We are now looking forward to the new Euroleague season and the change in format but before we push on with the new campaign, we should look back on the 2015/16 Euroleague season. It was the 16th season of the modern Euroleague tournament and it was the 59th season for top level European basketball.
The tournament consisted of 24 teams, initially split into four groups, of 6 teams each. The top four teams of each group progressed through to the next round which meant that eight teams were eliminated at this stage.
The teams eliminated from the regular season of the 2015/16 Euroleague were:
- Bayern Munich – Group A
- Strasbourg – Group A
- Limoges – Group B
- EA7 Emporio Armani Milan – Group B
- Pınar Karşıyaka – Group C
- Stelmet Zielona Góra – Group C
- Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv – Group D
- Dinamo Sassari – Group D
The elimination of these teams left us with 16 teams and the tournament progressed on to the Top 16. This stage saw the teams split into two groups of eight teams each and only the top four would progress from each group.
Regular season moved into Top 16
This meant that eight teams were eliminated at the Top 16 stage, and these teams were:
- Anadolu Efes – Group E
- Darüşşafaka Doğuş – Group E
- Unicaja Malaga – Group E
- Cedevita Zagreb – Group E
- Khimki Moscow Region – Group F
- Brose Baskets Bamberg – Group F
- Olympiacos – Group F
- Zalgiris Kaunas – Group F
The 8 teams finishing in the top half of their respective group made their way through to the Playoff Round. The Playoff Round was a Best of 5 series and the results were as follows:
- Fenerbahce 3 – Real Madrid 0
- Laboral Kutxa Vitoria 3 – Panathinaikos 0
- CSKA Moscow 3 – Crvena Zvezda 0
- Lokomotiv Kuban 3 – FC Barcelona Lassa 2
Euroleague Final Four 2015/16
The four winning teams progressed to the Final Four, which was held in Berlin between 13th of May and 15th of May 2016.
The scores in the Semi-Final games were:
- Fenerbahce 88 – Laboral Kuxta Vitoria 77
- CSKA Moscow 88 – Lokomotiv Kuban 81
The all Russian Semi-Final guaranteed that there would be a Russian team in the Final and it was CSKA that prevailed in this clash. CSKA were joined in the final by Fenerbahce who enjoyed a spirited win in an exciting Semi-Final against their Spanish opponents, Laboral Kutxa Vitoria.
The Third and Fourth Game finished:
- Laboral Kutxa Vitoria 75 – Lokomotiv Kuban 85
In the Euroleague Championship match, CSKA Moscow grabbed the win defeating Fenerbahce after a period of Overtime.
The final score was:
The first half belonged to the Russians and with an opening quarter score of 20-22 and then a second quarter score line of 10-28, the half-time score was 30-50. Many felt that this would see the Russians cruise to victory but their Turkish opponents bounced back in style.
The third quarter finished 23-19 and the final quarter of the game ended 30-14, stunning a lot of the crowd and ensuring that we had more basketball to enjoy. The momentum was with the Turkish side but CSKA rallied and a 13-18 score in Overtime ensured the Russians were triumphant again.
Nando De Colo had an impressive season
Nando De Colo was the top point scoring player for CSKA Moscow in the final, delivering 22 points while Bobby Dixon provided 17 points for the losing team.
There was a strong argument to be made for De Colo being the player of the season. He topped the individual rankings with a PIR of 24.30 and he topped the scoring charts with a Points Per Game ratio of 19.44. It was therefore no surprise to see Nando De Colo awarded the Euroleague MVP and the Euroleague Final Four MVP. Add in the Top Scorer trophy and the 2015/16 season offered an impressive haul for the French internationalist.
CSKA Moscow delivered a 9-1 record in the regular season and a 10-4 record in the Top 16. They added a 3-0 record in the Playoff Round and a 2-0 record in the Final Four which meant that for the Euroleague season, CSKA Moscow notched a 24-5 record, which is definitely the sort of record that gives you a great shot of being champions.
This was the Russian team’s seventh Euroleague title and their first in 8 years. The successful campaigns for CSKA Moscow in Europe have been 1961, 1963, 1969, 1971, 2006, 2008 and 2016.