CSKA Moscow wins 7th Euroleague title

CSKA MoscowCSKA Moscow is once again the champion of Europe after taking out Fenerbahce Istanbul in the 2016 Euroleague final, a blistering end to the Final Four which produced one of the all-time classic finals. It was fitting that these two clubs contested the showpiece game, both CSKA and Fenerbahce had been the form teams of the Euroleague campaign.

The Moscow giant and Istanbul juggernaut had eased into the final as the Final Four commenced on Friday. The final lived up to billing and will live long in the memory as CSKA Moscow triumphed after a 101-96 victory that only came after overtime.

That extra stanza came because of a stunning Fenerbahce fightback in the fourth quarter, but the momentum did not hold as the Moscow club took the win. The 2016 Euroleague is the seventh time that CSKA has won Europe’s premier competition, placing the Russian club second on the all-time list behind Real Madrid’s nine.

It was the first time since 2008 that CSKA Moscow had tasted glory at the most elite level, while the result leaves Fenerbahce still chasing its first Euroleague. The Turkish club has been sensational on the continent this season and showed why in an excellent final performance, even if Fener did fall short.

CSKA Moscow vs. Fenerbahce, 101-96

It was very much a game of two halves, starting with CSKA dominating proceedings in the first half. The Russian edged the first frame 22-20 and then shocked the Turkish contingent in Berlin with a 10-28 second quarter (including an 18-1 run) that made it 50-30 through the long break. The game look over at that point, a formality for CSKA to close out. However, Fenerbahce won the third act 23-19 to cut the deficit to 69-53 and then pieced together one of the most memorable fourth quarters in Euroleague history.

The Istanbul club drained 30 points and kept CSKA at 14 points to lock the scoreboard through regulation time, the buzzer sounding at 83-83. Fener’s 53 second half point took a toll as the team tired, allowing CSKA to wrestle back the momentum in the overtime period and use an 18-13 run to seal the game and the 2016 Euroleague title.

Nando De Colo won the Euroleague and Final Four MVP and showed why in this game. He shone through in the overtime period when CSKA needed him most, finishing with 22 points and 7 assists. Partner in crime, Milos Teodosic scored 19 points, grabbed 5 rebounds, and added 7 dimes, while Kyle Hines scored 15 points.

Bobby Dixon led Fenerbahce with 17 points, followed by Luigi Datome, Pero Antic, and Ekpe Udoh with 16 points each. Udoh ended with the only double-double of the game as he pulled in 10 boards on the night.

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