REPORT | 02/11/2018 | Nacho DíazAn Ayón double-double, a stunning performance from Rudy on triples and 16 points from Randolph paced the team to victory.
- Matchday 5
Real Madrid came out all guns blazing but so too did Zalgiris and the Lithuanians had the better of the first quarter. They avoided becoming camped in the Whites' territory and decided to try shots from mid-court, where they were totally unopposed and it paid off (10 baskets), with Jankunas, también Wolters and Davies doing the damage. The Whites' only attacking threat came through Llull and Causeur and the Kaunas outfit were clearly dominating proceedings (32-18), whilst Tavares was sent to the bench following two fouls.
Real Madrid needed to improve in all departments and it did just that. The Whites' second-quarter performance, with Carroll (seven points), Campazzo and Rudy starring, outdid the bright spells from Jasikevicius. A run of 2-12 in the space of barely three minutes brought Pablo Laso's men back into contention. The guests were putting the Lithuanians under stifling pressure in attack (affording 12 points). Randolph, with virtually seven points in a row, brought the Whites back to within a point (44-43).
The third stanza began with the teams trading blows, with a basket from one team countered by a riposte from the opposition. However, all of a sudden, Real Madrid switched off for a minute and a half and that proved terribly costly fo the guests. Zalgiris made the most of the Whites' lapse to tear up a run of 11-0 which put them +10 up (64-54). The visitors regained their focus with great pressing from Ayón and a tremendous presence in offense to cut the deficit (68-62).
It was now time for the team to grit their teeth and Ayón continued to lead the way. He was all over the court with his pressing game, dominating rebounds and sinking points (five in a row). Deck made the hosts pay from the baseline and a three-pointer from over eight metres from Rudy saw Laso's side take the lead with little over four minutes to go. Zalgiris was now struggling to make points, whilst the opposite was true of Real Madrid. A triple from Randolph, another three from the immense Rudy (4/4) and a defense that limited the hosts to 11 points secured the team's fifth win of the EuroLeague campaign (79-90). Next up for Madrid is a road trip to Tel Aviv.