Euroleague Final Four: Sixth triumph for Maccabi, Tyrese Rice MVP - May 18, 2014
Maccabi Electra Tel-Aviv is the new Euroleague champion after the incredible success in the final against Real Madrid for 98-86 after an overtime! The team of coach David Blatt (agency: Beo Basket ) (first Euroleague title for the coach) returns on the roof of Europe after the last victories in 2004 and 2005 conquering the Euroleague number 6 (including the 2001 SuproLeague) after the amazing comeback of two days ago against the CSKA. At Mediolanum Forum, under the eyes of 11843 spectators, almost all Maccabi fans, there is a really balanced match decided only after an overtime. After the defeat during the NJIT the Real loses also the big final even though they were the favored team for the final victory (26-5 the Euroleague record this season). For Madrid there will be the possibility to play at home the next Final Four and to try to win the ninth trophy. Decisive in the final the coldness with the free throw line for the men of Blatt (25-13 the partial in the overtime) MVP of this Final Four Tyrese Rice (185-PG-87, agency: Priority Sports, college: Boston Coll.) that scored 26 total points (perfect in the free throw with 9/9) scoring 21 points between fourth quarter and overtime. In double digit for the winners also Richard Hickman (189-PG-85, college: NC-Greensboro) with 18 points, Devin Smith (196-G/F-83, college: Virginia) with 15, David Blu (204-PF-80, college: USC) with 14 and Alex Tyus (203-C-88, college: Florida) with 12 points and 11 rebounds. For Madrid 21 points of the Regular Season MVP Sergio Rodriguez (191-PG-86), 15 of Rudy Fernandez (198-SF-85) and 12 each for Felipe Reyes (206-PF-80), Nikola Mirotic (207-F/C-91) and Ioannis Bourousis (213-C-83) (also 9 rebounds and 4 blocks for the Greek center).
The first points of the 2014 Euroleague final are for Fernandez that scores the triple after the block of Bourousis. Schortsanitis answers after an error and sends Rudy to the free throw line (2/2) with his first foul. Bourousis makes other two blocks but Schortsanitis scores again after the 24-second violation before the winning penetration of Ohayon for the 6-5 Maccabi after almost 4 minutes. Smith blocks Mirotic and scores across his first 2 points but after the TV-timeout Bourousis answers with the free throws for the new -1. Smith scores the 3-points shot, Tyus block the Greek center after the turnovers of Hickman and Smith reaches 7 consecutive points for the 13-7 before the second triple of Fernandez and the points of Reyes and Bouroisis for the partial of 9-0 Real closed by the tap-in with dunk of Tyus. Reyes blocks the last attempt of Hickman and the first quarter ends with the results of 16-15 for Madrid. Fernandez opens the second quarter with the dunk after the offensive rebound and the Euroleague MVP finds his first triple just entered on the court. Maccabi loses another ball and thanks the good work at rebound the Spanish reach 11 points of advantage with also a technical foul called to Blatt for the protests after a traveling of his greek center. After the great alley-oop Fernandez-Slaughter Tel Aviv backs to score with the 2+1 of Rice (third foul for Slaughter) for the 5-0 Maccabi closed by the triple of Carroll (29-22 at 15). Mirotic commits an offensive foul and after another unfortunate error for the men of Blatt its captain Reyes again to score reaching the double digit. Rice answers, Carroll dont control the ball at rebound and Hickman finally finds his first points with the free throw line (0/4 at shot). The referees call a double-foul to Fernandez and Hickman (third personal for the American point-guard) and also Blu finds the basket with 4 consecutive points. Reyes is dominant at rebounds (4 in attack) but Blu closes the first-half with an amazing 3-points shot for the 35-33, really good result for the yellow-blu team. For Madrid 12 points of Reyes and 10 of Fernandez with a good Bourousis (3 blocks in the first quarter) and Llull already arrived at 6 assist. Across 9 points each for Blu and Smith (also 6 rebounds for the ex Treviso). Like in the first quarter the first points of the second-half are for Fernandez with the triple but Big Sofo answers with the 2+1 before the basket of his compatriot Bourousis. Tyus backs on the court after the third foul of Schortsanitis and Smith scores by 3 for the -1 before the two points of Hickman (first winning shot) after 3 consecutive offensive rebounds for Maccabi thanks to Pnini. The future NBA Mirotic answers with an amazing shot and Darden finds the triple for the 45-41 at 25 (5-0 partial open for Real). After the timeout Hickman scores by 3 thanks to a great offensive rebound of Tyus and, after the tap-in of the ex Cantu and Bourousis, Smith and Rodriguez score by 3 with only 2 minutes remaining to play. Schortsanitis scores in penetration, forces the turnovers of Reyes but fighting at rebound commits his fourth foul giving a really bad news to coach Blatt. Tyus blocks Reyes launching the winning counterattack of Hickman, Rodriguez answers with the 2+1 plays and Rice loses the last ball for the final 55-53 with only 10 other Euroleague minutes to play this season! Slaughter opens the last period blockin Hickman but Tyus dunk immediately before the triple number 3 of Rodriguez and the winning penetration of Hickman. Rice scores by 3 but loses the ball after the rebound, Slaughter commits his fourth foul in attack but Hickman is unfortunate in penetration and Mirotic finds the triple for the 61-60. Blu answer across with the 3 points-shot, Smith saves an important ball but Rodriguez finds the triple for the corner for the new overtaking. Blatt loses his Greek center for five fouls, Darden scores for the +4 but Hickman finds an incredible basket and Rice takes the result on 67-67 with 3 minutes to the end. Fernandez miss the shot and Tyus punishes Madrid with the dunk in tap-in before the basket of Mirotic and the 2 points of Blu. After the error of Mirotic its Rice to score in penetration for the +4 Maccabi forcing the timeout of Laso with 58 seconds remaining. After the suspension Rodriguez is perfect from the free throw line, Hickman miss the shot and Bourousis gains a foul transforming both the free throws for the 73-73 with 23 second to the end. Rice miss the shot for the win and its overtime! The first possession of the extra-time is for the Israelis with the error of Hickman blocked by Bourousis. Mirotic makes 2/2 from the free throw line, Rice finds the triple and thanks to a great defense (turnovers of Mirotic) the American playmaker has the occasion to score other 3 points for the +4. Tyus realizes the alley-oop (assist of Rice), Fernandez miss the triple and Tel Aviv increases the gap from the free throw line taking advantage of the errors at shot for Madrid and the turnover of Rudy (+7). Tyus blocks Rodriguez but the MVP scores by 3 the -6 before an important rebound of Blu after the error from the free throw line of the American center with Israeli passport. Rodriguez commits his fifth foul, Carroll and Darden score but Tel Aviv is infallible from the free throw line and the game ends with the victory of Maccabi for 98-86!
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