euroleague working day 26
Madrid opened a frenetic month of March, with eight Euroleague games and another four in the ACB, with their fifth straight victory in the European competition: 71-75 at Asvel Villeurbanne. It was a two-sided victory, after a first half for the Whites with hardly any cracks and an income of 15 points (it reached 17 during the match), and a second stretch in which they got stuck in attack, left Asvel look at two points and almost concedes the comeback. And an extra scare: Tavares did not finish the duel due to a sprained left ankle during a defensive action.
At first, a strangeness. Someone was looking into Tavares’s eyes: Youssoupha Fall, a 2.21m Senegalese center, the same height as the Cape Verdean giant. He was the only thing in which they were equal, because the ceiling of the French team is much more tender. A block in a penetration to De Colo and a powerful dunk from Tavares made it clear who was in charge in the area. With that usual support, the screws tightened in defense, a higher dose of muscle and the shoes fuming, Madrid accumulated the first income (8-18). At the locals, the midfielder was for the eternal De Colo (35 years old), close to Juan Carlos Navarro as the second highest scorer in history in the Euroleague (ahead of them, the Greek Vassilis Spanoulis). The French team got stuck from the start in the outside launch. His first 3-pointer didn’t come until the ninth attempt, by Mathews. On the outside he did not scratch what he could not reap on the inside. In Chus Mateo’s squad, it was Musa who highlighted the difference between the two squads with two hits from distance (17-29). Al Asvel was supported by Mathews’s wrist while Tyus battled Poirier as Tavares rested on the bench. Williams-Goss’ penetrations finished off Madrid before the break (32-47).
On the return, more of the same in Asvel: 1 of 13 in triples. De Colo was looking for an opening to make a basket (39-51), but Madrid also commanded under the basket and under the success of a motivated Causeur. The white team had the game so close at hand that they lifted their foot off the accelerator and opened up a small space that Asvel took advantage of to get into the fight. Fall squeezed another break from Tavares, the French team increased its offensive rebounding performance and stopped allowing madridistas easy baskets. The distance was cut drop by drop. At the end of the third quarter, Madrid had very quickly lost the comfortable mattress on which they had rested until then.
Asvel accelerated to within two points (62-64) and even had possession to complete an almost unthinkable comeback. Madrid lowered their success in the outside shot and the French group found positions on the inside even in the noses of Tavares, already back to close the game. Asvel lacked a tighter sight in triples (4 of 26 at the end of the match). Causeur (14 points) and a good last quarter from Deck ensured victory for Madrid.
ASVEL, 71; R. MADRID, 75
ASVEL Villaurbanne: Bost (7), De Colo (13), Noua (0), Risacher () and Fall (10) —starting five—; Mathews (13), Kahudi (3), Diot (0), Tyus (8), Risacher (0), Obashoan (9) and Lighty (8).
Real Madrid: William-Goss (13), Causeur (14), Hezonja (2), Cornelie (5) and Tavares (7) —starting five—; S. Rodríguez (5), Musa (11), Deck (12), Abalde (3), Hanga (0), Poirier (3) and Ndiaye (0).
Partial: 10-20, 22-27, 22-16 and 17-12.
Referees: Borys Ryzhyk (Ucr), Piotr Pastusiak (Pol) and Mario Majkic (Esl).
astroballe. About 5,000 spectators.
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