REPORT | 07/06/2018 | Nacho DíazThey beat Herbalife Gran Canaria to win the third game and get to a seventh consecutive final.
- Playoff Liga Endesa
- Game 3 (Semi Final)
From the off, the two teams had a good first quarter. Madrid started scoring, they were more settled, but Herbalife reacted (7-0) to get ahead. It was a constant exchange of points, but the home side, with Rabaseda and Oliver, dominated the score line, until two three pointers from Llull changed it all. Causeur, Doncic and Tavares all scored, but the Canary Islanders got the advantage, hoping to extend the series (27-25).
Rudy proves vital
The second ten minutes saw more of the same, a quarter that was truly offensive. Every Gran Canaria chance was stopped by Real Madrid. Rudy was spectacular yet again, with two three pointers and twelve points in the second half. The give and take was constant in the Gran Canaria Arena which was abuzz. Llull was very active and Reyes, who is now the player with the most games in the history of the Endesa League, managed a staggering two rebounds and netted four points. The home side kept their accuracy up and the first half ended 50-50.
Defense was always going to be key. Real Madrid knew it and showed it after the break to short-circuit the hosts' attack and score 4-14 in the first three minutes, which served to break up the game. Carroll was back to scorer 13 points (two three-pointers and a 2+1 included) while Doncic penetrated well and assisted Tavares. But Herbalife Gran Canaria did not give up, and from the free-throw line avoided losing the +8 which they started in the first half hour (71-79).
Canary Island onslaught
Real Madrid had to hold out against the yellow side. The Whites resisted and attacked intelligently, moving the ball until always finding the shooter in space. At times, it was just Rudy. At other times there were other players from the three-point line who punished the Canarian defense. Laso's team got an advantage in the final minutes, but the locals took their last opportunity from the free-throw line and made three (89-92) with 1:49. Llull remained cool to thwart the Gran Canaria Arena, and Báez made his fans dream. Until Taylor took an extra pass from Rudy to sentence from the three. Real Madrid defended well, Gran Canaria could not capitalise and the Whites closed the game off.