EurleagueFinished This is how it was
Marker by quarters20 – 1116 – 1517 – 1219 – 25WiZink Center
The most even Euroleague in history, the one with the echo in the halls and the 134 away victories in all its 293 matches played (practically 46% of the matches played) on the last day of the regular season. Barça beat Fenerbahçe in Istanbul (73-82) and secured first place in the table and the home court factor in the quarter-finals – a privilege that CSKA and Efes will also have, completing the podium. Fenerbahçe, Milan and Bayern are also already guaranteed places, and, in the toughest and tightest fight, four teams will battle for the two remaining top-8 spots to be awarded:
Real Madrid (with 19 wins), Zenit (with 18) and one game less) and Baskonia and Valencia (also tied at 18), which will be measured in a direct duel on the last day, aspire to enter the photo finish heading to the quarterfinals. Madrid lose in draws with the Spanish teams and have to beat Fenerbahçe at home so as not to be left out should Zenit win their two games to play at home (Maccabi and Panathinaikos). If the Whites win in Turkey, they qualify in sixth place – they would even reach fifth place if Bayern lose on their visit to the Palau. In the event of defeat, the Madridistas would need at least one puncture from Zenit, which, if it occurred, would leave them in the round of 16, with Barça as opponents in the quarterfinals. Whoever emerges victorious from the duel at La Fonteta between Valencia and Baskonia needs the defeat of Madrid or a double setback for the Russian team to have the option of entering the quota
Everything to decide and all the qualifiers to square after another day of simultaneous emotions . At the WiZink Center, with Chus Mateo at the head of the bench (for the suspension of a game against Pablo Laso after his expulsion against Efes), with Tavares overcoming a blow to the hip (not a single day off in the tournament and 34 minutes on the track this time), Felipe in the rotation instead of Tyus, and Deck pulling the car and multiplying on the parquet, Madrid signed another episode of competitive resistance not to dismount from the top-8 . Spanoulis and Printezis, like all their lives, put a face to a heterogeneous and relaxed Olympiacos, but Madrid imposed their pressing need.
The whites built their triumph from defense and marked territory early to win a night without surprises. Deck's remarkable production (14 points without a miss in his first 13 minutes on the court; 18 at the end), Tavares' rebounds, Garuba's vigor and Felipe's experience propped up Madrid in the first half (36- 26, m. 26). The second ranged between 17 rental points for the Madridistas (55-38) and the mirage of the Greek approach (60-69). But Tavares and Deck, 20 and 28 PIR respectively, gave no choice and grabbed an essential victory for the Whites (72-63).
In Berlin, Valencia fell back on their feet during their match against Alba, but reacted in time to maintain their options in qualifying. At the first change, the Aíto García Reneses ensemble complicated the mission of the taronja ensemble with an overwhelming staging (31-14, 12). Peyton Siva's assists, Marcus Eriksson's points and Luke Sikma's rebounds disfigured Jaume Ponsarnau's for many minutes, even brooding over Wednesday's loss to Olympiacos. However, with a mixture of patience and courage and the progressive appearance of Nikola Kalinic, Mike Tobey and, above all, Klemen Prepelic, came the visiting reaction. From 51-36 from minute 19 to 61-61 in the final stretch of the third quarter.
The German team was not playing anything, while Valencia's life was going to be at stake, in the present and in the future. Only the classification for the top-8 would allow La Fonteta's team to play the next edition of the Euroleague. And, in the clash between responsibility and liberation, Alba gave another arreón on the scoreboard while his rival tried to regain his breath after the chase (74-64, m. 31). It was Derrick Williams, one of the star signings of the taronja project of this course, who led the definitive charge of the Ponsarnau team. The American center, number two in the 2011 draft, claimed gallons, scored nine of his 15 points in the last five minutes of the game and finished the comeback with a 12-26 run in the decisive stretch. "It was a final and next Thursday we have another one," he summed up after the Prepelic duel (24 points in just 26 minutes) .
Last day of the regular phase of the Euroleague
Thursday, April 8
Fenerbahçe-Real Madrid (19.45)
Alba-Estrella Roja (20.00)
Valencia-Baskonia ( 21.00)
Friday April 9
Armani Milan-Efes (20.45)
Zenit-Panathinaikos (Monday 12, 18.00)
CSKA-Panathinaikos (Wednesday 14, 18.00)
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