By Lefteris Moutis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
In the Final Four schedule there are four games, three with outstanding interest by anyone and one that nobody cares; even the players who take part. Does the 3rd place has any reason to be played, to be watched and to be held?
Euroleague didn’t have in its schedule a 3rd place game in its first Final Four of the new era in 2002, but came in the old model the next season. In the Final Four of the NCAA the last 3rd place game held in 1981 (Virginia won 78-74 LSU) and a non-basketball issue (the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan) was the reason that we had never again such again. Should we have 3rd place game in Euroleague’s Final Four?
No, there is no need for that
On Sunday afternoon, Fenerbahce after the heavy loss by Real Madrid will meet CSKA that comes from the fourth huge “suicide” in row. Two teams in depression who will try to make a new start in the season by this game. Cause both of them want desperately to win their championships. So, who among the players and the coaches will think the 3rd place game? None!
Yes, it’s nice to have 3rd place game
Of course there are more reasons for this game to be held. Euroleague organizes a Final Four with four games and it’s normal that the earnings by the tickets, the TV rights and the sponsors would have reduced if there wasn’t a 3rd place game.
A fan who supports a team that lost the semifinal wants to watch his favorite team again even if there isn’t a real goal anymore. The same stands also for the fans on TV. Moreover, we would have a real mess if the half fans would start to sell their tickets on Saturday…
Our conclusion: No need for that game
It will be like an exhibition game and probably their last without pressure in the season. Of course, this is a nice chance for the fans to watch top class teams play basketball on May under these circumstances. In any case, we have watched some really nice 3rd place games like the one in 2005 (Panathinaikos–CSKA 94-91) and the other one in 2008 (Siena-Tau 97-93). But who does really remember them?