Turkish Airlines Euroleague
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Panathinaikos wins sixth crown!
Dimitris Diamantidis - Panathinaikos - Final Four Barcelona 2011Panathinaikos 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.
One of the emblematic players on Panathinaikos as it heads into the Final Four is big man Mike Batiste, an All-Euroleague nominee for the second time. Batiste has been a constant in the middle for Panathinaikos since 2003, perfecting the pick-and-roll that has been the engine of many triumphs for the Greens.
Born in the United States to a family of Greek descent, Nick Calathes has taken a unique route to Euroleague prominence. Calathes had been a star player for two seasons at the University of Florida when he decided to join one of the storied clubs, Panathinaikos, in the homeland of his family.
He already holds one of the highest places in European basketball history as the coach with the most continental titles ever. But at 51 years old, hungry as ever for success, Zeljko Obradovic of Panathinaikos has the opportunity at the 2011 Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four to go even higher.
He's been there and done that, winning the 2009 Euroleague title in his first Final Four appearance, but Panathinaikos forward Stratos Perperoglou is just as excited - if not more so - about heading back to the big event.
As the longest-tenured player with the most frequent Euroleague champion this past decade, Kostas Tsartsaris has been an anchor of winning attitude for the modern dynasty called Panathinakos.
There are winners and then there is Zeljko Obradovic. With a Panathinaikos victory in Barcelona, Obradovic would claim his eighth Euroleague crown, doubling the titles of the four legendary coaches tied for second on the list.
He came to Panathinaikos as a talented teen and left 17 years later – after winning five Euroleague titles, the second most in European baskeball history – as the revered captain of the most storied team of the Final Four era.
Greens defeat champ, return to Final Four!
Panathinaikos advanced to the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four on Thursday and in the process dethroned Regal FC Barcelona with a 78-67 victory in Game 4 of their Quarterfinal Playoffs series in front of 19,000 fans.
Final Four team profile: Panathinaikos
- April 27, 2011
Greek League: Greens to face Peristeri in quarterfinals
- April 23, 2011
NIKE International Junior Tournament
Final Four Records
SEMIFINALS, May 6:
Panathinaikos 77-69 Montepaschi Siena
FINAL, May 8:
Maccabi Electra 70-78 Panathinaikos
Panathinaikos Final Four Videos
FINAL FOUR TEAMS
TEAM SLIDE SHOW
Final: Maccabi vs. Panathinaikos
Semifinal: Panathinaikos vs. Siena
Panathinaikos arrival Barcelona
2010-11 Season Recap