Nine years ago on this date, the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague playoffs were firing on all cylinders. The four teams with homecourt advantages won the opening games of their respective series and entered Game 2 with confidence. However, the visiting teams turned those series on their heads by winning the second game in each series and thus tying all of them at 1-1. Maccabi Tel Aviv, Panathinaikos Athens, Valencia Basket and Montepaschi Siena were the road warriors on that night.
A thriller in Vitoria-Gasteiz
Baskonia had started the series on the right foot against Maccabi and at halftime of Game 2 it looked as though the ending would be the same as the hosts led 46-38 when the teams went to the locker rooms. David Logan's three-point shooting (4 of 6) kept Baskonia alive, but the efficiency of big man Sofoklis Schortsanitis in the paint (22 points) allowed Maccabi to trim the deficit and even jump ahead at some points. The game reached the final 35 seconds with an 81-81 tie. This time, Logan missed from downtown for the hosts and Jeremy Pargo pulled up for a long jumper that went in with 1.3 seconds to go, giving the win to Maccabi.
Another nailbiter in Barcelona
FC Barcelona had won the opening game of the series against Panathinaikos in Spain by just one point and Game 2 was not much different, even though it would feature a different ending. By the second quarter, Barca had led by as many as 16 points and it looked like the Greens would also drop the second game. However, Dimitris Diamantidis hit 3 straight threes for the visitors to trigger a 0-11 run and Panathinaikos finally jumped ahead, 57-61. Juan Carlos Navarro brought Barca within 71-72 in the last minute, but Diamantidis fed Mike Batiste on the last play to seal the deal for the Greens, paving the road to the title in that same city two months later.
The Spanish duel falls on the visitors' side
Real Madrid and Valencia starred in an all-Spanish League series and Los Blancos had won the first round. In this second game, the hosts also started in control, but the visitors, coached by Svetislav Pesic, never let things get out of control. In the second half of the game, Valencia seemed to take control and despite several Real leads, the visitors kept their cool as Omar Cook led the way with 20 points. In the last minute, Real had managed to stay within 74-79, but Rafa Martinez made sure to put the win on ice for Valencia from the line.
The unexpected win of the night
In Game 1, Olympiacos had managed to destroy many EuroLeague records with an 89-41 thrashing of Siena. However, what happened in Game 2 was probably not expected by many people as the visitors not only managed to win, but did so in commanding fashion, 65-82. This win stopped a seven-game winning streak by the Reds and would be the start of Siena's return to the Final Four. After 10 minutes the visitors already led 12-20 and Malik Hairston led the team with 19 points and 11 rebounds. The Reds never surrendered and managed to pull within 4 points in the final quarter, but Hairston and Rimantas Kaukenas made sure that Siena would win this one.
What happened next
As fate would have it, three of those road warriors in Game 2 would end up advancing to the Barcelona Final Four in 2011, eventually won by Panathinaikos in the championship game against Maccabi. The only losing team that night that would make it to the semifinals was Real Madrid, which in its first Final Four appearance since 1995 would end up fourth after dropping the third-place game against Montepaschi.