Tue, May 08, 2007 - Page 18 News List

Panathinaikos wins Euro hoops crown

AP , ATHENS

Panathinaikos won its fourth Euroleague title by beating defending champion CSKA Moscow 93-91 on Sunday.

Ramunas Siskauskas made two free throws with five seconds left to secure victory and send the 18,000 crowd at the Athens Olympic Hall into wild celebrations.

It was a record sixth title for coach Zeljko Obradovic with four different teams and his second with Panathinaikos since 2002.

Panathinaikos led 46-36 at halftime, largely thanks to a big second quarter, when the Greek club tied a Final Four record by scoring 28 points. Nikos Hatzivrettas and Milos Vujanic combined for 12 points as Panathinaikos built up its lead.

Panathinaikos shot 68 percent from the field in the first half.

But CSKA closed the gap at the start of the second half and a layup by Theo Papaloukas left Panathinaikos leading only by two, 47-45. Papaloukas then grabbed a rebound, drove down the length of the court and tied the game with another layup.

Tempers then flared. Panathinaikos was called for a technical and Papaloukas sank three free throws to give CSKA the lead, 51-50.

Dimitris Diamantidis then hit a 3-pointer to give Panathinaikos a six-point lead. Dejan Tomasevic, Hatzivrettas and Tomasevic again then made six straight free throws and Panathinaikos was up by 10, 65-55.

CSKA kept chipping away at the Greek lead but could not move closer than four.

With 3:44 left, Tomasevic made a three-point play for another 10-point lead, 83-73. A 3-pointer by Matjaz Smodis made it a five-point game again with three minutes left.

With 1:36 remaining, Siskauskas made a three point-play, only for Trajan Langdon to reply with a 3-pointer.

Langdon then hit another with 51 seconds on the clock to leave Panathinaikos up by only two, 87-85.

Mike Batiste made a turnaround jumper to put Panathinaikos up by four, and Langdon then missed another 3-point attempt. Panathinaikos fouled but Smodis made only one free throw with 22 seconds left.

Vujanic made two free throws to put Panathinaikos up by five and Smodis was called for an offensive foul.

Siskauskas missed both free throws and Papaloukas dunked. Siskauskas made up for it by making two free throws with five seconds left and secured the victory.

J.R. Holden hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer, but CSKA could not retain the title it had won five times.

Papaloukas finished with a game-high 23 points, while Siskauskas had 20 for Panathinaikos.

Diamantidis, who finished with 15 points, shooting 100 percent from the field and missing one of six free throws, was voted the game's MVP.

Earlier, Markus Brown's layup with 1.2 seconds left gave Unicaja Malaga a 76-74 win over Tau Ceramica in the third-place game.

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