2018-19Final FourCHAMPIONSHIP GAME
May 19, 2019 CET: 20:30
Local time: 20:30 FERNANDO BUESA ARENA

CSKA Moscow is the 2019 EuroLeague champion

CSKA Moscow outlasted Anadolu Efes Istanbul 83-91 to win its eighth European crown in the championship game of the 2019 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four at Fernando Buesa Arena in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain. Will Clyburn and Cory Higgins netted 20 points apiece and Nando De Colo contributed 15 points to lead CSKA to glory. CSKA led for the majority of the game, but Efes kept the pressure on by closing within 4 twice in the fourth quarter. CSKA never lost its composure and was able to seal the win with late free throws. The victory gave CSKA eight EuroLeague titles, which is second in competition history behind only the team it defeated in the semifinals, Real Madrid, which has 10. Shane Larkin made history for Efes with 29 points, which was the most in the championship game since the turn of the century. Krunoslav Simon added 15 before fouling out, Bryant Dunston posted 13 points and 10 rebounds and Vasilije Micic finished with 10 points for Efes, which was competing in its first EuroLeague championship game.

Coach Ergin Ataman made one change to his starting lineup by inserting James Anderson in place of Simon. Anderson was joined by Larkin, Micic, Adrien Moerman and Dunston. CSKA used the same starting lineup from Friday: De Colo, Daniel Hackett, Clyburn, Nikita Kurbanov and Othello Hunter. Both teams connected from downtown on their opening possessions and proceeded to traded shots. CSKA went to the bench first with Higgins in for Kurbanov and the former promptly drilled a three-pointer for CSKA's first lead, 14-15. As more reserves came in, CSKA seemed to get more of a lift; Higgins drained a second triple and Kyle Hines blocked Larkin, which led to a Hackett three, a 17-24 advantage and an Efes timeout. Another Higgins three pushed the margin to 12 before Rodrigue Beaubois answered with a three to end the first quarter at 20-29. The momentum remained with CSKA as Sergio Rodriguez buried a turnaround three to beat the shot clock, the tallest man on the court, Tibor Pleiss, missed a dunk and Beaubois's had a layup bounce out. Hines beat Tibor Pleiss for a reverse layup and a 20-34 lead. However, Hines was soon whistled for an unsportsmanlike foul on Larkin, who made the resulting free throws and Brock Motum scored on the offensive glass. After De Colo put CSKA ahead by 13, he was called for his second foul and exited the game. A three by Simon drew his team within 34-41 and prompted a CSKA timeout. Micic knocked down a three and Larkin free throws carried Efes within 42-44 at the break.

Simon picked up where he left off by draining a three-pointer for Efes's first lead since the first quarter. De Colo promptly restored the CSKA advantage with an assist to Hackett for a layup. Even though De Colo was back on the bench soon with his third foul, Clyburn sank a three and Hines converted a three-point play to make it 49-57. Larkin and Higgins traded threes before another by Clyburn restored a double-digit CSKA lead, 52-63, midway through the third quarter. Efes went on an 8-0 tear to finish the third quarter, during which it forced a pair of turnovers to get within 62-68 through 30 minutes. Dunston threw down a monster slam to make it a 4-point game. A fresh De Colo came off the bench for a layup, a three-pointer and – after a technical foul on Coach Ataman – a free throw to restore a double-digit advantage, 71-81. Threes by Simon and Micic kept Efes in the hunt, but a clutch put-back by Clyburn made it 77-85 with 2:20 remaining. Hackett was called for an unsportsmanlike foul on Dunston, who made the resulting shots and Larkin followed with a tough layup. However, Higgins and Clyburn made free throws, which coupled with some strong defense allowed CSKA to hold on for the victory and the title.

Three-point history

CSKA had the best three-point shooting night in a EuroLeague championship game since the turn of the century. Its 14 three-pointers made tied the record for the most threes in the title game, which was set by Maccabi Tel Aviv in 2004. It bested that same Maccabi's mark for three-point accuracy, too. CSKA attempted only 22 threes and its shooting percentage was 63.6%. Maccabi took 23 shots on its special night (60.9%). CSKA's great shooting was all the more important against the team that set the record for most threes made in a season during this campaign.

Unsung hero

Daniel Hackett was a valuable contributor on the offensive end with 7 points and 5 assists, but his defense was a major factor in the CSKA victory. He sacrificed his body and tangled with the Efes big guys on switches. More than anything else, his straight-up defense helped take All-EuroLeague guard Vasilije Micic out of the game for long stretches.

Larkin shines even in defeat

Shane Larkin finished a historic Final Four with a 29-point effort, which was the most by a player in the championship game since the turn of the century. His 59 points between the two games is likewise the best of the current millennium. His 9 three-pointers were 1 off the record for most at a single Final Four, too.

De Colo climbs the Final Four ladder

Nando De Colo's sustained excellence over his career saw him leap a few more rungs on the list of EuroLeague greats. In capturing his second title, De Colo improved to 179 career points at the Final Four, which is third most in competition history. He surpassed another CSKA great, Trajan Langdon (172) en route to the distinction. De Colo also became the all-time leader in free throws made at the Final Four with 59. He entered the game tied with Greek legend Nikos Galis for that honor.

CSKA Moscow Champ - Final Four Vitoria-Gasteiz 2019 - EB18
Sunday, May 19, 2019
Euroleague.net
Referees: LOTTERMOSER, ROBERT; LAMONICA, LUIGI; LATISEVS, OLEGS
Attendance: 13420 (Tentative)
By Quarter1234
Anadolu Efes Istanbul20222021
CSKA Moscow29152423
End of Quarter1234
Anadolu Efes Istanbul20426283
CSKA Moscow29446891
Anadolu Efes Istanbul
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
0 LARKIN, SHANE 31:09 29 3/7 4/10 11/12 1   1 2 1 2   1 2 7 24
1 BEAUBOIS, RODRIGUE 9:29 3 0/3 1/1         1         1 1 1
4 BALBAY, DOGUS 4:11                         1   -1
12 MOTUM, BROCK 9:53 4 2/4 0/1   3   3           1   3
15 SANLI, SERTAC 0:12                              
18 MOERMAN, ADRIEN 30:07 2 1/2 0/2   1 2 3   1   1   2 4 6
19 TUNCER, BUGRAHAN DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
21 PLEISS, TIBOR 9:42   0/3     1   1             1 -1
22 MICIC, VASILIJE 31:21 10 2/4 2/9         5   2     4 1 1
23 ANDERSON, JAMES 14:58 7 2/2 1/1           1 1     2   5
42 DUNSTON, BRYANT 28:49 13 3/5   7/8 5 5 10 2   1 1 1 4 6 23
44 SIMON, KRUNOSLAV 30:09 15 2/10 3/6 2/2 4 6 10 2 1 2     5 2 12
Team           4 4 8     1         7
Totals 200:00 83 15/40 11/30 20/22 19 17 36 12 4 9 2 2 22 22 80
        37.5% 36.7% 90.9%
Head coach: ATAMAN, ERGIN
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
1 DE COLO, NANDO 21:01 15 3/3 2/3 3/3   4 4 4   1     3 2 20
3 BOLOMBOY, JOEL 3:17   0/1     1 1 2           1    
5 PETERS, ALEC 7:19                   1     3   -4
7 UKHOV, IVAN 0:21                              
13 RODRIGUEZ, SERGIO 14:32 6 0/2 2/2     2 2   1 2         5
20 VORONTSEVICH, ANDREY DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
21 CLYBURN, WILL 29:38 20 2/6 4/6 4/5 1 4 5 2       1 3 3 19
22 HIGGINS, CORY 33:08 20 2/5 4/5 4/4 1 2 3 2   2     3 7 23
23 HACKETT, DANIEL 24:18 7 2/3 1/4 0/1 1 2 3 5   2     4 4 8
41 KURBANOV, NIKITA 26:26 7 2/3 1/2     5 5 3 2 1   1 2 2 13
42 HINES, KYLE 23:03 9 4/6   1/1 2 3 5 2   1 1   3 1 12
44 HUNTER, OTHELLO 16:57 7 2/3   3/4   1 1     1 1     3 9
Team           2 3 5               5
Totals 200:00 91 17/32 14/22 15/18 8 27 35 18 3 11 2 2 22 22 110
        53.1% 63.6% 83.3%
Head coach: ITOUDIS, DIMITRIS

Head Coaches

ATAMAN, ERGIN
Anadolu Efes Istanbul

"Congratulations to the Moscow team. They deserved to win this final. They really played great offense tonight, especially Will Clyburn and Higgins. They made 8 three-pointers in 11 shots, so it's a very high percentage, also for the whole team. I think they have a little bit more experience than us. We tried to stay in the game. We went down 14 points, then with aggressive defense we changed the game. We went up in the third quarter by 1 point. We had a chance to make it more and get some confidence, but we missed some open shots on the fast break. Micic made only 2 shots in 9 attempts. So we didn’t have a chance to come back into the game. Only in the last minutes we came back to 5 points. But CSKA deserved to win this cup. Congratulations to them. I am proud of my players. Thank you to all the Turkish people who believed in us and supported us. The Anadolu Efes team will continue with the same players, the same energy next year for this level to this time try to win the cup.

"This season we had a great story. After being at the bottom of the standings. We turned it completely around and made it to the championship game. We could have been the champions. We are second place and being second place in the EuroLeague is a great pride for not only for my team but for all the fans of the club.

"I congratulated Itoudis for not playing Rodriguez. All the time they used more physical players on Shane - Hackett and Higgins and switching with Hines. That was the right strategy."

ITOUDIS, DIMITRIS
CSKA Moscow

"Congratulations to my players. We have a great group of competitors, a very united group of people, no personal agendas. Just sacrificing their bodies, their free time, working extras, being devoted and being ready to be criticized all the time, being ready to be provoked every time, being ready to be challenged every time. This is what we have seen in this Final Four. I think we had four great teams here. But we handled all the runs of Real, of Efes.

"For today’s game, I would say we opened the game really well, shooting the threes. We knew that they wanted to hit our hedges with some short rolls and kick-outs. We were rotating and contesting shots. We handled the game pretty well, scoring 29 points in the first quarter. The second quarter they out-played us, out-hustled us, out-rebounded us. That cost us a lot. Also, they finished every quarter with a three-pointer. We said it's enough, we have to defend some. We are a better rebounding team than they are - with all due respect of course to them. And after halftime, we came strong in the third and fourth quarters and I think we controlled the game smoothly, if I may say for such a final.

"Congratulations go to Efes as well. They had an outstanding season in this great EuroLeague competition because it is great. Every game is spectacular, every game is like a final for each and every team. You can’t lose this connectivity for more than a couple of games if you want to be among the teams to chase the title. Congratulations to Efes, Real and Fener.

"I would like to say a big congratulations to each and everyone that contributed to this trophy, especially my players. My president for his trust and belief. All the management, the sponsors that support this and the club. All the amazing fans who have an amazing belief in us and they traveled also to Baskonia, which is not easy to come from Moscow. We do know that we represent a great club, CSKA; a great city, Moscow; and a great country, Russia. And I think we made proud a lot of millions of fans all over Russia. But not only all over Russia. I would dare to say that EuroLeague has been extended so much in Europe and also worldwide that I think we have made proud basketball fans from everywhere. I'm proud of that because we have good basketball. And those players deserve it. I want to say a big thank you to them. "

Players

LARKIN, SHANE
Anadolu Efes Istanbul
"It feels good to be appreciated at this level, [the fans] showed us love on the performance that we put on, but it is disappointing because we showed heart as a team... They are a very good team and shot the ball very well tonight and both teams fought. I don't think that anybody in the locker room has any energy left, because we left it out there. It is disappointing, but it is a learning experience. We have to regroup and when we are in this situation again, we can hopefully turn out to be the champion."
PLEISS, TIBOR
Anadolu Efes Istanbul
"It was a great season for everybody. We all fought and gave 100% in every game, and it was a big game, especially for the club. We kind of made history by making it to the final but of course, we are not totally happy because we couldn't win the game today and celebrate with our fans. Of course, we have good and bad feelings right now, after a good season together. It is great to go from last place last season to the final, but we wish we could have won this game."
DE COLO, NANDO
CSKA Moscow
"I am very happy, there are no other words I can say. It has been a very long season and here I am, on top of Europe! I don't think there was a single key to this game, just like in the semifinal against Real Madrid. There was not a moment in which we didn't play as a team. We were always together no matter what. All the players on the court were always together and that was the key, all season long. I will remember 2019 for a lot of good things, personally and professionally, with CSKA. It's been a great 2019."
PETERS, ALEC
CSKA Moscow
"It is amazing to be the EuroLeague champion. I got lucky! I got a great group of teammates and we played well today. There is no better feeling than this one. We got a little bit outrebounded but had them when it mattered. We made big shots down the stretch and that is what matters at the end of the day. It is the first time that I am a champion. I won it this year, but I want to win it every year until I am done playing!"
HACKETT, DANIEL
CSKA Moscow
"This feels great for the team, for the fans and my family, for the club... it is a big accomplishment because of the way we did it - staying together, fighting. This is a special group of guys, a special group of people, that proved that hard work and dedication gets rewarded. I am happy. Honestly, it was not difficult; we had some ups and downs but learned from them. When they knocked us down, we closed ourselves in the locker room, talked to each other and never gave up, even through difficult times. We stayed together, this is the secret for this team. Honestly, it was fun and great to work and practice every day with some champions."
RODRIGUEZ, SERGIO
CSKA Moscow
"Being able to play for CSKA for two years and win the EuroLeague with the team is great. It is complicated; we are away from home, had a second daughter along the way, but stayed positive. Naturally, when you are working in something so time-demanding, results are what give you happiness. Luckily, I was on great clubs and was able to win some titles. When you have been preparing for something for the whole season, it is complicated that a small injury will hold you back. My ankle may not be okay and I will find out tomorrow, but in my mind, I only thought about playing and winning. This is what I live for: playing basketball and winning. I had the luck to play for very good teams and compete at the highest level. Efes was a great opponent, with great confidence. Both teams had runs and you know about CSKA's history; you cannot get too high because the opponent can come back. The team did well, bounced back really well and won the title."
HUNTER, OTHELLO
CSKA Moscow
"I said I was hoping to be fourth time the charm. I was thinking about this moment, about holding this trophy. I am sitting on the bus, holding my hands open and looking like, 'man, we are so close'. And now I got it. It is a wonderful feeling. Efes played great basketball. They killed us on offensive rebounds, Larkin was great, they have great players all over. And they gave their best shot and they got my respect."
KURBANOV, NIKITA
CSKA Moscow
"I don't know what to say, it is all the emotions. We did all this work, we are so happy. We did a great job all season and we deserved it. Against Real Madrid, we really showed character, and when we won that game we said we must win this trophy."
UKHOV, IVAN
CSKA Moscow
"This is such a great moment. I am so happy. It was a very tough season for us. We played a tough game, played strong. We gave our best, and I think we deserved it."
CLYBURN, WILL
CSKA Moscow

"Everybody knows how important this is, everybody knows how hard we work from the first day at practice. All year, the film, the practice, the battles in practice. The ups and downs of the season. We’ve been battle-tested all year. I’m pretty sure we had some doubters. We stayed together all year. At the end of our day, this was our goal, the Final Four and we handled it exactly how we wanted to - with all the ups and downs of the game. Through their runs, Madrid runs, Efes runs. We stayed together, we kept belief. Coach had a great game plan, great assistant coaches. And it was a great feeling. And honestly there is no better feeling and I’m glad I’m in the history books.

"I always had confidence in myself. You know basketball players work in the summertime to get better. I found a great coaching staff, great players around me to get me better every day. Because you see our roster and all the former MVPs and great players. And if I don’t bring it in practice, I’m not going to get better. These guys are really good and it’s really great to see everything come together."

HINES, KYLE
CSKA Moscow
"We kept believing. We’re a family, from the coach and the management, the whole club. When we lost the Final Four last year, we all came together and we all kept believing. We had meetings throughout the summer and we said we were going to keep fighting. The result shows today."
HIGGINS, CORY
CSKA Moscow
"I have no words right now, I’m exhausted! I just want to celebrate with my team. Unbelievable. It was just how we expected, it was going to be tight to the end. They played great, Larkin played great, but we believed in ourselves. We weren’t going to let this get away. We didn’t want to play like we did in the semifinals; they outhustled us, beat us to loose balls. We had little spells of that today, but we put up a much better fight and got it done. The pressure is always here, as soon as you put on the CSKA jersey. There was a lot of pressure this year."
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