May 4, 2018 Belgrade

Belgrade Braces for EuroLeague’s Last Battle

The thrilling finale to the basketball competition, the Final Four, promises to make the Serbian capital a European centre for the sport.

Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four will make Belgrade the centre of European basketball from May 18 to May 20. Photo: EuroLeague

Ivana Nikolic

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The Final Four of the 2018 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague, the European-wide basketball competition, takes place from May 18 to 20 at the Belgrade Arena, with tickets already on sale.

The two semi-finals are set for Friday, May 18, at 6pm and 9pm, while the third game and the championship game take place on Sunday, May 20, at 5pm and 8pm, respectively.

The four teams competing in Belgrade later this month are Lithuania’s Zalgiris Kaunas, Fenerbahce Dogus Istanbul, CSKA Moscow and Real Madrid.

In the first semi-final, Zalgiris will play Fenerbahce, while CSKA Moscow and Real Madrid will face off in the other.

Belgrade Mayor Sinisa Mali said the tournament would make Belgrade the centre of both European and World basketball.

He added that it was, by far, the most important event coming to the city in 2018.

“Final Four is a sporting event of great importance and that is a great opportunity for the promotion of the city of Belgrade, as well as all of Serbia,” Mali said.

The Final Four will mark the second time that Lithuania’s Zalgiris has played in the EuroLeague’s final round since the team won in Munich in 1999.

Turkish Fenerbahce, led by Serbian coach Zeljko Obradovic, is defending last year’s title.

The team managed to win the trophy in Istanbul in 2017 as the EuroLeague’s first-ever Turkish champion.

Final Four in Belgrade 2018 is also important for Obradovic personally; if his team wins this year, it will be his tenth EuroLeague title, a feat no other player, coach or even club has ever achieved.

Last but not least, Spain’s Real Madrid is the most successful team in EuroLeague history, with nine titles.

This year, the team plays its sixth Final Four in eight years. If Real Madrid wins a trophy for the tenth time, it will become the first club to do so – a goal it has in common with Fenerbahce’s Obradovic.

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