Real Madrid - UCAM Murcia

Baxi Manresa-Real Madrid: a clash with this season's surprise package to close out first round

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NEWS | 20/01/2019 | Edu Bueno

The Whites head to opposition playing for a place in the  Copa del Rey (5:00pm CET).
It's sure to be a demanding clash for Real Madrid on the final match day of the first round of the Endesa League against Baxi Manresa. The Whites have already secured a place in the Copa del Rey as top seeds, and now take on the championship's surprise package, who, with a win today, would book a place in the cup for the first time in fifteen years. The madridistas will be up against an expectant atmosphere at the Nou Congost.

The Copa plays a crucial part in this particular round of the Copa, with Real Madrid having a decisive role in determining the remaining four spots in the draw - Manresa, currently in seventh (9-7), are still very much in the hunt. Ultimately though, their aim will be to continue picking up points. A win at the Nou Congost, where they've won on their last sixteen visits, would see the Whites cut the deficit with the leaders or move above Baskonia into second place, given their top-of-the-table clash with Barcelona.

Thompkins has scored double digits in all his league games.

They are facing an extra motivated side, who are having a great season, winning four of their last five games. New to the league and depending on themselves to make it into the Copa del Rey, for most of the season they have been in the playoff places despite big changes to the squad. They have covered for the losses of Renfroe, Doellmann and Vene thanks to the arrival of Fischer, former Burgos and Joventut star, and Zubcic, a 2.11 machine with real skill. The key men on the offense are Ryan Toolson (14.3) and center Lalanne (11).

Proving the stats right
Real Madrid need to show their defensive best because Manresa are a high-scoring team (81.5 points average). They don’t stand out in any particular stat but are consistent in every aspect. Laso’s side are top in attack (88.8), PIR (106.5), rebounds (37.1) and blocks (3.63). Thompkins is in double digits for scoring in every league game, whilst Llull is one three pointer away from beating Sibilio's record and climbing the all-time ranks in the ACB (13th). Both of them will be vital to securing the thirteenth win in the league.