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CSKA to battle Olympiacos in Euroleague final

Published time: May 11, 2012 21:25
Edited time: May 12, 2012 01:27
CSKA's forward Andrey Kirilenko on the ball in the  Panathinaikos clash (RIA Novosti / Grigory Sysoev)

CSKA's forward Andrey Kirilenko on the ball in the Panathinaikos clash (RIA Novosti / Grigory Sysoev)

Russia’s basketball powerhouse, CSKA Moscow, have made it to the Euroleague’s deciding match for the 12th time in club history.

­CSKA took on defending champions Panathinaikos from Greece in the Final Four in Istanbul, Turkey.

The Russians had a dreadful start to the game, and ended up trailing by 14 points at the end of the opening quarter.

But Jonas Kazlauskas’s men managed to turn the tide and catch up on PAO by the big break.

The rest of the game was equal, with CSKA finding themselves two points up 8.3 seconds before the buzzer, 66-64.

But the Russians defended so well that they didn’t even allow Panathinaikos to make an effort on their net.

Andrey Kirilenko was once again the best man in the Muscovites’ lineup, as AK-47 bagged 17 points, 9 rebounds and 4 block-shots.  

Meanwhile, the 19 points from PAO’s top scorer Sarunas Jasikevicius weren't enough for his team to progress.

“We played against the defending champions,”
Kirilenko told Sport-Express newspaper. “Panathinaikos deserved plenty of compliments, especially for the first quarter. Plus the Greeks have great fans, who were so loud every second today. But I want to thank our supporters as well. I’m very happy that we were able to snatch this win in the end, when everything started for us so badly.”

Another Greek side will be CSKA’s rival in the final on May 13, as Olympiacos took care of Barcelona 68-64 in the other semifinal game.