REPORT | 07/12/2018 | Nacho DíazReal Madrid, who trailed by 15 points at one point, downed Anadolu Efes thanks to an outstanding performance from Ayón and Llull's sensational return.
- Matchday 11
The match began at a rip-roaring pace with both defenses largely absent. Real Madrid made a more solid start than it had in recent games. The Randolph-Llull duo were punishing the hosts from the three-point line (two from two apiece), but
Anadolu Efes took advantage of the defensive fragility of the guests, who were unable to close things out in the paint, where Pleiss (11 points) was starring, although Madrid were almost unbeatable on triples (6/8). The quarter ended with the teams tied at 23-23.
Ayón steps up
Laso's troops were looking to give the Turks a taste of their own medicine and they did so brilliantly in the low post, with some excellent link-up play in each attack between Ayón and Thompkins (4 assists). The Mexican was unstoppable under the basket, netting 12 points in a row (six from six) and grabbing five rebounds to post a PIR of 21 in the space of 10 minutes. However, all that Madrid had gained in offense was promptly thrown away in defense against an Anadolu side that ended the quarter with 29 points, with Moerman the star performer with 10 points and a trey that took the hosts past the 50-point mark (52-45).
Taylor, making his 100th appearance, came on to turn the contest around with five points in a row, but this proved to be a false down for a Real Madrid team that was failing to click in attack. This was coupled with the side's inaccuracy from the 6.75m line (six misses), which was in stark contrast to the home side, who with three straight treys and a run of 11-0 went +15 (69-54) with four minutes of the third stanza remaining. The Whites produced a reaction of sorts with a 2+1 from Campazzo and a Thompkins triple, but Micic netted on the buzzer to leave the scores at 74-60 with 30 minutes gone.
Defense and pride
It was time to tighten up in defense and Madrid did just that. This was the basis for a stirring fightback as the Whites oversaw an 0-8 run to haul themselves back into the game. Once again, the star of the show was theTitán Ayón, who was outstanding in both offense and defense. Anadolu Efes hit a points drought which lasted for the first three minutes, whilst the link-up between Rudy and the Mexican was doing real damage in the Turks' paint. The 14-point deficit at the start of the quarter was constantly being cut. Taylor and Llull had the chance to put the Whites ahead, but they contrived to miss their treys and ultimately it was down to the point guard and Rudy to turn things around from the free-throw line and the comback was completed with 17 seconds remaining. Micic, who was contained by the excellent Rudy in the final 10 minutes, had a triple in the final play to have won the contest but he failed to sink it. (82-84).