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
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.
Henrik Dettmann, Head Coach, Mitteldeutscher BC:
"This is a great win for us because we are going through a tough time at the moment.
"I thought we executed our game plan extremely well. We knew that Dijon is a very good basketball team and have good players, but they are a bit shaky with their outside shooting. We had a kind of risky strategy and we said if they beat us they have to beat us with jump shots and 3- point shooting and I think this was the key."
Nicolas Faure, Head Coach, SAOS JDA Dijon:
"Usually outside shooting is a strong point for us but today we were totally out of the game.
"It’s a big loss for us, but looking at the game we have no regrets because Mitteldeutscher was the better team and that was reflected in the final score."