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May 8, 2011 10:18 pm

Maccabi Tel Aviv Reaches Big Stage But Falls Short In Finale

avatar by Levi Epstein

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Maccabi Tel Aviv in action during an earlier championship game. Photo: Maccabi.co.il.

Maccabi Tel Aviv reached the Euroleague basketball finals this week after defeating Real Madrid 82-63 in their semi finals matchup on Friday night at Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona Spain, a position not unfamiliar to the Israeli team that has seen its fair share of international basketball supremacy. Maccabi has collected five European championships over the past several decades making them one of the dominating teams in European basketball.

On Sunday night the Israeli team led by Head Coach and American native David Blatt, was playing in its 7th championship finals in the last dozen seasons. Looking for their 6th continental trophy, their ambition was matched solely by their battle hardened rivals the Greek intl. team Panathinaikos, a strong club that had also seen abundant success over the years with 6 championships of their own, and the best record in finals history (6-1.)

The game was competitive with both teams scoring early and often. The Maccabi club played three solid quarters of basketball despite poor performances from some of their key star players. They were bailed out somewhat thanks to 6-13 shooting from three-point range and superb play from guard Chuck Eidson. The South Carolina native scored 12 points in the match. The yellow shirts held a brief lead in the third quarter before the Greek team capped it with an 8-0 run of their own which ultimately sealed the deal and lead to the Israeli club’s defeat with a final score of 78-70.

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