Basketball Maccabi Tel Aviv Threatens No-show if Final Is Not Moved From Memorial Day Eve

The team would prefer playing a few hours earlier in the afternoon, but such a move would require agreement by several television broadcasters and sponsors with whom the Euroleague has contracts.

Maccabi Tel Aviv, which advanced to the Euroleague Final Four on Thursday, now turns its attention to lobbying tournament officials to move the date of the final, which falls on the eve of Israel's Memorial Day.

The team would prefer playing a few hours earlier in the afternoon, but such a move would require agreement by several television broadcasters and sponsors with whom the Euroleague has contracts. If it is unable to change the timing, team officials are considering sitting out altogether.

"If they make our participation in the final contingent on committing to the final without changing the date, we won't be in the semifinal," said David Federman, one of Maccabi's owners. "We can't play on Memorial Day. I think if it were solely up to the Euroleague there wouldn't be an issue, but that's not the situation. We respect the tournament, but some things in life you can't do, and we can't play on Memorial Day. On this day, you're either crying in front of the television or visiting cemeteries - you're not playing basketball."

After Maccabi's win Thursday night, the injured Doron Perkins surprised his teammates by joining them at a local restaurant straight after being released from hospital. "It's wonderful to see everyone celebrating," said the guard, who was in a wheelchair. "I don't think anyone outside us believed in the team. It was a wild game. I kept jumping, and my father had to calm me down."