Maccabi Tel Aviv is the second finalist of the Final Four, after annihilating Real Madrid in the second semi-final of the night. Chuck Eidson was the undisputed leader of the “Yellow” team with an amazing statline.
After watching a slow paced first game (Montepaschi Siena-Panathinaikos) everyone here at Barcelona expected a faster and more fluid game, but their expectations weren’t met. The game started off slowly with Real Madrid opening the score with Tomic, 0-2. Schortsianitis was the go-to-guy for Maccabi, making the score 5-6. With the score tied at 8-8 and less than three minutes to go Hendrix committed an unsportsmanlike foul on Tomic, but Real Madrid could only score two points, 8-10. Pnini gave the lead to his team in the end of first quarter, 14-12.
Maccabi started the second quarter in style with a threepointer by Blu, 17-12. Pnini kept shooting from behind the arc and the difference kept growing, 20-14.After getting the biggest lead of the game, by 8, Real Madrid ran a quick 8-2 partial score and tied the game at 24-24. Both teams fed their frontline and Hendrix and Tomic didn’t disappoint their fans, scoring back-to-back baskets. Big Sofo scored the last points of the firs half for 32-29. Although Real Madrid had everything going for them (slow tempo, ten offensive boards, tired Big Sofo etc) they were still trailing after twenty minutes.
Prigioni cut Maccabi’s lead to its minimum with two free throws, in the beginning of the second half but Maccabi ran a 8-1 partial score, 40-32. Big Sofo, who was his team’s top scorer with 11 at that point, got called his fourth foul and as that wasn’t enough Prigioni scored from behind the arc, 42-38. But once more Blatt had all the answers and Maccabi ran another quick 6-0 for 49-41. Four back-to-back points by Eidson gave Maccabi their first double digits lead of the game, 53-43. The final score of third quarter was 55-47.
The last quarter was a role for one only, none other than Maccabi. The points spread kept growing and growing with Molin being unable to change anything from his bench while his players were taking one unfortunate shot after other. Maccabi purely dominated all areas of the game and Blatt even found time to play veteran and Yellow legend Derrick Sharp who even sank a threepointer! Final score of the game was 82-63 for the Israeli team.
Sunday Euroleague final will be the material of every European fan as the most successful teams of the competition will meet. Some interesting remarks about the final: one of or both Maccabi TA and Panathinaikos have featured in 10/12 of Euroleague Finals and won the 7/12 last Euroleague titles.