Vitoria hosts for the first time the Final Four of the Euroleague with a sign that unites power, authority and ambition. At the dance of European basketball royalty the last three champions CSKA (2016), Fenerbahçe (2017) and Real Madrid (2018) -which endorsing their hierarchy repeat together at the gala for the fourth time in five years- and the thriving Anadolu Efes . The Efes, after being at the bottom of the regular season last season, shook his project with a stroke of brilliant signings and has reopened in an elite in which he was not since 2001.
The Buesa Arena hosts a historic revalidation for Pablo Laso's team. The Madrid does not link two European Cups followed for 51 years. The first four came in pairs (1964-1965 and 1967-1968), but after the conquests of 1974, 1978 and 1980, they spent 15 years between the Seventh and the Eighth, and 20 between the Eighth and the Ninth. With Laso came a reconquest that already has 16 titles in eight seasons. Now, the challenge of the continental double challenge the record. In the modern era, since the reign of the mythical Jugoplastika of Split ceased (1989, 1990 and 1991), only the Maccabi by Jasikevicius (2004-2005) and Olympiacos by Spanoulis (2012-2013) have linked two Euroleaders.
For CSKA it will be the 16th Final Four in 18 years (it only failed in 2002 and 2011), with three titles (2006, 2008 and 2016) and three lost finals (2007, 2009 and 2012) on that route. Madrid goes to the fight for the seventh time in nine courses, the last six with Laso in front, with two titles (2015 and 2018) and two lost finals (2013 and 2014) with the coach from Vitoria. And for Fenerbahçe will be the fifth consecutive appearance under the command of Obradovic, the totem of the Euroleague, which seeks the tenth crown in its 18th Final Four in 27 years of career. The Turkish semifinal opens fire (18.00, Movistar +) and measures the squad of Zeljko, touched by the casualties of Lauvergne and Datome, and the doubts of Kalinic and Vesely, with the revelation team, the Efes de Micic, Larkin and Moerman. "Gentlemen, here you have to eat steak," obradovic snapped to those attending the presentation. "If we win, on Monday we fly to Ibiza to celebrate and then we will continue playing the League", completed Atamán. Turkish passion
After the Fenerbahçe-Efes, the two dynasties that lead the list of winners of the European Cup, CSKA and Real Madrid (seven and 10 titles, respectively), will reissue (21.00, Movistar +) a legendary rivalry built in three episodes with a sound of NO- DO, when the reds were the TSKA or Chesca. The first, in 1963, after the Franco regime lifted the ban on travel to the USSR, which was also the first continental final resolved with a tiebreaker game; with definitive triumph of the Russians after winning the third assault. The second came in 1965, in the year of the return of Pedro Ferrándiz to the bench, with a white victory in the last double-match final in Madrid to climb seven points of the first leg. And the third in 1969, with another Russian victory after a memorable duel in a hostile Barcelona, resolved in the second extension.
Half a century later, the two superpowers collide again for the second consecutive time in the semifinals. Last year, in Belgrade, the Madrid of Doncic and Llull cut short Sergio Rodriguez and progressively disqualified Itoudis to seal the ticket towards the Tenth. "Experience is important, but you have to accompany it with passion, talent and effort," Laso said in the presentation. The targets arrive at the exam at their best. After an effervescent start of the course (18 victories in the first 19 matches), with the conquest of the Supercup included, Laso's spent three months in an uproar (between the end of November and the end of February) in which they were only able to link four victories followed once. In that stretch they lost the two regular league games against CSKA: 88-93, in Madrid, and 82-78, in Moscow. Now they have a streak of 19 victories and four defeats since the Cup final and 10 successive wins. The 11th would give Laso's way to fight for the Eleventh. A historic revalidation in Vitoria. In the stands, the targets will have the support of some 3,000 followers, a figure similar to the Fenerbahçe fans. CSKA and Efes will be in inferiority hovering only half a hundred fans. Make game. the Final Four begins.
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