FIBA will announce in the next few hours the final venue for the Final Four of the Basketball Champions League 2022/2023for which Malaga has longed for several months, but for which Jerusalem is the number 1 candidate.
Israeli Hapoel beat AEK on Wednesday in the third game of their quarterfinal seriesgot the ticket for the appointment between the four best teams in the competition and, barring a miracle, the decision of the International Basketball Federation will be that the Final Four will be held in the Hebrew city, from May 12 to 14. The Israeli press, in fact, takes it for granted after a delegation from the organization visited the Pais Arena last week, where Hapoel plays its matches, and gave the go-ahead to the facility with capacity for 11,000 spectators to host the event.
The incidents denounced by AEK in the hours before the game this Wednesdaywhen a group of Hapoel fans went to their concentration hotel at dawn to disturb the rest of the Greek players, is almost the last argument that can change FIBA’s decision.
Jerusalem has put a lot of money on the table and that cannot be fought against, but that security asset that Malaga offers with more guarantees than the Hebrew city will be used until the last minute.
After the experience in Bilbao last year, when the organization chose a neutral city to decide the continental title that Lenovo Tenerife won in the final against Baxi Manresa by Yankuba Sima (the other participants were Hapoel Holon from Israel and the Germans from MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg), this time the bet has been because there is a host team. This is precisely the reason why The organizing city of the Final Four will be announced with less than a month to go. Last year, for example, FIBA announced that Bilbao was the venue on February 7. That is to say, when barely two days of the continental Round of 16 had passed.
The truth is that FIBA, which has had a very good relationship with Unicaja since the Los Guindos club decided to leave the Euroleague/Eurocup to play in the Champions League. But the fact that last season was the Final Four in Spain and the strong economic commitment of the Israelis makes it almost impossible to believe in the miracle that Malaga is the city chosen for the final fight for the continental title.