2005-06Final FourSEMIFINAL B
April 28, 2006 CET: 20:30
Local time: 20:30 SAZKA ARENA
Theo Papaloukas - CSKA Moscow - 2006 Final Four Prague

CSKA Moscow returned to the Euroleague championship game for the first time in 33 years by rallying to beat Winterthur FC Barcelona 75-84

CSKA Moscow reached the Euroleague championship game for the first time since 1973 by beating Winterthur FC Barcelona 75-84 in their Euroleague semifinals on Friday night at sold-out Sazka Arena in Prague. CSKA will meet Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv, which earlier defeated Tau Ceramica 85-70, in Sunday’s final. Theodoros Papaloukas and J.R. Holden led the winners each with 19 points. Papaloukas made 7 of 10 shots coming off the bench while Holden had all his points in the last 23 minutes, helping CSKA to rally and win the game. CSKA ended a string of three semifinals losses in a row by reaching Sunday’s title in its record fourth consecutive Final Four. The last of CSKA’s four titles came in 1971. CSKA coach Ettore Messina has now reached the Euroleague final with three different teams – Virtus Bologna, Benetton Treviso and CSKA. Barcelona, the 2003 Euroleague champion, will fight for third place against Tau Ceramica. CSKA trailed 45-34 early in the third quarter but found a go-to guy in Papaloukas, who had 8 points in a 0-13 run which put his team ahead, for the first time of the game. Barcelona managed to tie the game, 63-63, but Holden, Papaloukas and Matjaz Smodis led a 1-9 run which put CSKA in charge for good. Smodis had 17 points and 12 rebounds for a double-double while Trajan Langdon had 13 for CSKA. Shammond Williams led Barcelona with 24 points, Bootsy Thornton had 15 off the bench while Juan Carlos Navarro added 10. In addition to clinching a spot in the final, CSKA advanced to the first annual NBA Europe Live tournament in Cologne, Germany next October.

Both teams started cold as they adjusted their opponents' man-to-man defenses, which featured the same pairings in both ends, highlighted by Shammond Williams against David Vanterpool and Juan Carlos Navarro against J.R. Holden. Williams nailed a six-meter jumper to open the scoring, as CSKA remained scoreless. Big Denis Marconato fired in another long jumper to give Barcelona a 4-0 lead. CSKA had already missed three shots and committed two turnovers when a triple by a red hot Williams forced coach Ettore Messina to call timeout at 7-0. CSKA tried to use longer possessions with better ball movement to find the way to the basket as David Vanterpool took over as the distributor. He found Smodis for his team's first points midway through the opening period, but Navarro bettered that with a bomb from downtown. Theo Papaloukas replaced Vanterpool and immediately contributed with a second-chance basket, while another bench substitute, Tomas Van den Spiegel, hit a pair of free throws to bring CSKA to 10-6. Marconato took over with a dunk-and-foul, but he also picked up his third foul on the ensuing play and was forced to take a rest. More free throws from Van den Spiegel and Trajan Langdon allowed CSKA to remain close at 13-9, before Papaloukas closed the gap with a steal and a coast-to-coast dunk. Navarro canned his second triple and then Papaloukas scored in the low post, but an acrobatic jumper by Williams fixed the score at 20-15 after 10 minutes.

Langdon tried to keep his team in the game with a turnaround jumper, as CSKA improved its defense and started to crash the offensive glass. Bootsy Thornton came on for Williams and quickly found himself in a one-on-one situation against former teammate and longtime friend Vanterpool. Thornton won this battle, scoring in the low post and forcing a CSKA timeout at 22-17. After Van den Spiegel missed a pair from the line, Michalis Kakiouzis beat the 24-second clock with a trademark triple from the left wing and then Gianluca Basile came off a screen to hit another one from downtown to boost Barca's lead to 28-17 after 13 minutes and bring on another CSKA timeout. CSKA looked to turn the game into a physical battle and take advantage of its defensive reputation. Vanterpool made two free throws – his first points of the game – but a big block from Gregor Fucka allowed Williams to hit a tough jumper, good for a 30-19 Barcelona lead. Thornton added a driving layup before Matjaz Smodis scored three the hard way for CSKA. Holden followed with a three from the corner for his first basket of the game after 17 minutes. Jordi Trias came in and scored a fast break layup and then Williams added free throws to keep Barcelona out of trouble at 36-25. Smodis rescued CSKA with a put-back layup and Langdon hit free throws to bring his team within 36-29. Papaloukas remained hot with a turnaround jumper to cap a six-point spurt that seven Smodis followed Holden's driving layup with a free throw to close the gap to four. Williams missed a jumper at the buzzer as the teams went to the locker rooms at halftime with Barcelona on top 38-34.

Thornton came back to the floor after the break and immediately made free throws to push Barcelona ahead 40-34. Once again CSKA struggled to score in the opening minutes of the half, while a red-hot Thornton scored from downtown to make it a nine-point game. CSKA was even missing open shots and layups, as Panov and Smodis struggled inside. On the other end, Basile fired in a six-meter jumper, which capped a 7-0 Barcelona run. Holden ended CSKA's scoring draught in style, hitting back-to-back triples exactly from the same spot. Papaloukas added a free throw to make it 45-41. Williams stepped up again with a three-pointer, which Navarro followed with a left-handed driving layup for a 50-42 Barcelona lead. A technical foul on Fucka allowed CSKA to get back into the game, as Papaloukas and Smodis combined for 6 quick points to bring their team within two. Papaloukas scored again in transition and then Holden canned a corner three to give CSKA its first lead of the game, 50-53. Barcelona called its second timeout in as many minutes, but free throws by Papaloukas capped a 0-13 CSKA run in which he had 8 points. CSKA had held its opponent scoreless for four minutes until Kakiouzis hit a short jumper, but Vanterpool answered with free throws to keep CSKA ahead 52-57 after three quarters.

The intensity grew in the final period with both teams fighting for a spot in the title game. After almost two minutes without a score, Holden stepped up with a three-pointer to give CSKA its biggest lead so far, 52-60. Basile answered from downtown and Williams made one free throw to keep Barcelona's hopes alive, at 56-60, with seven minutes to go. Marconato capped a 6-0 run with a baseline jumper, but Langdon took over with a catch-and-shoot triple that gave CSKA some air at 58-63. Williams answered from downtown and Thornton added a floater to tie the score at 63-63 at the midway point in the fourth quarter. It didn't last long, however, as Holden followed Van den Spiegel's tip-in with a six-meter jumper during a 0-6 run, which Panov capped with a fast break layup, forcing Barcelona to call timeout at 63-69. Fucka drew a foul and made a free throw, CSKA remained in control as Smodis came through with a three-point play that made it 64-72 with 2:40 to go. Papaloukas darted downcourt for a two-handed slam off of an inbounds pass to seemingly seal the win as it put CSKA up eight in the final 2 minutes. However Barcelona did not surrender. Thornton made free throws and Williams fired in a triple to get Barcelona within striking distance at 72-75. Langdon's free throws with 1:05 to go gave CSKA some space. Fucka missed around the basket, but Barca got a second chance when Papaloukas committed an offensive foul with 31.4 seconds remaining. Thornton missed a three-point attempt, but Fucka grabbed the rebound and drew a foul. He made just 1-of-2 free throws and Smodis grabbed the offensive rebound and sealed the win with foul shots, enough for CSKA to return to the Euroleague final for the first time in 33 years.

Friday, April 28, 2006
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Attendance: 16805
By Quarter1234
Winterthur FC Barcelona20181423
CSKA Moscow15192327
End of Quarter1234
Winterthur FC Barcelona20385275
CSKA Moscow15345784
Winterthur FC Barcelona
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
5 BASILE, GIANLUCA 32:15 8 1/2 2/6     3 3 2 1 2 1   3 2 7
7 FUCKA, GREGOR 33:00 2 0/2   2/4 2 8 10 2 1 3 5   5 3 11
8 TRIAS, JORDI 7:00 4 2/2   0/1   1 1           3 1 2
9 MARCONATO, DENIS 14:45 7 3/4   1/1 1 1 2   1       4 1 6
10 WILLIAMS, SHAMMOND 32:30 24 4/7 4/9 4/5   4 4 4 1 3     3 4 22
11 NAVARRO, JUAN CARLOS 25:00 10 1/4 2/4 2/2   2 2 1   2     3 5 8
12 COTA, ED 3:00           1 1 2   1         2
14 DE LA FUENTE, RODRIGO 7:45               1   1     2   -2
20 KAKIOUZIS, MICHAILIS 25:15 5 1/2 1/2   2 5 7   1       4   7
21 THORNTON, BOOTSY 15:00 15 4/6 1/3 4/4   2 2   1 3   1 4 4 10
33 GASOL, MARC DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
44 GRIMAU, ROGER 4:30                         2 1 -1
Team                   2       1   1
Totals 200:00 75 16/29 10/24 13/17 5 27 32 12 8 15 6 1 34 21 73
        55.2% 41.7% 76.5%
Min: Minutes played; Pts: Points; 2FG M-A: 2-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); 3FG M-A: 3-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); FT M-A: Free Throws (Made-Attempted); Rebounds: O (Offensive), D (Defensive), T (Total); As: Assists; St: Steals; To: Turnovers; Bl: Blocks (Fv: In Favor / Ag: Against); Fouls: Cm (Commited), Rv (Received); PIR: Performance Index Rating
CSKA Moscow
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 PAPALOUKAS, THEODOROS 28:15 19 7/9 0/1 5/7 2 1 3 2 4 2     4 6 23
5 KURBANOV, NIKITA 11:15   0/3 0/1     2 2         2 2   -6
6 PANOV, SERGEY 16:30 4 1/2 0/1 2/2 1 3 4 1 2       2 2 9
7 ZAVOUREV, VASILY DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
8 SMODIS, MATJAZ 34:15 17 4/9 0/3 9/12 2 10 12     1 1 3 2 9 22
9 VANTERPOOL, DAVID 24:45 7 0/4   7/8 1 2 3   3 3     2 4 7
10 HOLDEN, JR 34:45 19 2/4 5/7 0/1   2 2   1 1     3 3 16
11 PASHUTIN, ZAKHAR DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
12 DYACHOK, VLADIMIR DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
14 SAVRASENKO, ALEKSEY 6:30   0/1     1   1     1         -1
21 LANGDON, TRAJAN 34:15 13 1/3 1/3 8/8 1 4 5 3       1 4 5 17
22 VAN DEN SPIEGEL, TOMAS 9:30 5 1/1   3/6 1   1     2     2 3 2
Totals 200:00 84 16/36 6/16 34/44 9 24 33 6 10 10 1 6 21 32 89
        44.4% 37.5% 77.3%
This game is not yet played

Head Coaches

Winterthur FC Barcelona
“I said that we lacked faith, mentality of playing and being stronger than what happens on court. In this kind of games, you have to be prepared stronger than usual to win it. I am sure we lost because of that. You have to be ready for everything, and today we were not ready for everything. What hurts me is that we had to be strong to win despite the referees. There are always good wins and bad losses, but life goes on. Since the first quarter we were influenced by fouls when I had to change Marconato. The best four teams were here with chances to win.”
CSKA Moscow
“It was a tough game for us. Even when we were down by 10 in the second quarter, we just kept playing because we believed in ourselves. We kept doing our job and in the end we found our chemistry. It was hard because Barcelona has more players than us and we had to find another way. But we did it, it was hard but we are happy. My players played with great confidence and weren't afraid of losing even when we were down 12 or 13. We had the great combination of offense and defense in the fourth quarter that we needed. The technical foul on Fucka and the triples by Langdon were the turning points in the game. When we were down 12, I think that the same referees were at the game as were in the end. You must respect your opponents whether you win or lose. I am disappointed to hear that Dusko would speak of a plot against him. He must have changed since he coached at TAU. We have a great deal of respect for Maccabi, but we'll do what we need to be successful. We need to do better against Maccabi than we did tonight. Six assists in the whole game will not be enough. After the way Maccabi played tonight, we know that no one in the building will put even one Euro on CSKA winning on Sunday. Smodis is one of those players who something good happens everywhere he goes. I'm happy already because we already got a chance to play in the NBA Europe tournament in Cologne. I might get a chance to coach against my young boys Manu Ginobili and Nesterovic.”


Winterthur FC Barcelona
"Impotence. We had the game under control but it looked like the referees wanted to balance the game and when they took the lead we lost it. When they went 5 points up we should have known how to play in the same way but the team was fed up with the situation and didn’t know how to cope with it."
Winterthur FC Barcelona
“We have a very bad feeling because we have all to play at 100% and can’t do better. They didn’t play basketball, they just did three-point practice tonight. We tried to play hard all the game. We made mistakes of course, but when we got close, everytime something happened and they just kept shooting free throws.”
Winterthur FC Barcelona
“I think that more than CSKA winning the game it was us losing it. The referees were horrible. A technical foul to Gregor for such a small thing when it was money time is too much. After that we were dead. Until then we had played well, but so many fouls… I don’t want to blame the referees but I think it was exaggerated. Anxiety affected our game after that. But now we have to go on.”
Winterthur FC Barcelona
“We had a good season. We don’t to finish in a bad note, so we want to beat Tau. It was a long season, we prepared hard. J.R. Holden made some important shots but we made the Final Four. Unfortunately we lost, but a lot of teams in Europe would like to be on our position.”
Winterthur FC Barcelona
“I never talked about referees, but I think that tonight they were not at a Final Four level. This cannot happen. This is a scandal for me. I congratulate CSKA because they played a good game but I think many decisions were more important than that. We lost, now we have to recover.”
CSKA Moscow
“I said befote and even in the press conference, that I had a good feeling about this Final Tour.I have the good experience I got in the Summer in Belgrado. I think we placed clever if you don’t count the first 5 minutes. Even when 11 points down, we know what we were doing. But we made Barcelona struggle with our defense. We knew that if the game was to be decided in the last quarter, we World have the biggest chance to win. We are mentally stronger than almost all the teams in the Euroleague. Right now it’s time to enjoy the win and concentrate for the Final. We have not done anything yet, we’re only half done. We have to go all the way to be happy.”
CSKA Moscow
"It's a great thing, especially breaking the spell. I think everyone is relaxed now. We were under pressure because of that fact, and I think that's why we started out playing bad in the first half. But then we started picking up our defense, making them take tough shots, and I think basically it was defense that brought us to the final. I think everyone is kind of proud, and we can celebrate tonight, but tomorrow is another day and we have to get ready for the final on Sunday."

"We knew we were not playing our best game, especially on defense. We know that if our defense is good, our offense will come, but if we ain't got no defense, we have a tough time scoring on offense. We knew that if we somehow hanged in there, we could turn this thing around. That's exactly what happened. We got a few stops, forced them to take tough shots, rebounded well and got a few fastbreaks, and that kind of broke the game."

"When they played the small lineup we had a little advantage in size with me inside. That was the objective, to throw the ball inside and look for shots outside or play one-on-one. We also suffered a lot their pick-and-roll from the very beginning. We did a great job at the end, and that's what counts."

"Maccabi is a good team, a great team, and they showed it in the first game. But I think we have our chances. If we manage to play defense for 40 minutes, and manage to contain their offense, I think we have a chance. Especially for me it's a little bit more important, since I still hold the minus-44 record from the last time I faced them in the 2004 final. At least I want to make a little better impression this time."
CSKA Moscow
"It's my second time in the Euroleague finals, but the first time I lost to Barcelona, and tonight I paid them back. I think we didn't start well because there was some pressure in the begining, since CSKA lost three semifinals in a row, but we've found the way to make it happen. We played much more intense on defense, and that's what made the difference. Now we are facing Maccabi, and we'll have to try to do the same thing if we want to win. We just saw the last two minutes of the first semifinals, but we know that we'll have to play great defense in the finals."
CSKA Moscow
“It’s gonna be my second Euroleague Final, it’s kind of emocional but at the same time I’m already thinking about Sunday. So we didn’t celebrate toomuch. We have to think about Maccabi. It’s a great feeling to beat a team like Barcelona. We hung in there, fought and won the game. The last Final I played, against Maccabi, we lost by 44. I just don’t want to do better, I want to be up there.”
CSKA Moscow
“Well we stepped up and did our thing! We were down in the second quarter but what happened was this: Theo Papaloukas, he’s my man. He made it happen, he sparked the team one more time and we went from there. I believe our level of determination made the difference. Barcelona made a run but they saw us coming back each and everytime, and at some point we just took over the game. It's true Holden hit great shots, but it could have been anyone else on the team. It was big fun to play against Bootsy, like in the old times. I was expecting his play in the closing minutes and managed to stop him. Now we are going to the finals, and we'll have to do the exact same thing to win the title. It's the first finals for me, and every finals is great. We'll try to do our best against Maccabi now.”
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