Siskauskas seeks title, free throws

For all the history/stat junkies out there – including myself, as BiE readers know – BallinEurope today takes a look at what all-time Euroleague Final Four records might fall this year … and some that seem unbreakable.

• Under assault could be the all-time free-throw mark of 56 held by Nikos Galis. Galis set this individual mark in just four games in the 1988 and 1990 tournaments with Aris BC and Panathinaikos, respectively, in performances that set all sorts of EL Final Four marks. However, Ramunas Siskauskas has amassed 45 over the years with PAO and CSKA Moscow; at an average of four trips to the FT line per game in 2011-12 Euroleague play, Siskauskas could squeak into the record books in 2012 – and he’s currently a bit better in accuracy than Galis was, at 78.6% to 74.6%.

• Now 34 years old and the senior member of a seriously veteran-laden Panathinaikos team, Mike Batiste doesn’t have too much time left to run up his numbers. While his 41 two-pointers are a far cry from Galis’ ridiculous 87, the Arizona State University alum could jump from his current no. 9 standing on the EL Final Four all-time two-pointer table to no. 4, passing Dejan Bodiroga with just six more buckets. After that, the targets would be no. 3 Theo Papaloukas’ 53 and no. 2 David Andersen’s 57.

• Batiste is also 17 rebounds behind Matjaz Smodis’ lifetime mark of 73; Viktor Khryapa may be destined to become no. 1 before all is said and done, with 54 to his credit already.

• Old hand Sarunas Jasikevicius is a serious longshot to ascend to no. 1 all-time in EL Final Four career three-pointers – he’s tied for third with Doron Jamchi with 19, while leader J.R. Holden notched 30 in several appearances with CSKA Moscow – he could notch quite a distinction indeed with a Panathinaikos repeat championship: Saras would become the first-ever player to win two titles with two different clubs. The Team Lithuania mainstay is currently boasts four rings (one with FC Barcelona, two with Maccabi Tel Aviv and last year’s with PAO), good for a third-place tie with several retired players, including five from the Real Madrid teams of the 1970s.

While Dino Meneghin’s seven titles with Varese and AC Milano are way out of reach right now, a Panathinaikos win would give 32-year-olds Dimitris Diamantidis and Kostas Tsartsaris four championships and an outside shot at Meneghin’s mark. The third three-ringer for PAO is Batiste.

• Also within reach for Diamantidis (and possibly Jasikevicius as well) is the modern-era accumulated assist mark. Currently held by Papaloukas at 56 amassed with CSKA and Olympiacos, Diamantidis and Jasikevicius enter this year’s tourney with 39 and 38 dishes, respectively. While this seems at first like a bit of a stretch for either guy, bear in mind that DD set the record in 2011 with 18 assists evenly divided against Montepaschi Siena and Maccabi.

• And in terms of coaching, well, forget it. To describe Zeljko Obradovic as “dominant” in this tournament would be a serious understatement. The man has full on eight titles as a team leader of Partizan Belgrade, Joventut Badalona, Real Madrid and Panathinaikos, which with he’s won five titles in the past 12 years. The combined total of Dusan Ivkovic (Olympiacos), Jonas Kazlauskas (CSKA), and Xavi Pascual (Barcelona)? Three – and Kazlauskas’ was in 1999. Considering that the only active coach with four (the second-closest to the all-time mark) is Ettore Messina, now with the Los Angeles Lakers, Obradovic’s record would seem to be in the books for a loooooooooong time indeed.

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