Efes were on their way to the Final Four in Cologne after a majestic match by Vasilije Micic (29 points) at the WiZink Center, but made the mistake of underestimating the pride of Real Madrid, who played the final leg of the third game of the Knockout like a rebel without a cause. The Turkish team won by 13 points in the absence of six minutes (59-72) after Micic’s own fifth triple and, right there, the complacency of Ataman’s men met the insurrection of Laso’s. A 21-4 run, led by Llull’s bravery (20 points, with 4 of 7 in triples, and seven assists), sealed the unexpected Madrid comeback. A 32-18 shake in the fourth quarter with which the whites earned an extra living in the Euroleague after living cornered in a want and can not. Faith unleashed bravery. “When you wear this shirt you have to fight to the end. I have always believed in this team ”, explained Llull after the release and the chest blows.
Madrid, again without Tavares, faced a rival as exuberant as it was solid, loaded with talent and energy. Micic played with the determination of one who wants to settle the score with his fate, after the pandemic suspension left Efes starving for glory last season as they flew to the title. But, after a big door job, he failed with the pithing. Madrid is still alive and with restored self-esteem.
The resistance exercise of the whites in the Euroleague was lived in a Palace behind closed doors while, simultaneously, the citizens summoned to be vaccinated circulated outside the sporting event through the galleries of the pavilion converted into a medical center. By then, in the call projected on the video scoreboards before the final The absence of Tavares was confirmed by heads or tails for the third game of the series. Madrid launched into the fight flattened again in its resources.
Laso tried to compensate for the lack of centimeters in the paint by alternating the zone and individual defenses. With Garuba tightening the pressure on Micic, at Slaughter style, and at the same time fighting for the rebounds from his 2.03m with Sanli (2.12m). Madrid bet on pride and agitation to break the inertia of the tie. But everything that the whites gained in intensity they lost in precision, with four losses in the first minutes that hampered their attempt to mark territory. With patience and a triple by Beaubois almost on the horn, Efes balanced the score coinciding with the close of the first quarter (15-15, m. 10).
With the game’s instruction book in his head, Micic was distilling chloroform or adrenaline depending on the circumstance and Efes began to manage the game’s time. Once the initial effervescence had been lost, Madrid was once again doomed to the role of pursuer, as in the entire tie. A three plus one from Beaubois placed the +10 for the Turkish team, which began to take a run (17-27, m. 13). The frustration of the whites was reflected in the image of Llull throwing a chair in the air while swore in Aramaic way to the thinking corner. With the catharsis he would later end up rescuing the epic.
Causeur’s points, Laprovittola’s handling and Rudy’s defense served Madrid to make the rubber for a few moments. And Causeur himself took the third foul on Sanli to lower Efes a bit. But Micic, at that point plenipotentiary governor of the party, did not allow the reenlistment of the whites. The 27-year-old Serbian guard with an agreed contract with the Oklahoma City Thunder to make the americas next season, he displayed the best of his catalog, with 12 points, three rebounds and four assists before the break.
By then, Larkin was wearing a donut on his locker (0 of 4 in the shot, six points at the end), but much greater was the Madrid blur. The targets were fading from the perimeter. From 10 of 33 in triples in the first game, to 4 of 25 in the second, and 2 of 12 this time at halftime (11 of 30 at the end). Not even the appearance of Taylor, a famous defender, made it possible to shore up the Madrid resistance. With a triple, a steal, a tray on the counterattack and another entry full of power, Micic was recreated in his exhibition and sealed the hopelessness of Madrid (30-45, m. 22). But there was no early surrender of the whites and faith led them to the deed. With five triples in the last five minutes they signed a comeback full of bravery that allows them to stay alive in the Euroleague. This Thursday, in the same place and at 9:00 p.m., the fourth game of the tie.