Armia Are Kings Of Georgia

30 May 2012

20. Benjamin Woodside (Armia)
Armia prevailed in all three domestic competitions this season, with point guard Benjamin Woodside being named Player of the Year

Armia brought big-time European basketball to Tbilisi this year by playing in the EuroChallenge. How good was this team?

Look back at the sixth of December, 2011, because on that day, Armia nearly upset Besiktas Milangaz - the side that went on to win the EuroChallenge.

The Turkish club won that battle, 77-75.

The club ended up finishing third in their group behind Besiktas and ZZ Leiden and did not progress to the Last 16.

While the club didn't perform as well as its legion of fans had hoped in Europe, the team did enjoy a successful season.

Armia beat Kutaisi in the Georgian Cup and then won the Superleague and the Super Cup.

In the domestic play-offs, Kote Tugushi's side didn't lose a game en route to the championship series.

They downed Samedicino 2-0 in the last eight and then Sokhumi 3-0 in the semi-finals.

Their hot steak continued with a 72-66 victory in Game 1 of the finals against Olimpi, with Ben Woodside's 22 points and Jeremy Richardson's 20 pacing the attack.

Olimpi hit right back with a 69-67 win to knot the series at 1-1.

Georgia international guard Georgi Tsintsadze had 24 points for Olimpi in that clash.

Games 3 and 4 were bossed by Armia, though.

Tugushi's men rolled to an 87-52 victory to reclaim the lead in the series and then clinched a 91-67 triumph in Game 4 on 23 May to set off championship celebrations in the capital.

Armia then beat Kutaisi - the side they beat in the Georgian Cup - 87-77 to capture the Super Cup.

After that last success, Togushi said: "I want to thank everyone.

"About this game (Super Cup), it is hard to make a comment because it's difficult to play such an important match after a tough season.

"We had very tense games in final series of Superleague and my team was very tired.

"Fortunately, we mobilized our powers and won the Super Cup.

"I am very glad.

"I want to thank Kutaisi.

"They had a very good season and today they showed a very good game as far."

Woodside could not have had a better run in Georgia.

He was named Player of the Year.

He finished with 10 points, four rebounds and three assists in the Super Cup.

"Armia had a great season because of the professional work of the coaches, players and the whole team," he said.

"I want to thank everyone for the title of Best Player of season.

"This is a very important prize for me, but also my team is very important.

"I want to thank all teammates and coaches because without them, I could not have received this prize."



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