May 18, 2014 CET: 20:00
Local time: 20:00 MEDIOLANUM FORUM

Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv is the new king of Europe!

The city of Milan was painted yellow on Sunday as Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv bested Real Madrid 98-86 in overtime for its sixth European championship! After hitting the game-winning layup in the semifinals, Tyrese Rice, who scored 21 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter and overtime, was named the bwin MVP for the 2014 Final Four. Tel Aviv shook off three consecutive losses in the Euroleague Championship Game to become the 2014 Turkish Airlines Euroleague champion. Some 10,000 Maccabi fans flooded the stands at Mediolanum Forum and practically willed Coach David Blatt’s team to victory. It was the first Championship Game to go to overtime since 1969 between CSKA Moscow and Real Madrid. The instant classic of a game featured 19 lead changes and seven ties after halftime alone. The win tied Maccabi with CSKA Moscow, which it defeated in Friday’s semifinal, and Panathinaikos Athens for the second-most continental titles in European basketball history; Madrid is the Euroleague’s winningest team with eight titles. Maccabi also ended a six-game losing streak against Los Blancos and avenged an 89-85 loss to Madrid in the 1980 championship game. Besides Rice’s heroics, Alex Tyus collected 12 points, 11 rebounds and 3 blocks, while Ricky Hickman had 18 points, Devin Smith hit for 15 and David Blu, who won his second Euroleague crown with Maccabi after the 2004 title, added 14 points. The freshly-crowned Euroleague season bwin MVP Sergio Rodriguez led Madrid with 21 points while Rudy Fernandez had 15 points and 8 rebounds. The record eight-time champion Real Madrid lost in its second consecutive final and is still looking for its first Euroleague title since 1995.

First quarter: Great starts for Bourousis, Schortsanitis

Rudy opened the scoring with a triple, and Sofoklis Schortsanitis scored from close range for Maccabi. Fernandez made a pair of free throws for a 5-2 edge, and Ioannis Bourousis had 3 blocks in less than three minutes to set the defensive tone for Madrid. But Maccabi came out strong on defense, not allowing a basket for almost four minutes, while Schortsanitis, Yogev Ohayon and Devin Smith all scored from close range, giving Maccabi the lead, 5-8. Bourousis snapped Madrid's drought with 2 shots from the line, but Smith nailed a three-pointer and then banked in a mid-range jumper for a 7-13 cushion. Fernandez answered with his second triple of the game, and Felipe Reyes scored a pair of quick layups that put Madrid back in front. A layup from Bourousis capped a 9-0 run, but Alex Tyus had a put-back dunk to round out the scoring in the first quarter at 16-15.

Second quarter: After Madrid’s 19-2 charge, Blu rallies Maccabi to within 2

Madrid had a successful start to the quarter, with Fernandez leaping above everybody for a monster put-back dunk, before Sergio Rodriguez nailed a three-pointer to make it 21-15 and causing Maccabi coach David Blatt to call a timeout. But Reyes hit a baseline jumper, before a technical free throw from Rodriguez, and an alley-oop dunk from Marcus Slaughter helped extend the lead to 26-15. Blu snapped a 10-0 – and 19-2 – run with a pair of free throws, and Tyrese Rice added a basket-plus-foul, but Jaycee Carroll knocked one down from downtown to keep his team in control at 29-20. Madrid restored a double-digit advantage with a pair of baskets inside from Reyes, including a put-back after one of his 4 offensive rebounds in the quarter, but Rice had a layup that helped cut it back to 33-26. After Reyes scored from close range again, Blu nailed a long jumper and added a couple of free throws, before burying a last second three-pointer to get Maccabi within 35-33 at halftime.

Third quarter: 10 lead changes highlight the intensity

Just like in the previous two quarters, Fernandez scored first points in the third, as well, a three-pointer, but Schortsanitis answered with a three-point play. Bourousis scored a layup for Madrid, but Smith nailed a triple, Ricky Hickman followed it with a jumper as Maccabi regained the lead, 40-41. Madrid wasted no time to get back in front, with Mirotic driving for a layup, and Darden knocked down a three-pointer. But Hickman nailed one from downtown as well, and the teams traded leads again with tip-ins from Tyus on one end, and Bourousis on the other, to make it 47-47. Smith and Rodriguez exchanged triples before Schortsanitis scored a layup for a 50-51 edge. The lead-changing trend continued in the closing minutes of the quarter, too, as Fernandez made a pair of foul shots, and after Hickman scored a fastbreak layup, Rodriguez drove for a layup-plus-foul. It was the eighth consecutive score that caused a lead to change hands, and gave Madrid a 55-53 advantage at the end of the third quarter.

Fourth quarter: 40 minutes can’t separate these teams

Tyus started the fourth quarter with a big two-handed slam, but Rodriguez nailed a triple on the other end a 58-55 lead. However, Hickman drove for a layup and Rice got a lucky bounce on a three-pointer to put Maccabi ahead 58-60. Mirotic and Blu traded shots from long range, and after Schortsanitis fouled out with just under six minutes to go, Rodriguez nailed a corner three to make it 64-63. Mirotic extended the slim margin by splitting free throws, and Darden’s crafty move after a drive made it 67-63. Hickman drove the baseline, ending Maccabi’s run of three minutes without a score, and Rice drove the lane for a floater, tying things up at 67-67 with exactly 3:07 to go in the fourth quarter. After a timeout, Tyus made a put-back dunk. After Mirotic answered with a put-back of his own for another tie, Blu scored from close range and Rice drove for a layup that gave Maccabi a 69-73 edge with 58 seconds remaining. After a Madrid timeout, Rodriguez went to the free throw line and made both shots. Madrid made a defensive stand and Bourousis hit both free throws with 21.4 seconds left to tie it at 73-73. Maccabi had the last possession, but a jumper from Rice hit the rim and the game went into overtime.

Overtime: Rice carries Maccabi to the title!

In the extra session, Madrid stayed cool at the free throw line, with Mirotic and Bourousis each making a pair, and with Rice nailing a triple in between. After Rice got to the line and sank both shots, he then stole the ball, kept it, and nailed a three-pointer for a 77-81 lead. Mirotic continued Madrid’s run from the foul line, but Rice threw a pass for an alley-oop by Tyus, then made 2 more free throws to make it 79-85. Tel Aviv continued with its tough defense and control of the defensive glass, not allowing a field goal. Tyus made a huge block on an attempt from Rodriguez, and Rice hit 2 free throws for a 9-point game, 79-88. Rodriguez hit a triple, but Tyus split free throws twice to keep Maccabi with a comfortable 82-90 advantage and possession with 53 seconds to go. The lead reached double digits with more free throws from Rice, as the yellow shirts in the crowd slowly started celebrating victory. An Ohayon slam in the closing second wrapped up a historic weekend for Maccabi!

Maccabi Electra is the new Champ - Final Four Milan 2014
Sunday, May 18, 2014
Igor Petrinovic, Euroleague.net in Milan
Attendance: 11843 (Tentative)
By Quarter1234Extra 1
Real Madrid1619201813
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv1518202025
End of Quarter1234Extra 1
Real Madrid1635557386
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv1533537398
Real Madrid
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
5 FERNANDEZ, RUDY 39:44 15 1/5 3/6 4/4 1 7 8 4 2 1     2 5 24
9 REYES, FELIPE 16:55 12 6/10 0/2   5 1 6   1 2 1 1 3   8
11 DIEZ, DANIEL 0:36                              
12 MIROTIC, NIKOLA 26:58 12 2/7 1/3 5/6 3 4 7 1   2 2 1 1 7 17
13 RODRIGUEZ, SERGIO 21:43 21 1/4 5/10 4/4 1 1 2 2   1   1 5 5 15
20 CARROLL, JAYCEE 5:20 5 1/2 1/2     1 1           1   3
21 DARDEN, TREMMELL 32:09 7 2/4 1/2   1 6 7       1   3 1 10
23 LLULL, SERGIO 35:43   0/1 0/6     2 2 8   1     5 1 -2
30 BOUROUSIS, IOANNIS 33:05 12 3/5 0/3 6/6 3 6 9       4 1 2 5 22
44 SLAUGHTER, MARCUS 9:17 2 1/1               1     5   -4
50 MEJRI, SALAH 3:30   0/1     1   1     1     2 1 -2
Team           1   1     1          
Totals 225:00 86 17/40 11/34 19/20 16 28 44 15 3 10 8 4 29 25 91
        42.5% 32.4% 95%
Head coach: LASO, PABLO
Min: Minutes played; Pts: Points; 2FG M-A: 2-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); 3FG M-A: 3-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); FT M-A: Free Throws (Made-Attempted); Rebounds: O (Offensive), D (Defensive), T (Total); As: Assists; St: Steals; To: Turnovers; Bl: Blocks (Fv: In Favor / Ag: Against); Fouls: Cm (Commited), Rv (Received); PIR: Performance Index Rating
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 RICE, TYRESE 29:59 26 4/13 3/4 9/9   4 4 2   2     3 10 27
6 SMITH, DEVIN 40:40 15 2/6 3/6 2/2 1 6 7       1 1 4 1 12
7 HICKMAN, RICKY 37:09 18 4/13 1/4 7/8 3 3 6 3 1 2   6 3 7 11
8 INGLES, JOE 7:28       0/2   1 1     1     1 2 -1
9 TYUS, ALEX 34:16 12 5/7   2/4 6 5 11 1     3   2 2 23
10 PNINI, GUY 11:09   0/2 0/3   1 1 2 2 1       2   -2
11 ZIZIC, ANDRIJA DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
12 OHAYON, YOGEV 19:43 4 2/3 0/1   1 4 5 1 1       2   7
13 BLU, DAVID 34:54 14 2/3 2/4 4/4 3 1 4 1         3 3 16
14 ALTIT, BEN DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
15 LANDESBERG, SYLVEN DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
21 SCHORTSANITIS, SOFOKLIS 9:42 9 4/8   1/1 1 2 3 1 1 2   1 5 4 6
Team           3 2 5           1   4
Totals 225:00 98 23/55 9/22 25/30 19 29 48 11 4 7 4 8 26 29 103
        41.8% 40.9% 83.3%
Head coach: BLATT, DAVID

Head Coaches

Real Madrid
"Congratulations to Maccabi for the championship. It was a great game of basketball, but it’s the second time here where I have to be in this position. This is one of the hardest press conferences to be in. But like I told my players, you should be proud of what we did all year to be here and play in this game. After that, we have to recover quickly. We have a game on Tuesday. We have to swallow this and be ready to come back and play in this game again. "

"When you start the year and make a team, you want that team how you wish. The hardest thing for coaches is to lose players with injuries. It’s hard to adjust with those losses. Of course we missed [Dontaye Draper] in the first playoffs against Olympiacos. It’s a shame for us that we didn’t have him here, but we would never use that as an excuse. Maccabi is a great champion. "

"We have taken this step. This game is like a failed free throw. We were very close to our target. The team must be proud. We are very happy. But I am also convinced that this will serve as a lesson, maybe a hard lesson. We really have to value this lesson and this experience. We will always have obstacles to overcome."
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv
“One of the greatest quotes I ever read in my life was in the last moments of Steven Jobs’ life. He was a great man. The last word he said was ‘Wow’. Think about how wonderful that is, how positive that is, how optimistic that is. A man with his dying breath says ‘wow’. That means he saw something going forward that gave us all some hope. I’ve been thinking about that for a long, long time because in basketball and in sport, every day isn’t a great day. You have tough days, you have disappointments, obstacles, problems. And the way that you deal with those things and the attitude you take a lot of times determines whether or not you’re going to be able to go forward and if you’re going to be able to be successful. But most importantly as a coach if you going to be ab le to lead your men to bigger and better things or lead them out of the dark when they don’t see. "

“This is a great, great day for our players, for our club, for our fans and I think for basketball in general. What you saw was a team that definitely wasn’t the most talented on an individual level. I don’t say that we don’t have any talent. We have talent, but it wasn’t the most talented as a group of individuals. But as a team we were the best team. The result proves it and the way we did it proves it. I congratulate Real Madrid for the outstanding Euroleague season they’ve had. I don’t think we’d beat them in a series. But the Euroleague Final Four is a very special kind of tournament and you have a chance in one game to beat teams that are on paper perhaps better than you. We did that twice this weekend with our great victory over CSKA, another high level team and then a fantastic game that we played properly and as champions. And I humbly say we deserve to win. I’m just so happy for my guys and proud of our organization and I’m really, really pleased with the message that we sent to coaches and teams everywhere. You can do more with less as long as you do it right."

“Our advantage was if we could keep the game close and make the other team feel under pressure. And we did that. They were the highest scoring team and our goal was to hold them in the 70s. I told the guys, if we keep the score under 75, we’re going to win the game. We did that in regulation. We were very consistent and calm."

“I wonder if [Real was] happy when we beat CSKA. I wonder, I didn’t ask. But on paper we were the weaker team. They looked like world beaters on Friday. That had a negative effect on them tonight. They thought it would be easier than it was. They stopped playing their game and we stuck around and took their punches to the gut, and not to the face. And then in around the eighth round we hit them pretty good in the face and when the time came to knock them out, we did. “


Real Madrid
"They were better than us. All I can do it give credit to them. They handled the situation better in the second half, now we have to keep working and try to win our domestic title, then come back next season. It's always a shame to lose a final, we wanted the title badly, sometimes you just don't get it. We are playing to win this Euroleague title: if you lose the final, it means that you had a chance to win it. We are proud of what we have done during the whole season."
Real Madrid
"We had a good game, Maccabi Electra just did better. Everybody thought we were going to win after we tied it up at the end of the regulation time. However, we are having a great season, everybody has been impressed about how we have been playing. That was a final, you put everything on the line in one game and sometimes it's not fair. We still have our league to win, we got to get ready for our playoffs. Next year the Final Four will be in Madrid, maybe it will be our time to win in after two defeats in the Championship Game."
Real Madrid
"We got to give credit to Maccabi Electra. They have played an amazing defense and so we made some mistakes. Also, in the overtime we did not play well in defense in some possessions. It was a very close game until the end, they were just better and they took the win."
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv
"This is unbelievable. Unbelievable. I am at a loss of words. We just showed so much heart and character. Everybody in the locker room gave his best the entire season. When one guy was down, the other stepped up. That how it has been whole season. Fans gave us the push we needed."
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv
"Tyrese is a great player; I know him since he played for Panionios in Greece. He proved to everybody in Europe that he really deserves to be in this high level. I want to dedicate to my family, most of all, to the team and everybody who helped me reach this level. Determination allowed us to win this game, the will to win; this is what this team has. Everybody here thought that Maccabi came here as an underdog. I said it every time they asked me and I will say it again: there are no underdogs in the Final Four. Everybody deserved to be here and had a chance to win. We knew that with determination, the will to win and the team spirit that we have, we can go all the way… and we did it."
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv
" This was a game worthy of any final, but we showed how great team we are. We are a team that the best teams in Europe did not manage to beat. We went through a lot this season, and this is the crown on everything. We were down 11 points, it was the people in this arena that pushed us and carried us. It was like we played at home. The fans were our sixth player, and we got the last ounce out of energy from our bodies to get this win."
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv
"It is so emotional. When I saw the lucky score 77-77, that was the score that meant a lot because the team won its first title in 1977. I knew we were going to win. I can’t believe this crowd came all the way from Israel. We came back like we always do, with our heart and our soul, and we never break."
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv
"It is a dream that came true. I grew up with this club, since I was six I am playing with this club. I grew up watching Euroleague championship teams, I was one of the fans in the stands, and now it feels like I am dreaming. "
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv
"You can’t even compare this to the semifinals win. During the season some people considered us down and out, but we continued to work. We had injuries, but we stayed together. Everybody continued to work hard. Even tonight, we got down a little bit, but we came back with our will to win. Will to win is something special."
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv
"I can't explain this. To be honest, I don't even know what just happened. I don't think I can put it into words. But this is Maccabi Tel Aviv. This is how this club is, you see how these fans come to support, they came here to see us win and see us compete. And I am so happy we made that possible for them. They are the best fans in European basketball, you know if you going to play against Maccabi Tel Aviv, the fans are going to come. We are 3,000 miles away, and there is 20,000 people in this city. This is the best support I have ever seen in my life. It was the best and most important game of my life, but this is the team effort. This has nothing to do what I was doing individually, because nothing is possible without my teammates. These trophies are for everybody. We played Real Madrid, the best team in Europe. Now we are the best in Europe, but they are the best team in Milan. I have so much respect for those guys. I just want to celebrate this win with my teammates."
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv
"This is amazing; I am so thankful! That's the right word: thankful for being here. I won it in 2004 in front of 12,000 fans in Tel Aviv and did it again now in front of 10,000 Maccabi fans here in Milan! I am so thankful to be here! It has been a great run for us. We had our ups and downs but never gave up. We stuck together and we love each other so much as a team! And that's why we won this game."
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv
"I just can't believe it! I don't even have words for this! A lot of people doubted us all season and I have nothing to say to them right now! We fought hard against CSKA and Madrid and won the championship! We managed to beat the best two teams in the Euroleague this season, CSKA and Madrid, and that makes it that much better! Tyrese Rice, man - that's Rese! He is there when you need him! I can't wait to start celebrating with our fans, here and of course in Tel Aviv. It is going to be crazy!"
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv
"This is amazing. I can't believe it right now. We never gave up, all season! I cannot describe how I feel right now. Maccabi fans are amazing and they helped us a lot tonight. It has been an unbelievable run, all season. We went through a lot and beat a big team like Madrid. I can't describe it, it has been amazing, all season!"
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv
"I don't know, man! I can't describe this feeling; I am so emotional right now! We worked really hard this year! Everyone doubted us... and we won the Euroleague! This is incredible! We fought all year. This is what brought us here and what allowed us to win. We never gave up and fought all year. I really don't know how I am going to celebrate! I am not sleeping! For a long time!"