Euroleague: Fenerbahce and Vitoria sweep to Final Four

Euroleague
There were no fairytale comebacks in the Euroleague Playoffs on Tuesday as two of the competitions historic giants fell to defeat. As a consequence, the Last Four has two clubs in Fenerbahce Istanbul and Laboral Kutxa Vitoria, both teams completing unlikely sweeps to make the Berlin showpiece weekend.

Fenerbahce managed to overcome current champs Real Madrid in the Euroleague Playoffs, sweeping the Spanish juggernaut 3-0 in impressive fashion. One Spanish club did taste success on the night though, Laboral Kutxa Vitoria recording its own sweep at the expense of former champions Panathinaikos in Athens.

The apple cart can be considered disrupted tonight, as neither Fenerbahce nor Vitoria have ever won the competition. In contrast, Real Madrid and Panathinaikos share 15 titles, Madrid holding a record 9 and Panathinaikos 6 championships. It is worth noting that both Laboral Kutxa and Fenerbahce got the job done on the road.

Real Madrid vs. Fenerbahce Istanbul, 63-75

After taking apart Real Madrid in Istanbul last week, the signs were there that this red hot Fener team simply has too much for the champs in the Euroleague Playoffs. However, in Madrid Los Blancos always has a chance and so the series felt open for business still.

Not for long as Fenerbahce raced to a cruising road win and swept into the Final Four. It was another hugely impressive display from the Turkish club, again spurring ideas that the team could be going all the way this season. Sure, Real Madrid has been off and on this campaign and was there for the taking, but nevertheless, 3-0 against the reigning champs will send a message to the remaining clubs.

Bogdan Bogdanovic paced the win with 17 points, while Ekpe Udoh doubled up with 15 points and 12 rebounds for Fenerbahce. Bobby Dixon added 14 points and Luigi Datome scored 13 points.

Sergio Rodriguez kept Madrid ticking with 15 points, while Gustavo Ayon logged an impressive double-double of 14 points and 14 rebounds.

Panathinaikos Athens vs. Laboral Kutxa Vitoria, 75-84

If Fenerbahce’s progress has looked like destiny, Laboral Kutxa Vitoria’s form has been something of a surprise. If it was not for the freedom expressed by Crvena Zvezda Belgrade, the Spaniards would be the surprise of the season. Regardless, the club stunned Panathinaikos in the Euroleague Playoffs campaign and took the Greek former champs for a 3-0 sweep.

Heading to Athens there was a feeling the Greek home team could get back into the series, especially after The Greens had run Laboral Kutxa close in Game 2. However, Panathinaikos struggled to keep in touch through Game 3 before the visitors finally ended the series with a huge 28 point haul in the fourth quarter.

Darius Adams was a driving force in the win with 24 points, followed by Mike James with 20 points and Davis Bertans with 13 points.

Miroslav Raduljica topped a disappointing Panathinaikos effort with 13 points.

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