London, May 13 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Russian side CSKA Moscow recovered some pride by beating Barcelona of Spain 74-73 to take third place at Euroleague basketball’s Final Four here.
CSKA bounced back from a 69-52 semi-final crushing by Olympiacos Friday and responded well to coach Ettore Messina’s pleas for the players to show dedication and teamwork in the third-place game Sunday instead of playing like “a bunch of rabbits”.
Barcelona leave winless but could have snatched victory in the final seconds when Marcelinho Huertas’ two-point shot bounced off the rim.
“Survival of the fittest,” CSKA guard Aaron Jackson said of the hectic finish.
“We stuck with it, especially on defence, to the end and we came away with the win.”
Barcelona centre Erazem Lorbek, himself a former CSKA player, said Barcelona failed to make the most of its scoring opportunities.
“I think it was a good game and we had our chances in the end. We just couldn’t take them, couldn’t win,” he said.
Viktor Khryapa top-scored for CSKA with 16 points, while Juan Carlos Navarro led Barcelona with 17.