Real Madrid did it again. Embraced by the epic, Laso’s team once again left Efes groggy with another feverish outburst in the final stretch of the game that led to another unlikely comeback after being 16 points down (13 behind in the 33rd minute). Garuba, herculean and tireless (24 points, 12 rebounds and a PIR of 30), Carroll, accurate as in his great nights (20 points), and the Abalde-Rudy couple, solid and hyperactive, led another Madrid feat to tie the tie of Euroleague quarterfinals (2-2).
Willing to die with their boots on, Madrid played the last quarter with their hearts in their mouths. Walking along the ledge, with Garuba squeezing her threshold of agony, and with an irreducible character, Laso’s men again escaped the catacombs to equalize the tie and win another trip to Turkey. The whites lost by 59-72 with 7m 20s from the end and, at that moment, they began to write another of their passion legends. Another memorable quarter until 74-73 first, in the absence of 1m 49s, and from there to the final 82-76. No team has come back from 2-0 against in this EuroLeague crossover format, but Efes return to Istanbul with their faces changed and jindama on their bodies. “It was another final. And our mentality has changed with respect to the first two games, ”Carroll explained later. “We began to believe, to have confidence, and we recovered the fighting spirit,” completed the Wyoming guard. “We knew it was going to be difficult, but we have shown a DNA and a heart that has allowed us to force the fifth game. There we are, by dint of continuing to fight. We are closer to being European champions. With how far it seems and how close it is ”, Laso ambitioned.
As if it were the continuation of the final five minutes of the third game, Madrid began the fourth round of the tie varnished with confidence. Applied and intense in the zone defense that again short-circuited Efes. With Garuba and Tyus activating the turbines, with the power of Abalde, the grace of Carroll and the nerve of Alocén putting firmness and dynamism to the plan. Successful and voracious, the white team signed another five exquisite minutes against a bewildered rival. Thus came a resounding 17-0 run, with six assists, three steals and six losses caused, with 11 points from Carroll and five from Garuba, with strokes of faith against a hesitant enemy. Again without Tavares, for the third consecutive game, with Thompkins depleted, and with Felipe instead of Vukcevic in the rotation, Madrid sharpened their pride to stretch the battle. But the Efes was not long in awakening and turned the white arreon into a mirage.
The shouts of Ataman and the points of Simon progressively reactivated a hypotensive Efes, but sure of his talent. The patience and irruption of Larkin and Beaubois served the Turkish team to straighten the course in a jiffy. After the Madrid effervescence, Efes deciphered the zonal defense, sharpened the aim and found a load of points that quickly rescued him from the couch, with another partial return of 2-21, with eight points from Larkin (19-21, m. 11 ). It was the start of the Turkish storm.
Efes’ 3-point shower rose to 8 out of 10 in that stretch (4 out of 4 for Beaubois). The Madrid systole was very short against the rival diastole. Madrid went from surfing the wave to being overwhelmed by it. Beaubois’s fifth triple without failure (19 points and three assists in less than 15 minutes) and Micic’s first left the balance of the shake at +16 for his team shortly before the trip to the locker room (31-47, m 19). Ataman’s pivot rotation managed to catch Garuba’s tireless engine for a while and Madrid was losing determination and precision in equal parts (10 losses at halftime; 16 at the end).
“We can’t wait for the Final Four to come to us. You have to go for it, “Ataman explained yesterday, as a spur and reprimands his people for their sin of self-sufficiency in the third episode. The resumption measured Efes’ ambition to finish off the series and Madrid’s resilience to continue clinging to the burning nail it found in its epic outburst on Tuesday. And Laso’s men, with the plan and the starting five, once again won the right to dream. Forcing the machine again, with eight points from Garuba and seven from Carroll, the whites tried to reengage (51-55, m. 24). Seeing the whites in the rearview mirror, the Efes accelerated again (51-66). For a few moments, each team seemed to be competing against itself. Madrid, squeezing their strength to support their courage. Those of Ataman, clearing his fears to certify his hunger for glory. Nine points of distance between dreams before facing the finish line (57-66, m. 30). So far and so close for each other. Efes (59-72, m. 33) stretched the rope, but the winning memory of the Whites triumphed. Madrid did it again. There will be a fifth game in Istanbul on Tuesday 4th (7.30pm, DAZN).