Real Madrid reached the ACB League semi-finals on the fast track after defeating Gran Canaria in the second match of the best-of-three tie (75-81). This time the yellows, driven by Slaughter, held the hand-in-hand, but Laso’s team triumphed by imposing their cache and experience. Rudy, Carroll and Llull led a Madrid victory based on the success from the perimeter (14 of 31 in triples) and the dominance on the rebound (36-47). The Whites’ rival in the semifinals will be the winner of the tiebreaker match between Valencia and Baskonia that takes place this Friday at La Fonteta. Madrid remains undefeated at home after another demonstration of competitive solvency.
Laprovittola added to the losses of Abalde and Reyes, and those already known by Thompkins and Randolph, and, with Alocén in the direction, Madrid did not find the point of intensity with which the tie began on Monday. The handy guard confused speed with rushing and Gran Canaria took the initiative. Costello’s rebounds, Diop’s points and the local union’s defensive application cemented a yellow staging with an air of vindication after the shaking in the first round of the series at the WiZink Center. However, Madrid found the aim before the rhythm and that allowed them to cut the difference in bites, with two triples from Carroll, one from Taylor and the other from Llull. Two ways to balance the pulse (15-16, m. 10).
El Granca continued his percussion in the area, this time with Balcerowski winning the dance from Poirier. And Shurna reinforced Fisac’s plan, with 8 points in four minutes. But Madrid continued adding triples (7 of 15 in that section) to compensate for the difficulties in the paint (4 of 14) despite their dominance in the rebound. That success from the perimeter and Garuba’s reaction to a strong reprimand from Laso allowed the Whites to reach the break ahead, although with figures lower than those of the first game (35-37, m. 20). “We are not as successful as the other day, so we have to push further back,” explained Llull. “It does not help us to be ahead on the scoreboard, but today we are playing like men and not like children like the other day,” Fisac analyzed.
Slaughter’s points and the yellow’s concentration (one loss and three recoveries compared to seven and one of his rival) were not enough for Granca. But the effectiveness of the zone defense and the appearance of Okoye, allowed the locals to give another turn of the screw (43-42, m. 25). Madrid endured with personality and experience and, before ending the third quarter, completed a 6-13 run in four minutes. From 45-45 to 51-58. The 0-5 with which the last quarter began ended up unbalancing the locals. The more solid and concentrated Madrid appeared in the final stretch, to manage the move to the semifinals with solvency. With Laso on the bench, the Whites only missed this stage last year in the exceptional final phase of Valencia. In the rest of the seasons: eight finals and five titles. On the way to normality, Madrid regains its benefits in the ACB League.
Herbalife Gran Canaria (75): Albicy (2), Slaughter (22), Okoye (8), Costello (11) and Diop (8) —the starting quintet—; Beirán (2), Dimsa (-), Shurna (13), Balcerowsky (9), López (-).
Real Madrid (81): Alocen (9), Carroll (14), Taylor (11), Tyus (8) and Tavares (0) —initial quintet—; Poirier (6), Rudy Fernández (15), Llull (10), Causeur (2), Garuba (8).
Partial: 15-16, 20-21, 16-21, 24-23.
Referees: Peruga, Martínez and Mendoza. Fouled out Tyus.
Gran Canaria Arena. 1,000 spectators.