EBI Masters session wrapping up in Milan
EBI Master - Final Four Milan 2014
The second session of the eighth edition of the Euroleague Basketball Institute Master in Sports Management & Marketing has come to a close. Over four days, 27 students enrolled in this year's class listened to lectures from more than a dozen high-profile figures from the world of sports and basketball. Topics ranged from media rights and sponsorship, to digital sports content, to modern arena operations. Students that came from 15 diffeerent countries, including Lebanon and China, also got a behind-the-scenes look at the organization of the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four and participated in activities and festivities at the Mediolanum Forum as well as the Fan Zone.“I travel 13 hours for every session from Beijing, but it is always a good experience“, said Beichen Xiao, student from the University of International Relations in Beijing. “This is first time I have seen these high-end lectures and events. And, this is the first time I have seen a live Euroleague game. I love the Final Four, I am crazy about the fans.“
Milan, Italy - 15:19CET, May 18, 2014
Luyk, Emiliano remember Madrid's first title in 1964 !
Luyk, Emiliano remember Madrid's first title in 1964
It is a historic night for Real Madrid, as the club has a chance to win its ninth Euroleague title. The club’s so impressive run started exactly 50 years and 8 days ago, on May 10, 1964. That night, Madrid needed to overcome an 11-point deficit in Game 2 of its two-game series against Spartak Brno. Madrid led 42-37 early in the second half and used a 14-3 run to get the series' lead for good. Madrid beat Brno 84-64 to get the first of its eight continental crowns. Emiliano Rodriguez led the way with 28 points while Clifford Luyk added 25. Coincidence or not, Rodriguez and Luyk are in Milan all weekend long and we took the chance to talk to them about that big night at Fronton Fiesta Alegre back in 1964.

"It is an unforgettable memory. It was our first European Cup and we were able to beat Spartak Brno - and before that, the Eastern Europe teams had always won the competition," Rodriguez recalls. And Luyk said: "I remember than in Game 2, Emiliano and I combined for 53 points. I remember the wall! There was a wall in one end on the court and you couldn't even inbound the ball. You had half a meter to put the ball on the floor… It makes me sad to think that our coach, Joaquin Hernandez, passed away eight months after that final. He was really young, 33 or 34."

Asked about the similarities to today's basketball, both Luyk and Rodriguez agree. Madrid played fun-to-watch, run-and-gun, attractive basketball back then – and that playing style is back since Pablo Laso joined the team in 2012. "Truth be told, the arrival of Pablo Laso to our team has made it play faster, more spectacular and colorful. The team's playing game is contagious and makes it connect with fans," Rodriguez said. "It reminds me of the way we played back in the 1960s, which is far away now, but was important to how basketball developed throughout the years."

"Back in those games, we also played fun-to-watch basketball. Even though basketball has logically changed a lot, but us, this club, is playing that way again. With Pablo Laso, we are going back to what we did in the old days: run the floor, score a lot and take the first good shot we find," Luyk told us. "It is great to be able to compare their playing style with the one we had back in the days."

Luyk and Rodriguez led Madrid to win four Euroleague titles in five years (1964, 1965, 1967 and 1968). Luyk was still around when Madrid won it again in 1974. Emiliano is Honorary President of Madrid's basketball team. Luyk is the team's technical advisor. They started a way in which players like Sergio Rodriguez, Rudy Fernandez, Sergio Llull, Nikola Mirotic and Rudy Fernandez can continue 50 years later. And we are all grateful for that.
Milan, Italy - 14:12CET, May 18, 2014
Fan Zone breaking records for fun!
Jordi Bertomu in Fan Zone
It is the last day of the 2014 Final Four, but there are still plenty of things going on at the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Fan Zone which drew praise from Jordi Bertomeu, the Presedent and CEO of Euroleague Basketball. He joined thousands of fans, hundreds of kids and a couple dozen Euroleague stars and legends in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Fan Zone on Saturday, strolling through the setup at Piazza del Doumo. Bertomeu stopped for a casual chat at the stands of Turkish Airlines and New Era, before witnessing the excitement at the Center Court during the Turkish Airlines Slam Dunk Contests. "It is the best Fan Zone in Euroleague history", said Bertomeu during his visit. "It has an incredible main stage setup with such a beautiful backdrop of the Milan cathedral, making it a perfect place for thousands of fans who have really created a great atmosphere this year." On Sunday in the Fan Zone, among many things visitors can still take photos with the Euroleague trophy, take part in several shooting contests to win prizes, and witness the finals of the 3x3 tournament.
Milan, Italy - 10:42CET, May 18, 2014
Madrid vs. Maccabi: The golden 50!
Rafa Rullan - Real Madrid
Isn't it just perfect? Real Madrid and Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv will play their 50th showdown in the 2014 Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four Championship Game! This matchup is the most repeated game in European club competition and both teams have a mutual respect for the other on and off the court; it is easy to see the clubs' veteran teams face each other from time to time. Madrid has a 29-20 record against Maccabi and won its last six games against the Israeli powerhouse. They only faced each other once in a Final Four, and it was quite recently. Back in 2011, Maccabi thrashed Madrid 82-63 in the semifinals behind 19 points, 8 rebounds and 6 steals from Chuck Eidson. Before that, Madrid and Maccabi faced each other in a Euroleague title game in Berlin on March 27, 1980, and it was Los Blancos that walked away as winners. Rafa Rullan led Madrid with 27 points. Randy Meister added 21, while Walter Szczerbiak had 16 for the winners. Earl Williams led Maccabi with 31 points, Jim Boatwright and Aulcie Perry each added 22 and Mickey Berkowitz scored 10 to total Maccabi's 85 points. Madrid led 48-40 at halftime and increased its margin to 75-61 with nine minutes left but, Juan Antonio Corbalan and Meister fouled out and Maccabi, led by Perry and Williams, got within 83-80. Perry fouled out, too, and Maccabi could not get closer. More than 34 years later, Maccabi and Madrid meet again in the Euroleague Championship game, in the two team's 50th showdown. What a golden jubilee!
Milan, Italy - 9:02CET, May 18, 2014