The real Madrid has stamped the ticket for the Final Four of the Euroleague, which this year will be played in Belgrade (May 19 and 21), and has done so with authority after its 76-87 victory against Maccabi Tel-Aviv Israeli, thus putting the final 3-0 in the playoff with which not many had at the beginning of the series.
The Madrid team is already at the Stark Arena and with an authority that had not been seen for a long time and that seems to park the doubts that resided after a bad streak. But at the moment of truth, Pablo Laso’s men, who achieved their seventh Final Four, showed their quality and character to return to the final fight for the title supported by a great collective game (25 assists), their defensive intensity and the leadership of the best version of Sergio Llull (18 points and 6 assists), Guerschon Yabusele (18 and 8 rebounds) and Vincent Poirier (14).
Real Madrid took the initiative from the beginning and at the end. Supported by his good and intense defense, with Tavares doing damage on both sides, and with a 6/6 shot from the start, the Madrid team, quickly finding their offensive rhythm without having to resort to triples, somewhat calmed the cauldron of La Mano de Elías (6-12). Single Wilbekin (15 of his 22 points at the break) kept the locals with options and two consecutive triples by the American point guard allowed them to take the lead (14-13), but the reply from Laso’s men was resounding, with a partial 0-9 to regain control of the match.
Real Madrid clearly dominated the rebound (10 to 3) and managed to move the ball well to find their best options in attack. In addition, everyone contributed and with good minutes from Llull, who with a 2+1 allowed the ten-time European champion to contain any onslaught from a somewhat hasty Maccabi in attack and dependent on Wilbekin.
Despite everything, Avi Zen’s men were still hooked, but when Tavares returned to the field, he raised the level of Madrid’s defense and a new breakaway, which could not even stop the Macabeo time-out. Real Madrid left above 50 points after a triple by Yabuselebut the locals knew how to hold on so that the injury was minor at the break (41-51).
Response to local improvement
The Israeli team left the locker room knowing that they could not let their rival play so comfortable in attack if they wanted to have options to play on Thursday. The increase in intensity at the back was evident and the visitors began to have more trouble scoring, but still never lost their lead.
Reynolds and their push they tried to take over from a Wilbekin with less impact on attack, but it was not enough. Llull, with his penetrations, and Poirier, with his energy on the inside, sustained Laso’s men, who reached the last quarter with a good lead thanks to a three-pointer at the buzzer by the point guard from Mahón (61-73).
Real Madrid only had to learn from the lesson of their last visit to Tel Aviv and know how to manage their advantage. To do this, he threw defense to suffocate a Maccabi that could not close the scoreboard to be able to press. Poirier He continued to do damage to both hoops and with two minutes to go the difference was over ten (71-83), but this time there was no surprise and the ten-time European champion headed to Belgrade with a smile.