2011-12Final FourSEMIFINAL A
May 11, 2012 CET: 17:00
Local time: 18:00 SINAN ERDEM DOME

CSKA Moscow survived one of the greatest semifinal games in Euroleague history to edge mighty Panathinaikos 66-64 in the opener of the 2012 Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four at Sinan Erdem Arena in Istanbul. The game went down to the wire and the Greens had a chance to tie it – or win it – on the last possession, but CSKA’s rock-solid defense denied the Greek champs even a shot. Now CSKA will get a chance to play for its sixth Euroleague title in the final game on Sunday against the winner of Friday’s second semifinal between FC Barcelona Regal and Olympiacos Piraeus. Panathinaikos simply dominated early and led by double figures for most of the first quarter, which ended at 15-29. However a record-setting defensive effort by CSKA carried the Russian champs back to tie it before Mike Batiste put Panathinaikos ahead 32-34 at halftime. CSKA took its first lead early in the third quarter and what ensued from then on was a basketball classic for the ages. Andrei Kirilenko led the winners with 17 points, 9 rebounds and 4 blocked shots. Alexey Shved added 15 points – including several clutch fourth-quarter scores – and Milos Teodosic, who nailed the go-ahead bucket with 38.1 seconds to go, scored 12. Sarunas Jasikevicius paced Panathinaikos with a season-high 19 points, but lost for the first time in his fifth Final Four. Batiste added 11 points, Dimitris Diamantidis tallied 10 plus 6 assists and Kostas Kaimakoglou posted 10 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists in defeat.

Aleks Maric opened the scoring with a dunk and a layup, assisted by Jasikevicius and Diamantidis, respectively. CSKA Moscow opened its account through a pair of Teodosic free-throws, but went on to missed its next 8 field-goal attempts. Maric scored a second dunk in the first three minutes before leaving the game, and his sub Batiste continued to hurt CSKA inside by scoring 5 points and drawing 2 fouls while giving Panathinaikos a 2-11 lead little more than three minutes of play. Ramunas Siskauskas finally scored for CSKA after an offensive rebound, but Romain Sato hit a three-pointer and Diamantidis drove to the basket to make it 4-16. Other than being 12 points behind, CSKA had problems with Kirilenko and Nenad Kristic both having 2 personal fouls. Viktor Khryapa and Jasikevicius then trade threes as Panathinaikos scored 19 points in less than five minutes of the game. On the other side of the floor, CSKA just could not find its shooting touch with Andrey Vorontsevitch and Teodosic missing 3 three-pointers on a single possession. Sasha Kaun and Alexey Sheved tried to get CSKA’s offense going, but Jasikevicius hit a runner and a layup to make it a 14-point game and it was 15-29 at the end of first quarter after David Logan scored a coast-to-coast layup as time expired.

Krstic and Jamont Gordon each scored twice from the charity stripe to close the gap to 10 points as CSKA stepped up on defense in the paint with Krstic blocking 2 shots and making a steal. But Nick Calathes hit an open three-pointer from the left corner to make it 19-32 and force Coach Jonas Kazlauskas to call a timeout. A physical game offered low scoring, and Kirilenko’s basket-plus-foul with less than five minutes remaining in the half was the first field-goal for CSKA in the second quarter. Darjus Lavrinovic cut the deficit to single digits a minute later, and Shved’s coast-to-coast lay-up made it 26-32 with three minutes to play in the half. Panathinaikos had a very few open looks in the second quarter against CSKA’s tough defense, and when the Greens did get an open shot, Kaimakoglou and Jaskievicius missed threes. On the other end, Teodosic and Kirilenko made three of 5 free-throws, and then Teodosic found Kirilenko in transition for an open three-pointer that capped a 13-0 run and tied the game at 32-32. Batiste answered with a layup that finally ended the Greens’ six-minute scoring drought and made it 32-34 at halftime.

Teodosic and Krstic hooked up on a pick-and-roll at the start of the third quarter, while Jasikevicius drove to the basket and hit a three-pointer to keep Panathinaikos in front. CSKA was again down by only 1 after Krstic was successful in the low-post and Siskauskas was rewarded with an easy layup. When Kirilenko hit a three-pointer a couple of possessions later, CSKA grabbed its first lead of the game, 41-39. Kaimakoglou answered with a three, and Khryapa threw an alley-oop for Kirilenko as both teams looked like they found their offense. A three by Diamantidis was followed up with Kaimakoglou’s basket-plus-foul for 46-50 Panathinaikos advantage. Both teams continued to make plays, with Kirilenko hustling for a tough layup and Shved making an impossible three, while Diamantidis drove through the crowd to keep Panathinaikos up by 4 and give his team a 51-55 lead going into the final 10 minutes of the game.

Batiste sank 2 free throws and Kirilenko made a turnaround jumper to start the fourth quarter. CSKA went on a 7-0 run with a tough three-pointer by Teodosic and an easy layup by Krstic, but Jasikevicius hit a jumper to put Panathinaikos back up 58-59 with seven minutes to go. Seconds later Batiste went to the bench with 4 personal fouls, however no team scored in more than three minutes before Shved cut through the opposing defense for a reverse layup. After couple of turnovers, one on each side, Saras simply took over when he was needed most. With less than three minutes left, he sank a floater to give his team the lead, stole a ball and sank a three for 60-64. But after a timeout by Kazlauskas, Shved got a lucky bounce to cut the deficit, and then made 1 of 2 free throws to get CSKA to 63-64. Now coach Zeljko Obradovic called a timeout with 1 minute and 26 seconds to go as everything was set for a wild finish. Batiste missed a hook-shot in a mismatch with Siskauskas, then Teodosic hit a huge jumper immediately after his own in-bound pass to put CSKA up 65-64 with 38.1 seconds left on the clock. Jasikevicius tried to answer right back, but his attempt to drive to the basket was not successful. Shved went to the line with 21 seconds left in the game and hit only the first free throw, but Batiste did not manage to secure the defensive rebound. The ball went to CSKA and they ran 11 seconds off the clock before Teodosic was fouled. But he missed both free-throws giving Panathinaikos 8.3 seconds for the final possession. But CSKA’s great defense stymied the Greens, who did not get off a final shot, which allowed CSKA to celebrate a tough win and move on to Sunday’s final!

Andrei Kirilenko - CSKA Moscow - Final Four Istanbul 2012_38785
Friday, May 11, 2012
Attendance: 15262 (Tentative)
By Quarter1234
CSKA Moscow15171915
Panathinaikos Athens295219
End of Quarter1234
CSKA Moscow15325166
Panathinaikos Athens29345564
CSKA Moscow
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 TEODOSIC, MILOS 31:47 12 2/3 1/6 5/8 2 4 6 3 1 5     3 4 9
7 LAVRINOVIC, DARJUS 6:31 2 1/1 0/1   1   1     1     1    
8 SISKAUSKAS, RAMUNAS 25:25 5 2/5 0/2 1/2 2 1 3   1     1 1 4 5
11 MEJIA, SAMMY DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
12 KRSTIC, NENAD 25:51 8 3/6   2/2   2 2   1 2 3   3 3 9
15 KIRILENKO, ANDREI 33:33 17 4/9 2/4 3/7 3 6 9 1     4 1 2 8 25
18 VORONOV, EVGENY 0:04                              
20 VORONTSEVICH, ANDREY 9:37   0/1 0/3   2   2   1       2   -3
23 SHVED, ALEXEY 19:42 15 4/6 1/2 4/6 1 4 5     2     1 4 16
24 KAUN, SASHA 11:20 2 1/2                     1    
31 KHRYAPA, VICTOR 26:30 3 0/3 1/2   1 4 5 5 1       4   6
44 GORDON, JAMONT 9:40 2 0/1 0/1 2/2   3 3             2 5
Team           2 1 3               3
Totals 200:00 66 17/37 5/21 17/27 14 25 39 9 5 10 7 2 18 25 75
        45.9% 23.8% 63%
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
Panathinaikos Athens
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
6 MARIC, ALEKS 11:44 6 3/5     1 4 5     1   2 2 2 6
7 PERPEROGLOU, STRATOS 13:51         1 3 4       1   1   4
8 BATISTE, MIKE 22:12 11 3/9   5/5 1   1   4 6   2 4 3 1
9 LOGAN, DAVID 5:25 2 1/2 0/1         1   1     1   -1
10 SATO, ROMAIN 27:53 3 0/1 1/1     2 2           2 1 3
12 TSARTSARIS, KOSTAS 10:01   0/2 0/1   1   1         1   1 -2
13 DIAMANTIDIS, DIMITRIS 32:32 10 3/4 1/9 1/1 1 2 3 6 1 2     4 2 7
14 VOUGIOUKAS, IAN 3:58   0/1               1 1   4   -5
15 CALATHES, NICK 19:00 3 0/2 1/3   1 3 4 1   1   1 1 2 3
17 SMITH, STEVEN DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
18 KAIMAKOGLOU, KOSTAS 28:59 10 1/3 1/2 5/5 2 6 8 5 1     1 2 5 23
19 JASIKEVICIUS, SARUNAS 24:25 19 5/8 3/6   1 2 3 2 1 1     4 2 16
Team           1 4 5               5
Totals 200:00 64 16/37 7/23 11/11 10 26 36 15 7 13 2 7 25 18 60
        43.2% 30.4% 100%

Head Coaches

CSKA Moscow
"For sure we are very happy that we won the game, and on Sunday we will play the final. At the beginning we started really very bad. The first problem was that we didn’t control our nerves. We have a very talented team, but we are only a one-year team this season. We face very big pressure. CSKA has to win every time. And they have a team that has played together a long time. They have the same coach and many of the same players. And they know how to play in big situations. In the beginning we played horrible pick-and-roll defense and missed some easy shots. We changed defense and those things brought us back into the game. We were very nervous in the beginning. But if Teodosic makes 1 or 2 of those shots, we have a more easy game in the end."
Panathinaikos Athens
"We talked a lot before this Final Four, especially this game, about what would be a good way to play this game and understand what we need to beat CSKA. Statistically they are one of the best teams in almost every category in the league. I believe that we played tonight almost a perfect game. Everything that we prepared for was good for us. They didn’t shoot well on two-pointers or three-pointers. And they usually have 20 assists and only had 9. "

" I am really proud of my players. They showed character and like always the small details decided the game. Congratulations to my players for everything they did all season and today. And also I would like to thank the fans who really always help us. "

"This was somewhat like a final. I don’t care about the last 8 seconds. We had 39 minutes and 52 seconds to decide the game. What happens in the last 8 seconds is like 50-50. Some times you have success and win the game, and sometimes you lose the game."


CSKA Moscow
"It was an extremely tough game, both mentally and physically with a lot of emotions. If it did not end like this, I would probably be crying on my way to the locker room. I was sure I was going to make those last two free throws and after I missed them, my world had crumbled down. Those last 8 seconds I was just praying on the bench that guys would defend Panathinaikos’ last possession. In the end, we simply had more luck. We did not start the game like we wanted, it is almost like we took the game to lightly and I think it is because most of the players don’t have too much experience playing in the Euroleague Final Four."
CSKA Moscow
"We believed we could win this game. We did not open the game great; they scored some easy baskets after pick-and-rolls. Later we changed our defense and brought the game back into balance. In the end, we had more luck to win. It would be equally deserving if Panathinaikos had won;they played a tough game and it was all decided on the final possession. Alexey Shved has been giving us energy off the bench, he is our sixth man and he turned this game round. Not only scoring points, but also with his transition, with his pick-and-roll and with his defense."
CSKA Moscow
"It was a god game with two great teams playing. That's what it is supposed to be about. I'm proud that we won. There were lot of ups and downs for both them and us, but that is all part of the game. Now we are in the finals and I don't think it really matters to us who we are going to play."
CSKA Moscow
"As a team, we prepare the game a lot because to us, this was the most important game of the season until now. We were a little bit nervous in the beginning of the game and missed easy shots and allowed too many easy baskets. This is a new gym for us and it is always difficult to play in such an environment. We managed to stay cool and stopped their offense in the second quarter. That helped us to finally run the floor. I really want to thank our fans for all their support. I also want to thanks the Olympiacos fans, who were probably not cheering for us, but against Panathinaikos! We managed to get to the final and I am excited to have the chance to win the Euroleague."
CSKA Moscow
"It was a really close game that came down to details, but we stayed together in the end and played as a team. Getting to my first Euroleague championship game means a lot to me. I am really excited about it. We did not have a good start, but came here to fight, and this is what we did - fight and stay together to get into the game."
Panathinaikos Athens
"We were so close that it was very hard to see it slipping away. We had a great start because we prepared very well for the game. We scored 29 points in the first quarter but also played very good defense on them. Then things changed, and we had to fight for 30 minutes neck to neck. CSKA is a very good team but we showed they are not better than us. Our fans came here to push us and gave us a big support that helped us be so close to the win."
Panathinaikos Athens
"It was a very intense game. We fought hard because and we showed that we deserve to play in the finals, but at the end we were two points short. It was a very physical game and I think everyone could see just how difficult every possession was. We made a great season and came here with a chance to win, but once again we lost by two points to CSKA. It's very heart aching but I'm proud of the way we played."
Panathinaikos Athens
"It was a very tough game. We knew from the start it's going to be very hard to play against them. CSKA is a very good team and it wasn't going to be easy to beat them. We started the game very well but then things changed. We got very quick fouls in the second quarter and when every foul you make results a free throw then it's very difficult to play tough defense. I think that hurt us in the second quarter and that's when CSKA came back to the game."
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