77-85: On to the league final


MATCH REPORT. 07/06/2022. Edu Bueno

Real Madrid, paced by Tavares and Deck, took the most direct route to the final after victory in Vitoria secured a 3-0 semi-final series triumph against Bitci Baskonia.

Real Madrid is the first Endesa League finalist. Our team confirmed their superiority in the semi-final series against Bitci Baskonia after easing to victory in Game 3 to make it 3-0. Despite a number of players being ruled out and the absence of Pablo lariatwho has now been discharged after suffering a heart attack, the side produced a great team display, with star performances from Tavares (23 points, 12 rebounds and a PIR of 36) and Deck (17, 8 and 27). Other standout performers were Hang (18 points) and Causeur (14 and 7 rebounds) on a night when Madrid dominated from start to finish. The Whites will face the winners of the Barcelona v Joventut series in the final.

Game 3 of the series got underway with a message of support for Laso from both teams and an ovation from the Buesa Arena faithful as Madrid lined up with Juan Núñez as the only playmaker (Heurtel joined the rest of the players ruled out through injury). This did not affect the guests as Hang and Causeur took charge to inspire the team to an amazing first stanza, which featured five treys with a 62% success rate, domination on rebounds with Tavares starring and a low shot percentage for Baskonia. Within five minutes, the team had netted 18 points, eight in a row from the Frenchman and six from the Hungarian (14-25, min.10).

Madrid ride Baskonia storm
The contest became tougher as the minutes ticked by as Baskonia displayed all of their aggression, which Madrid managed to counter, now on the inside, through Deck and Poofrier to record a 12-point advantage at 19-31 (min.13). Baldwin IV and Fontecchio came to the hosts’ rescue and thanks to a fine run from the duo and a drop-off in shooting success from our team, they cut the lead to 32-35. It was at this point that Chus Mateo turned to Tavares. Six straight points from the center (12 points and a PIR of 22 in his 13 minutes) got Madrid back on track and the guests headed in at the interval with a 36-41 lead.

Tavares re-establishes order
Baskonia was a triple away from leveling matters at 38-41 after the restart. This served as a wake-up call for Madrid, who wasted little time in producing a convincing response to break the hosts’ run. The madridistas tightened up in defense and Tavares was unstoppable in offense, both under the basket and in his shooting from 3-4 meters. The Cape Verde-born player, for whom this was already one of his best performances as a madridista, paced a 6-15 run in the next three minutes that eased the nerves amongst Chus Mateo’s charges, who went on to record a buffer of more than 15 points.


Deck guarantees final berth
However, Baskonia would again test the madridistas ‘focus as Granger and Costello hauled their team back into contention to make it 64-69 on 33’ after a technical foul on Hanga. Far from affecting the team and with the Buesa Arena fans willing the hosts on, the Whites put the result beyond doubt courtesy of another amazing run that was inspired by Deck. The Argentine was decisive and paced a 3-11 run in which Hang was also heavily involved. The forward rounded off the series as he stood in for the absentees in the guard role. In two minutes between 34 ‘and 36’, our team tipped the match firmly in our favor to make it 66-81 and Baskonia simply had no answer. This win was dedicated to lariat as Real Madrid made it 10 final appearances in the last 11 seasons.




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