Sunday’s final will see a mini battle for bragging rights as Euroleague champions Real Madrid will be represented on both sides in the Eurobasket championship game.
Lithuania’s Jonas Maciulis will face-off against Spain’s Sergio Llull, Rudy Fernandez, Sergio Rodriguez, Felipe Reyes and the recently returned Guillermo Hernangomez.
It’s a mini competition within the game itself, but it’s all good-natured.
Both parties have made contact since.
“Only on WhatsApp, I congratulated him for being in the final,” Real Madrid captain Reyes revealed. “He’s [having] a great championship [and] with a different role in the team of Madrid. This shows the high level that has in Madrid.
“I love this guy,” Fernandez added, when asked about Maciulis. “I think he’s a great player, a great person and I’m happy about him because he’s playing an unbelievable tournament but [the final] is a big game for us and for them too, so we try to play hard, every minute because Lithuania is one of the best teams in defence and we’ll see what happens.”
Real Madrid won the Euroleague title last season as they defeated Olympiacos in the championship game in the Spanish capital, which they followed up by claiming the Liga Endesa crown before players went their separate ways to join their national sides.