Shalom Life | May 04, 2014

Maccabi Tel Aviv to Play in Euroleague Finals

Sunday's finals to feature two of Europe's most dominant teams.

By: David Shear

Published: May 8th, 2011 in News » Israel

Two of Europe's most dominant basketball teams in recent memory will face each other on Sunday at the Euroleague final in Barcelona.

Israel's Maccabi Tel Aviv, winner of four previous Euroleague trophies, will play Greece's Panathinakiakos, winner of five trophies.

This finals will mark the third time these two basketball powerhouses have faced each other. The first time was 2000 when Panathinaikos beat Maccabi 73-67 and the following year when Maccabi won 81-67, giving Greek coach Zelimir Obradovic his first loss in a Euroleague final game.

While both teams have proved themselves to be the top of the Euroleague food chain, coaching is where the real differential might be. Maccabi is coach by American David Blatt, who while being considered one the most successful American coach in Euroleague history, has yet to win a Euroleague championship. On the other hand, Obradovic, a Serbian, has won, plenty of times. Obradovic is the winnigest coach in Euroleague history, having gone 7-1 in Euroleague finals and winning the championship with four different clubs.

But, at the end of the day, it's the players who win the games, and both teams have plenty of talent.

"Maccabi is a very talented team, with players able to play one-on-one, solving tough situations in the final seconds of each possession," Obradovic said. "They have an inside game with sofo [Schortsanitis] and the defenses that Blatt likes to use are very in important in Maccabi's game. We have to prepare the game well and see if we are able to organize our offense and above al, have a good start."

Tonight's game will be played at 6:30 CEST (Central European Summer Time) and 12:30pm EST.

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