Kings Of The Court Again


How do you say "threepeat" in Hebrew?

Israeli sports fans will have a year to find out.

Maccabi Tel Aviv, the perennial champion of Israel’s top professional basketball league, won its second consecutive European championship this week, beating Spain’s Tau Viroria, 90-78. It was the Israeli team’s fifth Euroleague title.Some 8,000 Maccabi followers, including President Moshe Katzav, traveled to Moscow for the finals. Back at home, fans watched on TV, flooding the streets of Tel Aviv and Rabin Square after the final buzzer, honking their horns and wearing the team’s yellow-and blue colors.

"This is history. Israel is on the map," Shai Shabbah of Hod Hasharon, a community near Tel Aviv.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon called the team to offer the country’s mazel tov.

"You have brought us all great pride and happiness," Sharon said, later adding, "I am sure that I will also be congratulating you next year."

By the way, "dynasty" in Hebrew is shoshelet.