26 September, 2016
30 April, 2017
4 Maksym Pustozvonov (U-BT Cluj Napoca) (photo: Sandor Manases)
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Rasic-less U-BT Cluj-Napoca sweep Steaua CSM for Romanian title

CLUJ-NAPOCA (Romanian Basketball League) - Before hosting the FIBA EuroBasket 2017 later this year, the city of Cluj-Napoca recaptured its basketball dazzle, with local side U-BT Cluj-Napoca becoming the newly-crowned Romanian Basketball League champions.

Playing without star guard Aleksandar Rasic, who tore his Achilles in the last game of the Semi-Finals, coach Mihai Silvasan's team came together and found enough resources to register a 3-0 sweep against CSM CSU Steaua in spite of a close-fought series between two FIBA Europe Cup teams.


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After edging the first two games by single digits, U-BT Cluj-Napoca finished off their opponents with a convincing 75-61 display on the road in Bucharest to seal the deal in Game 3, with Ousmanne Barro leading the way with 16 points and 9 rebounds.

In the absence of Rasic, it was the 32-year-old Senegalese big man who became a crucial factor in his side's triumph, averaging 17.3 points and 11.3 rebounds in the gold-medal series.

🏆-we are coming...

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"It is unbelievable. I do not have words. It's my fourth Final in Romania and I finally managed to win one. It was a great team effort," Barro told TotalBaschet.ro after finally winning in the Romanian Basketball League.

Having previously triumphed in the domestic championship on four different occasions, this year's success marked the first time U-BT Cluj-Napoca clinched both both the league title and the Romanian Basketball Cup in the same season.

"I'm very happy that we won, but even happier about us doing it in a convincing manner. Steaua played quality basketball, especially in the first two games, but we came prepared for Game 3, knowing we were 40 minutes away from the title," said the team's head coach Silvasan, who was part of U-BT Cluj-Napoca's title-winning squad as a player in 2011.

3rd title in 4 yrs.... Winners win! 🏆🥇

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Meanwhile, in spite of coming up short, it was a blast into the glory days of the past for the runners-up Steaua, who returned to the Finals after a 21-year break after being one of the dominant forces in Romanian basketball in the past century.

U-BT Cluj-Napoca reached the Second Round of the FIBA Europe Cup, but couldn't make the extra step into the Play-Offs, while Steaua finished their international campaign one stage earlier, in the Regular Season of the competition.