Madrid is hungrier than Barça | Sports

euroleague – semi-final – working day 1


real Madrid

real Madrid

With or without casualties, as favorites or undercover, in Belgrade or in Kaunas, Madrid is always Madrid, a team with an eternal faith in victory. He escaped from the quarterfinals against Partizán when he had the noose around his neck and now he returns to the Euroleague final after defeating Barcelona. The banquet was served by Tavares with 20 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks. Opposite, a missing Mirotic (three points and seven missed triples) and another slap to the project of a Jasikevicius with his future up in the air. Madrid will look for its eleventh European Cup this Sunday (7:00 p.m.) against Olympiacos, the first since 2018. Barça returns to the thinking chair.

To start, a couple of chess moves. On the coaches’ board, Ndiaye was positioned as four to shield Tavares and Sanli as five to seek to tickle the giant with his footwork. The first stake was won by Chus Mateo because there was no way to contain the Cape Verde wall, powerful on the rebound and in the melee. Jasikevicius had to backtrack and recover Vesely’s natural option. Madrid bit inside as usual and at Barça there were hardly any signs of a Mirotic mistake (0-6). All the white roads passed through the Tavares lighthouse, either to score or to assist, without any antidote. The triples were raised for the Catalans. Of course, one after another, like an incessant drop. Barça’s 18 points in that first quarter came from the perimeter: three hits from Abrines, two from Kalinic and one from Satoransky. One recipe was as clear as the other: in Madrid, 10 of the 18 points were signed by Tavares.

The news for Barça came almost 12 minutes into the game: the first basket of two, from Jokubaitis. By then Hezonja and Randolph were the white makeshift inner couple. Barça tried in the zone with Nnaji but they did not forget the blessing of the triples either: Kuric joined the party with the outside shot (30-25) with the response of Sergio Rodríguez.

The Catalans began to display offensive muscle and a wide repertoire despite the fact that Mirotic’s star was still off (not a basket or a rebound in the 12 minutes he was on court in the first half of the duel). Laprovittola was also slow to start, unprecedented in the locker until almost the break. Madrid went through a period of hard labor, further from the hoop and without a clear target from the outside fan: two triples from Rudy and one from Hezonja made water. Satoransky commanded the last Barcelona rush before the break and Llull’s outside bingo with a second left reduced the blow for the whites: 42-36. Everything was up for grabs in Kaunas.

Mirotic, before Ndiaye.
Mirotic, before Ndiaye.PETRAS MALUKAS (AFP)

Mirotic resumed the task in the same blind spot where he left it. He missed a triple from the front and on the next play Hezonja rose before him to stamp the success. Frustrated, the Barça power forward missed again from a distance. Abrines charged with the fourth foul and took a seat with the substitutes. Sanli accompanied him with the third.

Each orchestra played the score that sounded best to them. Barça continued to try their luck from a distance (Mirotic failed again for the fifth time) and Madrid surrendered to the endless arms of Tavares (47-43) to play one on one inside the cave. An unsportsmanlike game from Hanga to Vesely raised the temperature in a Zalgirio Arena with more support for Jasikevicius’ boys. The encounter moved in very short distances, small accelerations. The Barcelona fans ran quickly to bite from the outside and without tying Tavares despite the internal losses of the whites.

Chus Mateo’s team gained solidity in front of their net and with a couple of quick attacks they regained control of the semifinal and reached a good cushion with a distant success from Williams-Goss (47-54). The Barcelona side had remained stiff, cloudy even in free kicks, without good positions to increase their offensive production (only five points in seven minutes) and soft on the rebound. Mateo’s team stretched the partial in their favor to 0-15 and only two flashes from Kuric and Laprovittola, again from the well-worn three-pointer, prevented greater destruction for the Catalans (55-58 at the end of the third quarter). .

Barça was that, the outside shot or nothing, openly, with all the risk that that entailed. Chus Mateo summoned the old guard that knocked down the Partizán: Sergio Rodríguez, Llull and Rudy at a gallop. It was Chacho who took out an unsportsmanlike attack on Laprovittola to chain free throws, two penetrations and a triple: 60-67 with nine points in a row from the Canarian point guard. Tavares returned to his version of the great dominator of Europe. He knocked out Sanli, swept a ball from Laprovittola, blocked Satoransky, Vesely and Abrines and hunted down any rebounds that crossed his radar. The king. With four minutes to go, Mirotic debuted with a dot. By then, Barça had run out of time and without solutions, at the feet of Tavares, condemned for his determination to score in only one way (he shot 39 times from three to 30 from two) and weighed down by the fatality of his star. “It has been the worst day of my career,” Mirotic assumed. The European classic was once again for Madrid. This Sunday against Olympiacos, a new final looms for an eternal team.


Barcelona: Satoransky (7), Laprovittola (12), Abrines (16), Mirotic (3), Sanli (0) —starting team—; Vesely (4), Sergi Martinez (0), Kalinic (6), Kuric (11), Jokubaitis (6), Nnaji (1).

Real Madrid: Williams-Goss (10), Hanga (0), Musa (7), Ndiaye (2), Tavares (20) —starting team—; Causeur (0), Randolph (6), Rudy Fernández (2), Hezonja (14), Sergio Rodríguez (12), Llull (5).

Partial: 18-18, 24-18, 13-22, 11-20.

Referees: Pukl, Mogulkoc and Difallah. Sanli was eliminated due to personal fouls.
Zalgirio Arena: 11,411 spectators.

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