Israel overjoyed by Maccabi's Euroleague basketball title

By Aron Heller

Associated Press

Published: Monday, May 19 2014 9:29 a.m. MDT

Maccabi of Tel Aviv captain Maccabi Guy Pnini, right, and his teammate Maccabi Tel Avivís Alex Tyus hold the trophy as they celebrate with teammates after winning the Euroleague Final Four final against Real Madrid in Milan, Italy, Sunday, May 18, 2014. Maccabi won 98-86. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Luca Bruno, AP

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TEL AVIV, Israel — Jubilant Israeli basketball fans are still celebrating Maccabi Tel Aviv's dream season, which culminated with an overtime victory over Real Madrid in the Euroleague basketball final in Milan.

Thousands of fans clad in Maccabi yellow filled Tel Aviv's Rabin Square overnight Monday, with many jumping into its landmark fountain. Celebrations erupted in other cities as well, with TV and radio stations airing special broadcasts.

According to initial ratings figures, about a third of the country watched Sunday's game live on TV, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres. Both men called head coach David Blatt after the game to offer congratulations.

Peres took to the airways Monday to invite the team to his official residence for a reception.

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