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We Are the Champions (Again)

I have just finished watching Israel’s Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball team defeat Spanish team Tau Vitoria 90-78, to win the Euroleague for the second year in a row.

 

That’s right. We are the champions – yet again – of the European basketball league. I gain immense satisfaction knowing that we are the best in Europe, and we beat the terror appeasing Spanish to win the title.

 

But it’s not a totally “us against them” mentality. We had support from an unexpected ally.

The 7,000 Maccabi fans in Moscow were reinforced by about 2,000 Greek fans who came to cheer Greek Panathinaikos, but agreed to cheer on Maccabi after their own team lost to Maccabi on Friday.

 

It was only on Friday that fans of the two teams seemed as if they were each other’s sworn enemies, as each competed for a single ticket to Sunday’s finale. 

 

Perhaps it is the Mediterranean blood flowing through the veins of both Israelis and Greeks, but the two fan groups were expected to work together in Moscow’s Olympiysky Arena, where the game is taking place.

In fact, such was the level of support that you would have been forgiven for thinking that the game was being played in Israel, (although it was played in Moscow).

 

So well done to the boys in Blue and Gold. You have made this sports junkie proud yet again.

 

Update: An “Only-in-Israel” moment after the game: the Israeli TV channel broadcasted Ariel Sharon congratulating the coach of Maccabi Tel Aviv, Pini Gershon. In any other country, the coach of a victorious team would have addressed his Prime Minister formally, and been polite. Pini, however, constantly interrupted the Prime Minister, and referred to him by his nickname “Arik.”

About the author

Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
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