04 April 2013
Real Madrid now knows about the last obstacle in the way of getting into the London Final Four on April 10. The white squad will play against Maccabi in the round-of-eight best of five games and with the home court advantage thanks to making second place in the Top 16. The series will take place from April 9 to 25. If the white team gets into the semi-finals, they will face the winner of Barcelona Regal-Panathinaikos.
Tel Aviv’s Maccabi Electra will be Real Madrid’s rival in the Euroleague round of eight. The white team, with the home court advantage in their favour in the series for the best of five games, will go face to face with the team they have played the most in the history of the European Cup. Coached by David Blatt, the Israeli team placed third in group F with eight wins and five losses. Maccabi Electra has been one of the best teams so far this season. They classified for the Top 16 as first in their group with stats of 8-2, ahead of Unicaja, Siena, and Alba Berlin. They have maintained a fierce struggle in group F against the other four teams to get into the playoffs. The strong point of the squad called "The hand of Elias" is David Blatt’s experience as a coach and the combination of home-grown players—Eliyahu and Ohayon—with a quality American quintet made up of the outside players Smith, Logan, and Hickman, and the inside players James and Caner-Medley, another former ACB. Defence is another one of this team’s strong points.
With four Euroleague triumphs, the last two last decade (2004 and 2005), Maccabi is one of the great protagonists in the history of this competition. The two teams have played one another on 34 occasions in the history of the European Cup (22) and the Euroleague (12), with a high point in the 1980's when Real Madrid won its seventh title against the Israelis in Berlin, 89-85, with 27 points by Rullán and 21 by Meister.