The Saturday of the Euroleague Final Four was always going to be the day to relax and take things a bit more slowly. There were two big games on Friday evening and with the third and fourth playoff match and then the Championship game taking place on Sunday, the end of the week was going to be rather exciting. All of which meant that Saturday was the day to move at your own pace but if you felt that there was going to be nothing to do, you hadn’t figured on what the Fanzone was going to serve up.
While the players of both Real Madrid and Olympiacos Piraeus would have been preparing for the big final, two key players took the time to come along to the Euroleague Fanzone and meet the fans. Facundo Campazzo of Real Madrid and Vangelis Mantzaris of Olympiacos Piraeus were on hand to meet the fans, as was the Euroleague Championship trophy. Both teams will be battling it out today to get their hands on the trophy but fans were able to get their hands on it on Saturday if they made their way to the Fanzone.
The Trophy Tour was very popular
The Adidas booth was the place to be for the culmination of the Adidas Trophy Tour, and plenty of basketball fans will be looking back on the Saturday with great pride. Right now, you can bet that hundreds if not thousands of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages are buzzing with pictures of happy people alongside the big trophy. This is the sort of thing that creates great excitement and drama around the big event and the Trophy Tour is a tremendous was to get people involved with the Final Four.
Players from all four clubs were represented
Nemanja Bjelica, the MVP in the Euroleague and current Fenerbahce Ulker star, was present as was Andrei Kirilenko of CSKA Moscow, another former Euroleagye MVP. All four players were happy to sign autographs and pose for pictures with fans at the Fanzone in the Plaza de Oriente in Madrid. The queue covered around half of the Eurozone, indicating the demand and desire to see some of the biggest names in basketball.
It seemed as though the players enjoyed it too with Mantzaris saying;
It is the best thing for a professional athlete to see the fans want to take a picture with you, to want a handshake, to want a signature.
Some people will wonder if players should be taking time out of their busy schedule to meet fans when they should be preparing for big games. However, there is a lot to be said that meeting fans can release the pressure and tension, but it can also give players a stroinger sense of what they are playing for. Fans spend a lot of money and use up a lot of their free time to support their club and sometimes meeting with the fans can make a massive difference. Campazzo said;
I am very happy to be here with the fans, and I like being close to the trophy. But I am very focused on the championship game, and it would be great to lift this trophy with my teammates tomorrow.