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Valencia Basket - Real Madrid

84-90: Through to the Endesa League finals

REPORT | 11/06/2015 | Edu Bueno

Real Madrid defeated Valencia Basket in the fourth game of the series and will either play Barcelona or Unicaja next.
  • Liga Endesa
  • Semi Final (Game 4)
  • Thu, 11 Jun
Fuente San Luis
84
90
Real Madrid sealed their passage to the Endesa League finals after beating Valencia Basket in the fourth game of the semi-final playoffs to close out the series 3-1 victors. The Whites got another win in La Fonteta, adding to their victory on Tuesday, although this time it came courtesy of a great defensive performance in the second half and an offensive master class by the whole team, as seven players scored between 8 and 14 points, with Ayón (10 points and 9 rebounds) and Nocioni (12 and 7) at the helm. The winner of the duel between Barcelona and Unicaja, which the Catalans currently lead 2-1, will face Madrid in the finals which get underway on Friday 19 June, in the Palacio. 

The start of the encounter gave an indication that another monumental battle was on the cards. Both teams played with fierce intensity during a first quarter that reflected the evenness between the sides that had embodied the series. Vives' immediate impact (5 points) coupled with Valencia Basket's accuracy from the three-point line (4/8) faced off against a Madrid team in all-out attack mode that moved the ball around perfectly through the two centres: Reyes (7 points) and Ayón (6+4 rebounds). The introduction of Sergio Rodríguez, who notched up six uninterrupted points, allowed the visitors to edge the opening ten minutes (22-24, min. 10).

The assuredness of the leaders
Real Madrid did not give in to the pressure from the Valencian outfit during the second quarter, with the Lucic-Dubjlevic partnership leading the charge (between them they scored 20 of the home side's 27 points in this quarter). The Whites' nerves were settled thanks to a great Chacho display, setting the tempo in attack and providing his team-mates with assists (4). It was a superb team performance as the foursome of Carroll, Maciulis, Nocioni and Mejri all added to the tally. Four three-pointers were racked up, with Llull getting the last one by finishing off a textbook move of how to properly circulate the ball (49-47, min. 20).

This is the fourth time running Real Madrid have reached the Endesa League finals .

However, the attacking nature that had characterised the game up until that point became much more of a struggle. Valencia Basket began to push themselves to the limit and managed to register the first points of the second half (57-53, min. 24). Madrid found it difficult to adjust but were soon able to respond by increasing their intensity levels in defence. A sublime minute of play resulted in a run of 10-0, with Rudy clocking up 7 points following a personal foul and a Rafa Martínez technical. By dominating in terms of grabbing rebounds and shooting from the outside, the Whites rendered the home-court advantage useless and turned things around on the scoreboard at the expense of a Valencia side reduced to committing personal fouls (66-72, min. 30).

Madrid wrap things up with their defence
With Valencia Basket desperate not to exit the competition and pushed on by their supporters, Madrid remained extremely calm during the closing stages of the game. Despite onslaughts by Sato and Dubljevic as well as Rudy having to come off due to problems in his left knee, the disciplined attitude in defence was key to ensuring the Whites held onto their lead in the final quarter, with the gap extending as far as +9 in the 36’ (77-86). Nocioni and Rivers killed off the encounter to make it two wins from two in La Fonteta and thus seal Real Madrid's place in the finals (84-90, min. 40).

Squads
VALENCIA BASKET  84 (22+27+17+18): Vives (13), Martínez (5), Sato (10), Harangody (7) and Lishchuk (4).--starting five--; Ribas (2), Van Rossom (-), Lucic (14), Aguilar (3), Nedovic (2), Dubljevic (24) and Pérez (-).

REAL MADRID  90 (24+23+25+18): Llull (10), Rudy (12), Rivers (9), Reyes (12) and Ayón (10) --starting five--; Sergio Rodríguez (6), Maciulis (5), Mejri (4), Nocioni (0) y Bourousis (-), Slaughter (2) and Carroll (8).

5

Small forward

13

Point guard

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