Reporting from Kaunas
Olympiacos and Real Madrid will collide on Sunday’s EuroLeague Championship Game at the Zalgirio Arena in Kaunas.
This will be the fourth Championship Game between the two powerhouses, with the “Reds” having won once (2013) and the “Whites” twice (1995, 2015), respectively.
Olympiacos used an impressive 47-21 run in the second half and a 27-2 run in the third quarter to rally past Monaco (76-62) and advance to the Final for the first time since 2017.
On the other hand, Real Madrid beat arch-rivals Barcelona and will now play in the EuroLeague Championship Game for a second straight season.
The “Whites” have now won four straight elimination games after becoming the first team in competition history to erase a 0-2 deficit in the playoffs and trailing by 9 late in the second quarter of the semifinal.
Olympiacos swept the regular-season meetings between these teams this year with an 87-89 victory in Round 3 in Madrid as EuroLeague MVP Sasha Vezenkov went for 23 points and 12 boards and a 73-60 triumph in Greece in what was Real’s lowest-scoring output of the season.
Aside from Vezenkov, Olympiacos will rely on Moustapha Fall to contain fellow big man Edy Tavares, on captain Kostas Papanikolaou and leader Kostas Sloukas as well as Defensive Player of the Year candidate Thomas Walkup, who finished the semi-final scoreless, but had seven assists, three rebounds, a +19 and stopped Mike James in the second half.
Meanwhile, Edy Tavares (20 points, 15 rebounds, 4 blocks and a performance index rating of 39 vs Barcelona) will be the reference point for the “Whites”, while Mario Hezonja (14 points, nine boards) and Sergio Rodriguez (12 points, five assists) will have a key role as well on Sunday.
Olympiacos and Real Madrid have both had great seasons, but only one will be celebrating on Sunday night.
Let's rewind when these two last met in Championship games 🔙 pic.twitter.com/ORIdiRfTUS
— Turkish Airlines EuroLeague (@EuroLeague) May 21, 2023