NEWS | 16/02/2019 | Nacho DíazThe Whites take their place in the semi-finals for a sixth straight season (9:30pm CET).
Sixth man & defense
Laso's men will again be backed by the sixth man in the WiZink Center stands in this edition of the competition, with the home support proving crucial in the Madrid derby success. This is an advantage for Real Madrid, who displayed the recipe for success in the win over Estudiantes, which was none other than a sterling showing of defensive attitude (allowing just seven points in the second quarter). That was the basis to go on and build an offense that was in devastating form in the quarters, making a half century of points in the opening 20 minutes.
The teams' previous meeting this term offers reason for optimism amongst the madridistas. The Whites recorded a comfortable win in Matchweek 4 of the league season in the same arena as this semi-final is to be staged, with five players finishing the game in double figures in the points stakes on that occasion. Up until last night's encounter, that match represented Deck's best scoring return in a Madrid jersey. The Copa del Rey debutant, who was part of the starting five, made a vital contribution, both in offense and defense.
Joventut are back in the Copa del Rey four years on from their last involvement and they pulled off one of the surprises of the tournament by downing Baskonia. If there's one man whose performance is to be lighted it would have to be Nico Laprovittola, who paced his team to the semis with a record-breaking performance that featured 36 points and a PIR of 50. It remains to be seen whether the Argentine will feel the effects of his massive exertions, but Madrid now know who they'll have to stop. The tall man amongst Laso 's ranks will also have a job on their hands to nullify Todorovic and Harangody. The second installment of the Copa del Rey battles is now upon us.