It was one of the most successful and exciting seasons in club history as Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv shattered all expectations to win the Turkish Airlines Euroleague title at the Final Four in Milan for the club’s sixth continental crown. Maccabi represented the ideal team concept –the sum of the team was greater than its parts, and thanks to clever coaching, hungry and committed players and clutch performances, overcame CSKA Moscow in the semifinals and Real Madrid in the Championship Game to bring the trophy back to its passionate fans celebrating in Tel Aviv. A brilliant campaign also saw Maccabi win the Israeli Cup and League. The architect of that success, head coach David Blatt, stepped down at the end of the season, but Maccabi hopes to continue in his winning ways with his associate coach Guy Goodes taking over. Goodes, who spent six seasons as a Maccabi assistant, knows all about the level of expectations in Tel Aviv. Maccabi has been among the very elite European teams of the last half century with a total of 100 trophies in its cupboards. The Maccabi formula of complementing the best Israeli players with talented, committed stars from abroad always seems to work. Players like Miki Berkowitz, Tal Brody, Motti Aroesti, Kevin Magee, Doron Jamchy, Earl Williams and Aulcie Perry and more recently Derrick Sharp, Sarunas Jasikevicius, Anthony Parker and Nikola Vujcic belong to the elite of all-time European basketball greats. Maccabi won its first Euroleague title in 1977 and did it again in 1981 with Berkowitz as the big star. Maccabi had to wait until 2001 to lift the SuproLeague trophy, which broke a string of five continental final appearances that ended the wrong way. The next title came soon after. Sharp’s miracle three-pointer to survive the 2003-04 Top 16 has become one of the classic shots in basketball history and simply unforgettable for any Maccabi fan. Once in the 2004 Final Four, Maccabi turned to record breaking with an outstanding 118-point title game performance to batter Skipper Bologna. The next year Maccabi became the first team to repeat as Euroleague champion since Split in 1991. Jasikevicius, Parker, Tal Burstein, Maceo Baston and Vujcic, coached by Pini Gershon, became a classic lineup in European basketball history. Maccabi got back to the Euroleague final for the third year in a row in 2006, but CSKA stood in the way of a three-peat. CSKA remained a thorn in Maccabi’s side, downing Maccabi in the 2007 playoffs and 2008 Championship Game. Maccabi did not get back to the Final Four again until 2011, when Blatt led Sofoklis Schortsanitis, David Blu and co. past Madrid in the semifinal to reach the title game, but Panathinaikos prevailed. Tel Aviv returned to the playoffs in each of the next two seasons, but came up short in 2012 against Panathinaikos in a series for the ages and then lost to Madrid in 2013. Last season the yell-and-blue reversed that trend with several dramatic late-season wins to climb to the top of Europe and enters a new season intent on defending that crown.