Zalgiris Kaunas is the Lithuanian League champion! Zalgiris conquered its 20th Lithuanian League crown by downing Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius 77-85 on the road on Saturday. Zalgiris swept the best-of-seven title series to conquer yet another Lithuanian League title in the club's 70th anniversary. Arturas Milaknis led the winners with 17 points. Will Cherry added 16, James Anderson had 11 while Paulius Jankunas got 10 and 11 rebounds for Zalgiris. Gediminas Orelik led Rytas with 20 points. Mike Moser and Adas Jusikevicius led Rytas in the early going but an outstanding Anderson and a big basket by Darius Songaila gave Zalgiris its first lead, 11-13. A three-pointer by Orelik put Rytas back ahead, 14-13, after 10 minutes. Billy Baron struck from downtown and a red hot Orelik added two more to make Rytas get a 30-25 edge. Cherry singlehandedly made Zalgiris regain the lead, 32-33, and a tip-in by Robertas Javtokas fixed the halftime score at 35-35. Cherry struck twice from downtown right after the break for a 40-43 Zalgiris edge. A driving layup by Lukas Lekavicius soon made it a seven-point game, 44-51. A great team effort allowed Zalgiris to break the game open, 50-63, at the end of the third quarter. Zalgiris improved its lead to 56-72 but Rytas rallied within 71-77 with 4 minutes left. Free throws by Jankunas and Cherry sealed the outcome down the stretch.
Pinar Karsiyaka Izmir made it to the Turkish League finals by downing Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul 82-64 at home on Saturday. Karsiyaka won the best-of-five series 3-1 and will face Anadolu Efes Istanbul in the finals - the club's first apperance since winning its only Turkish League title back in 1987. Bobby Dixon led the winners with 24 points. Juan Palacios added 16 while D.J. Strawberry had 15 for Karsiyaka. Bogdan Bogdanovic led Fenerbahce with 9 points. Early three-pointers by Strawberry and Dixon gave Karsiyaka an 8-2 lead. Dixon got help from Baris Hersek and Palacios to boost the hosts' lead to 20-11 after 10 minutes. Fenerbahce improved its defense and a basket by Nemanja Bjelica made the hosts call timeout at 22-17. Palacios rescued Karsiyaka with back-to-back baskets and a three-pointer by Dixon made it a double-digit game, 32-22. Dixon and Palacios combined for 28 first-half points for a 41-30 Karsiyaka lead at the break. Andrew Goudelock gave Fenerbahce hope, 41-34, right after the break. Palacios and Diebler, however, kept the hosts out of trouble, 57-45, after 30 minutes. Karsiyaka improved its margin to 71-50 with 6 minutes left and had plenty of time to celebrate a truly historical win.
Cedevita Zagreb took a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five Croatian League finals by downing Cibona Zagreb 70-79 on the road on Saturday. Luka Babic led the winners with 15 points. Stanko Barac added 14, Fran Pilepic had 12 while Roko Ukic had 11 for Cedevita. Ivan Siriscevic led Cibona with 16 points. Vlado Ilievski and Marin Rozic allowed Cibona to get a 24-20 edge after 10 minutes. Barac and Pilepic made Cedevita get a 31-32 edge but the hosts regained the lead, 42-41, at halftime. A layup by Rozic forced Cedevita to call timeout at 50-43. A 0-11 run which Nemanja Gordic capped with a jumper gave Cedevita plenty of fresh air, 52-55. Cibona led 64-58 with 8 minutes left but 7 unanswered points by Babic put Cedevita back ahead, 64-67. It all came down to the final 2 minutes, in which a three-pointer by Pilepic and Ukic sealed the outcome down the stretch.
EA7 Emporio Armani Milan rallied from a double-digit halftime deficit to down Dinamo Banco di Sardegna Sassari 95-88 in Game 5 of their best-of-seven series on Saturday. Sassari has a 3-2 lead in the series and hosts Game 6 on Monday. Alessandro Gentile paced the winners with 25 points. Samardo Samuels added 24, Nicolo Melli had 14 while David Moss got 11 for Milan. David Logan led 6 Sassari players in double digits with 21 points. Melli had 5 points in an 8-0 run which gave Milan a 13-8 lead. Shane Lawal, Jerome Dyson and Logan stepped up to give Sassari a 23-26 edge after 10 minutes. Sassari kept running the floor and back-to-back three-pointers by Edgar Sosa made it a double-digit game, 27-39. Logan struck again from downtown for a 39-53 Sassari margin, which MarShon Brooks cut to 41-53 at halftime. Logan kept scoring fluently to keep Sassari way ahead, 54-62. It didn't last long, however, as a three-point play by Samuels sparked a 17-2 run which Gentile capped with a dunk for a 71-64 Milan margin after 30 minutes. Linas Kleiza soon boosted the hosts' lead to 78-66 with 7 minutes left. Nothing changed since that moment, as Milan kept a safe margin from that moment until the final buzzer.