6 Clover Leaf

OFF TO BARCELONA FOR THE TURKISH AIRLANES EUROLEAGUE FINAL FOUR, FIVE-TIME EUROLEAGUE CHAMPION PANATHINAIKOS

were sportıng sıx-leaf clovers on theır jerseys thıs tıme. Besıdes a naıl-bıtıngly close fınal match, Real Madrıd, Montepaschı Sıena and Maccabı Electra gave basketball fans a champıonshıp to be remembered.

Played to sixteen thousand spectators in Barcelona’s Palau Sant Jordi Arena, the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four kicked off with a relatively lackluster match between Panathinaikos and Montepaschi Siena. The score may have been 77-69, but faced with Siena’s very tough defense, Panathinaikos raised some doubts going into the final.

Highlights of the match were Nick Clathes’ 17-point career record and Dimitri Diamantidis’ semifinal record with nine assists. Early foul trouble meanwhile was a critical factor in Siena’s loss. Maccabi Electra faced Real Madrid in the second match, played on May 6. Longtime losers on archrival Barcelona’s boards, Madrid failed to break that curse in the final four, losing the match 82-63. Chuck Eidson’s 19 points, eight rebounds and six steals, Sofoklis Schortsanitis’ 12 points, Guy Pnini’s 14 and Jeremy Pargo’s 13 sufficed to take Maccabi to the final.

Defeated 80-62 by Siena in the semifinal, Real Madrid slunk home in fourth place. Siena on the other hand could be said to have chalked up a rousing success following severe budget cuts earlier this year.

The final match took Panathinaikos to its sixth and coach Obradovic to his eighth  Euroleague title. Technical disputes between Obradovic and Maccabi coach David Blatt colored the match. Performances by Diamantidis, Batiste, Fotsis and Sato dominated the play when Pargo, with a low Field Goal Percentage, and Schortsanitis, who had foul trouble, both failed to live up to expectations.

Voted most valuable player of the Euroleague, Diamantidis is one of three players in history to win this title twice with 16 points and eight rebounds despite rival Eidson’s performance. Allowing their opponents no action on the paint, the Panathinaikos Clovers took the cup with a score of 78-70 despite setting out with a far more ordinary team than in previous years.

There was even more good news at the event: Istanbul’s Sinan Erdem Sports Hall is going to host next year’s final four!

LEADERBOARD
Points Per Game
EIDSON, CHUCK 18.0
BATISTE, MIKE 17.0
LLULL, SERGIO 16.0
TOMIC, ANTE 12.5
PARGO, JEREMY 12.5

Rebounds Per Game
STONEROOK,
SHAUN 14.0
REYES, FELIPE 8.5
RAKOVIC,
MILOVAN 7.5
EIDSON, CHUCK 7.5
TOMIC, ANTE 6.5

Assists Per Game
DIAMANTIDIS, DIMITRIS 9.0
PARGO, JEREMY 8.0
CALATHES, NICK 4.0
PRIGIONI, PABLO 4.0
STONEROOK, SHAUN 3.0