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Maccabi crowned European champions

    Shimon Peres led the tributes to Maccabi Tel Aviv Electra who overcame all the odds to claim their sixth Euroleague title.

    A 98-86 victory over Real Madrid saw Maccabi send their 9,000 supporters into dreamland at the final four competition in Milan.

    Maccabi reached the final following a stunning comeback against CSKA Moscow in the semis. The team, coached by David Blatt, trailed by 15 points at the end of the third quarter, but staged a stirring comeback to win 68:67 with the winning basket six seconds from the buzzer.

    Israel President Shimon Peres spoke to Blatt after the team's victory and said, "All of Israel is yellow tonight – congratulations!

    "You were an example of determination. The whole team fought like lions and won. I watched the whole game and nearly had a heart attack.

    "You are heroes and have brought incredible pride to the state of Israel. Congratulations to you and the entire team."

    David Blatt responded: "Mr. President, we wanted to bring this trophy home as a present to you for all that you have done. This is your leaving present from Maccabi Tel Aviv.

    "I am overjoyed – I feel the sense of pride we have brought to all of Israel, and to the Maccabi Tel Aviv fans in particular for the way they supported the team here."

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