CSU Ploiesti wins FIBA Europe
Cup 2005 Lokomotiv Rostov - CSU Asesoft Ploiesti 74-75 (20-20, 11-20, 24-22, 19-13)
Lokomotiv: Stevenson 32,
Kudelin 18, Sokolov 8, Matthews 6, Gustas 4, Voronov 4, Zozulin 2,
Nesterov 0, Lewis 0
CSU Asesoft: Kuzmanovic 28, Krasic 14, Burlacu 12, Halcioiu 10,
Bulatovic 6, Pekovic 5, Szijarto 0, Rakocevic 0
A sea of blue and white in the spectator tribunes greeted the teams as
they hit the court for today’s FIBA Europe Cup Men Final in Ploiesti,
Romania and CSU Asesoft’s boys in blue were going to need the support as
they faced a tough opponent in Lokomotiv Rostov.
The cool-headed Russians had shown in the Semi-Final that they were very
capable of taking the title, especially if their hosts’ level of
concentration didn’t remain high. In a terrific final which, in the
final minutes went right down to the wire, Ploiesti held off a final
surge even in the last seconds to finish victorious and take the title.
It was again standing room only in the Olimpia arena and once more
thousands were turned away at the door and watched on the screen
outside. The electric atmosphere dazzled the home side at first and
Rostov easily got the better start. The Ploiesti defence was weak and
Jarod Stevenson (199-F-75) was on fire for the
guests. He scored 13 of the first 17 points for Lokomotiv in the
starting five minutes, including three 3-pointers on 100% shooting from
behind the arc.
The locals were already very emotional but the noisy crowd didn’t help
as Rostov slowly built up a lead.
Giedrius Gustas (190-G-80, agency:
Interperformances) was excellent for the
Russians, pushing the ball up the court and dishing to Dmitri Sokolov
Igor Kudelin (196-G-72) had a slow start and
couldn’t hit on target.
With little over one minute left in the period
Vladimir Kuzmanovic (195-G-71, agency:
Beo Basket) stepped up and sank two crucial
three-pointers to tie the game on the buzzer. These were the first of
many clutch shots he made in this game on the way to a team high 28
points and the MVP award.
Stevenson answered for Lokomotiv with another 3-pointer at the start of
the second period while his team-mates really tried to step up the
defence on Ploiesti’s point guard
Paul Helcioiu (180-G-78, agency:
Stanley International). He still could reply with
another trey, which was soon followed by yet another from Kuzmanovic.
Asesoft took the lead for the first time in the game after 3 minutes,
and thanks to their continuing accuracy from downtown, began to stretch
Kudelin returned to the game after a break but he also couldn’t stop the
home team’s run. Ploiesti started to play much better defence and
Stevenson found himself completely under pressure to even touch the
ball. Rostov suddenly seemed powerless and couldn’t find solutions for
their now-floundering offence.
Two sets of free-throws from Kuzmanovic at the end of the half gave the
hosts a 9-point lead going into the locker-rooms, 31-40.
The three-point shoot-out going again right from the start of the second
Ivan Krasic (201-G/F-73, agency:
Beo Basket) hit two within the first minute which
were soon followed by one more from Kuzmanovic. Asesoft almost
completely avoided going inside and risking going up against Sokolov.
All their points were from outside.
Stevenson finally broke loose and replied with three 3-pointers one
after the other. The game became slowly more and more physical and the
crowd louder and louder. Voronov sank two free-throws despite deafening
noise and the extra adversity gave Kudelin the motivation he needed. He
then hit a 3-pointer with two minutes to play in the quarter to bring
the game back to within 6 points. The Russians could have even tied the
game with free-throws, however, poor shooting from the line allowed
Asesoft to pull away again to finish the period 55-62.
Lokomotiv came into the final quarter fired up and soon equalised thanks
to great play from Kudelin and Stevenson. With just under five minutes
left Rostov retook the lead and from here on the game went end to end,
Kudelin, Stevenson and Kuzmanovic duelling it out from the three-point
With two minutes to go Rostov were up by one, 74-75, but neither team
could then score. With eight second left Kuzamanovic calmly sank two
free-throws to put Ploiesti ahead.
Rostov pushed the ball up the floor but time ran out before Sokolov was
able to convert a Gustas pass inside for the dunk. The Asesoft bench
erupted, along with the 3,000 spectators, as the buzzer sounded. Final
MVP of the Final Four was rightfully awarded to
Vladimir Kuzmanovic (195-G-71), whose
level-headedness and great shooting was the deciding factor for the home
The All-Star Five also included
Igor Kudelin (196-G-72), who finished the Final
with 18 points and
Jarod Stevenson (199-F-75) who scored a game-high
32 points (on 7/7 from the three.point line) and pulled down 10
Paul Helcioiu (180-G-78) also made the All Star
team as well as
George Banks (202-C/F-72, agency:
(ESM)) from Banvit.
CSU Asesoft and Lokomotiv go to
the final Semifinals: Banvit BC (TUR) - CSU Asesoft
Ploiesti (ROM) 69-83 (17-21, 11-24,
Banvit: Banks 24, Akin 9, Gorkem 9, Cataloluk 9,
Radosevic 8, Turkoglu 6, Kahyaoglu 3, Kulcebas 1, Carinan
Ploiesti: Halcioiu 24, Burlacu 16, Kuzmanovic 16, Bulatovic 9, Rakocevic
9, Krasic 9, Szijarto 0, Pekovic 0
Home team got another player in their roster: all the fans (3,000 +
2,000 outside) were cheering for Romanian team. Romanian basketball did
not have their team, which went such high in European ranking, for a
long time. Especially the very beginning of the game belong to Ploiesti.
Banvit managed to stabilize the game in the second part. But that was
not anough to limit the lead of Romanians. Dynamo Moscow Region (RUS) - Lokomotiv Rostov (RUS) 63-74 (21-26, 15-15,
Dynamo Moscow Region: Kornegay 16, Smith 12,
Pegushin 9, Morgunov 8, Buskevics 8, Taylor 6, Golubev 3, Demeshkin 1,
Lokomotiv Rostov: Kudelin 16, Nesterov 15, Matthews 13, Lewis 11,
Stevenson 7, Sokolov 6, Gustas 4, Voronov 2
Even before the game Russia knew they would have one team in the final.
The question was which one. That was a big revenge of Lokomotiv Rostov,
who defeated Dynamo MR and reversed the result from their conference
title game back in February. None of the teams was able to get
comfortable distance and the game was very tough. Lokomotiv seemed to
keep small control not giving up the leadership from the first minutes.
The player worth to mention is Igor Kudelin. But he had also huge help
from two Americans Matthews and Lewis, as well as promising Nesterov.
Copyright (c) 1998-2013 Eurobasket Inc. Disclaimer
Do not copy, redistribute, publish or otherwise exploit information that you download from the site !
Do not encumber, license, modify, publish, sell, transfer or transmit, or in any way exploit, any of the
content of the site, nor will you attempt to do so.