The dreaded 3rd place game isn’t so for some including Israeli Yam Madar

May 25, 2024 | Holyland Hoops

Ah the dreaded Euroleague third place game. No one wants to see play it, everyone despises it and that is true probably across the board from coaches, players, staff and even the fans.

Fenerbahce head coach Saras Jasikevicius had some very choice words about having to play the game when he spoke frankly about it at their pre-game practice, while others looked at the favorites in the final between Real Madrid and Panathinaikos. After being eliminated in the semifinals truth be told that the last thing on earth that Olympiacos and Fener want to do is place a meaningless game where for the most part only bad things could potentially happen.

Saras Jasikevičius – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

The last thing that anyone wants to see is a player get injured and then not be available for their domestic league championship playoffs,

However, there are some players who are actually relishing the chance to play. Those who have been sitting at the end of bench or that haven’t even been dressed. These guys are dying to get into a game and they probably don’t care if it’s a 3rd place, 5th place or 10th place game. They just want to get onto the court and into a game.

Yam Madar – Photo credit: Euroleague

Israeli guard Yam Madar had his rear end glued to Jasikevicius’s bench in Euroleague play solve the Lithuanian joined the team and would no doubt like to get some serious playing time to show that he has the goods and doesn’t deserve to be collecting splinters. I told Madar that I hope he goes for 30/30, 30 points in 30 minutes and he smiled and shrugged hoping that this would also be the case.

Amine Noua who began the season at Hapoel Holon to incredible fanfare but then left the Holy Land when the war broke out made his way to Italy and then Fenerbahce where he hasn’t even dressed for the most part. The Frenchman would absolutely like to see the hardwood up close and personal and put on a show. Noua rarely gets time in the Euroleague and this will be an opportunity that he’s hoping to have. He also sends his best to those back in the Holy Land.

Amine Noua – Photo Credit: BCL

Jonathan Motley, one of the good guys of the game did play against Panathinaikos but that was to the tune of just a few minutes and there’s no question that the big man would have loved to have had the chance to try and stop the game’s eventual MVP Mathias Lessort.

You can add Georgios Papagiannis who would have liked to have gotten more minutes against his former team while Dyshawn Pierre and Tyler Dorey would have liked to have also played more than they actually did.

Over on the Olympiacos side, there are also plenty of players who did not see the court in the semifinal game against Real Madrid. Whether it was Moses Wright who could be someone’s steal this coming summer, Naz Mitrou-Long and Larentzakis who were on the bench and didn’t play for Georgios Bartzokas’s squad or Ignas Brazdeikis who wasn’t even dressed.

Ignas Brazdeikis – Photo credit: Olympiacos

Brazdeikis, the Canadian-Lithuanian small forward wasn’t dressed for his club’s opening game in the Final Four and will hopefully get a chance to get some playing time because it’s now or never for him as he isn’t registered to play in the Greek League. He told me that he’s hoping to get onto the court in the 3rd place game which would be good for all involved.

So on one hand we can see that while many think the 3rd place game is a waste of time, but for others this is their chance to shine and their opportunity to get some court time in and a can ace to show their wares to their respective coaches.

Who cares and how much do they care? That will be on display at 5pm Berlin time on Sunday.

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