REAL BID TO BREAK EURO HEX

Real Madrid will have home advantage as they bid to land their first Euroleague title in 20 years when they face Olympiacos in this season’s final on Sunday.

The Greeks, bidding for a third crown in four years, produced a late comeback in Friday’s semi-final to stun CSKA Moscow 70-68 with Andrei Kirilenko’s last second shot missing out.

While Real were dominant in defeating Fenerbahce 96-87 behind 18 points from Gustavo Ayon and will now hope it is third time lucky after losing in the past two finals.

“We have to be cautious and know that we always played at a great level in the semifinals, but lacked that plus to be able to win the title,” Rudy Fernandez, the Real forward, said. “It is true that being able to reach three consecutive Euroleague finals deserves a lot of credit and I hope we can win in front of our fans and enjoy this moment. I am feeling fine. We know the kind of player Spanoulis is and we are not surprised, at least I am not; he is one of the best players in Europe.

“I am sure we have to focus on him, but the entire team does an amazing job; Printezis is playing well and they have mobile big men that can be difficult to guard. Fenerbahce tried to make the game more physical in the second half and that allowed them to get a bit closer. We continued with a good, positive dynamic, chose the best shots, and managed to keep our important lead.”

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