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Greece will host the final four in 2007

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Athens to Host Euroleague Basketball 2007 Final Four

The world's foremost ancient and modern capital of sport, Athens, has been chosen to host the 2007 Final Four, Euroleague Basketball CEO Jordi Bertomeu announced on Monday in the Greek capital. The event that culminates the season with the crowning of a Euroleague champion will take place in 18,000-seat OAKA Olympic Indoor Hall from May 4 to 6, 2007.

The announcement marks the arrival of European basketball's signature club event to a city that is central to the Euroleague mission. Athens boasts three Euroleague teams, more than any other city: AEK, Olympiacos and Panathinaikos. Since the end of the Olympic Games, OAKA has once again become the home court of perennial power Panathinaikos. One of the biggest crowds ever in European basketball history, 18,000 fans, filled sold-out OAKA last spring for the final game of the Euroleague playoff quarterfinals.

Athens becomes the sixth city to host the Euroleague Basketball Final Four, following those played in Bologna, Barcelona, Tel Aviv and Moscow, as well as the next one in Prague, the Czech Republic, from April 28 to 30, the first time the event is being held in a non-Euroleague city.

Mr. Bertomeu was joined by Athens Mayor Dora Bakogianni and Panathinaikos president Pavlos Yanakopoulos for today's announcement and press conference at the City Hall of Athens. "The Final Four is a very important event for the city," Mrs. Bakogianni said. "Athens will have a great responsibility to organize it, but at the same time, this is a great opportunity to confirm our organizational capacity as shown during the 2004 Olympic Games."

"Since the founding of the Euroleague in the summer of 2000, Greece and its clubs have had a very important role in our organization," Mr. Bertomeu said. "Greece is a basketball country, which guarantees we'll have great atmosphere in the stands. I want to thank the mayor, because without the city's great help, this agreement would not have been possible. The choice of Athens as host confirms our policy of alternating between cities with and without teams in the Euroleague.Panathinaikos is proud to collaborate with the Euroleague and our city hall for such a great event," Mr. Yanakopoulos said.

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