Real Madrid heads to Belgrade with a smile

Real Madrid heads to Belgrade with a smile

The Madrid team confirms its improvement with a great victory (76-87) in Tel Aviv and becomes the first tenant of the ‘F4’


Real Madrid certified this Tuesday its classification for Belgrade’s ‘Final Four’ of the Euroleague 2021-2022 and did so with authority after its 76-87 victory against Israeli Maccabi Tel Aviv and sealing a 3-0 in its ‘ Playoff’ with which many did not count at the beginning of the series.

The Madrid team is already at the Stark Arena and with an authority that has not been seen for a long time and that seems to put aside the doubts that resided after a bad run. But at the moment of truth, Pablo Laso’s team, who achieved his seventh ‘F4’, 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 their good and intense defense, with Tavares doing damage on both sides, and with a 6/6 starting shot, the Madrid team, quickly finding their offensive rhythm without having to resort to triples, somewhat calmed the ‘boiler’ of The Hand of Elijah (6-12).

Only 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 0-9 partial to regain control of the game.

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 went above 50 points after a triple by Yabusele, but the locals knew how to endure so that the ‘injury’ was less at halftime (41-51).


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 his push tried to take over from a Wilbekin with less impact in 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 who could not narrow the scoreboard to press. Poirier continued to do damage on 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.


–RESULT: MACCABI TEL AVIV, 76 – REAL MADRID, 87 (41-51, at halftime).


MACCABI TEL AVIV: Wilbekin (22), Evans (2), Nunnally (17), Williams (8) and Zizic (10) –starting five– Reynolds (9), Dibartolomeo (2), Caloiaro (4), Thomas (-) and Sorkin (2).

REAL MADRID: Williams-Goss (9), Hanga (8), Causeur (4), Yabusele (16) and Tavares (9) –starting five–; Poirier (14), Rudy Fernández (3), Abalde (6), Randolph (-) and Llull (18).

–PARTIALS: 22-25, 19-26, 20-22 and 15-14.

–REFEREES: Javor, Hordov, Nikolic. They eliminated Caloiaro for fouls.

–PAVILLION: Menora Mivtachim Arena.

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