Talk about an instant classic! It is already considered one of the greatest single-game Finals in European basketball history. About the only thing lacking when Panathinaikos dethroned CSKA Moscow with a 93-91 victory before 18,000 Euroleague Basketball fantatics in Athens on Sunday was an airborne shot to either tie or win the game when the clock ran out. All other manner of thrills filled the rest of the game's 40 minutes. On the court, there were dramatic shots, flashy passing, high-speed acrobatics, crunching screens, explosive rebounds and more. On the sidelines, there was a rivetting battle of strategy between two of the world's finest head coaches, who summonend a constant stream of players into the games with a sudden clap or sharp whistle. All of which is not to mention what started behind the benches and reached into the rafters at Athens Olympic Indoor Arena (OAKA), a building born for basketball, where the fan can feel himself or herself on top of the action from any seat. The fans were a show in themselves on Sunday, with the green-clad majority behind the eventual champs never sitting while they chanted and gestured in unison. They seemed to lift the roof on more than one occasion, and when their team received their trophies down on the floor, the players raised them to the crown like a toast, the silver cups sparkling in a sea of green.
Re-live the Euroleague Basketball final with PANATHINAIKOS