14 October 2012
There were no real showy displays, and not too many spectacular performances, but the Whites earned victory once again, their third in the Endesa League. Real Madrid beat Mad-Croc Fuenlabrada. Despite being a bit out of sorts, Laso’s team was able to win the derby by putting on just enough defensive pressure and counterattacking as it well knows how to do. The players were not tired or jet-lagged. The first ten minutes, the teams measured each other up; then Real Madrid began to take the lead without much effort. Felipe Reyes, who hit double digits with 18 points and 11 rebounds, was the best player of the game.
At half-speed, not showing all their skills, and unable to get into the game. Real Madrid, beset by fatigue as they faced their fourth game in one week, took the court without its usual explosiveness, but it was just a question of time before they took off. The pace at the beginning was slow, dispirited, and heavy. The White’s superiority at least let them stay in the game, but except for Sergio Rodríguez’s three-pointer, there wasn’t much news from Real Madrid in the first quarter. The team headed into the second quarter with the extremely low score of 14-14 and with three personal fouls having been called on Begic.
It was time to implement solutions and Laso found them during this second quarter, in which Real Madrid’s offensive intensity and improved defense would end up taking down the Fuenlabrada team. Carroll started the quarter with a three-pointer and that was just the beginning. Although the teams still seemed to be evenly matched during the first few minutes of the quarter, it was only an illusion. Laso’s players, who had already taken 10 minutes to get their bearings and grease their wheels, started to widen the gap. A 7-0 streak gave them their first advantage (24-18). And later, it was the greater offensive intensity of the home team that let them close the first half of the game with the score at 47-29. This surge was led by Sergio Llull, who scored 7 points during the quarter and became the best player of his team up until then. In just one quarter, the Whites scored 33 points. The last three were Draper’s work; he scored a three-pointer just as the whistle blew. Another highlight was Willy Hernangómez’s time on court, as he also scored for Real Madrid. The bad news happened in the paint, where Begic and Slaughter kept committing fouls.
After the half, everything seemed to be crystal clear in the Palacio de los Deportes. The Whites, without much effort, continued scoring baskets and further widening the gap. Pocius, with two three-pointers in the third quarter, and Reyes, fighting for every ball and throwing on target throughout the quarter, became the top scorers. And Mirotic, who has already spoiled the fans with his statistics, also scored two three-pointers.
There would still be a few tense moments: when Madrid figured the game had already been won, Fisac’s players came back to at least scare the Whites. The decreased intensity on defense led to Laso’s team being eleven points down. Real Madrid had to step up their game again, and they did. Reyes continued to be the best, continued scoring, and ended with 18 points, his team’s top scorer. Everyone pitched in, but it was really Sergio Llull who catalyzed the team and got them back in their game. And Mirotic, always calm on court, once again made his numbers. In the end, victory over Fuenlabrada, keeping Madrid undefeated in the Endesa League.