By Antonis Stroggylakis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
VITORIA-GASTEIZ — CSKA Moscow led multiple times in double-digits and managed to hold off tenacious Anadolu Efes‘ comeback efforts as they won 91-83 and became the 2018-19 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague champions.
Cory Higgins led the victors with 20 points followed by Will Clyburn’s 20. Nando De Colo added 15 including six crucial points in the fourth quarter to keep CSKA at distance. He also reached a total of 179 Final Four points and is now ranked second in the modern EuroLeague era behind JR Holden (194).
For Efes, Shane Larkin put on yet another historic performance with 29 points breaking the record for points in a Final game as well as total points in a single Final Four (59) during the modern EuroLeague era. Krunoslav Simon helped with 15 points and ten boards in addition to Bryant Dunston‘s 13 points and ten boards.
Both teams were firing from all cylinders early on but CSKA led by Higgins’ 11 points including three shots from deep went ahead 29-20 after ten minutes. They increased that gap to 34-20 but Larkin kept Efes alive with 14 points and sparked a 14-3 run which put his squad back into the game and trailing by just two points at halftime (44-42).
CSKA took over after the break and once again went ahead by a 14-point margin (68-54) but tenacious Efes squad recovered with an 8-0 run as Larkin nailed a triple to end the third quarter (68-62). Larkin kept rolling on his way to yet another record-breaking performance but De Colo answered on the other side keeping CSKA at a distance to secure the win.