REPORT | 19/12/2018 | Edu Bueno | PHOTOGRAPHER: Ángel MartínezAfter a spectacular start, the game was decided in the final quarter. Ayón got a PIR of 21.
- Matchday 13
It was a tough physical game and it was evident from the first minute for Real Madrid, whose great play held off Panathinaikos. They were Solid, uncompromising and rampant, and they went 16-0 thanks to Causeur (8 points), Deck and an omnipresent Ayón (4 points, 5 rebounds and 2 steals) leading the offense (16-2, 6). The Whites’ defense held off the Greek team and got two baskets. At 32-1 it was a true reflection Laso's team thud far (23-10).
Real Madrid take it to the max
The European champions put on a physical show with intensity for most of the second quarter giving them a +20 advantage. The second team, today made up of Campazzo, Rudy, Taylor, Thompkins and Tavares, continued to rock the Greeks who struggled. The Swedish forward got the points (8) and an alley oop for Rudy. It was 38-18 in the 17th minute and Real Madrid looked great at the WiZink Center. Xavi Pascual’s side needed a break ad they got it thanks to Langford. 12 points in four minutes made it 43-31 at halftime.
The third quarter was back and forth, and Panathinaikos slowly came back by punishing the hosts’ errors. They went 18 up to make it 57-39 in the 24th minute after Llull's basket and Randolph, along with Causeur already hitting 14 points. However, the Greek side, with Calathes, Langford and Papagiannis, managed to go to the last quarter with everything to play for. The game was still a great show (63-55, min 30).
The Whites keep on
Calathes started the last quarter with a three pointer that took his team even closer (63-58) and made the game really close. Real Madrid were incensed and ready to roll, getting back their defensive solidity, running and scoring by trying to win the game on the offensive rebound, where Ayón really led the way. He got three and so did Tavares. Campazzo and Thompkins joined the attacking wave, as did Carroll. He came on at the end of the last quarter and broke the 2000 point mark in the Euroleague. This made it 23-3 to put the game to bed. The Whites went +25 (86-61, min 37) and killed off Panathinaikos' comeback hopes (89-68, min 40). Six players finished in double digits in terms of point scoring in what was a vintage European night at the Palacio.