CSKA defends VTB League crown
CSKA Moscow is the VTB League champion! CSKA won its 10th VTB League title and claimed its ninth consecutive crown by downing UNICS Kazan 89-81 in Game 3 of the Finals. CSKA swept the best-of-five series to finish the season in style. It was also the last-ever game played at Alexander Gomelsky Universal Sports Hall CSKA, which has been CSKA's home since 1980. Toko Shengelia led the winners with 19 points. Will Clyburn added 18, Daniel Hackett had 17 and was chosen as the VTB League Playoffs MVP while Johannes Voigtmann got 10 for CSKA. John Brown led UNICS with 25 points and 11 rebounds. Jamar Smith added 17 points while John Holland and Okaro White each had 12 for the guests. Shengelia followed a three-pointer with a driving layup to give CSKA a 29-24 lead after 10 minutes. Clyburn and Iffe Lundberg stepped up for the hosts and Nikita Kurbanov soon made it a 14-point game, 47-33. Holland struck twice from downtown to bring UNICS closer, 52-40, at halftime. Shengelia and Clyburn kept pacing CSKA after the break and Hackett fired in a triple for a 71-54 margin. Brown and Nate Wolters kept UNICS within 77-66 at the end of the third quarter. Brown got help from Smith to make it a two-point game, 77-75, with over 7 minutes left. Shengelia and Clyburn rescued the hosts, combining for all points in a 7-0 run that sealed the outcome, 84-75, with less than 3 minutes remaining. UNICS kept trying but CSKA had cruised to a title-clinching win!
Panathinaikos lifts 40th Greek League trophy
Panathinaikos OPAP Athens is once again in the Greek League champion! Panathinaikos won its 40th Greek League title by topping Lavrio Megabolt 66-82 on the road in Game 4 of the best-of-five finals. Panathinaikos won the series 3-1 to win its fifth consecutive Greek League crown. Ioannis Papapetrou led the winners with 24 points. Dinos Mitoglou added 23 and 11 rebounds while Georgios Papagiannis had 14 points for Panathinaikos. Papapetrou, Mitoglou and Papagiannis combined for 22-of-33 two-point shots (66.7%), in which was one of the biggest keys to the game. Alpha Diallo had 17 points for Lavrio, that led 10-6 early. Panathinaikos found a go-to guy in Mitoglou, who had 6 points in an 0-11 run that allowed his team to get a 22-28 edge after 10 minutes. Papapetrou and Mitoglou boosted the guests' margin to 22-37 midway through the second quarter. Lavrio managed to get within 31-41 at halftime. Papapetrou got help from Papagiannis and Ben Bentil to keep Panathinaikos way ahead, 42-55. The Greens led 52-65 at the end of the third quarter, extending their margin to 58-75 soon after that and never looked back, earning the right to lift the Greek League trophy!
Bayern beats ALBA in Game 2 of German finals
FC Bayern Munich bounced back from its initial loss in the German League finals by downing ALBA Berlin 66-76 on the road in Game 2 of the best-of-five series. Bayern tied the series and is set to host Games 3 and 4. Vladimir Lucic led the winners with 26 points. D.J. Seeley added 16 for Bayern. Ben Lammers led ALBA with 15 points while Luke Sikma added 11. ALBA missed all of his 7 shots from downtown in the first quarter, picking up 5 turnovers. Meanwhile, Lucic, Wade Baldwin and Robin Amazie helped Bayern get a 7-20 margin after 10 minutes. Jalen Reynolds took over with an alley-oop dunk that made it a 19-point game, 10-29. Sikma and Peyton Siva fueled a 12-0 run that brought ALBA back to life, 22-29. Nihad Dedovic and Lucic restored a 26-35 Bayern lead at halftime. Marcus Eriksson and Simone Fontecchio each struck from beyond the arc in a 12-0 run that completed ALBA's comeback, 46-42, late in the third quarter. Baldwin and Amazie stepped up to restore a 66-71 edge after 30 minutes. ALBA regained a 61-58 lead with over 4 minutes left but Lucic and Seeley combined for 11 points in a 2-13 run which allowed Bayern to seal the outcome down the stretch.
Real downs Valencia, reaches Spanish finals
Real Madrid qualified to the Spanish League finals by downing Valencia Basket 80-77 in do-or-die Game 3 of the semifinals. Real is set to have the home-court advantage in the best-of-three finals against either FC Barcelona or Lenovo Tenerife, who battle for another spot in the title series tomorrow. Usman Garuba led the winners with 16 points and 14 rebounds. Fabien Causeur added 15 points, Sergio Llull had 13 while Jeffery Taylor got 10 for Real. Nikola Kalinic led Valencia with 13 points. Klemen Prepelic and Mike Tobey each added 11 for the guests. Causeur and an outstanding Garuba allowed Real to get an early 17-10 lead. Prepelic and Tobey stepped up for Valencia but Llull struck from downtown to fix the score at 22-18 after 10 minutes. Nikola Kalinic dunked to keep Valencia within 31-30 but Taylor and Jaycee Carroll gave Real some fresh air 37-32. Bojan Dubljevic tied it at 39-39 but a corner triple by Garuba restored a 42-39 Real lead at the break. The hosts found a bew go-to guy in Tavares, who allowed Real to get a 59-55 lead after 30 minutes. Llull buried a couple of three-pointers to boost Real's margin to 68-59 but Joan Sastre, Dubljevic and Kalinic brought Valencia as close as 73-72 in the next-to-last minute. Carroll hit a running floater and Garuba added a three-point play that sealed the outcome, 78-74, as Valencia struggled to score down the stretch.