EuroLeague 1967 Final: Emiliano and «the panther» Aiken can beat Milan to win their final

por Roberto Anidos publicado en 1967 Decade 60 EuroLeague Olimpia Milán Real Madrid

The competition begins with 25 teams, which were left in 8 teams that after two previous rounds move to the regular group

In the previous round
The Vorwarts eliminated Legia
Lokomotiv Sofia eliminated Hapoel Tel Aviv
ASVEL Basket eliminated AEK
Olympia eliminated the Amsterdam
Prague eliminated Steaua Bucharest
The Mechelen eliminated the Honved
Real Madrid eliminated Heidelberg
Olimpia Milan eliminated Pojat

After the two previous rounds 8 teams played the regular league. They were divided into two groups of four teams of which at the end the first two from each group would go directly to the semi-finals. The competition system played everyone against everyone in a round robin match and the winner by points scored a victory.

PRAGUE (2-1)


Once the regular league was over, the final phase was played in final four format in Madrid. In the semi-finals, REAL MADRID faced OLIMPIJA and OLIMPIA MILAN faced PRAGUE.


Despite the irregular game developed throughout the season (even giving up its overwhelming dominance in the League Championship to the Youth of Badalona), Real Madrid managed to win the European Cup for the third time in the final played on its own court against the Simmenthal of Milan. Without a doubt, an important part of this success is due to their vice-president, Raimundo Saporta, who requested (and obtained) the celebration of the Final Phase in Madrid to facilitate the conquest of the continental title, the only way for the white team to access the next edition of the European Cup.

In the semi-finals, the Whites struggled to beat Olimpija Ljubljana, coached by the veteran and ever-young Daneu. In the other semi-final, Slavia Prague also put the Italian champions to the sword. In the final, Real Madrid and Simmenthal were in very different moods: the Madrid players knew that only victory would guarantee them a place in the European Cup the following season, while the Italians were less tense, perhaps because they were confident in their own strength and knew that they would be favourites to win the title in almost all competitions.

From the opening whistle, Real Madrid and Simmenthal launched into a tremendous power struggle, convinced of their own possibilities. The powerful Italian team was caught off guard in the opening minutes by the speed and initiative of the white team, although the match was dominated by a draw throughout the first half. The strong defences of both teams resulted in a number of personal fouls, and the first casualty was Jose Ramon Ramos, who was eliminated with twenty seconds to go after trying to neutralise (unsuccessfully) the American guard Steve Chubin.

After the break, Simmenthal’s defensive intensity took its toll in the form of Robbins and Masini’s eliminations, which weakened the Milanese’s inner game and allowed Real Madrid to take off slightly (70-66, min. 33). It was then that the elimination of Luyk, who was curdling a superb game in both defense and attack, and this circumstance seemed to be a slab in the game of Real Madrid. However, at that moment, Emiliano’s figure appeared, who pulled the Madrid’s cart with his usual repertoire of baskets and penetrations. In the Simmenthal, Chubin continued with his particular scoring festival, and in the middle of a great equality he entered the last five minutes with everything still to be decided (74-74). In this final stretch of the match, Emiliano’s inspiration and the crowd’s drive made Real Madrid take a seven-point lead (85-78) that, three minutes from the end, seemed already definitive for the outcome of the match. The Italians didn’t give up and launched a full-court press to try and cut the gap (even at the cost of losing their best man, Chubin, who was eliminated with one and a half minutes to go), but the Whites knew how to play with their heads in these last moments and even managed to get the maximum advantage of the whole match (90-79) to certify the victory and the conquest of their third European Cup.

On an individual level, two Real Madrid players were on a high note. One of them, «the black panther» Aiken, managed to cancel out Robbins in defense, while his happy penetrations under the Milanese basket achieved portentous baskets and loaded Robbins himself and Masini with personnel. On the other hand, Emiliano was once again the decisive player of the great occasions, and with his baskets in the last minutes of the match he scored a goal against the European champion.

*Ramos – 4p, 4r.
*Emiliano – 29p, 3r.
*McIntyre – 14p, 5r.
*Aiken – 23p, 11r.
*Luyk – 17p, 6r.
Sainz – 0p.
Monsalve – 2p, 2r.
Sevillano – 2p.

*Pieri – 4p, 1r.
*Chubin – 34p, 2r.
*Vianello – 12p, 4r.
*Robbins – 6p, 5r.
*Masini – 14p, 6r.
Riminucci – 5p.
Ongaro – 2p, 1r.
Iellini – 4p, 2r.
Fantin – 2p.