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  1995-1996     Other seasons     1997-1998  



FIBA EUROLEAGUE 1996-1997
previously known as FIBA Euro League




Olympiakos team celebrating the victory over FC Barcelona in the final
 
Olympiakos Pireus
1996-1997
 David Rivers (184-G-65) (USA)
 Dragan Tarlac (209-C-73) (SRB-GRE)
 Giorgos Sigalas (200-F-71)
 Panagiotis Fasoulas (214-C-63)
 Franko Nakic (204-F-72) (CRO-GRE)
 Dimitris Papanikolaou (201-F-77)
 Milan Tomic (192-G-72) (SRB-GRE)
 Christian Welp (212-C-64) (GER)
 Thimios Bakatsias (196-G-68)
 Nasos Galakteros (202-F-69)
 Head coach: "Duda" Dusan Ivkovic (SRB)

For the 1996-97 season, FIBA changed the competition system. Instead of 16 teams divided into two groups of 8, the league started with 4 groups of 6, 24 teams total. As a result, there were a lot of newcomers: tefanel Milan and Teamsystem Bologna of Italy, Ulker Istanbul of Turkey, Panionios Athens of Greece, Alba Berlin of Germany, Spirou Charleroi of Belgium, Asvel Villeurbanne of France, Caja San Fernando of Spain, Dynamo Moscow of Russia and others. (After the first phase, the 24 teams reorganized themselves in 4 new groups, each with the best three teams of one original group and the three worst teams of another group of the first ones. The top three teams wouldn't meet each other again in the second phase, but only played against the bottom three teams.) The best 16 teams advanced to the elimination rounds. In the eighthfinals, only Panathinaikos (against Limoges) and Teamsystem (against Caja San Fernando) swept their series 2-0: the others needed the third game. In quarterfinals, there came another Greek derby between Panathinaikos and Olympiakos, which ended 0-2 for the Reds (49-69, 57-65), ending the reign of the defending champion Greens. The surprise Final Four qualifier was Olimpija Ljubljana of Slovenia eliminating Stefanel. Barcelona did the same with Teamsystem Bologna and Asvel with Efes Pilsen. In the semifinals, the favorite teams advanced with no problems at all. Barcelona defeated Asvel 77-70 and Olympiacos prevailed over Olimpija 74-65. In a great final marked by the point guard duel between David Rivers (26 points) and Sasha Djordjevic, Olympiacos showed clear domination in rebounding (39-26) and the Reds won by 73-58 to get their first European title, the second in a row for Greece.
 By Euroleague
 
 FINAL FOUR: Rome, Italy
 FINAL
: Olympiakos Pireus - FC Barcelona 73-58
(31-29)
 Olympiakos: Rivers 26, Tarlac 11, Sigalas 7, Fassoulas 6, Nakic 0; Papanikolaou 11, Tomic 9, Welp 2, Bakatsias 1, Galakteros 0
 FC Barcelona: Jimenez 16, Karnishovas 14, Djordjevic 6, Rivas 6, Fernandez 0; R.Jofresa 9, Esteller 3, Andreu 2, Duenas 2, Bosch 0

Final Four MVP: David Rivers of Olympiakos

 THIRD PLACE: Olimpija Ljubljana - ASVEL Lyon 86-79 (54-35)
 Olimpija: M. Milic 17, I. Jurkovic 14, D. Hauptman 12, M. Kraljevic 11, A. McDonald 10, M. Tusek 9, R. Horvat 5, D. Henrie 5, V. Stepania 2, J. Daneu 1. Head coach: Zmago Sagadin
 Asvel: A. Digbeu 22, B. Joward 20, J. Nebot 10, D. Rudd 8, G. Adams 5, K. Ouattara 4, R. Smith 4, O. Bourgain 2, L. Pluvy 2, R. Rippert 2. Head coach: Greg Beugnot

 SEMIFINALS
 Olympiakos Pireus - Olimpija Ljubljana 74-65 (37-32)
 Olympiakos: D. Rivers 28, F. Nakic 10, D. Tarlac 10, M. Tomic 8, G. Sigalas 7, P. Fassoulas 6, D. Papanikolaou 5, C. Welp, N. Galakteros, E. Bakatsias. Head coach: Dusan Ivkovic
 Olimpija: V. Stepania 12, J. Daneu 11, D. Hauptman 10, M. Tusek 7, A. McDonald 7, D. Henrie 6, M. Milic 5, R. Horvat 4, R. Nesterovic 3, M. Kraljevic. Head coach: Zmago Sagadin
 FC Barcelona - ASVEL Lyon 77-70 (38-36)
 Barcelona: A. Djordjevic 17, A. Jimenez 16, X. Fernandez 14, A. Karnisovas 9, R. Rivas 7, R. Esteller 6, E. Andreu 4, R. Jofresa 2, R. DueƱas 2, M. Bosch. Head coach: Aito G. Reneses
 Asvel: B. Howard 20, D. Rudd 20, A. Digbeu 9, R. Rippet 9, G. Adams 9, R. Smith 3, K. Ouattara, O. Bourgain, L. Pluvy, J. Nebot. Head coach: Greg Beugnot
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