Media reaction to the 2014 Final Four

May 23, 2014 by Print
Media reaction to the 2014 Final Four


Amazing: The Cup of Maccabi Tel Aviv
The statistics were against them, the expectations spoke of a Spanish victory, but the yellows, with huge hearts and a crazy battle that will go into the Israeli sports history books defeated Real Madrid 86-98 after overtime and brought the cup to Tel Aviv for the sixth time. Tyrese Rice ran the show with 26 points.

By Yael Shihrur, Milan

“It was an amazing display of a team with great heart, an inferior squad and a small budget. The yellows used their main weapon – their soul and did not allow Real Madrid to run away hardly for a moment. Even in the first half, after a 19-2 run by the Spaniards – Maccabi did not panic and aided by thousands of Israelis in Milan, kept the game close and interesting.”,7340,L-4520755,00.html

Europe is Yellow Again
A season of miracles fished with 86-98 after overtime, a sixth title for Maccabi Tel Aviv and the first for Blatt. Rice sizzled with 26 points.

By David Pick and Lee Nof, Milan

“After two miracles in Milan, countless comebacks, tremendous tenacity and great heart, David Blatt’s group came against all odds to the cup, against a richer and stronger team, which fell to the magic that is called Maccabi Tel Aviv model 2013-14. With heart, with soul and with 9,500 fans lighting up the stands, Maccabi regained the cherished cup after nine years.”

A Magical Night in Milan
After an amazing turnaround against CSKA, we though there was no chance for a better game. Until the championship game in which the yellows defeated Los Blancos in overtime and returned the cup to Israel after a nine-year break. Tyrese Rice sizzled with 26 points. Hickman added 18. President Peres to Blatt: ‘I almost had a heart attack. You fought like tigers. All of Israel is yellow.’

By Dotan Malah

“In the first half, Real led by a margin that moved around 10 points and the feeling was at times that the game was being taken away. But the group in yellow stayed in the picture, succeeded in bringing the game to overtime and to win it. This night is more yellow than ever.”

Israel Hayom

His Second Childhood
Doron Kramer, who enjoyed every moment of the Final Four in Milan, sums up 48 hours in the life of David Blatt, the yellows’ true hero

By Doron Kramer

The trivia question: ‘What were the last words of Steve Jobs?’ chose David Blatt to open the press conference after winning the Euroleague. Even though the reporters threw out a few interesting options… No one knew the correct answer. Blatt was pleased. He took a deep breath, stretched his lips and released one word to the room, if you could even call the connection of letters he strung together a word. ‘WOW.’ He repeated this twice more. ‘WOW. WOW.’

The Jerusalem Post

Maccabi Tel Aviv crowned champion of Europe
Yellow-and-blue claim 98-86 overtime win over Spanish side, Israeli team takes 6th European championship.

By Allon Sinai

“What was deemed as impossible just a few months ago became a reality on Sunday night, with Maccabi Tel Aviv recording a stunning 98-86 overtime victory over Real Madrid in Milan to claim a sixth European championship title in club history… Maccabi's mere presence in the Euroleague Final Four was a huge surprise, but the yellow-and-blue never had any intention of just making up the numbers in Milan.”

Times of Israel

Maccabi Tel Aviv wins Euroleague final 98-86
Unfancied Israelis beat Spain’s Real Madrid in overtime, crowned kings of Europe in Milan

“Other Maccabi players and coaches called it the greatest victory in the team’s history, eclipsing even its first, legendary 1977 championship, when then captain Tal Brody had proclaimed, ‘We are on the map.’ The delighted surprise at the triumphant culmination of the season contrasted utterly with the team’s shaky start in 2013-14, when it lost numerous domestic games, to the point where there were calls for the sacking of Boston-born coach David Blatt.”


Maccabi Tel Aviv is the Euroleague Champion
Before 10,000 Israel fans in the stands, the yellows bested Real Madrid 86-98 in overtime and won the sixth European championship in basketball in club history.

By Elad Zeevi, Milan

“To the backdrop of music with a steady beat, and moments before the Euroleague trophy was handed to Guy Pnini and David Blu, 10,000 people in a basketball arena in Milan spontaneously sang Hatikva. It was the second time in two and a quarter hours that had happened. Considering the fact that the overwhelming majority in the hall was Israeli, it sounds natural as opposed to the next sentence: Maccabi Tel Aviv, which was called one of the grayest in club history and certainly the grayest among the Final Four teams, is the champion of Europe.”



Madrid's script was repeated
By Edu Schell

"Madrid's script was repeated, just as in London - a semifinals wins against Barcelona and a loss in the final against the theoretical Cinderella, which had upset mighty CSKA, coached by Messina. Just that this time it was Maccabi instead of Olympiacos. (...) Sergio Rodriguez, the brand new MVP, didn't stop trying and got help from Rudy Fernandez, who played the final with a broken finger, and an exultant Felipe Reyes, but it wasn't enough. The Euroleague title slipped away Madrid's hands for the second consecutive season. A hard blow after a brilliant season shattering record which now seem small compared to Maccabi's title, nine years later."

Mundo Deportivo

Madrid crashes against Maccabi's faith and fighting spirit
By Jose Ignacio Huguet

“Real Madrid is the team that plays better in Europe, but Maccabi is the one that competes better. That's why, against all odds, Maccabi won the 2013-14 Euroleague by downing Los Blancos 86-98 in overtime. It is the second consecutive final lost by Real Madrid after last year's loss against Olympiacos in London. Madrid does not translate its excellent basketball, which has wondered Europe in the last two seasons into results. The Israeli team fought harder than anyone, both in the semifinal and in the championship game, and had the leader that Madrid lacked tonight. Tyrese Rice, the lightning quick U.S. point guard, took over on offense from the start of the fourth quarter - 7 points - and, above all, in overtime, in which he clearly made the difference with 12 points. He finished the game with 26 points and a PIR of 27, being deservedly crowned as the Final Four MVP."


A bad ending for Madrid
By Ricardo Gonzalez

"It happened once again. The Cinderella, the team that fewest people counted on, wins the Euroleague. It happened with Olympiacos before and history repeats itself with Maccabi Tel Aviv, the new European champion. Sixth title. Big among biggest. And it is also not the first time that David Blatt, as genius of speech, empathy and tactics, makes a Spanish team cry. He did that in Madrid back in 2007, in the EuroBasket final which Russia took away from Spain, then the reigning World Champions. And now it extended Madrid's sentence - 19 seasons without the Euroleague crown, and counting. (...) Madrid knows what it needs to do now: nothing. Bet on Laso and its players, make it better if possible. Be stable to be back. Be able to be back and try again, just as Maccabi has - six titles, nine finals lost. That's the way history is written."


Underdog Maccabi leaves Madrid without the Euroleague title
by Sergio Vera

"History repeated itself to smile to the faith, hard work and sacrifice of a team which arrived to the Final Four as the Cinderella and left as King of Europe. Maccabi Tel Aviv stopped Real Madrid from reaching its biggest goals for the second consecutive season, and did it with the same spirit which Olympiacos showed to the world twice - believing in it from the beginning until the end. That stumble punishes Madrid, which dominated the Euroleague with its fun-to-watch style, which has allowed it to thrash a lot of its opponents, but which only kept them close to win the Euroleague. The name that we will remember forever from this final is Tyrese Rice. He had 26 points, took responsibilities and was Mediolanum's hero. Maccabi's point guard took his team on his back in a second half in which his driving skills and determination were Madrid's scourge."

El Mundo

The ninth title went away in overtime
By Lucas Saez-Bravo
"It seemed incredible that it could happen again - this huge team, which could not have done things better in order to deserve a second chance. What else did it need to learn? Which better way to do it than the painful that lesson learned in London a year ago? Still, the past doesn't seem to make peace with Real Madrid which, against all odds, once again lost the Euroleague final, this time against yet another team with character, David Blatt's Maccabi, which was better in the final, whose hero was Tyrese Rice - the same player which led the Hebrews to this final with an agonic basket in the semifinals against CSKA. (...) Rice missed a game-winning three-point shot to send the game to overtime, but not even that push cheered Los Blancos. A couple of minutes later, surrendered to Maccabi's penetrations and deadly one-on-one situations, with no chance to change the game, Madrid threw the towel, despaired. All the ghosts, sadness and accumulated fatigue showed up, the rage of a group that lost fairly, but to which basketball owes one."

El Pais

Nobody stops Rice
By Robert Alvarez

"Maccabi Tel Aviv made the miracle. Backed by a fan base that barely left space to anyone else and which painted Mediolanum Forum's stands with yellow T-shirts, the Israeli team honored its long, successful run in European competitions. It was the victory of faith and endless self-believing. Before the start of the Final Four, only a few people bet on Maccabi, other than their 10,000 fans in the stands, of course, which filled the arena and didn't stop signing and shouting to support their team. This title rewards the tenacity and faith of a fan base which never gave up on his team, not even in the most difficult moments of Maccabi's semifinal against CSKA Moscow, when their team seemed to be on the ropes, with a 15-point deficit in 11 minutes. (...) Madrid lost the final and that makes Pablo Laso's team keep a pending issue, the title that everybody wants, the Euroleague. It was taken away by Maccabi, which honored the memory of its great legends, wonderful players such as Berkowitz, Brody, Aroesti, Kevin Magee, Doron Jamchy, Earl Williams, Aulcie Perry or more recently, Derrick Sharp, Jasikevicius, Parker and Vujcic. The yellow tide provided the miracle."


New Shock in Milan: Maccabi over Real to the Euroleague title
Israeli side Maccabi is the winner of the Euroleague Final Four. In front of 10,000 spectators, Maccabi beat Real Madrid in the grand finale 98-86 after overtime. For Maccabi, that is the sixth continental crown, fourth in the last 13 years, but the first since 2005.


Vecernji list

Zizic and Vujcic on top of Europe, Maccabi wins Euroleague
By Marko Pavic

This is the first title for Maccabi since 2005, when it won the crown with Nikola Vujcic, who today is the team manager of the club.

24 sata

Trophy goes to Israel, Maccabi is the new basketball champion of Europe (VIDEO)

Real Madrid again did not make it. For the second consecutive year they missed on a chance to win the trophy for the champion of Europe. In the finals they got beat by Maccabi, which was led by terrific Tyrese Rice.



Maccabi is Giant
By Xavier Colombani

“Can you describe a powerful and respected team, rich across the European basketball as experienced as Maccabi Tel Aviv as an underdog? Yes, when you face Real Madrid, CSKA Moscow and FC Barcelona. And only in this case, or nearly so. The club managed to beat the favorite of the Final Four, Real Madrid, and the underdog #1, CSKA Moscow… The return of Maccabi atop Europe was something inevitable, or almost, in Milan, where it already became the only team to win the quarterfinals without home field advantage. Supported by far more numerous fans, Maccabi had more soul.”


Spox Sensation!

Maccabi is the champion!
By Florian Regelmann

“In total there have been 50 showdown between the two European powerhouses and in the second title game duel between Real and Maccabi (89:85 Real 1980 in Berlin) it was ex-Bayern Munich Tyrese Rice, just as in the semifinals, at the end and he became the Finals MVP.”



Real Madrid - Maccabi Tel Aviv 86-98
By John Zoitos

“Maccabi completed the shocking surprise of the Final Four in Milan! Maccabi imposed a 98-86 overtime win over Real Madrid and picked up the sixth European title in the history of the top club competition.”


Maccabi Tel Aviv’s sixth crown
By Aris Barkas

“As sir Charles Barkley once said, there’s nothing more exciting that the final two minutes of a basketball game, but we have to say final seven minutes. That’s exactly what happened in the Euroleague final, the first one since 1969 which was decided in overtime. Maccabi Tel Aviv beat Real Madrid (98-86) and completed a Cinderella story.”


Diary of a Euroleague Final Four rookie

By George Kioussis

“The chance to cover my first Euroleague Final Four in Milan filled me with general excitement. Visiting Milan, the capital of fashion was another reason for my eagerness as the Italian city was one I have always wanted to visit. I know that the teams involved in the big event were regulars. Three of the four [Barcelona, Real Madrid and CSKA Moscow] were at this stage last year in London and Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv were making their first appearance since 2011. On a personal level, I was disappointed that there was no Greek team involved for the first time since 2009. But in all, I was really excited about the whole event, and from the first moment I stepped foot on the city, the first thing I had in mind, was to be part of this celebration.”


La Gazzetta dello Sport

Tel Aviv triumphs in Milan
By Luca Chiabotti

“For the sixth time in its history Maccabi Tel Aviv is champion of Europe. In a forum of all colored yellow, the Israelis beat the favored Real Madrid and stars Sergio Rodriguez and Rudy Fernandez 98-86 after extra time thanks to a fantastic coach, David Blatt, and the best game of his life at this level Tyrese Rice, MVP of the final, a player never selected by the NBA, who in Europe had played only in medium and small teams, a Euroleague rookie, who chooses the final to achieve the maximum in the top European competition: 26 points, 14 in the overtime and 21 in the last 15 minutes of the game. Maccabi played a wonderful game, a nation is happy, it shows that you can win the Euroleague without overpaid stars if you are a great team.”


The Malay Mail Online

Special Rice shocks Madrid
By Andy West

“One of European sport’s biggest prizes was handed out on Sunday night as Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv took on overwhelming favourites Real Madrid for the right to lift the Euroleague basketball trophy…The scenes of celebration were incredible, leaving Madrid deflated at their second consecutive final defeat ― they lost against Greek team Olympiacos last year ― while Maccabi and their raucous fans celebrated their most unexpected success and the deserving Rice was inevitably named Most Valuable Player to conclude a weekend containing everything you could want from top-class sporting action.”



Maccabi champion of Europe, Rice the absolute hero

What type of player has the Montenegrin national team – after taking Maccabi in the finals, Tyrese Rice took Real Madrid down by himself and brought to the Pride of Israel its sixth title of European champion.


Sport ExpressSport Express

Another Miracle for David Blatt
By Leo Tiga, Milan

"Before the Final Four, Maccabi’s chances for the title were considered the least: a bet on a Maccabi victory was 8-to1. However, Israeli club on Friday managed to snatch a ticket to the final… And Sunday former Russia coach David Blatt and his team went nuts on Real."


Blatt again performed a miracle
By Zurab Reading

"Real came to Milan as not just the main favorite. It came for a miracle: Madrid could have won the European basketball crown this week before their football teammates got the chance. No wonder the camera several times snatched photos of Florentino Perez, president of Real Madrid. His opponent, the eternal head of Maccabi, Shimon Mizrahi, looked sternly, even gloomy. His team came as the obvious underdog and victory was not expected any of the analysts. But she brought at least 7,000 choice fans, the best army in the history of the tournament. And they were clearly not going to be satisfied with one happy victory over CSKA Moscow. Give them the impossible. And David Blatt, as we remember, is Coach Impossible.”


Vecernje Novosti

Blatt's winning mosaic
By Djordje Matic

For team to be successful there must be respect between the coach and his players. Love blooms the best when team is winning, but team must be made from good people, says the leader of the new Euroleague titlist

Sportski Zurnal

Maccabi is the champion: Rice led the Pride of Israel to the Euroleague trophy
By Milun Nesovic

Maccabi Tel Aviv is the new Euroleague champion. The Pride of Israel has got to its sixth crown of the elite European competition after overtime. The list time the team from Tel Aviv won Euroleague in 2005. Real Madrid, which was considered a Final Four favorite, once again did not manage to take the title meant for the best team of the Old Continent. Madrid players also lost in the finals last season, and the last time they were atop of Europe was in 1995. The hero of the semifinals Tyrese Rice has played a match of his life, leading his team with 26 points.


Rice brings the title to Maccabi
The game-hero was guard Tyrese Rice – after missing a three-pointer at the end of regulation that would win the game, the American player exploded in the overtime, scoring 14 points (two three-pointers). In addition, he played great on defense, and assisted Tyus for an important alley-oop. Maccabi got to its sixth continental crown, the first since 2005 when the generation with Jasikevicius, Anthony Parker and Baston took the second straight title.


Montenegrin Rice brings title to Maccabi in overtime, Real Madrid without crown to its great season
By B.Vinulovic and V.Stankovic

Players of Real Madrid were dominant in all competitions throughout the entire season, but did not manage to crown it with a Euroleague title. In the Championship Game at the Final Four in Milan, they managed to force overtime against Maccabi, but they bowed to Tyrese Rice who led "The Pride of Israel" to the trophy with 98-86 win.


Real “cursed“, Maccabi is Euroleague champion
By Ivan Bogunovic

The second year in a row, Real Madrid was the favorite and has started the Euroleague finals better, but it lost it – for the sixth time in history the continental champion is Maccabi of Israel. In Milan overtime, unreal play of Tyrese Rice.


Maccabi sixth time champion of Europe, Real Madrid falls second straight time
After nine years of wait, Maccabi got to its sixth continental title, although it arrived to the Final Four with the least chances to win. Just like Olympiacos in the past two seasons. In the final, in front of more than 9000 of its fans, Maccabi beat favored Real Madrid who lost in the finals for the second year in a row, and remains with eight continental titles to its name.


zamanToday’s Zaman

Maccabi stuns Real Madrid to clinch fifth Euroleague title
“Guard Tyrese Rice produced his second effervescent performance to lead the Israeli side with a game-high 26 points on Sunday after scoring a last-gasp winner in Friday's 68-67 semi-final win over CSKA Moscow… [Madrid was] undone by livewire Rice in overtime after the tireless playmaker scored 14 points in the additional five minutes and sent the 10,000 passionate Maccabi fans into raptures at the Mediolanum Forum Arena.”

Anadolu Agency

Maccabi Electra win Turkish Airlines Euroleague title
“Israeli giants Maccabi Electra have won the 2013-14 Turkish Airlines Euroleague by defeating Spanish side Real Madrid 98-86 in the final in Milan. In the showdown at the Mediolanum Forum in the Italian city, there was a tight race between both teams from the tip off to the buzzer. However, Maccabi Electra's US-Montenegrin guard Tyrese Rice, who is the top scorer of the clash with 26 points, exerted his influence on the game in critical moments.”


Dime Magazine

Maccabi Tel Aviv Makes Surprising Run To Euroleague Championship
By Steven Lebron

“A champion was crowned this past weekend. In the Euroleague Championships, Maccabi Tel Aviv rode an incredible comeback in the semifinals to make the championship game, where they defeated Real Madrid in overtime to claim the title.”

Yahoo! Sports

Israel overjoyed by Maccabi's basketball title
By Aron Heller

TEL AVIV (AP) - More than 20,000 Maccabi Tel Aviv fans thronged a central square in the Israeli city on Monday to celebrate the team's stunning victory in the European basketball championship, capping a national outpouring of joy that went far beyond the boundaries of sports.

Richmond Times-Dispatch

Rice chosen as Euroleague Final Four MVP
“Richmonder Tyrese Rice was chosen as the most valuable player of the 2014 Euroleague Final Four after leading the Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv team to a stunning 98-86 overtime conquest of Real Madrid in the title game. Rice, a former standout player at L.C. Bird High, scored 21 of his 26 points in the fourth period and overtime. He scored 14 points in the extra session. He fell one point shy of the championship game scoring record shared by five players, including Manu Ginobili.”

Tablet Magazine

Maccabi Tel Aviv Wins Euroleague Basketball
By Lily Wilf

“Fans had low expectations for Maccabi’s performance in the Euroleague, based on the team’s disappointing performance in the Israeli basketball league in the past six years. Reportedly, about a third of Israeli citizens watched Sunday’s game live, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres both called to congratulate Maccabi’s head coach after the win. ‘I watched the whole game and nearly had a heart attack,’ Peres reportedly told the coach, ‘You are heroes and have brought incredible pride to the State of Israel.’ “

Euroleague Adventures

David Beats Galactico
By George Rowland

“With the Maccabi drummers and Ultras fully warmed up by taunting both Barca and CSKA in the third place game, the curtain lifted on the 2014 Euroleague Final. Although the Madridistas found their voices they were easily out shouted by the large Maccabist presence, and when the Real players came out they were met by a cacophonous chorus of whistles and jeers that was reminiscent of Nokia Arena. When the lights dropped and with both sets of fans comfortably drowning out the sterile corporate ‘fun’ of the in game MC and KissCam the stage was set and the protagonists entered from stage right.”