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Real Madrid crowned Euroleague champions

(Xinhua)    13:20, May 21, 2018

BELGRADE, May 20 -- Real Madrid played tough basketball and won a tough and uncertain battle against Fenerbahce 85-80, becoming the Euroleague champion here on Sunday.

Fenerbahce's Nikola Kalinic separated the Turkish team with an early three-pointer at the beginning of the match, but Real's Luka Doncic took the leading role at the key moment, allowing them to catch up and equalize at 15-15.

Sergio Llull brought an end to the early domination by the Turkish team with a spectacular three pointer for Real Madrid, while Anthony Randolph added another one to set the final score to 21-17 at the end of the first period.

Llull's assists and precise shots managed to give the Spanish team the necessary advantage to maintain the lead at the start of second quarter, but Fenerbahce ended Real's 4-0 streak with a three pointer and several fast attacks. Nicolo Melli started to stand out with attractive moves, keeping Fenerbahce just behind Real during most of the second period.

However, Real managed to take over the lead once again after halftime, mostly thanks to the precision of Fabian Causeur during the third quarter, in which they managed to take the score to 63-55.

The final quarter was marked by the tight defense of Fenerbahce looking to open opportunities for counter-attack and a turnaround in the match, but Jaycee Carroll crushed their hopes with an amazing three-pointer.

Llull left the match two minutes before the final whistle due to five collected fouls. Fenerbahce managed to use his absence to recover what seemed completely lost and get just three points away with a distant shot from Bobby Dixon just 20 seconds before the end, but that was not enough to win the match.

Real Madrid's Fabian Causeur scored 17 points and was the most valuable player (MVP) of the match that was played in front of 17,000 fans.

Melli scored 28 points for Fenerbahce.

Real Madrid coach Pablo Laso said that he was very proud of his players for winning the trophy, because they managed to stay together despite all the injuries and problems that haunted the team throughout the season. "We never gave up, we believed that this problem we had with injuries will not kill us, and we kept on fighting," he said after the match.

Luka Doncic was named as the MVP of the Final Four tournament. "Every time I step on the court I want to have fun, and make every possession matter, and this is what we did today. When we are winning or losing we are doing it as a team. I am really happy to be here," Doncic said.

Coach of Fenerbahce Zeljko Obradovic, who has so far gathered nine Euroleague trophies, congratulated his opponents for the victory, as well as Fenerbahce players and fans for the fantastic season they shared in the Euroleague.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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