CSKA Moscow win Euroleague

The Russians claim their sixth European basketball title.

    CSKA Moscow's Zakhar Pashutin
    lifts the trophy [AFP]
    CSKA Moscow beat Maccabi Tel Aviv 91-77 to claim its sixth Euroleague basketball championship.

    It was CSKA's second final win over Maccabi in two years to trail only Real Madrid in championships. Madrid has eight titles.

    Former Cleveland Cavaliers guard Trajan Langdon was named final MVP after leading the Russian champions with 21 points.

    "Tonight we faced a great Maccabi, but we had the character to never panic and to wait for our moment,'' said CSKA coach Ettore Mesina, who won his fourth European title.

    "I'm so happy for all CSKA people, the fans and ourselves.''

    CSKA, which fell to Panathanaikos of Greece in the final last year, beat the Israeli champions 73-69 two years ago.

    A 10-point run to start the fourth quarter gave Moscow the gap it needed to beat its Israeli rivals.

    Forward Ramunas Siskauskas led the charge with CSKA holding a six-point lead to start the fourth quarter.

    Matjaz Smodis then hit two free throws to put the Russian champions ahead by 11 before promptly knocking down a 3-pointer to make it 71-57 as CSKA pulled away.

    Maccabi's Will Bynum led all scorers with 21 points but CSKA's stingy defence limited his effectiveness.

    Maccabi, which overcame an 18-point second half deficit against Montepaschi Siena to reach the final, couldn't engineer another comeback to give coach Tzvika Sherf his first trophy.

    "We missed a lot of shots and they deserved to win,'' said captain Derrick Sharp, who didn't get on the scoresheet.

    CSKA Moscow's fans celebrate [AFP]
    "We had the faith, it just wasn't our night. We'll wake up tomorrow and fight again for another win.''

    Maccabi started led 5-0 a first minute in through a Nikola Vujcic jumper and 3-pointer from Omri Casspi.

    CSKA rallied with seven unanswered behind Australian center David Anderson who put the Russians in front 7-5 with two of his 13 points scored from a layup.

    But an even quarter gave CSKA a 22-21 lead.

    Langdon was a perfect 4-for-4 from beyond the 3-point line in the first half to give the Russians a 42-41 halftime lead.

    CSKA broke away in the second half behind guard J.R. Holden's back-to-back threes to lead the Russians out 50-43.

    Bynum hit a 3-pointer as the clock wound down on the third quarter and CSKA's lead cut to 63-57.

    Montepaschi Siena needed overtime to beat Spanish team Tau Ceramica 97-93 for third place earlier on Sunday.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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