CSKA, Olympiacos on verge of Final Four
Olympiakos’ Martynas Gecevicius (C) tries to score past Montepaschi Sien’s David Andersen (R) during the two teams’ Turkish Airlines Euroleague playoff meeting. AFP Photo
CSKA Moscow and Olympiacos are on the verge of clinching their playoffs series tonight and advancing to the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four.
The Russian heavyweights take on Gescrap Bizkaia Bilbao and Olympiacos hosts Montepaschi Siena, both having 2-1 leads in the best-of-five series. The two teams will be eyeing for wins to grab tickets to Final Four which will be held in Istanbul in May.
On March 28, CSKA suffered only its second defeat this season.
After getting one win thanks to the support of its ambitious fans, Gescrap BB will try to force the series to the fifth game, but the Russians will try to end it as soon as possible.
“We were more focused today during all 40 minutes,” Gescrap BB center Dimitros Mavroeidis was quoted as saying by the official Euroleague website after the game. “But I think they will be more focused next game. Anyway, I think that if we play like we did today, we can win the next one, too.
“For the next game, we don’t need to change anything. We know it’s going to be hard, but we will fight for going back to Moscow. We want to play a do-or-die Game 5 in Russia. The fans are really important for us. They played with us. No one can win easily here with these fans.”
Olympiacos will advance to its third Final Four in four season with a win tonight. However a loss will see the Reds forfeit the home-court advantage they stole with the Game 1 victory and send them to a do-or-die Game 5 in Siena next week.
It’s already do-or-die for Montepaschi, which must win to keep its chances of back-to-back Final Four appearances alive.
“We played terrific defense tonight, but Game 4 is another story,” Olympiacos forward Georgios Printezis said. “We have to stay focused and show our character, because they will play their last chance and this makes them more dangerous.”