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Day 3, Finals
September 16, 1999
The Drazen Petrovic Trophy, for the Championship MVP, went at lasty to Tim Duncan, who simply dominated the final game vs. Vasco, scoring 16 points in first quarter, 32 at the and, and imposing his great presence during all the game.  The All Star of McDonald's was made of course by Duncan, then Avery Johnson, Gianmarco Pozzecco, Charles Byrd and Jose Vargas and Francesco Vescovi (last two tie for forward posotion).  But the presence of Avery Johnson in this All Star is another sign of how much NBA is the "owner" of this tournment. Johnson has been dominated and almost humiliated by Pozzecco in Varese-Spurs game, and some other considerations about the same game, mostly about the referees' behaviour in that occasion, were common in the media talks yesterday. No one wants to say that NBA teams are at the same level of the best European ones. There is again a great gap of difference, and maybe there will be a great difference even in future, but in Friday game the key decisions of refs during last quarter were all in one-way: San Antonio. And this put a bitter taste on the final result. We all hope that all the referees, mostly the FIBA ones, will consider this in future, avoiding a kind behavoir which makes to think about a their "psychological subjection".  More, if really NBA and FIBA are planning a true World Championship for clubs, it should be better to schedule it after some months of work for NBA clubs too. In fact, it tis true that Varese Roosters could have been advantaged by their two months of preparation more, but, be careful NBA, even if the game of Varese has been fantastic, the present continental ranking of the Italian Champions is very lower than the one of, for example, Olympiakos, Panathinaikos, Paf, and Barcelona, the four teams which currently lead the Euroleague groups. What could have happened if one of those had been on the court instead of Varese ?

Final: San Antonio Spurs - Vasco da Gama 103-68
(Jackson 7, Duncan 32, Robinson 16, Elie 2, Johnson 14, Daniels 10, Walker 5, Brown 4, Porter 7, Rose 2, Kerr 2, Newble 2, Lindemann, Spencer - Klafke 9, Vargas 12, Vareja 6, Ferraciu 12, Byrd 17, Oliveira 5, Joelcio, Helinho, Alexey 2, Aylton, Diego, Andrè Rodrigues)
Vasco da Gama was not able to challenge NBA champions. The Spurs controlled the whole game and created very spectacular event. There were many opinions after 2nd day of the event that the gap between NBA and other leagues is shrinking, but today NBA champions confirmed that the distance is still very big. The had a lot to prove today and they did. Tim Duncan was unquestionable best player of the final game, leading the Spurs with 32 points and 18 rebounds. 

3rd Place Game: Varese - Zalgiris 78-97 (24-21, 43-49, 56-69)
(Allen 7, Vescovi 2, Zanus Fortes 14, Pozzecco 16, Meneghin 7, Giadini 15, Foiera 3, Wucherer 6, Allegretti 0, Agazzone 4, Calamia 2, Knezevic 0, Bagatta 2  - M.Zukauskas 18, Timinskas 26, Masiulis 4, E.Zukauskas 8, Stunbrys 11, Sestokas 15, Slanina 8, Zidek 5, Grgat 2  All. Kazlauskas)
Varese wanted to win the game very hard and the first two quarters showed that they have a big chance to take the third place in the tournament. Common opinion about Euroleague defending champions Zalgiris was, that they have much weaker roster comparing to the last season and their first lost game to South American champion Vasco da Gama seemed confirm that. However they showeg a real good play in the second half (leading even by 22 points) of the game and managed to get the victory.
5th Place: Adelaide - Sagesse 91-84
ADELAIDE 36ERS: Cattalini 23 (9/20, 1/5), Maley 20 (8/18, 1/3), Rees 3 (1/2), Maher 21 (6/10, 1/8), Mee 8 (4/8, 0/2); Davis 2 (1/3, 0/1), Stiff 14 (4/9, 1/1), Sapwell (0/3), Bauer (0/2), Williams (0/1, 0/2). All.: Smyth. SAGESSE BEIRUT: El Khatib 12 (2/5, 2/8), Mchantaf 26 (3/10, 6/10), N'Diaye 10 (4/10, 0/2), Vogel 5 (1/6), Acha 22 (7/13, 1/5); McGruder 5 (0/4, 1/2), Eskidjian 2 (1/1), El Haji 2 (1/3), Bechara. N.e.: Hallett, Makki, Zakhem. All.: Sarkis.
Adelaide seemed control the game in two first quarters. However Sagesse managed to to overcome 14-points deficit in the third quarter aiming to tie the game in the last period. But Adelaide managed to secure their victory and finish the tournament in the 5th position. Worth to mention that Sagesse was the first representative from Asia in the Mc Donald's Championship. They left a big iimpression, as challenged seriously Varese, and then had a very good game against Adelaide. Sagesse had a big support of their fans, who came in three full loaded planes from Lebanon. Sagesse coach Ghassan Sarkis. "We came as underdogs and I don't think we had the respect of any of the other clubs before coming here. But believe me, we proved we have a very strong team."

Day 2, Semifinals
September 15, 1999
Spurs narrowly avoided upset in the Mc Donalds Championship. It looks like the gap is getting smaller, despite Americans players still try not to believe it.
San Antonio Spurs (NBA) – Varese (ITA) 96-86
(Johnson 18, Elie 16, Duncan 15+16reb, Porter 15, Robinson 12+9reb Rose 2, Jackson 9, Walker 5, Daniels 5, Brown, Newble – Vescovi 20, Wucherer 14, Sekunda 11, Menghin 11, Pozzecco 7, Santiago 11, Allen 7, Zanus Fortes 3, Foiera 2, Bagatta, Giadini, Agazzone, Allegretti, Calamia)
Tim Duncan by grabbing 16 rebounds and adding 15 points lead San Antonio Spurs to 10-points victory over Varese (ITA). However the final result does not reflect the game. Varese, which is not even currently counted as top Italian team, really surprised NBA champions, leading at some point even by …14 points. Varese won the first half by 7 points (49-42). So it looks like the gap is getting smaller, despite Americans players still try not to believe it.

Vasco da Gama (BRA) – Zalgiris Kaunas (LTU) 92-86, OT
(Byrd 18, Demetrius 12, Vargas 19, Klafke 21, Sandro 7, Mingao 4, Laexey 3, Helinho, Joelcio 4, Aylton 4 - Beck 19, Zukauskas 3, Timinskas 22, Zukauskas 6, Masiulis 14, Slanina 11, Sestokas, Zidek 7, Stumbrys, Grgat 4)
Zalgiris seemed to control the game since …4th quarted. Vasco da Gama (mostly because of Vargas) managed to eliminate 10-points difference and almost won the game in regular time, being 2 points ahead just only 30 seconds left. In overtime Vasco controled the game and did not allow to take out the victory. They will meet today San Antonio Spurs in the final. Zalgiris will play for th e3rd place against Varese (ITA).

David Stern and Borislav Stankovic at the press conference during the Mc Donald’s Championship in Milan.
Ladies and gentlemen and friends. When we started in 1987, the McDonald's tournament was in the United States in Milwaukee, it was agreed then that NBA teams played together with us. We didn't have the rules in FIBA permission to call that: professional athletes and professional basketball.
We started this tournament to promote this idea together. At first only three teams took part. It was interesting because it was the first tournament. Today we have a big tournament here in Milano with the participation of six teams. We have the champion of the NBA, the champion in Italy, we have a champion of the South American league, the champion of European League, the champion of Australia and for the first time, we have an Asian team. I think we can be happy for the first occasion when we watched the Asian team play pretty well. I think they were competing with the same idea. We have Adelaide, the champion of the Australia League — Australia recently becoming one of the most important countries in the world for basketball. They are really very, very far from Europe, but they accepted and they are very happy to be here because this tournament is really, really important. I would like at the end of my speech to say thanks to the NBA for their help, for their organization. I would like to say thank you to the Italian Federation for accepting the tournament in your country. Finally, I would like to say thanks to McDonald's and all of their support.
I share Secretary General Stankovic's enthusiasm for the expansion of this tournament and the fact that we have five continents represented. With respect to future sites of the McDonald's, we have agreed to confer in the next 60-90 days and decide where it will be in the year 2001. I think we have agreed that, in addition to Europe, we will consider the possibility of having it in other places such as Asia or Latin America. That's a decision we would like to make in the next 60-90 days, if at all possible. I want to add my thanks to McDonald's who has nurtured this and has made it into the unofficial global club championship. It gives us a chance to see other countries and their basketball in action. It does give us the opportunity to see countries such as Lebanon, which was actually very exciting for us because we think we know a lot, but we must confess we didn't know a lot about basketball in Lebanon. We had the occasion to see the 10-team league in Lebanon and the fact that there are some pretty good teams playing basketball in Lebanon.
I came here from Tel Aviv where the Miami Heat played Maccabi. We have an exhibition game in Mexico City in another week. Then we take two NBA teams to Japan. Our collaboration with FIBA with respect to moving NBA teams around the world seems to be working successfully. What I have said in the past, and I like to reiterate it here, is that the way we now see the development of basketball is first the NBA must, in our own country, develop what I would call a better minor league. In that regard, we will either expand our relationship with the Continental Basketball Association or perhaps consider starting a minor league of our own. That's a project that's between a year and 18 months away from now.
I want to also say that we have received a number of statements of interest from broadcasters, local broadcasters and from consumer products companies inquiring about whether the NBA would be interested in spreading its name and game to a broader audience than to the United States. My response has been that it's something that we will have to study in collaboration with FIBA, because all of those contacts we share immediately with FIBA, with an eye to making sure that we can continue to collaborate to bring international basketball to the high level we all think it deserves to be at. We have no current plans to have an NBA league in any particular continent. Although we have received expressions of interest for NBA involvement in Latin America, Asia, and to a lesser extent, Europe. That's something that we are open to for collaboration with FIBA and the federations. I have no timetable except perhaps after we move ahead with the development of our minor league. We'll be in a position to address this. An indication to where we might be going would be sometime in 2001 and with probably several years of planning beyond that. We have no specific program, but what we do have is a very good relationship with FIBA.

San Antonio Spurs forward Jaren Jackson won the Spalding Three-Point Shootout at the 1999 McDonald's Championship in Milan.
He beat in the final round Lithuanian Dontatas Slanina (Zalgiris Kaunas) and Australian Brett Maher (Adelaide 36ers).
Final classification:
1. J.Jackson (SA Spurs)
2. B.Maher (Adelaide)
3. D.Slanina (Zalgiris)
4. T.Porter (SA Spurs) and A.Meneghin (Varese)
Other participants in the Shootout included Boulos Bechera of Lebanon's C.S. Sagesse, Charles Byrd of Brazil's Vasco da Gama and Gianmarco Pozzecco of Italy's Varese Rosters.

Day 1:
Vasco da Gama - Adelaide  90-79 (Rogerio 19, Sandro 9, Vargas 15, Demetrius 10, Byrd 31; Aylton, Mingao 6, Helinho - Cattalini 7, Maley 15, Rees 6, Mee 15, Maher 19, Stiff 8, Davis 7, Sapwell 2)
Adelajde lead only for the first 3 minutes. Then Vasco da Gama got 7-points distance and kept the lead for the rest of a game. Vasco was more athletic team than Australians and used their size perfectly on the court. Vasco will face tomorrow Euroleague champs - Zalgiris.
Varese (ITA) - Sagesse (LEB) 98-88 (25-25, 52-49; 83-63)VARESE: Pozzecco, Meneghin, Santiago, Wucherer, Allen; Vescovi, Giadini, Zanus Fortes, Sekunda, Foiera, Allegretti, Bagatta. Coach: Galli.
SAGESSE LIBANO: Vogel, Acha, Mchantaf, El Khatib, N'Diaye; McGruder, El Hajj, Bechara, Eskidjian, Hallet. Coach: Sarkis
Referee: Brothers (Usa) e Toshev (Bul)Very tough game when Asian champion Sagesse challenged the best team of Italian A1. The first half was almost tied (52-49). Varese speeded up in the second half and one time had almost 20 points lead. But it was too late for Sagesse to catch up. Despite the game was played in Italy, Sagesse had relatively small, but vigorous group of fans, who gave their team enthusiastic support. Varese was led by its Gianmarco Pozzecco (19) and Daniel Santiago (18). American Corey Allen added 15 points. Sagesse was led by Fadi El Khatib with 18 points, Nigerian Mohammed Acha with 17 and Elie Mchantaf with 16. Varese will face tomorrow NBA champs San Antonio Spurs. Sagesse will now play the Adelaide 36ers on Saturday for fifth place in the tournament.Schedule

1- the Brazilian basketball is again very enjoyable to watch, all the players have interesting offensive skills, and are very reactive on the court. In last years, Brazilian coaches are maybe forcing a little the mind of their players trying to teach them to defend better, but when Brazilians will improve this part of the game they will surely be back at the top of the international ranking. More, against Zalgiris, Vasco could be very effective under the boards too, thanks to the size of its centers.
2- Australian team disappointed a little in the offensive part of the game. Everyone kows Aussies for thier great hustle and the good offensive skills, but their shooting percentages yesterday were not so good, and this was the main reason of their defeat by 11 pts. In defense, and on the court in general, however, seems that Adelaide players are not so reactive and  quick, maybe that their League has a level of competition which is not helping the developing of these skills.
3- Sagesse put Lebanon in the map of international basketball. The first half of the game
vs. Varese was played very well, all the players performed at the top of their possibilities, and no one (apart those used to check, of course) expected a so good
game from libanese players like El Khatib, Mchantaf, El Haji. But not only some individual skills, all the team organization and the coaching were at the level of top European teams. The italian TV commentators, during the first half, declared: mmm, they could even play in our league !
4- Varese is recovering all its players, but the intensity of its play is not yet the same of last season. A so-so defense and a not so effective offensive play of Roosters permitted to Sagesse to play at the same level during first 20 minutes of the game. Only some great inventions of Andrea Meneghin and the experience of Vescovi gave to Varese the boost to change the game, while the muscles of Zanus Fortes helped to
keep the advantage. However, th egame of tonight vs. Spurs seems really a too hard mountain to climb for Italian Champions.

The 1999 tournament will be broadcast globally in over 160 countries and will be seen on NBC and TNT in the USA. Tickets for the McDonald's Championship will go on sale throughout Italy in June.

The McDonald's Championship was established in 1987 as a joint effort between the NBA and FIBA to promote the sport of basketball globally. In 1987, three teams participated in the inaugural event in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The event expanded from three to four teams in 1988 through 1991 before increasing to its actual six-team format in 1993. In 1995, the NBA Champions Houston Rockets participated in the event and it has since become a tournament of club champions.

In the 1997 McDonald's Championship, the Chicago Bulls traveled outside North America for the first time as they defeated European Champions Olympiakos Piraeus of Greece in Paris during the three-day competition. The Bulls thrilled their worldwide fans as Michael Jordan won tournament MVP

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