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CSKA Moscow into Euro finals May 4, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Basketball.

European basketball champions CSKA Moscow will get a shot at defending their title in Sunday’s Euroleague finals after edging out Spain’s Unicaja Malaga 62-50 in Athens on Friday May 4th.

The Russians were made to sweat for most of their semi-final against underdogs Unicaja, who had never played in a Euroleague final before and lacked their injured top scorer and rebounder, center Daniel Santiago.

The two teams went into the fourth quarter evenly matched at 44 points, but CSKA stole away with dogged defence in the closing minutes, building an 11-point lead that they clung onto to the end.

“We missed good shots, well-created shots by players by normally make them,” said Unicaja coach Sergio Scariolo.

“I think we won the game because we played excellent defence,” said CSKA coach Ettore Messina, congratulating the Spanish side for “the aggression, the toughness, the heart they put into the game”.

Taunting reporters who were expecting an upset against the unfancied Spaniards, Messina added, “no upsets this year, you will get one next year.” American guard Trajan Langdon led the Russians with 13 points and Australian center David Andersen added 12 points and nine rebounds. Spanish guard Carlos Cabezas was the top Unicaja scorer with 13 points.

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