Fenerbahce reach Euroleague Final Four, CSKA held
By Zoran Milosavljevic
BELGRADE (Reuters) - Fenerbahce Istanbul became the first team to qualify for the Euroleague Final Four as a 75-74 overtime win at Maccabi Tel Aviv on Monday completed a 3-0 sweep of the holders in the best-of-five quarter-final series.
However, the competition’s six-time winners CSKA still have work to do after an 86-85 defeat at Panathinaikos reduced their lead to 2-1, with Game Four scheduled for Wednesday.
In the other two quarter-finals, Real Madrid are 2-0 ahead of Anadolu Efes Istanbul while Barcelona and Olympiakos Piraeus are tied at 1-1 in the race to reach the May 15-17 Madrid event.
Fenerbahce playmaker Andrew Goudelock spun away from his markers and netted a lay-up with his weaker left hand with nine seconds remaining to settle a thrilling rollercoaster contest.
His American compatriot Jeremy Pargo missed a difficult shot on the buzzer for the hosts at the other end, sending Fenerbahce to the season-ending showpiece event for the first time.
“Small details decided the match and congratulations to my players for staying focused throughout the series,” Fenerbahce coach Zeljko Obradovic told Euroleague television.
“It’s always great to play here because Maccabi fans have such a great understanding of basketball,” added the 55-year old Serb, the most trophy-laden Euroleague coach who has won eight titles with four different clubs.
Goudelock, who scored 15 points on a patchy night after hitting just five of 15 shots from the field, was grateful for the support he received from his team. Continued...