 12 rebounds 8 assists (which was a career high for the player) and 2 blocks, which saw him lead from the front for his side. The Turkish side grabbed a double-digit lead early on and they were that much in control that a 0-11 scoring run in favour of Madrid wasn’t enough to knock them off of their stride. Bogdan Bogdanovich provided 14 points while Nikola Kalinic and Jan Vesely offered 12 points each in the win.
Sergio Llull was the top scorer on the night with 28 points and Jaycee Carroll provided 21 points for Real Madrid who now take part in the third and fourth match on Sunday.
• Sunday 21st May: Third/Fourth Match: Real Madrid v CSKA Moscow
• Sunday 21st Mat: Championship Game: Fenerbahce Istanbul v Olympiacos Piraeus
The Friday night action at the Euroleague Final Four was very exciting and hopes are high that the Sunday will be just as good, and it is sure to be a noisy night in Istanbul.