2008-09Top 16Round 6
March 11, 2009 CET: 20:00

CSKA held off Cibona 63-73

Defending Euroleague champion CSKA Moscow showed its "A" game in the final five minutes to hold off hosts Cibona for a 63-73 win in Zagreb on Wednesday, the champs' fifth victory in six Top 16 games in Group H. CSKA already clinched the group last week and can now look forward to a Quarterfinal Playoff series against Serbian champion Partizan. Cibona finished the Top 16 with two victories and four defeats, good enough for a third place in the group. Center Erazem Lorbek had another solid performance to lead CSKA in scoring with 15 points, Matjaz Smodis netted 14 points, while Trajan Langdon and reserve Victor Keyru added 12 points apiece. Keyru saw extended playing time - a career-high 18 minutes - because of Ramunas Siskauskas's injury and Viktor Khryapa's ejection in the first half. CSKA's Croatian guard Zoran Planinic had 6 points in his first-ever game against Cibona, his original team. Alan Anderson paced Cibona with 18 points and 8 rebounds, Davor Kus notched 12 points, while big man Nikola Prkacin surprised everyone by hitting 2 three-pointers, having only made 2 other triples in his nine-season long Euroleague career.

CSKA coach Ettore Messina chose a big starting lineup with Khryapa at small forward instead of Siskauskas. Smodis was at the center of attention in the beginning of the game, blocking Cibona's first shot and the opening the scoring with a baby hook. After a number of misses on both ends, Anderson attacked the rim for a three-point play in transition, before Lorbek made a put-back for a 3-4 lead for the guests. Earl Calloway and Langdon exchanged two-point shots. Then Lorbek made a power move inside and dunked of a Khryapa assist to make it 5-10. After a Cibona timeout, Anderson fed Prkacin for a reverse layup and Vedran Vukusic added another basket inside. J.R. Holden drilled a tough jump shot, while Calloway went to the free-throw line to cut it to 11-14. Planinic made the game's first triple, and CSKA defended well on the first quarter's last possession to end it at 11-17.

Planinic used his size to post up his defender, scoring a layup and then drawing a foul at the start of the second quarter. Terrence Morris added a bucket, and Nikos Zisis a three-point play as CSKA more than doubled Cibona on the scoreboard: 11-25. Cibona went inside to Prkacin, who threw it back to Kus for a long two-pointer. Marin Rozic, Kus and Vukusic nailed three-pointers in less than two minutes for the hosts, but since CSKA was scoring, too, Cibona didn't get closer than 22-32. Smodis and Holden gave CSKA more points, while Khryapa was dominating on defense with blocks and rebounds. Reserve Keyru hit a corner triple to expand the advantage to 22-39. CSKA was in full control, but then Khryapa helped Cibona back in the game. After he was whistled for his third traveling call of the quarter, Khryapa lost his temper and started arguing with the referees, receiving a technical foul and then an ejection. Anderson made all 4 free throws, and then drew a foul to hit 2 more. After a basket on each end, Anderson finished the first half with another pair from the free-throw line to make it 35-41.

Smodis found a wide-open Langdon, who made the third quarter's first basket from downtown. Jared Homan scored a two-pointer before Smodis hit 2 free throws for a 37-46 CSKA lead. Then Anderson drilled a three-pointer from the wing and Rozic attacked the basket with a fierce drive. Cibona switched to zone on defense, but Smodis found a cutting Lorbek for a dunk. Anderson pulled down an offensive rebound and dished to Rozic, who trimmed the difference to 44-48. Keyru hit a baseline jumper from the right side, but Prkacin brought the crowd to its feet by scoring a rare three-pointer - his third in nine Euroleague seasons. It was 47-52 after free throws by Smodis, when Prkacin attempted and hit his second three-pointer of the night. Kus got a clear look to tie the game at the third-quarter buzzer, but couldn't get it to fall, and CSKA was up 50-52 with 10 minutes to go.

Kus matched Keyru's layup with a jumper at the start of the fourth quarter, and on Cibona's next possession, Kus nailed a triple that gave Cibona its first lead since the game's third minute: 55-54. Langdon needed only seconds to answer with a triple of his own, and then Keyru copied that to make it 55-60. Kus found space for a layup and Vukusic tied it at 60-60 with another Cibona three-pointer. Keyru made a perfect cut to score a layup, before drawing a charge on defense. Holden used a screen to drill an off-the-dribble triple, and now it was 60-65 with 3:40 left on the clock. CSKA stopped Prkacin with a double-team inside, and Holden sent the ball to an open Lorbek, who didn't miss from the baseline. Anderson came through with a tough three-point play to cut the score to 63-68 with just over two minutes to go. On the following possession, Langdon drew Anderson's fifth foul and made both free throws. Holden beat Cibona's press to find an open Smodis, who denied Cibona's hope with a smooth triple.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009
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Attendance: 5000
By Quarter1234
CSKA Moscow17241121
End of Quarter1234
CSKA Moscow17415273
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 HOMAN, JARED 20:19 2 1/5     3 1 4 1 1       1   3
5 KUS, DAVOR 26:19 12 3/6 2/5             2   1 1 1 3
8 PRKACIN, NIKOLA 19:41 8 1/3 2/2     3 3 3 1 4   1 4 2 6
9 TROHA, ROBERT 13:56   0/1 0/2   1 2 3 1             1
11 VUKUSIC, VEDRAN 24:35 8 1/2 2/4   1 3 4   1       1   9
12 ANDRIC, LUKSA 4:38   0/2 0/1     2 2     1     1 1 -2
13 CALLOWAY, EARL 17:24 4 1/2 0/3 2/2   2 2 1   2     2 2 1
15 ZUBCIC, TOMISLAV DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
19 PRINC, VEDRAN 22:36 3 0/1 1/3     1 1 1         1 1 2
20 ROZIC, MARIN 23:12 9 3/4 1/1   1 2 3 1   1     4 1 8
32 ANDERSON, ALAN 27:20 17 2/6 1/4 10/10 2 6 8 3 1 4   3 5 7 17
Totals 200:00 63 12/32 9/25 12/12 8 22 30 11 4 14 0 5 20 15 48
        37.5% 36% 100%
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
6 ZISIS, NIKOS 10:42 3 1/1 0/1 1/1   1 1 3         1 1 6
7 KEYRU, VICTOR 18:17 12 3/3 2/4     4 4           1 1 14
8 SMODIS, MATJAZ 29:30 14 2/6 2/6 4/4   3 3 2   2     2 4 11
10 HOLDEN, JR 29:18 7 2/3 1/1     1 1 3   2     2 2 8
12 LORBEK, ERAZEM 29:20 15 6/10   3/4 2 3 5 1 3 2 1   2 5 21
15 ZABELIN, ARTEM DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
21 LANGDON, TRAJAN 30:29 12 2/2 2/4 2/2   2 2 1 1       2 2 14
23 SHVED, ALEXEY DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
24 KAUN, SASHA DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
31 KHRYAPA, VICTOR 13:19     0/1     3 3 3 1 2 3   3 1 5
34 PLANINIC, ZORAN 18:17 6 1/2 1/3 1/2   2 2     1 1   2 4 6
44 MORRIS, TERENCE 20:48 4 2/3 0/2   1 4 5 2   1     2   5
Team             1 1               1
Totals 200:00 73 19/30 8/22 11/13 3 24 27 15 5 10 5 0 17 20 91
        63.3% 36.4% 84.6%

Head Coaches

"CSKA deserved to win this game. They opened the game calmly while we were impressed with our opponent. We managed to come back into the game by playing zone defense in the third and fourth quarters, but when you play zone defense for such a long period of time, the opponent is able to adjust. We could not score easily on the other end of the floor, and to beat CSKA you need to have a lot of players playing well and scoring."
CSKA Moscow
"I think there were two games within this game. First was a game where we were clearly ahead with a good lead and playing well. Then the second part of the game was a true game for both teams. I think that Khryapa's expulsion had a lot to do with Cibona coming back, but it was not the only thing that caused it...In the end, it was a good game for both teams. We are happy with the win, we are happy with the minutes that young guard Victor Keyru gave us. Siskauskas did not play because he had a groin problem after Monday night's practice. The MRI showed it is not serious, but he will be out of the game this weekend, too."


"I think we played a solid game. Maybe we opened it bad, but in the end we were where we wanted to be. The game was tight near the end, we were maybe unlucky with missing a couple of open three-pointers that would have cut their lead and would have made the last minutes very interesting."
"We started off slow in the first half, but we were only down 6 points at halftime. You can't give a great team like CSKA get so many open looks and have as many turnovers as we had. That hurt us. We did get back in the second half and it was because we were playing good defense, we made their shots tough and we took care of the ball. We knocked down some shots too. The game did not mean much, but every game is big and it was an important game for us."
CSKA Moscow
"We wanted to take advantage of this type of the game. We have tough playoffs coming up and we tried to do some things as a team to get better. It was also good for us that we had to play a close game for a while when we had to make plays. It was good we were able to play with a little bit of game pressure."
CSKA Moscow
"We already qualified for the playoffs before the game, but we came to Zagreb to win. It was a chance for my coach to give someone like me more playing time. I came into the game confident and ready. Cibona has a good roster and it was just a bit unlucky to miss the quarterfinals, they could have been at the same stage of the Euroleague as we are. In the playoffs we play Partizan. They are very organized and we have to be really serious."
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