REPORT | 18/01/2019 | Nacho DíazThe Whites, who were left to play catch-up throughout, failed to claim victory in Montenegro.
- Matchday 19
With just several seconds gone, Cole broke the deadlock from eight metres. This was a foretaste of what was to come. Real Madrid was on the receiving end of a 7-0 run at the start of the game and Taylor and Causeur were unable to handle the spark of Cole and Jackson, who were the only men to net for the hosts (15 straight points), until another of the Montenegrins'' danger men, Bitadze, entered the fray. Not even the intimidating presence of Tavares , who made two blocks, was enough to ruffle the Georgian. The Whites reacted well to this initial blow, with treys from Taylor and Llull and even managed to go ahead (9-10). However, Buducnost hit back to end the first stanza on top (19-15).
Lack of accuracy
Podgorica's men pushed hard in defence and Real Madrid was failing to find gaps in attack. The hosts' stifling pressure didn't allow for any comfortable shots on two-pointers. Faced with this situation, the Whites opted to play from the 6.75m line, but were out of luck. Laso's charges headed in at the break with 23% shooting accuracy, which was hindered the intermittent efforts to stage a comeback (36-28).
The second half began in exactly the same fashion as the first had, with a long-distance triple from Cole. Buducnost kept up the tempo and things got worse for the madrdistas as the minutes passed. Madrid found themselves 15 points down halfway through the third quarter(49-34). It was time to fight back and this saw Tavares and Reyes get tight on the hosts' tall men. Two treys from Rudy and Campazzo cut the lead to less than 10 points (56-48).
Out of reach
The biggest positive for the Whites is that they headed into the final stages still in the game. However, although Thompkins and Prepelic sunk points, Bitadze stepped up with six successive baskets to put the hosts 14 up (67-53) with five minutes to play. Rudy made a three-pointer to allow Real Madrid to dream again. The problem, however, was that the Whites were racking up turnover after turnover that made any comeback impossible and this coupled with the team's poor shooting accuracy rate saw Madrid downed in Podgorica (73-60).