The Telekom Bonn players celebrate victory in the Final Four on Sunday. Ñito Salas
Telekom Bonn crowned European basketball champions in Malaga

Telekom Bonn crowned European basketball champions in Malaga

Local side Unicaja were denied their showpiece final having lost their semi-final to the Germans amid allegations of "espionage"

Daryl Finch / Juan Calderón

Monday, 15 May 2023, 07:43


Telekom Bonn have been crowned champions of Europe after coming out on top in an enthralling tie against Hapoel Jerusalem held at the Palacio de Deportes in Malaga.

The German side won the final of the Basketball Champions League, Europe's elite competition, for the first time, thanks to a 77-70 victory against the Israelis on Sunday evening.

It was a faultless game from the Bonn-based team, who were always able to impose their style and, in TJ Short, had a player in unstoppable form.

The American, voted MVP of the season and of the final, finished with 29 points.

Unicaja, in fourth place

Sunday's final was the second game in a showpiece final day of action. Earlier in the afternoon, Unicaja faced reigning champions Iberostar Tenerife in the third-place play-off.

Despite the Malaga team recovering a 14-point deficit, they ultimately ended up conceding in the final minute, losing 79-84.

This meant a fourth-place finish and no share of the Final Four prize money.

Accusations of spying

Unicaja had to settle for the third-place playoff in the first place after losing their semi-final to Telekom Bonn on Friday in controversial fashion.

The current Copa del Rey champions lost narrowly, 67-69, after letting many opportunities to assert their dominance pass them by. The German team, meanwhile, capitalised, executing their game plan to perfection.

That said, following the game, it came to light that one of the Bonn coaches had been "spying" on the Unicaja tactics during the time outs. As many fans inside the arena could confirm, the coach was watching the live broadcast of the game on a laptop on which the host team's planned tactical plays could be seen. He then passed on the information he learned, possibly also helped by a translator over the phone, to coach Tuomas Iisalo.

While many might consider this clever, many inside the Unicaja camp considered it unethical and breaking unwritten rules of the game.




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