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BOLOGNA - Maccabi Tel Aviv was defeated Friday evening by Panathinaikos Athens 83:75 at the Final Four, European basketball's showcase event, which took place in Bologna, Italy.

Some 3,000 Israeli fans arrived in Italy to support Maccabi as it faced the Greek team.

Maccabi hoped the momentum which it picked up during its last European outing, when it crushed Spanish outfit Tau Vitoria by 29 points two weeks ago, would continue.

Panathinaikos was a familiar opponent for Maccabi. The Greeks, with the help of Oded Katash, who left Maccabi one season before, beat Maccabi in the final of the 2000 Final Four in Thessalonika. Last year, Maccabi got its revenge in the SuproLeague Final Four in Paris.

In the second semifinal, two Italian clubs, Kinder Bologna, which will be playing on its home court, will face Benetton Treviso at 9.30 P.M. The game will also be shown live on Channel 1.