Tel Aviv team wins European basketball tournament
After overtime victory, thousands of fans celebrate in the streets.
It might become known as the "Miracle in Milan."
In a thrilling overtime victory Sunday night, Israel’s Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball team defeated Spain's Real Madrid 98-86. Guard Tyrese Rice led the team with 26 points and was named MVP of the Final Four tournament.
An estimated 10,000 fans traveled from Israel to Italy for the weekend tournament, which also featured teams from Moscow and Barcelona. Tens of thousands of Maccabi fans rushed into Rabin Square in Tel Aviv to celebrate the victory.
“I'm so happy,” said Coach David Blatt. “We have brought so much honor to the country and to Maccabi fans especially. We never wavered and I'm just so proud of everyone.”
The last time Tel Aviv won this tournament was in 2005, and they were widely seen as underdogs in this year's Final Four. This is the sixth time since 1977 that they've won this tournament.
Maccabi had a rough start to the season, but their championship victory will serve as a promising return to prominence for the team.
“Six months ago everyone, but everyone, said we were done,” Coach Blatt told The Jerusalem Post. “We as a team decided to block out all the background noise and focus on basketball and believe in ourselves. I always believed in these guys."
Watch highlights from the championship game:
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