NEWS | 17/02/2019 | Edu BuenoThe Whites are one win away from their fifth Copa title in the last six years (7:30pm CET).
The best possible final at the best possible venue. Spanish basketball's El Clásico set to decide the second trophy of the campaign so far. Real Madrid have already made off with the first, the Super Cup in Santiago, beating Baskonia. This particular clash is an even affair when it comes to finals. Of the nine Copa showpieces since 2010, six have pitted the great rivals against each other, with one team being present in every final this decade. Laso's men have beaten Barcelona in three of the last four. Last time out in Las Palmas, it was the azulgranas who lifted the trophy after a controversial final in which a foul on Taylor which would have forced overtime was not awarded.
Both teams come into the clash in fine form, having dominated their quarter and semi-final ties, though the Whites were more convincing winners. Real Madrid first saw off Estudiantes by the second-greatest deficit in the tournament's history (94-63) before overcoming Joventut (93-81). Meanwhile, Barcelona did the same against Valencia Basket (86-79) and earned a hard-fought win over Iberostar Tenerife (92-86). So far this term, it's one win apiece. Pesic's men won the League encounter 86-69 before the Whites came out on top in the Euroleague by 27 points (92-65).
Ayón and Deck, key men
As two heavyweights collide, it's sure to be the finer details which decide the game. The madridistas must fine the balance between attack and defense which make them essentially unstoppable. They'll have to match the azulgranas rear-guard intensity and restrict them on the triple, as they boast above 40% success-rate so far. For Real Madrid, it's the Ayón-Deck pairing who are at the top of the stats charts. For Barcelona, their Copa stars so far have been Heurtel, Ribas and Hanga. 40 minutes are separating Laso's team from adding to their ever-growing legendary status.