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Home - Euroleague season 2011 / 2012 Playoffs

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  Euroleague season 2011 / 2012 Playoffs

April 6, 2012 - Playoffs Game 5 bwin MVP: Dimitris Diamantidis, Panathinaikos

dimitris diamantidisHis best game ever in a career full of great performances was just enough Thursday for Dimitris Diamantidis to send defending champion Panathinaikos Athens back to the Final Four and earn him the bwin MVP honor for a thrilling Game 5 of the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Playoffs. Diamantidis, the reigning Euroleague MVP, was everywhere from the first second to the dramatic last one as Panathinaikos outlasted Maccabi Electra 86-85 in an instant classic in front of 18,700 adoring fans in Athens. Diamantidis stepped up with one of the best games of his career when it was needed most. His numbers tell much of the story. His performance index rating of 34 was a career high. He came within 1 point of a career-best in by scoring 25 to lead Panathinaikos. Read more here.

April 5, 2012 - Playoffs, Game 5

Panathinaikos 86 - 85 Maccabi Electra

dimitris diamantidisPanathinaikos will head to Istanbul to try to defend its Turkish Airlines Euroleague crown at the 2012 Final Four after holding off Maccabi Electra 86-85 in a classic Game 5 in front of a packed house at OAKA. Euroleague MVP Dimitris Diamantidis capped a fantastic evening with the game-winning free throw with 5 seconds remaining and then a steal on the final play to seal the victory. Diamantidis finished with 25 points, a career-high 34 performance index rating and came within 1 of a playoffs record with 12 fouls drawn. His 15 free throws made established a new playoffs single-game record. The Greens move on to face CSKA Moscow in the semifinals of the Final Four next month. Read more here.

April 4, 2012 - Playoffs, Game 5 between Panathinaikos and Maccabi; Next stop Istanbul!

maccabi electra panathinaikosFor the third time since the best-of-five playoff format was adopted four seasons ago, an all-or-nothing Game 5 will be played to determine which of two deserving contenders advances to the Final Four. At 20:45 CET on Thursday evening, Athens Olympic Indoor Hall will host the decisive Game 5 of what has been a thrilling clash of Euroleague heavyweights thus far between Panathinaikos and Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv. The two teams met in the 2011 Euroleague title game and the current series has been a natural continuation of their fantastic rivalry. The first two games of the series were also held in the Greek capital, where the Greens won big in the opener before Maccabi grabbed an overtime victory in Game 2. The defending champs are eager to become just the second team in the past two decades to repeat as Euroleague winners. Read more here.

Playoffs, Game 5


Panathinaikos vs. Maccabi Electra 86:85
- Panathinaikos qualified to Euroleague Final 4

March 31, 2012 - Playoffs, Game 4 bwin MVP: Andrei Kirilenko, CSKA

andrei kirilenkoOn Friday, CSKA Moscow superstar Andrei Kirilenko added to a brilliant campaign by leading his team to the 2012 Final Four with a fantastic performance in a 71-73 road win at Gescrap BB. His 23 points and 8 rebounds equaled a performance index rating of 29, which made him the Playoffs Game 4 bwin MVP. This is also the fourth time – and second in the playoffs – Kirilenko has earned the distinction, which is also most in the league. Kirilenko scored 23 points and grabbed 8 rebounds – the last board to clinch the win and Final Four berth for the Russian champs. He only missed 4 shots and also dished 2 assists and had 1 steal in another impressive outing. Read more here.

March 30, 2012 - Playoffs, Game 4

Olympiacos 76 - 69 Montepaschi Siena

vassilis spanoulisOlympiacos advanced to its third Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four in the past four seasons by beating Montepaschi Siena 76-69 to secure a 3-1 series victory. Vassilis Spanoulis scored 19 points - including 10 of 10 free throws - while Kyle Hines collected 19 points, 7 rebounds and 4 blocks for Olympiacos. Georgios Printezis and Acie Law both chipped in 8 points for the winners, who grabbed 17 offensive rebounds to make up for just 4 of 22 shooting (18%) from long range. David Andersen had 15 points and 11 rebounds for Siena, which also received 15 points from Nikos Zisis, 11 points from Igor Rakocevic and 10 points each from Bo McCalebb and Ksistof Lavrinovic. Siena was foiled by 14 turnovers compared to just 7 by Olympiacos. Read more here.

Gescrap BB 71 - 73 CSKA Moscow

nenad krsticCSKA Moscow survived a late challenge from Gescrap BB for a 71-73 win at Bilbao Arena to march into the 2012 Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four in Istanbul with a 3-1 series win. Andrei Kirilenko starred with 23 points and 8 rebounds – the final coming with 2 seconds to go to secure the win. Aaron Jackson rallied Gescrap from 14 down in the fourth quarter to 70-71 in the final seconds. He then went to the line with his team down 3 and 2.9 seconds remaining. The point guard made the first –barely – and missed the second on purpose, but Kirilenko rose for the rebound to seal the game and series. Ramunas Siskauskas and Nenad Krstic added 13 each, Viktor Khryapa scored 10 and Milos Teodosic dished 8 assists for the winners. Jackson paced the Men in Black with 19 points and 8 assists. Read more here.

March 29, 2012

Maccabi Electra 69 - 78 Panathinaikos

nick calathesPanathinaikos came up strong when it mattered most to beat Maccabi Electra 69-78 on Thursday at Nokia Arena in Tel Aviv, tying their best-of-five Turkish Airlines Euroleague Playoffs series at 2-2 and forcing a decisive Game 5 next week in Athens. The game featured four lead changes in the last five minutes, but after David Blu put the hosts up 67-66, Dimitris Diamantidis scored 6 free throws in the final three minutes as the defending champs outscored Maccabi 2-12 the rest of the way to claim the victory. Panathinaikos had led for most of the game and was up 11 in the third quarter, but Maccabi always rallied back until running out of shots down the stretch. Nick Calathes paced the Panathinaikos attack with 15 points, former Maccabi star Sarunas Jasikevicius netted 13 and Diamantidis and Kostas Kaimakoglou had 12 each. Read more here.

March 29, 2012 - Playoffs, Game 4: Three teams on brink of Final Four ticket!

maccabi electra panathinaikosThe Turkish Airlines Euroleague Playoffs reach 4 with six teams waiting to join FC Barcelona Regal at the 2012 Final Four in Istanbul, Turkey. Barcelona swept its best-of-five series against Unics and has already sealed its ticket to the Final Four for the 12th time in club history - and the third time in four years. Three other teams - Maccabi Electra, CSKA Moscow and Olympiacos, in chronological order - have the chance to get to the Final Four with a win in Game 4. In what promises to be a close, exciting, intense battle at Nokia Arena, Maccabi hosts Panathainikos on Wednesday at 21:05 CET. The first three games of this series already have it going down as one of the great playoff series in Euroleague history - and Game 4 will be no exception. Read more here.

Playoffs, Game 4

Maccabi Electra vs. Panathinaikos 69:78 - Panathinaikos saved series with win in Tel Aviv


Gescrap BB vs. CSKA Moscow 71:73
Olympiacos vs. Montepaschi 76:69

March 29, 2012 - Playoffs, Game 3 bwin MVP: Kostas Vasiliadis, Gescrap BB

kostas vasiliadisIn the most important win in club history, Gescrap BB sharpshooter Kostas Vasiliadis was the star that shined brightest. Vasiliadis drained 4 of 8 from downtown en route to 20 points as the Men in Black routed mighty CSKA Moscow 94-81 for a win in Gescrap’s first-ever playoff game at home. In addition to the win, Vasiliadis can also celebrate being the Playoffs Game 3 bwin MVP. He got his team going early by sparking a 12-0 first-quarter run and continued pumping in baskets the rest of the night. Vasiliadis finished with 6 rebounds and 2 assists in racking up the highest performance index rating of any player on a winning team in Game 3 of the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Playoffs – 21. In doing so, Vasiliadis joined teammate Aaron Jackson as the only Gescrap players to have achieved this distinction. Read more here.

March 28, 2012 - Playoffs, Game 3

Olympiacos 75 - 55 Montepaschi Siena

acie lawOlympiacos Piraeus thoroughly dominated Montepaschi Siena 75-55 on Wednesday night at Peace and Friendship Stadium to take a 2-1 lead in their best-of-five Turkish Airlines Euroleague Playoffs series. The Reds host Game 4 on Friday knowing a win will send the club back to the Final Four for the third time in four years. Kyle Hines came off the bench for 15 points and 9 rebounds to pace Olympiacos, while Kostas Sloukas added 11 and Acie Law tallied 10 points and 6 assists. After a close opening quarter, Olympiacos started to build a lead in the second and went ahead 32-21 by halftime. Then an 8-0 start to the second half highlighted by Evangelos Mantzaris put the hosts in total control. The lead soared as high as 29 in the fourth quarter as Olympiacos marched to victory. Read more here.

Gescrap BB 94 - 81 CSKA Moscow

marko banicGescrap BB recorded its first-ever Turkish Airlines Euroleague playoffs win by downing CSKA Moscow 94-81 in Game 3 of the best-of-five series in Bilbao, Spain on Wednesday. CSKA has a 2-1 lead in the series but Gescrap hosts Game 4 on Friday. Pushed by a sellout crowd of over 10,000 fans, the "Miribilla effect" allowed Gescrap to avoid elimination and keep fighting for Euroleague glory. Kostas Vasiliadis paced the winners with 20 points. Marko Banic added 18, Aaron Jackson had 13 while Alex Mumbru got 12 for Gescrap. Nenad Krstic led CSKA with 22 points on 9-of-9 two-pointers. Andrei Kirilenko added 16 while Alexey Shved had 15 for the guests. Vasiliadis shined in the first quarter, leading a 12-0 run that allowed Gescrap to get a 25-24 lead after 10 minutes. Read more here.

March 27, 2012

Maccabi Electra 65 - 62 Panathinaikos

yogev ohayonMaccabi Electra held off defending champion Panathinaikos 65-62 in another thriller on Tuesday at Nokia Arena to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five Turkish Airlines Euroleague Playoffs series. Richard Hendrix’s tip-in put the hosts up 3 with 15.4 seconds to go and when Nick Calathes’s potential game-tying triple bounced out, the Maccabi fans let out a sigh of relief. Game 4 is on Thursday on the same court and another Maccabi win will send Coach David Blatt and co. to another Final Four, while a Panathinaikos win sends the series back to Athens for Game 5 next week. Maccabi never trailed thanks to a dominant start and a 26-13 lead early in the second quarter. Read more here.

Unics 56 - 67 FC Barcelona Regal

pete mickealRegal FC Barcelona made it to the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four! Barcelona made it to the Final Four for the 12th time in club history - his third appearance in four years - by edging Eurocup champion Unics 56-67 in Kazan, Russia in Game 3 of the playoffs on Tuesday. Barcelona swept the best-of-five playoff series and will face either Montepaschi Siena or Olympiacos BC in one of the Euroleague semifinals in Istanbul, Turkey on May 11. Barcelona also registered its fifth win against Unics in as many games this season. Juan Carlos Navarro paced the winners with 21 points. Marcelinho Huertas had all of its 9 points in the fourth quarter, in which Barcelona sealed the outcome. Henry Domercant led Unics with 19 points. Terrell Lyday added 12 for the hosts. Read more here.

March 26, 2012 - Playoffs, Game 3: CSKA, Barça on brink of Final Four ticket

mike batisteOn the heels of one of the most exciting weeks in Turkish Airlines Euroleague Playoffs history, the action returns quickly with as many as eight games over four days with eight teams hunting for European glory! Games 2 in three of the best-of-five series came down to the closing minute – and in one case overtime – and were decided by a grand total of 6 points. Now the venues change for Games 3 and – if necessary – Games 4 as the ante gets larger from game to game. Two teams – one Tuesday and one Wednesday – face elimination already, while their opponents enter Game 3 knowing that a win means a series sweep and a ticket to the 2012 Final Four in Istanbul. In the other two series, home-court advantage has already changed hands and all four teams know that a Game 3 loss puts them in do-or-die territory. Read more here.

Playoffs, Game 3


Unics vs. Barcelona Regal 56:67
- FC Barcelona Regal qualified to Euroleague Final four
Maccabi Electra vs. Panathinaikos 65:62


Gescrap BB vs. CSKA Moscow 94:81
- Gescrap BB survived as they topped CSKA Moscow
Olympiacos vs. Montepaschi 75:55

March 24, 2012 - Playoffs, Game 2 bwin MVP: Andrei Kirilenko, CSKA

andrei kirilenkoHe jump-started CSKA Moscow's stellar season with the first bwin MVP weekly award way back in October. And on Friday, forward Andrei Kirilenko celebrated what might be his team's last Turkish Airlines Euroleague home game this season with another bwin MVP performance for Game 2 of the playoffs. Kirilenko's splendid efforts all over the court led CSKA to a 79-60 victory over visiting Gescrap BB of Spain and a 2-0 lead in their best-of-five series. CSKA's do-it-all small forward starred this time with a season-high 20 points on 4-for-6 two-point and 9-for-12 free throw shooting. Read more here.

March 23, 2012 - Playoffs, Game 2

Montepaschi Siena 81 - 80 Olympiacos

bo mccalebbBo McCalebb made a game- and perhaps season-saving steal at midcourt to preserve an 81-80 Montepaschi Siena home win over Olympiacos on Friday night and even their playoff series at one victory each. A pair of missed free throws by Igor Rakocevic with 5.8 seconds left gave Olympiacos the ball back, but as Georgios Printezis dribbled across halfcourt, McCalebb came out of nowhere to steal the ball cleanly and dribble untouched as time expired. Only then could the Siena fans, who had seen their team lose a 10-point fourth-quarter lead in Game 1, breathe easily. Heading into Friday's fourth quarter, Siena led by 14 points, 67-53. Olympiacos rallied again, but saw a piece of good luck turn bad on McCalebb's heads-up play at the finish. Read more here.

CSKA Moscow 79 - 60 Gescrap BB

andrei kirilenkoCSKA Moscow moved within one win of a trip to the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four with a 79-60 victory over Gescrap BB Friday in the Russian capital to take a 2-0 lead in their best-of-five playoffs series. The Russian champs can wrap up the series and with it a ticket to Istanbul with a win next week when the series resumes in Bilbao, Spain. The trio of Andrei Kirilenko, Milos Teodosic and Viktor Khryapa starred for the hosts. Kirilenko tallied 20 points, 12 rebounds and 2 blocks, Teodosic produced 18 points and 9 assists and Khryapa added 13 points and 7 assists. Raul Lopez led Gescrap with 13 points, Aaron Jackson netted 12 and Alex Mumbru dished out a career-high 10 assists in defeat. Read more here.

March 22, 2012

FC Barcelona Regal 66 - 63 Unics

erazem lorbekBarcelona held off Unics Kazan down the stretch to win 66-63 and take a 2-0 lead in their Turkish Airlines Euroleague Playoffs series. The teams head to Russia next week and Barca can clinch a spot in the 2012 Final Four with a win. The Euroleague’s all-time leading scorer, Juan Carlos Navarro, paced Barcelona with 18 points. Erazem Lorbek netted 14 and Pete Mickeal 12. Nathan Jawai carried Unics with 21 points and 10 rebounds and Bostjan Nachbar scored 16. Lorbek had 5 points in an early 9-0 run that gave Barcelona an 11-2 margin. Unics managed to get within 17-13 after 10 minutes and an outstanding Nachbar helped the guests to get the lead, 17-21. Read more here.

Panathinaikos 92 - 94 Maccabi Electra

maccabi electraMaccabi Electra bounced back from an awful game 1 to stun defending champion Panathinaikos 92-94 on Thursday at OAKA to even their best-of-five Turkish Airlines Euroleague Playoffs series at 1-1. David Blu connected on two clutch three-pointers in the last two minutes of overtime – the first to tie the score and the second to put Maccabi ahead with 29.8 seconds left – and the team denied the Greens twice on the final possession to secure the win. Keith Langford paced the winners with 17 points, Blu scored 16, Yogev Ohayon came through with a career-high 15 points plus 5 assists and Devin Smith tallied 15 plus 9 rebounds. After a close first half, Ohayon led the visitors on a 0-9 third-quarter run to make it 54-61. A Devin Smith triple early in the fourth quarter gave the Israeli champs a 10-point lead and stunned the local crowd. Read more here.

March 22, 2012 - Playoffs, Game 2: Four winners aim to take 2-0 series leads!

keith langfordWith barely 48 hours having passed since their series openers, adjusting their strategies on the fly, the eight remaining aspirants for the Turkish Airlines Euroleague title this season return for Game 2 of the playoffs on Thursday and Friday. All four winning teams from Game 1 to move within a single victory of reaching the Final Four. Three of them - Panathinaikos, Barcelona and CSKA - can do so on their home floors. Olympiacos can put a near-lock on its series should it take another road win. In the three seasons since the playoffs went to a best-of-five format, any team that took a 2-0 lead has advanced. Three Game 1 road losers - Maccabi, Unics and Gescrap - cannot only tie their series with Game 2 victories, but would reverse the homecourt advantage with two home games next week. Read more here.

Playoffs, Game 2


Panathinaikos vs. Maccabi Electra 92:94 OT - Maccabi Electra wins in Game 2, series tied 1-1
Barcelona Regal vs. Unics 66:63

FRIDAY, March 23

CSKA Moscow vs. Gescrap BB 79:60
Montepaschi vs. Olympiacos 81:80

March 22, 2012 - Playoffs, Game 1 bwin MVP: Dimitris Diamantidis, Panathinaikos

dimitris diamantidisDimitris Diamantidis was once again the star of the show Tuesday for the defending champs as Panathinaikos routed Maccabi Electra 93-73 in Game 1 of the teams’ best-of-five playoffs series. The reigning MVP got an extra treat for his brilliant performance in the playoffs Game 1 bwin MVP title. The Panathinaikos playmaker turned in 15 points on near-perfect shooting in addition to 8 assists, 5 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks to lead the Greens. His numbers added up to a season-high performance index rating of 31, which was best among all players on winning teams in the first games of the playoffs. Read more here.

March 21, 2012 - Playoffs, Game 1

Montepaschi Siena 75 - 82 Olympiacos

joey dorseyOlympiacos Piraeus came from behind in the final minutes with its best player on the bench to stun Montepaschi Siena 75-82 in Game 1 of their best-of-five playoffs series on Wednesday. Vassilis Spanoulis fouled out with 4:38 to play and the hosts up 70-67, but Acie Law took over with 5 points – including the go-ahead free throws – and an assist in the remaining time. Joey Dorsey also came up big with a huge put-back slam and a massive block on Bo McCalebb, while Georgios Printezis capped an impressive night with 20 points to lead the Reds. The game was close throughout, though the home team led the vast majority of the game. These teams also met in the playoffs last season, when Olympiacos won Game 1 at home, but Siena took the next three to reach the Final Four. Read more here.

CSKA Moscow 98 - 71 Gescrap BB

nenad krsticCSKA Moscow sent a message that echoed all around the competition by thrashing Gescrap BB 98-71 in Game 1 of the Turkish Airlines Euroleague playoffs in the Russian capital on Wednesday. CSKA took a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five series and hosts Game 2 on Friday. Nenad Krstic paced six CSKA scorers in double figures with 18 points on 7-of-9 shooting. Alexey Shved added 15 and Jamont Gordon 14, while Milos Teodosic, Anrdey Kirilenko and Viktor Khryapa each accounted for 11 points. Kostas Vasiliadis paced Bilbao with 15 points and Alex Mumbru added 14. An 0-11 run that Vasiliadis capped with a three-pointer gave Gescrap a 15-18 lead midway through the first quarter. Khryapa and Teodosic stepped up to put CSKA back ahead, 27-26, after 10 minutes. A three-pointer by Janis Blums allowed Gescrap to tie the game for the last time, 31-31. Read more here.

March 20, 2012

Panathinaikos 93 - 73 Maccabi Electra

dimitris diamantidisPanathinaikos hammered Maccabi Electra 93-73 in Game 1 of their Turkish Airlines Euroleague Playoffs series at OAKA on Tuesday night. The rematch of last season’s championship game turned ugly early as the Greens delighted their fans. The outcome was decided during a five-minute stretch to end the first quarter and start the second in which Nick Calathes scored 10 as Panathinaikos broke open an 18-18 tie with 22 unanswered points. The lead would reach the 30s in the third quarter and Maccabi never threatened again. Euroleague MVP Dimitris Diamantidis was the star of the show with 15 points and 8 assists. Calathes finished with 13 points and 8 rebounds, while Mike Batiste and David Logan added 11 each for the champs. Read more here.

FC Barcelona Regal 78 - 66 Unics

pete mickealFC Barcelona Regal took the first step to reach the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four by downing Unics Kazan 78-66 at home in Game 1 of the playoffs on Tuesday. Barcelona now has a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five playoffs series and hosts Game 2 on Thursday. Pete Mickeal scored a season-high 22 points and grabbed 7 rebounds to pace the 2010 champs. Erazem Lorbek added 15 points, Juan Carlos Navarro scored 13, Boni Ndong 12 and Marcelinho Huertas dished 10 assists for the winners. Nathan Jawai led Barcelona with 15points, Henry Domercant added 12 and Valdimir Veremeenko tallied 11 points and 9 rebounds in defeat. Ndong shined early in the game and got some help from Navarro and Huertas to give Barcelona a 22-14 lead after 10 minutes. Read more here.

March 19, 2012 - Playoffs, Game 1: Best-of-five playoffs open Tuesday and Wednesday!

panathinaikos vs maccabiThe ultimate week for Turkish Airlines Euroleague fans is upon us. For the first time ever, the best eight teams in the competition will be in action twice each over the course of four consecutive days as the best-of-five playoffs start in a fury. Two games daily from Tuesday through Friday set the stage for decisive battles next week as the teams battle to survive and to advance to basketball’s promised land, the 2012 Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four in Istanbul. The first balls bouncing will be heard in the Catalonian region of Spain, where FC Barcelona Regal hosts Unics Kazan at 19:00 CET on Tuesday. Barcelona, which was the Euroleague champion just two seasons ago, rolls into the playoffs with a seven-game winning streak – the longest active run in the league.Read more here.

Playoffs, Game 1


Barcelona Regal vs. Unics 78:66
Panathinaikos vs. Maccabi Electra 93:73 - Panathinaikos wins in Game 1 against Maccabi Electra


CSKA Moscow vs. Gescrap BB 98:71
Montepaschi vs. Olympiacos 75:82

March 15, 2012 - Playoffs series analysis: FC Barcelona Regal vs. Unics

juan carlos navarroA classic continental powerhouse meets an up-and-coming Euroleague newcomer in the playoffs, as FC Barcelona Regal goes against reigning Eurocup champion Unics. Barcelona is tied for the best record in the Euroleague this season (15-1), but Unics has been able to steal as many as five road wins in its debut season in the competition. Barcelona beat Unics twice during the regular season, but this playoffs series will be a whole different story. The best two defensive teams in the competition – Barcelona has allowed opponents just 61.4 points per game until now, Unics 67.4 ppg. – go face-to-face for a spot in the 2012 Final Four. Barcelona leads all playoff teams in rebounding (35.4 rpg.) and fewest fouls committed (18.3). Read more here.

Road to playoffs: key facts – FC Barcelona Regal

After cruising through the regular season with a 9-1 record and getting tested at home in its Top 16 opener, Barcelona faced a daunting trip to Tel Aviv. And through three quarters, it was anybody’s game. However Erazem Lorbek stepped up as Barca took over in the fourth and finished the game on a 6-22 charge to register the win. From that day, Barcelona became the clear Group H favorite and did not let up in finishing the Top 16 undefeated. Read more here.

Road to playoffs: key facts – Unics Kazan

Though Unics impressed plenty as it marched through the Turkish Airlines Regular Season, the Top 16 was a whole new story. And at halftime of its Top 16 opener at home, Unics was down 24-41 to Fenerbahce Ulker. However before the team could be written off, the trio of Petr Samoylenko, Vladimir Veremeenko and Henry Domercant carried Unics all the way back for a confidence-building 76-71 victory. The week after, Unics stunned Panathinaikos in Athens and was on the road to the playoffs. Read more here.

Head-to-Head matchups: FC Barcelona Regal vs. Unics

March 13, 2012 - Playoffs series analysis: Panathinaikos vs. Maccabi Electra

dimitris diamantidisGet ready for the newest chapter in one of the world's greatest basketball rivalries as last season's Euroleague finalists, champion Panathinaikos and runner-up Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv, meet in a playoff for the first time. These teams have been crowned European champion in eight of the last 12 seasons. During that span, they have clashed in five Final Fours and three times in the title game. Panathinaikos takes a title defense into the playoffs for the first time. Maccabi, the only repeat Euroleague champion in the last two decades, will try to deny that honor to the Greens. Panathinaikos leads the 2011-12 Euroleague in steals (8.4 spg.) and all playoffs teams in offensive rebounding (11.6 orpg.), proving that Panathinaikos remains as intense and aggressive as ever. Read more here.

Road to playoffs: key facts – Maccabi Electra

Facing an early elimination, Maccabi stepped up big in Top 16 Week 4. Maccabi could have been on its way out with a loss against Bennet Cantu, or become the odds-on favorite to qualify if it beat its opponent by more than 8 points to take the tiebreak advantage. Maccabi trailed at halftime, but limited Cantu to just 5 points in the third quarter to pull away for a critical win. David Blu led the way with 14 points and five other Maccabi players scored at least 8. Read more here.

Road to playoffs: key facts – Panathinaikos

Despite losing twice at home, Panathinaikos reached Top 16 Week 6 with the chance to win Group G and get the home-court advantage in the playoffs. Unics was on a five-game home winning streak, but Panathinaikos managed to play an excellent defensive game at the right time. Mike Batiste and Sarunas Jasikevicius led the Greens to a 63-68 road win in which Panathinaikos proved not only that it can beat anyone, anywhere, but that it is ready for the playoffs. Read more here.

Head-to-Head matchups: Panathinaikos vs. Maccabi Electra

March 9, 2012 - Playoffs series analysis: Montepaschi Siena vs. Olympiacos

bo mccalebbTwo modern classics in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague meet again in the playoffs, as Montepaschi Siena faces Olympiacos BC Piraeus at this stage for the second consecutive season. Despite dropping its last two games, Montepaschi has enjoyed a stellar Euroleague season thus far and won its Top 16 group against three Spanish powerhouses. Olympiacos overcame a 1-3 start in the regular season and reached the playoffs despite losing its first two Top 16 games by showing its character and never giving up. Montepaschi, which seeks its fifth Final Four appearance since 2003, has committed the fewest turnovers in the 2011-12 Euroleague and is second in three-point shooting percentage (39.9%), showing that its trademark extra pass offense is working to perfection. Read more here.

Road to playoffs: key facts - Montepaschi Siena

After finishing in second place in Regular Season Group D and handing FC Barcelona Regal its only loss of the season, it was clear that Montepaschi Siena was in it to win it this season. However the game that made it clear just how good Montepaschi could be was in Top 16, Week 2, when the Italian champs pounded Real Madrid 69-88 on the road in the Spanish capital. Bo McCalebb starred early with 10 points and 2 assists in the first quarter alone as the visitors jumped out to an 18-point lead and never looked back. Read more here.

Road to playoffs: key facts - Olympiacos

The Reds have faced a number of must-win situations this season both to survive the regular season and later the Top 16. But no game – or win – was bigger than an 88-81 victory over GS Medical Park in the Top 16 finale. On the strength of bwin February MVP Vassilis Spanoulis’s 20 points, 8 assists and 4 steals, Olympiacos outdueled Galatasaray in what was essentially a do-or-die situation to claim second place in Top 16, Group E. Read more here.

Head-to-Head matchups: Montepaschi vs. Olympiacos

March 7, 2012 - Playoffs series analysis: CSKA Moscow vs. Gescrap BB

viktor khryapaA classic Turkish Airlines Euroleague powerhouse goes up against a precocious newcomer as CSKA Moscow faces Gescrap BB of Spain in this best-of-five playoff series. CSKA arrives tied for the competition's best overall record this season, 15-1, while Gescrap won six of its last eight games, eliminating such giants as Caja Laboral and Real Madrid, to survive. CSKA demonstrates its main offensive virtues - great ball circulation and a fluid transition game - by leading the Euroleague in scoring with 86.2 points per game, two- (57.8%) and three-point accuracy (41.1%), as well as assists (19.9 apg.). Gescrap leads all playoffs teams in free throw shooting percentage (80.8%) and commits the competition’s fewest turnovers, 14.4 per game, while ranking second in two-point accuracy (55.2%). Read more here.

Road to playoffs: key facts - CSKA Moscow

CSKA won 13 Euroleague games in a row from the start of the season before Galatasaray Medical Park handed CSKA its first loss, 68-64, but the Russian powerhouse bounced back right away to prove it is a rock-solid squad ready to challenge for all titles. CSKA overwhelmed Olympiacos 96-64, leaving no doubt about its power. Andrey Vorontsevich led six CSKA scorers in double figures with 15 points. CSKA tormented Olympiacos early by draining 11 of 12 first-half three-pointers to get a 54-26 lead at the break. Read more here.

Road to playoffs: key facts - Gescrap BB

Gescrap won all of its key games until now, but none was more important than its regular season Week 10 triumph against regional rival Caja Laboral. In what became a do-or-die game for both teams, Gescrap beat Laboral 77-72 in front of a sellout crowd of over 10,000 fans. Marko Banic led the winners with 18 points. Free throws by Kostas Vasiliadis and Janis Blums allowed Gescrap to seal the win in the final seconds and start the celebrations across the city of Bilbao. Read more here.

Head-to-Head matchups: CSKA Moscow vs. Gescrap BB

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