By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Whether they directly booked a team’s ticket to the Final Four, led to a key win in the series, or were just flat-out spectacular, these shots have written some important parts of EuroLeague history.
Here are 5+1 of the most memorable and (most of the times) crucial baskets in this century’s EuroLeague playoffs. The list includes only buckets that ultimately helped their teams get to the Final Four, with one exception as a special mention.
Giorgos Printezis – Olympiacos Piraeus
When: Game 4 vs. Barcelona in 2015
What makes it a big shot: The fact that it punched Olympiacos‘ ticket to the Final Four (duh)? If that’s not enough, here’s a reminder that despite their 2-1 lead heading to Game 4, the Reds were still far from the favorites, having won Game 3 only in the very last second.
Printezis’ massive triple didn’t allow Game 4 to go to an overtime and put an end to the series. If Barcelona got to the extra period and won, they wouldn’t have only tie the quarterfinals at 2-2 and reclaim the homecourt advantage but also completely tipping the scales psychologically, gaining a massive boost of morale to use as an extra weapon against Olympiacos upon their return to Palau Blaugrana.
Drew Goudelock – Fenerbahce Beko
When: Game 3 vs. Maccabi Tel Aviv in 2015
What makes it a big shot: If the fact that it sent Fenerbahce to the Final Four isn’t enough, here’s the historical significance of it: Fener had never, ever been to the Final Four before and a Turkish team had been absent from the tournament for 15 years. Goudelock made sure that both these things changed with his drive to the basket and pretty finish with the left for the bucket.
Pepe Sanchez (Unicaja Malaga)
When: Game 2 vs. Barcelona in 20076
What makes it a big shot: So many reasons. Aside from being the go-ahead, and ultimately decisive, 3-pointer for Malaga with seven seconds left on the clock, Pepe Sanchez made it while being on the floor with a knee issue.
After Berni Rodriguez dribbled his way past Gianluca Basile, he sent the ball to a wide-open Sanchez who drained the triple that put his team up in the score. Few moments later, Malaga was celebrating its first ever Final Four trip.
Jeremy Pargo (Maccabi Tel Aviv)
When: Game 2 vs. Baskonia in 2011
What makes a big shot: It wasn’t just a winning bucket but a complete game-changer in the series. Baskonia, that owned homecourt advantage, had won the first match and a victory in Game 2 would hand them a 2-0 advantage. A margin from which no team has come back to this day.
Jeremy Pargo’s jumper gave Maccabi the win, the momentum and an opportunity to take care of business back home. Which was exactly what the Yellows, rather comfortably (81 -60, 99 – 77).
Luis Scola – Baskonia
When: Game 2 vs. Benetton Treviso in 2005
What makes it a big shot: It opened the door of the Final Four to Baskonia. With 40 seconds to play and the score 64 – 64, Scola got the ball from his longtime teammate Pablo Prigioni, posted up Marcus Goree and spun to make one of his classic hook shots and set Fernando Buesa arena ablaze.
It was more than enough for the win since no more points were scored in the game.
Honorary mention: Dimitris Diamantidis (Panathinaikos Athens)
When: Game 1 vs. Barcelona 2013
What makes it a big shot: It was just a mean, top-class solo action and fantastic basket for a playoffs win. Dimitris Diamantidis created the necessary space between him and Nathan Jawai to hit the 3-pointer and give victory to Panathinaikos in Game 1 of the series vs. Barcelona.
The Greens ultimately fell 3-2 but this was a shot remains one of 3D’s classics.