Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Jasikevicius in the Euroleague Final Four

The Euroleague, an annual continent-wide basketball tournament featuring the best pro teams from across Europe, is down to its Final Four, to be played May 11-13 in Istanbul, Turkey. And the last team to qualify for the Final Four was Panathinaikos, from Athens, Greece, and former Terp Sarunas Jasikevicius (1994-98). It took a one-point win in game five of their five-game series with Maccabi Electra to advance, and Jasikevicius scored 13 points in the decisive 86-85 victory. For the five-game series, he averaged 10 points and 3.6 assists per game. The series was a rematch of last year's Euroleague Championship game in Barcelona, which Panathinaikos also won.

Up next for the Panathinaikos Greens: CSKA Moscow in the Euroleague Semifinals on May 11. These two teams previously met in the 2009 championship game in Berlin, where Panathinaikos defeated CSKA. So, if you're keeping tally here, Panathinaikos has won two of the past three Championships. The intervening 2010 title was won by FC Barcelona (then featuring Ricky Rubio and Terrence Morris), who defeated CSKA for the crown in Paris. CSKA Moscow last won the Euroleague Title in 2008 in Madrid. FC Barcelona is back in the Final Four this year as well, along with Panathinaikos's arch-rival from the Greek league, Olympiacos Piraeus; the Reds last won a Euroleague title in 1997 and were supposed to be in rebuilding mode this season.

If you were thinking about heading over to Turkey for the games, they're sold out. But the Final Four is usually shown on ESPN3.com here in the United States, so watch for it there.

No comments: