May 06, 2007 CET: 20:30
Local time: 21:30 OAKA

Panathinaikos is the 2006-07 Euroleague champion!

The Greens defeated defending champion CSKA Moscow 93-91 in a thrilling final at Athens Olympic Indoor Hall (OAKA) in the Greek capital on Sunday to take their first title in five years. In front of a very green sold-out crowd, Panathinaikos captain Fragiskos Alvertis raised the new Euroleague Basketball trophy as the proud club celebrated its fourth Euroleague title – the most of any team in the Final Four era. Final Four MVP Dimitris Diamantidis scored 15 points and displayed the needed leadership to take his team to glory. Diamantidis was one of six Panathinaikos players to score in double figures. Ramunas Siskauskas, who tied a Euroleague final game record with 12 free throws made and set another with 17 attempted, shined with 20 points and 5 assists, Dejan Tomasevic added 16, Mike Batiste and Milos Vujanic had 12 each and Nikos Hatzivrettas posted 10. Despite a game widely expected to be a defensive struggle, the final resulted in a high-scoring thriller that went to the very end. Records were set by Panathinaikos for most free throws made (38) and attempted (46) in a final. The greens also matched a final record for most points scored in the second quarter with 28. The title gives coach Zeljko Obradovic his record sixth Euroleague title, while Alvertis joins six other players on the all-time list with four Euroleague crowns. Meanwhile, CSKA fell short in its bid to become the second straight team to win back-to-back titles. Newly crowned Euroleague MVP Theodoros Papaloukas did his best to carry the outgoing champs, scoring a career-high 23 points on 9-of-10 from the field to go with 8 assists, but it wasn't enough. Matjaz Smodis finished with 18 points and Trajan Langdon, who was instrumental in CSKA's late rally with 11 fourth-quarter points, wound up with 16. J.R. Holden added 11.

CSKA won the opening tip, but committed a turnover in its first possession, which allowed Sani Becirovic to open the scoring for Panathinaikos by hitting a five-meter shot at the other end. CSKA needed almost 2 minutes to score, but a three-pointer by J.R. Holden gave his team a 2-3 lead. Becirovic buried another mid-range shot, while CSKA tried to get Aleksey Savrasenko involved due to his size advantage over Batiste. It was Batiste, however, who scored down low, while another CSKA turnover caused coach Ettore Messina to call timeout down 6-3. Oscar Torres collected back-to-back steals, but CSKA was having severe problems scoring. Papaloukas came off the bench and was guarded by Siskauskas, while Diamantidis took care of Langdon. Siskauskas made free throws, but Torres answered from downtown to cut the CSKA deficit to 8-6 midway through the opening period. Diamantidis fed Hatzivrettas in the corner for a triple, but Papaloukas found Thomas Van den Spiegel for a two-handed dunk. Diamantidis fired one in from downtown and added another layup, good for a 16-8 Panathinaikos lead. Smodis made the most of Panathinaikos's defensive mismatches and hit 4 free throws, but Batiste sank a fall-away jumper to keep the Greens in charge, 18-12. A five-meter jumper by Langdon and a huge three-point play by Papaloukas got CSKA within 18-17 at the end of an intense first quarter.

CSKA tried its best scoring lineup now, with Smodis and David Andersen around the baskets. Siskauskas hit a left-handed driving layup, but Smodis matched that with a jump hook over Fragiskos Alvertis. The defensive intensity was off the charts, but that changed Tomasevic scored down low to get his 1,000th point in Euroleague Basketball. Papaloukas and an outstanding Diamantidis traded layups, too, but Smodis dunked it to keep CSKA within 1. Tomasevic answered the same way before a long jumper by Holden saw Panathinaikos call timeout at 26-25. Diamantidis hit free throws and headed to the bench for the first time tonight. Papaloukas shined with a turnaround jumper in the lane, but Hatzivrettas followed a triple with free throws to get the Green majority in the stands going, 33-27. Savrasenko hit a jump hook and soon added a dunk, as Messina opted to use Anton Ponkrashov on Siskauskas. Vujanic came in off the bench and fired in a three-pointer as CSKA entered the foul bonus and took a timeout. Vujanic gave the Greens their biggest lead yet by calmly sinking 4 free throws to make it 42-32. CSKA simply could not beat the Greens' matchup man-to-man defense, even missing a few open shots before Andersen made a short jumper. Batiste provided a highlight with an alley-oop slam and Siskauskas scored in penetration to make it a 12-point game. A double technical foul on Diamantidis and Smodis allowed the latter to make free throws and fix the halftime score at 46-36.

Just like at the start of the game, CSKA committed a quick turnover right after stepping on court, but its defense dramatically improved when it mattered. Smodis and Torres hit free throws to get the then-reigning Euroleague champions within 46-40. Siskauskas was next on the foul line to make 1-of-2, but his team entered the foul bonus with 8 minutes to go in the period. On the other end, Langdon drilled a triple and Papaloukas added a reverse layup to force Panathinaikos to call timeout with only a 2-point lead. Panathinaikos continued to struggle and it was all Papaloukas now. He ran the court to find an easy layup that capped a 1-13 run and tied it at 47-47. Vujanic made 3 more free throws but Papaloukas fed Torres for an easy basket and then drew an unsportsmanlike foul from Becirovic to give CSKA a 50-51 edge – its first lead since 2-3. The game had turned into a physical battle, just like CSKA wanted it, despite the Greens' bench depth. Demos Dikoudis and Van den Spiegel made foul shots to knot the score at 52-52. Then the Greens, who had been limited to just 4 points in 6 minutes, opted for a much-needed timeout. Dikoudis and Diamantidis made free throws, but Papaloukas kept pacing CSKA with another driving layup. Tomasevic scored around the basket and Diamantidis buried a key triple that gave the Greens some fresh air at 60-54. CSKA lost its momentum, while free throws by Torres, Tomasevic, Hatzivrettas and Andersen fixed the score at 65-57 after three quarters.

Van den Spiegel had a big block on Tomasevic early in the fourth quarter, showing that CSKA's defense would take no prisoners from now on. He shined with a three-point play at the other end to bring CSKA within 65-60. But Smodis picked up his fourth foul with 9 minutes to go and CSKA lost control for half a minute, in which free throws by Becirovic and a power layup by Tomasevic made it a 9-point game, 69-60. Langdon stepped up with an off-balanced three-point play, but an outstanding Tomasevic scored again in the low post. Papaloukas stepped up and took over with an incredible left-handed layup. Both teams had already entered the foul bonus with 7 minutes to go. Papaloukas made a free throw, but Siskauskas beat the shot-clock buzzer with an easy layup. An unstoppable Papaloukas singlehandedly kept CSKA in the game, this time with a three-point play to get within 73-69. Siskauskas made 3 more free throws as CSKA faced severe foul problems with Smodis, Van den Spiegel and Langdon with 4 apiece. Batiste opted to take Smodis one-on-one and scored twice again him, making it six Panathinaikos players in double digits already. Holden buried a shot, but Tomasevic answered with a three-point play that broke the game open at 83-73 with less than 4 minutes to go. Batiste "scored" for CSKA while trying to sweep a missed free throw by Van den Spiegel and then Smodis hit a triple from its favorite spot at the top of the key to give his team some hope. Diamantidis made a foul shot and so did Holden to get CSKA within 84-79 with 1:52 to go. Siskauskas almost sealed the outcome with a three-point play, but Langdon came to CSKA's rescue with back-to-back triples that got CSKA within 87-85 with 51.3 seconds remaining. Batiste stepped up with a turnaround jumper with 34.5 seconds to go and Langdon went to the well one too mnay times at the other end. But Smodis grabbed the offensive rebound and was fouled. He made 1 of 2 from the line with 22 seconds remaining, 89-86. CSKA opted to foul on Vujanic immediately and his free throws set a new record for most free throws made and attempted in an Euroleague final and put his team up 91-86. CSKA ran out of time, and a sea of Green fan in the stands celebrated that Panathinaikos had won its fourth Euroleague title in one of the best games ever seen in European basketball!

Panathinaikos Athens champ Final Four Athens 2007 - EB06
Sunday, May 6, 2007
Javier Gancedo, Athens, Euroleague.net
Attendance: 18363
By Quarter1234
Panathinaikos Athens18281928
CSKA Moscow17192134
End of Quarter1234
Panathinaikos Athens18466593
CSKA Moscow17365791
Panathinaikos Athens
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 ALVERTIS, FRAGISKOS 5:45                         3   -3
5 DELK, TONY 0:15                              
7 BECIROVIC, SANI 12:15 6 2/4   2/2       1   2   1 5 2 -1
8 BATISTE, MIKE 24:00 12 6/9       5 5 1   4     2   9
9 SISKAUSKAS, RAMUNAS 36:45 20 4/4 0/5 12/17   4 4 5 2       2 11 30
10 HATZIVRETTAS, NIKOS 30:00 10 0/3 2/3 4/4 1 3 4 1 1 1     3 2 10
11 DIKOUDIS, DIMOS 22:00 2 0/1   2/2   3 3     2     4 1 -1
12 TSARTSARIS, KOSTAS 1:00                         4   -4
13 DIAMANTIDIS, DIMITRIS 28:45 15 2/2 2/2 5/6   3 3 3 2 2     4 6 22
15 TOMASEVIC, DEJAN 21:15 16 6/9   4/6 1 2 3         1 2 4 15
18 VUJANIC, MILOS 18:00 12 0/1 1/3 9/9           1     2 4 10
19 JAVTOKAS, ROBERTAS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Team           2   2               2
Totals 200:00 93 20/33 5/13 38/46 4 20 24 11 5 12 0 2 31 30 89
        60.6% 38.5% 82.6%
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 35:00 23 9/10   5/6   1 1 8   3     4 5 28
5 KURBANOV, NIKITA DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
8 SMODIS, MATJAZ 26:45 18 2/5 1/2 11/12 1 2 3     4     4 8 16
9 VANTERPOOL, DAVID DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
10 HOLDEN, JR 30:30 11 2/3 2/3 1/2   1 1   1 4     2 2 6
11 PASHUTIN, ZAKHAR 1:15   0/1                     1   -2
13 ANDERSEN, DAVID 26:15 4 1/3 0/1 2/2   6 6   1 1     4 1 4
14 SAVRASENKO, ALEKSEY 11:00 4 2/3     1 1 2     1     1 1 4
17 TORRES, OSCAR 23:45 9 1/3 1/3 4/7 2 2 4 1 2       5 5 9
18 PONKRASHOV, ANTON 6:15                              
21 LANGDON, TRAJAN 23:30 16 3/5 3/6 1/1   1 1     1     5 2 8
22 VAN DEN SPIEGEL, TOMAS 15:45 6 2/2   2/5   3 3     1 2   5 6 8
Team             2 2               2
Totals 200:00 91 22/35 7/15 26/35 4 19 23 9 4 15 2 0 31 30 83
        62.9% 46.7% 74.3%
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Head Coaches

Panathinaikos Athens
“What can I say. I'm very happy for my players. They worked very hard during the season. As you know, only our captain Alvertis and Papanikolaou were champions of Europe before and now everyone is. I think is was a great game tonight for both teams. Conratulations to CSKA for a great season. They played great. I am very proud of my players. Thank you very much to our fans. They helped us very much all season and of course in the semifinals and tonight. A special thanks to my staff. We are working almost eight years together. And, of course, very special thanks to the Giannakopoulos family. Because of them, everybody is here, working in a good organization, and we only have to care about our jobs."

"I am very happy because I have a team of good persons. They are good players of course, but are good persons, too, and thanks to those players I am 10 times in a Final Four and six times the champion. That's not important. What's important is, as I said to some of them after, we must believe that we have the quality to next year come back to the next Final Four. The other important thing is today was the birthday of Mr. Diamantidis and Mr. Tomasevic. Everything is for them, the players."
CSKA Moscow
"Congratulations to Panathinaikos, to their players, their coach and their crowd for the great win to take this season's Euroleauge. As you probably imagine, after preparing on Saturday to play the third-place game, the second-worst thing of playing the Final Four is doing this press conference after losing. We are not happy and we have to, let's say, help ourselves with the pride of having played a great season and maybe having played a great final, but not good enough. We fell too short in some crucial moments, when the foul trouble of some players forced us into some mistakes. Even if we kept playing, kept playing, kept playing, I felt we just were a little bit short in some situations. We played a very good season and a very good Euroleague season, and we will prepare to try to be back in Madrid in 2008."

"I have the feeling that we'll go home knowing that we gave our best, played a great game, but that they had a little more. It's much worse when you go home and think about many things that could have happened and didn't."

"[The score was in the 90s] because of the talent of the players and because I think there were a lot of foul calls, and I agree. I can question some of the calls, but that's part of my job as a coach. I accept this. I don't want a high level of contact, because in that case the quality level of the player disappears. We can question a call, but this is not the moment to dirty a win and a great game. It's finished. We keep everything like that for ourselves. But I agree with what they did. I agree with the meter they have had in this game. I can discuss, of course. Maybe I see one thing, the referee sees another. Compared to the semifinals, this is the way you have to call the game. That's it."

"Let me just start with David Vanterpool. I said before the Final Four that David is a very important piece of our team. He may not score, but he's a leader, a great ball-hander, a good defensive guard and a tough person. As for the rest, we had a good game. Somebody played better, some worse than you expected. That's part of the game, but I prefer to value the team together, and we played good."

"Their fans influenced it for sure. You have to always congratulate the team that wins with that crowd, because it could have been pressure for them. Their coaches and players have been capable of overcoming that pressure. They, too, have a veteran team. It's hard to arrive at this level with young players."

"With all respect for Dimitris Diamantidis, I think Theo could have been considered for this award. It's part of the normal routine that the best player comes from the winning team, but Theo can go home proud of the award he received last night and can go home knowing that the award was right."

"We depended a lot on [Papaloukas], you're right. I could have had another option, but without Vanterpool, it was difficult. Oscar Torres and Trajan Landgon are players who are the finishing options. J.R. Holden can help create. We missed some participation in the passing game by our big men, who are usually good passing in and out. We didn't have that good inside-out passing this time, thanks to the defense of Panathinaikos, which helped well and switched well. Honestly, if I see that we scored 90 points against their defense, it's something. After seeing them all year, I was concerned about how to play against their switching defense. But today, the offensive players were much better."


Panathinaikos Athens
“This was a really great game. Congratulations are in order for both teams. Everybody enjoyed this game, fans and players as well. We are proud of what we achieved, and will continue our effort with the same intensity. I want to thank our fans for their support. Indeed, I am very happy to be a member of this team and I enjoy every single day, from a simple practice to a Euroleague final.”
Panathinaikos Athens
“We wanted it very much. Only Alvertis and Papanikolaou had won this trophy from the whole squad. This is a great moment for us; I am very happy, because I had been hunting this trophy. I want to say congratulations to Papaloukas, he had a great game, and held CSKA in the game all by himself.”
Panathinaikos Athens
“We knew it was going to be a difficult game, so we worked hard and did a great job. I have never seen anything like our fans before in my life. Today the atmosphere was unbelievable. The fans are great; they have supported us through good and bad times. I wasn’t surprised that we beat CSKA by scoring 93 points; this is the game of basketball. Regardless of who won tonight, we have to congratulate both teams.”
Panathinaikos Athens
“I am really happy to have the chance to celebrate a fourth trophy. The team wrote history. Panathinaikos has a great organization and an excellent coach to go with fantastic players, who are first and foremost wonderful guys. In my opinion this is the main ingredient in order to built a successful team.”
Panathinaikos Athens
"This is the most important trophy I have won at a club level, the first Euroleague title for me. We played very good basketball, we enjoyed ourselves and gave joy to our fans. When you play in such a pace, it is natural to lose concentration at times, but in general everything went as planned by our coach. I don’t think I owed a big game. Whoever steps on the floor does it to win. As far as the MVP title is concerned, it belongs to the whole team. Panathinaikos has proved that it belongs to the top of European basketball, and we want to stay there through hard work. Papaloukas had a great game and proved that Greek players can lead big teams."

"The most important thing is we are champions. The other is details. I am very happy and very proud of my teammates and of all the fans. We are very happy." "We expected a very tough game. We played good defense, we tried to keep them low, so we took the cup and we are very happy. Now, all the rest are details. The best is that we took the championship."
Panathinaikos Athens
“How can you feel after a game like this? I feel great, I'm so happy, I feel like a big child right now. It's the biggest trophy in my career so far. It was a hard game, as every final usually is. It was a hard game, it was really tough and that's why I'm so happy that we won this title. The atmosphere was incredible, I've never felt anything like this before. I felt we had to win this game because of the [fans], we just cannot let them down at this moment after watching how they supported us. We both are two teams well-known for their defensive quality, so I think that after two low-scoring games in the semifinals, we were preparing to to be able to score and they did the same.”
Panathinaikos Athens
"It is very difficult for me to talk now because I am very happy. We did a great job this season. We worked very hard. I really believed that we could beat Tau Ceramica in the semifinals and now CSKA in the final. It is time to celebrate and think about what we did, because is unbelievable."
Panathinaikos Athens
"This is a big moment for me, I am so happy. Everything is good for me now after the many injuries I had in the past. After one year I am feeling very well, I played well in this Final Four and we won the title. This is my year!"
Panathinaikos Athens
"This is a great feeling, like I said. We started out with a mission to achieve and we managed to accomplish. I won the NCAA Final Four, now the Euroleague Final Four, and now I want to win it again!"
Panathinaikos Athens
"It feels excellent to be the Euroleague champion, it feels great. This is just like heaven. I think that the best teams in Europe met in the Euroleague final and that's why we saw a really beautiful basketball game. We controlled the game in the final minutes and even when we had a bad moment, I think we deserved to win more than ever."
CSKA Moscow
"This is a tough loss, but congratulations to them. They played well enough to win. We were down by double digits a couple of times, came back and did not have enough time to take the lead. We fought but came up short. Now we have to work hard to win the Russian league and get ready to be back next season. The focus is to win the Russian championship."
CSKA Moscow
"We all feel bad for this loss, but we have to carry on and recover from this situation. We missed some key free throws down the stretch. We even got a slim lead in the second half, but Panathinaikos fought back. Theodoros Papaloukas has shown the kind of player he is. He had a great game today and showed the player that he is."
CSKA Moscow
"Congratulations to Panathinaikos. The guys played really hard, it was a tough game. Panathinaikos had the lead, we came back and didn't manage to win. The Euroleague season is now finished, so now have to try to win the Russian championship and see what is going to happen next year. We have to go to Madrid. The fact that I beat my personal career-high – 23 points – doesn't mean anything to me. I would prefer to win the game and not to play so good. CSKA is a big team and always has big targets."
CSKA Moscow
"I think that Panathinaikos knocked the free throws down when it was important and made some big shots. Every time that we had the feeling that we could turn the situation over, every time that we were playing better than them, they came out with a big play. Everybody had the feeling that we could beat them today and we didn't. They deserved to win, even though it was a close game and that hurts more. It was a probably a beautiful game, but we didn't come here to allow 93 points, they scored a season-high against us in the Euroleague. That's not our game and this is probably why we lost, so congratulations to them."
CSKA Moscow
"The game was really close and was finally decided in the last 3 minutes, they made the big plays right when it mattered, and it's good for them. Now we have to concentrate on the Russian League and get ready to be back in the Euroleague next season. This is what everybody knows that we have to do."
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