By Oz Porat
Panathinaikos is the new Euroleague champion, after beating CSKA 93-91 in another big final. Inspired by the crowd, the home team opened better the CSKA and had an early 14-8 lead. In an unexpected way the two teams didn't kept their focus on defense during most of the first half, resulting in high score until halftime which is not usual for the game style of the two finalists.
What was more expected is allot of tough physical plays and some fighting between the red and green players along side plays such as a great alley-hoop from Sani Becirovic to Mike Batiste.
In the start of the second half CSKA reminded us all who the current Euroleague champion is and got back to the game after trailing for long minutes in the first half. Theo Papaloukas was hot once again and kept his team in the game with a 50-51 lead.
From that point Panathinaikos returned to its usual slow-paced game style, which gave it the lead back and kept CSKA slightly behind for the rest of the minutes. A triple by Trajan Langdon kept the dream of a back to back title for CSKA alive with a 85-87 lead for PAO and 51 seconds to the end, but with seconds left the home crowd secured the win from the line, with CSKA left only to narrow it with a triple to 93-91 at the end.
Top scoreres for Panathinaikos: Siskauskas 20, Tomasevic 16, Diamanditis 15, Vujanic and Batiste 12 each, Hazivretas 10. CSKA: Papaloukas 23, Smodis 18, Langdon 16, Holdern 11.