The Euroleague Basketball competition is reaching the business end of the season, as CSKA Moscow face off against Olympiacos Piraeus, in what will be the first semi-final.
The Russian outfit, and six-time Euro League champions, advanced through to the final four of the competition with a 74-55 win over Greek side Panathinaikos courtesy of a fantastic performance from ex-NBA star Andrei Kirilenko.
CSKA head coach Dimitris Itoudis said after the match: “I think we got the message in Game 3 when Panathinaikos really came out hard in the second quarter, tied the game, and then in the third quarter came out with high intensity.
“They had really good ball movement and made a lot of shots. We did not give them that opportunity today. I think that 55 points we allowed today in their home, with such great atmosphere, speaks that we are also a good defensive team. That we can defend well.”
In the second semi-final, Real Madrid take on Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul, having beaten Anadolu Efes 76-63 in the last round, and coach Pablo Laso was understandably pleased with result.
“We fought really hard from the beginning until the end. Anadolu Efes also did the same,” said Real coach Laso after the game. “They performed extremely well on defence all series. We moved the ball really well on offence and made the right choices in the second half. This was the key for the win.”
“When you are on the court, you free your mind and do what you do, which is play basketball. As a coach, you wake up at night thinking that you could do something different. You always have the feeling that there is something else you can do,” continued Laso.
“The most beautiful part of basketball is playing, but now, as a coach, I enjoy a lot with these great players. In both situations, the feelings are different, but both can be enjoyable.”
Meanwhile, forward Rudy Fernández expressed the importance of playing the semi-final at home.
“For us, it was very important to play in the Final Four at home. It’s our third Final Four in a row and we’ll try to be in the final game again,” said Fernández.
You can catch the build-up to the games on Coral who also have latest news on a number of different sports and all the latest odds with a range of different markets.