Euroleague Championship Game: Preview

Euroleague Basketball
Photo: Euroleague Basketball

Fenerbahce face Real Madrid on Sunday night at Belgrade’s Stark Arena, with both clubs ready to fight tooth and nail for the coveted title.

What exactly should we expect from the two opponents less than 24 hours before the tip-off?

Fenerbahce reached the Championship Game for a third straight year and want to become just the third club that wins the Euroleague for a second year in a row.

The defending champions will rely on their impressive defence that will be the X-Factor in the game.

The Turks had the league’s best defensive line during the regular season, allowing their opponents to score 75 points per game, while they conceded just 67 against Zalgiris Kaunas in the semi-final, also making a season-high 13 steals.

Coach Obradovic will certainly have a game plan for each of Real Madrid’s players to prevent them from being effective offensively.

The Serbian coach will want to see his players retain their energy at high levels during the whole game, which will be one of the key elements in the Final.

On the other end of the floor, the Turks will try to grab the rebounds and run in transition to score easy points, while a high shooting percentage will put them in a position of strength over their opponents. Fenerbahce shot at 57% in two-pointers in the semi-final.

Kostas Sloukas (in his sixth EuroLeague Championship Game), Jan Vesely and Brad Wanamaker will be the leaders once again, as Luigi Datome and Bobby Dixon can be game changers, just like on Friday.

Euroleague Basketball
Photo: Euroleague Basketball

Real Madrid will be seeking for their 10th Euroleague title in their second Championship Game in the last four years.

The “Whites” played excellent against CSKA Moscow on Friday night and beat the Muscovites 83-92 to advance to the Final, with Luka Doncic and Sergio Llull scoring 16 points each.

Real hit 12 three-pointers, dished 20 assists and scored 72 points in three quarters to beat the Russians. Identical numbers on Sunday will give them the victory.

They also grabbed 29 defensive rebounds and they will try to do the same on Sunday in order to control the tempo and run in transition.

Coach Pablo Laso will seek for a run and gun playing style, while he wants to see his players be tough defensively against a Fenerbahce squad that has one of the best and deepest rosters in the league.

Jaycee Carroll can be a game changer from beyond the arc, as Llull and Euroleague MVP Doncic are expected to execute most plays.

Luka Doncic was outstanding in the win over CSKA Moscow. Photo: EuroLeague Basketball

Overall, it’s defence against offence in Euroleague’s Championship Game at Belgrade’s Stark Arena. A close and exciting game is expected, as all bets are off.