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Madrid prepares to host basketball King's Cup
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Tau Ceramica is the favorite to win Spanish basketball's Kings Cup competition, which will be held in Madrid over the next four days.

Basketball's version of the knockout competition involves the sides that were in the top-eight of the Spanish ACB League at the halfway point of the season.

Current league leader Tau, is expected to win the trophy that they failed to lift a year ago, when the team from Victoria was beaten on its home court by DKV Joventut.

The competition is always one of the highlights of the Spanish basketball season and with the Spanish national team having won a silver medal in the Beijing Olympic Games last summer, interest is especially high.

Expectation has been further heightened by the fact that the quarter-finals have drawn historic rivals Real Madrid and Regal Barcelona to face each other in Thursday's opening match.

Real Madridalso has high hopes of success after a recent run of form and after beating Tau in the ACB league last weekend, while Barcelonais currently second in the table.

Thursday's second game sees Tau Ceramica play Pamesa Valencia, while the two remaining quarter-finals, between hosts MMT Estudiantes and reigning champions DKV Joventut and Unicaja Malaga and Kalise Gran Canaria, are played on Friday.

The four winning sides then play the semifinals on Saturday and the final is played on Sunday evening.

(Xinhua News Agency February 18, 2009)

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