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Benfica Celebrate Four-Peat In Portugal

02.06.2015
BASKETBALL IN EUROPE
12. Jobey Thomas (Lisboa Benfica)
Veteran Jobey Thomas top-scored for Portuguese champions Lisboa Benfica

Sport Lisboa Benfica, which played in the EuroChallenge this year, concluded a perfect domestic campaign at the weekend by clinching their fourth consecutive and 26th overall Portuguese LPB league title.

The LPB crown has meant that the Lisbon powerhouse's silverware tally this season rose to a perfect four trophies, as they had previously lifted the Taça de Portugal (national cup), Taça Hugo dos Santos (league cup) and the Supercup.

Just as they had done in last year's play-off finals, Benfica swept Vitoria SC 3-0 in the title series to defend their championship.

In the decisive Game 3 on the road, Benfica prevailed 71-63 as an unstoppable Jobey Thomas poured in 29 points on 10-for-20 from the floor and added five rebounds and three assists.

This stellar display was the perfect farewell present to Benfica fans by the 35-year-old American guard, who has decided to call it a day after securing another title with the Portuguese club.

"This was the last season of my career and it's so nice to go on a high point, as a national champion," Thomas told Benfica's TV station.

"Honestly it has been a long season, it has not been as easy as people think and I'm very happy. It's great to be champion again.

"It's a great group of guys and Benfica is a great club.

"I will always remember the titles we won and the good times I spent with the team."

Benfica had prevailed 75-67 in Game 1 at home and then clinched a 77-68 win in Game 2, also in Lisbon, as Ronald Slay erupted for 25 points on 9-for-12 shooting from the floor.

Although the 3-0 sweep makes it look like this was easy work for the champions, the almost identical single-digit point differential in every game is proof to the opposite, Benfica head coach Carlos Lisboa pointed out.

"We did not just win the championship today [Saturday], we've also won the respect and support of our fans in the arena," Lisboa said.

"There have been many games for us to get here, with these wonderful players of great character.

"We had a lot of bad injuries during the season, but the players sacrificed and never turned away from the fight.

"We have an obligation to win every time we put on the jersey of Benfica, in whatever arena we are playing.

"Winning is in Benfica's DNA."

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