CSKA sweep Red Star to reach Euroleague Final Four
By Zoran Milosavljevic
BELGRADE (Reuters) - Former six-times Euroleague winners CSKA Moscow became the first team to reach this season’s Final Four after a 78-71 win at Red Star Belgrade completed a 3-0 sweep of the Serbian champions in their best-of-five quarter-finals on Monday.
CSKA, who won their last title in 2008, reached the showpiece event for the fifth time in a row after a mature performance in front of 18,000 fervent Serbian fans in Belgrade’s Kombank Arena.
The Russian side nailed eight of their 11 three-pointers in the second half and five in the third quarter, as French guard Nando De Colo led the charge with a game-high 20 points.
Serbia playmaker Milos Teodosic, jeered incessantly by his compatriots in the stands, upped the tempo after a quiet first half, nailing a pair of crucial long-range shots while he also dished out several spectacular assists.
“The home fans came to support their team and did a magnificent job, but Red Star failed to take advantage of our sporadic lapses as we committed a total of 22 turnovers,” Teodosic told a news conference.
“We can now look forward to the Final Four and try to find the psychological stability we lacked in past seasons which produced a flurry of near misses.”
Teodosic and forward Nikita Kurbanov netted 12 points each for CSKA, who will face either fellow Russians Lokomotiv Krasnodar or twice former winners Barcelona in the semi-finals.
The other three quarter-final matchups resume on Tuesday, with Barca and Lokomotiv tied 1-1 as their series moves from Russia to Spain.
Fenerbahce Istanbul take a 2-0 advantage to holders Real Madrid and Laboral Kutxa Vitoria lead Panathinaikos by the same score ahead of their visit o Athens.
The Final Four will be held May 13-15 in Berlin.
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