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CSKA Moscow Beat Gescrap BB, Reach Euroleague Final Four

© RIA Novosti . Alexey Filippov / Go to the photo bankAndrei Kirilenko
Andrei Kirilenko - Sputnik International
CSKA Moscow on Friday beat Gescrap Bilbao 73-71 at Bilbao Arena in game 4 of the Euroleague quarterfinals to advance to the Final Four of Europe’s key basketball tournament.

CSKA Moscow booked its place in the Euroleague Final Four with a 73-71 away win over Bilbao Basket to take the best-of-seven series 3-1.

CSKA joins Greek team Olympiakos and Spain’s Barcelona in the Final Four in Istanbul in May, while Panathinaikos and Makkabi Tel Aviv will play a decider Thursday for the final place.

Bilbao were 14 points down one minute into the fourth quarter, but reduced the deficit to a single point with seven seconds on the clock, before CSKA saw out the game with two free throws from Milos Teodosic on Friday.

CSKA’s ex-Utah Jazz forward Andrei Kirilenko was named MVP of the round with 23 points and eight rebounds, and told RIA Novosti that the CSKA players came close to defeat against a determined Bilbao team.

“It’s very unpleasant to play here, the team is very uncompromising, they’re veterans, they know how to play,” he said.

“You can’t leave them in the game at the end, that’s very dangerous. I’m sorry, after controlling the game for 35 minutes we got tired at the end.”

The Final Four would be a tough test, he said.

“You can’t underestimate anyone. There are only two games in the Final Four, and absolutely anything can happen. It’s a real lottery.”

Bilbao point guard Aaron Jackson said that the team was proud of its first season in the Euroleague.

“Our team showed the world we were here to fight and to win, no matter if the other team was CSKA or anyone else,” he said in comments on the competition’s website.

CSKA has won the Euroleague six times, with its last win in 2008. The Russian team reached the Final Four every year between 2003 and 2010.

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