17 February 2011
Real Madrid are the first team to clinch a berth in the 2010/11 Euroleague quarterfinals after shredding Efes Pilsen 77-60 in Turkey on Thursday.
Well aware of thes stakes, the Whites came out with guns slinging. The opening basket by Gonlum was nothing more than an illusion for an Efes team without the services of Igor Rakocevic. Real Madrid immediately responded with a 9-0 run and never trailed again.
Messina’s men nearly pushed the lead to double digits before the hosts managed to reduce the deficit. Coming off a solid performance in the Copa final, Ante Tomic stayed hot and was supported by Begic, who had five points of his own. The Whites were devastating in the paint, where there was little Vujcic could do to stop the bleeding. The Turkish defense began to crumble with two minutes left in the half.
A spectacular buzzer-beating three by Llull brought the second quarter to a close with the Real up 35-24. Not much changed after the break. D’or Fischer was a monster on ‘D’ and played a heavy hand in keeping Efes under 30 total points until the sixth minute of the third quarter. On the other end of the floor the Madridistas had little trouble hitting their shots extended the lead to 20 before the quarter came to a close 56-37.
With the game all but in the books, Real Madrid continued to dictate the tempo and prevented Efes from staging anything resembling a comeback. The 77-60 victory guarantees Real Madrid a berth in the quarterfinals with two games still to play. With Partizan out of the running and the Whites holding the upper hand in point differential against Efes, Montepaschi Siena is the only team that can still finish as the top seed in Group G. It all boils down to Game 6 at the Caja Magica.