German club Mitteldeutscher BC are the 2004 FIBA Europe Cup Champions after their 84:68 victory French outfit Dijon in Izmir, Turkey.
A strong defensive performance and MVP display by Marijonas Petravicius ( 28 points, 7 rebounds and 3 blocks) were enough for the Germans to beat the favoured French team.
In contrast to the high scoring display from Tuborg in the 3rd place game, the two finalists began the game in a defensive frame of mind. Dijon made the early running as Jerome Monnet and Vakhtang Natsvlishvili established their presence inside. Monnet’s steal and 2 points at the buzzer gave the French a 16:19 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Game MVP Marijonas Petravicius
It was in the 2nd period that Mitteldeutscher stepped up their defensive game and stole the momentum. Their zone defense caused the French side problems getting the ball inside, while their outside shots were just not falling.
Two consecutive 3-pointers, from Manuchar Markoishvili and Paul Burke, gave Mitteldeutscher the lead for the first time in the game after 2 minutes in the period. Sebastian Machowski added another long range shot which was followed by a Markoishvili dunk and the score was 30:21.
The 2 teams traded baskets for the remaining minutes of the quarter, but Mitteldeustcher maintained a comfortable lead, 39:30.
The 3rd quarter was probably the key period of the game for the Germans. Dijon began strongly and 2 three-pointers from Dimitri Lauwers sparked a 10:0 run that saw the game tied at 46:46.
Rather than panic, the Germans regrouped and went to their 2 strengths, interior defense and the inside play of Petravicius. The Lithuanian forward scored 9 points and suddenly Mitteldeutscher had regained the advantage, 60:52 at the end of the quarter.
The 4th quarter was Dijon’s final chance to get back into the game and despite their best efforts, they were foiled at every opportunity. Petravicius continued to dominate inside while the French just could not hit a shot from the perimeter.
Rather than coming back, the French were falling further behind and the Germans turned a 10-point lead into 16 points, and comfortably strolled home.
Petravicius was undoubtedly the top performer for Mitteldeutscher, but a cameo appearance from Markioshvili in the 2nd quarter (13 points and 2 steals) was also key. Paul Burke added 13 on 3/5 three-point shooting.
For the French the story of the game was their outside shooting touch, which completely deserted them. Center Natsvlishvili had 22 points, but the team combined for 5/30 three-pointers. Rowan Barrett, who had 22 points (4/6 3-pointers) in the semi-final against Tuborg, was held to 6 points and 0/5 from behind the arc.