PRAGUE, Czech Republic -- Trajan Langdon hit two free throws
with 5.8 seconds remaining to lift CSKA Moscow to a 73-69 victory
over Maccabi Tel Aviv on Sunday, giving the Russian club its first
Euroleague championship since 1971.
Langdon, who had 11 points, scored the final points of the
championship game as CSKA finally succeeded in capturing its fifth
title after losing in the semifinals in each of
the past three years.
Having also won the title in 1961, '63, '69 and '71, CSKA
matched Maccabi and Italian club Varese in Euroleague triumphs.
Theodoros Papaloukas led the Russians with 18 points and seven
assists and was named the most valuable player.
"I had lost three final fours before this, but I won't remember
them," he said. "We did it and we deserved it."
Tel Aviv was trying to become the third team in Euroleague
history to win three straight titles, following Yugoslavian club
Split (1989-91) and ASK Riga from the Soviet Union (1958-60).
"They slowed us down, made every shot tough for us and they
played great down the stretch," said Maccabi star Anthony Parker,
who a day earlier was named to the Euroleague's first team and the
season's MVP. "It's a disappointment to come up
one game short like this. Everyone wants to win it all when you get
to this point."
CSKA coach Ettore Messina, in his first season in Russia, won
his third Euroleague title. He previously led Kinder Bologna to
championships in 1998 and 2001.