Sunday, April 17, 2011
Euroleague Final Four Predictions
With less than a month from today, the Euroleague Final Four will tip off in Barcelona, Spain wherein it will feature the following semi finals matchup: Panathinaikos vs Montepaschi Siena and Maccabi Electra vs Real Madrid. Three of these final four teams did not have home court advantage during the Playoffs round, except for Real Madrid who had to battle with Power Electronics Valencia until Game 5 to earn the distinction of becoming one of the Final Four 2011 qualifiers.
There are a lot of fans saying in blogs, forums, and social networking sites that a Maccabi-Panathinaikos finals is going to happen in Barcelona on May 8th. However, Montepaschi Siena has shown in the Playoffs round that this team is not a mere pushover, especially with the championship title in the line. They defeated 3-1 in a 5-game series Olympiacos Piraeus, which many basketball critics predicted to dominate this series - after all, Olympiacos battled Regal FC Barcelona in the finals last year in Paris. Sadly, Milos Teodosic and the rest of the Reds could not overcome the charge that Siena posed on them despite the fact that the Italians suffered from a rather forgetful Game 1 performance in the Playoffs round in Piraeus. It only shows you that Siena has an impressive character that goes beyond basketball skills and talent. Plus, the return of Bo McCalebb is still widely awaited by fans and the Euroleague Final Four 2011 could be the best avenue for that.
Real Madrid is also in a strange position entering the Euroleague Final Four 2011 because they are playing in Barcelona, the home of their eternal rivals, Regal FC Barcelona. Sadly, the defending champs were dethroned by Panathinaikos Athens in Game 4 of their series. Hence, Real Madrid (a team that is not new to being in the finals with its rich championship tradition) will become the sole Spanish representative in the Final Four. Although Maccabi is deemed as the popular favorite in this matchup, the size and depth of the roster of the Whites will be something that they can use to their advantage, especially without Doron Perkins in the side of Maccabi. Coach Emanuele Molin will have a task tough at hand going head-to-head with Coach David Blatt on the Israeli side, and this one is worth watching itself!
This is going to be an exciting Euroleague Final Four. What about you? Any predictions on the outcomes during the games on the weekend of May 6 & 8? Make sure to share them on the comments section below.