CSKA and Fenerbahce edge ahead in Euroleague playoffs
By Zoran Milosavljevic
(Reuters) - CSKA Moscow and Fenerbahce drew first blood in the Euroleague's best-of-five playoffs with contrasting home wins over their respective rivals on Tuesday.
A rampant CSKA blew away Panathinaikos 93-66 while Fenerbahce eked out an 80-72 victory against holders Maccabi Tel Aviv after overcoming an 11-point second-half deficit.
Barcelona host Olympiakos Piraeus and Real Madrid welcome Anadolu Efes Istanbul on Wednesday in the other two quarter-final ties.
The winners qualify for the May 15-17 Final Four in Madrid.
Serbia playmaker Milos Teodosic scored seven points as CSKA opened an 18-7 advantage and the home side then steamrolled their opponents to take a 56-27 first-half lead with trademark fast breaks and lethal long-range shooting.
The Russian giants buried nine of 14 three-pointers in the opening period and kept their foot on the pedal until the final whistle, with Teodosic racking up 18 points and eight assists.
"We played very maturely most of the game but the players know this is only the first step in what could be a long series," CSKA’s Greek coach Dimitris Itoudis told Euroleague television.
“Panathinaikos are better than this and we know they will fight back in the second game.” Continued...