Euroleague Final – Fenerbahce v Olympiacos

Fener - Olympiakos live

The showdown that everyone has been waiting for is finally here. Olympiacos Piraeus vs Fenerbahce Istanbul in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Championship Game!

The stats

Olympiacos and Fenerbahce survived their respective semifinal battles and will meet in the grand finale for the first time ever. While Olympiacos looks for its fourth EuroLeague title, Fenerbahce will try to become the first Turkish team to win the competition.

The teams split home wins during the regular season. The Reds have been a defensive force until now, allowing just 73.7 points per game, but Fenerbahce’s defense has also excelled (73.9 ppg. allowed) so far.

Olympiacos has protected its rim very well, allowing opponents to score a league-low 46.8% inside the paint. Both teams have taken care of business when it comes to three-point shooting, as opponents struggled against them (Fenerbahce allowed 35.2%, Olympiacos 35.3%).

Olympiacos ranks high in fouls drawn (21.5 per game) and Fenerbahce has done well with blocks (3.38 bpg.). Stopping All-EuroLeague center Ekpe Udoh is a priority for Olympiacos. Udoh leads the EuroLeague in rebounds (7.7 rpg.) and blocks (2.1 bpg.), but Olympiacos has enough manpower in the paint with Nikola Milutinov, Patric Young and Khem Birch to slow him down. In fact, Udoh has averaged 4.5 points and 5.5 rebounds in two games against the Reds.

As always, Fenerbahce must find a way to stop Vassilis Spanoulis, whose fourth-quarter heroics allowed Olympiacos to get past CSKA Moscow in the semifinals. His matchup against Bogdan Bogdanovic will be critical in this game. In the end, this is the championship game and it will come down to who executes its game plan better and who wants it more. Everything is in line to deliver one of the best games in basketball this season.

Did you know that…?

Fenerbahce‘s head coach Zeljko Obradovic is the winningest person, player or coach, in EuroLeague history? Obradovic has eight Euroleague titles (Partizan Belgrade 1992, Joventut Badalona 1994, Real Madrid 1995, Panathinaikos Athens 2000, 2002, 2007, 2009, 2011), which is more than any participant since the competition began in 1958. He can win his ninth title with five different teams on Sunday!

Obradovic is at his 11th Championship Game – more than any other coach in EuroLeague history? He played a Championship Game each with Partizan, Joventut and Madrid, six with Panathinaikos and this is his second one with Fenerbahce.

Sloukas and Antic have the chance to win their third Euroleague title? Sloukas and Antic were teammates on the Olympiacos Piraeus squad that won consecutive EuroLeague titles back in 2012 and 2013.

Vesely could become the third Czech player to win the EuroLeague title? Jiri Zidek (Zalgiris, 1999) and Lubos Barton (Barcelona, 2010) were the first two to lift the EuroLeague trophy.

The first – and to date only – Turkish player to win the EuroLeague was Ibrahim Kutluay with Panathinaikos in 2002. Several Fenerbahce players could join him on this select list if Fenerbahce wins the title.

Fenerbahce could be the seventh different EuroLeague team to win the competition in the last eight years? Since 2010, FC Barcelona, Panathinaikos, Olympiacos, Maccabi Tel Aviv, Real Madrid and CSKA Moscow lifted the EuroLeague trophy.

Olympiacos won the 2012 EuroLeague title at Sinan Erdem Arena, which is also home of the 2017 EuroLeague Final Four? Olympiacos rallied from a 19-point deficit to edge CSKA 61-62 on a game-winning floater by Georgios Printezis.

Spanoulis has a chance to win a fourth Final Four MVP award? He first won the award with Panathinaikos in 2009 and later with Olympiacos in 2012 and 2013. Toni Kukoc (Split 1990, 1991; Benetton 1993) is the only other player to have won three Final Four MVP awards.

Spanoulis MVP trophies have been ‘connected’ to the birth of his kids. His wife is currently pregnant to their 5th child.

Spanoulis is one of three players to have won the EuroLeague with both Olympiacos and Panathinaikos? Spanoulis won the competition with Panathinaikos in 2009 and with Olympiacos in 2012 and 2013. Four other players have won the EuroLeague with both teams: Stratos Perperoglou, Giorgi Shermadini, Lazaros Papadopoulos and Dimitris Papanikolaou.

The outsider fact

A fact I cannot overpass is the return of the Final 4 in Istanbul after 5 years as well as all the major sponsors of the tournament being Turkish giant companies. As I said, it might not be the first thing to lead to the winner but it is a reason to believe that this might be the time for the best Turkish team with the best coach in Europe to lift the trophy.

The handicap (-6.0) win of Fenerbahce is priced at 1.90 with bet365.

Stats source:

Basketball Tips:

The mini movie of the Final of the Euroleague 2017

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