REPORT | 19/04/2019 | Edu Bueno | PHOTOGRAPHER: Víctor CarreteroThe Whites were brilliant in defense and beat Panathinaikos again to make it 2-0 in the playoff quarter-final before travelling to Athens.
- 2 (Playoff)
The European champions were really Impressive, going all out and thrashing Panathinaikos in a first quarter which combined strong defense, conceding just 8 points, and sensational offense which thrilled the Palacio. Rudy and Taylor gave a defensive masterclass, Tavares closed off the paint and Campazzo led the team's movements perfectly (4 assists). These three made one of the plays of the season: Taylor blocked Calathes, Campazzo started up the counterattack and assisted the center who dunked with aplomb. The 30 to -1 in PIR showed what had been a brilliant 10 minutes that ended well for the Whites (21-8).
Real Madrid sees off the visitors
Pitino tried to use force to stop the Madridistas and thanks to Gist facing down Tavares and company, it worked for a while. Along with Antetokounmpo they made things harder and the Greeks performances' improved, looking more comfortable. Real Madrid stood up to their rivals' push and the outside shot proved key in that regard. Thompkins and especially Prepelic (top scorer at halftime on 9 points) kept the buckets coming for the team with around +10 advantage until the half way point. They also went 3/8 on free throws and got 11 losses (35-26, min.20).
A Kilpatrick three after the break meant the Greeks were just seven behind (35-29). That was as close as Panathinaikos got. Real Madrid came back strong both defensively and offensively. Campazzo bossed the game and set the pace, while Carroll made his first appearance for Laso's side. Taylor deserved all the accolades as he was effective in closing out Calathes, who went off with just one point.
All of this along with the fans support meant that the visitors were overrun by Real Madrid, who finished the third quarter +20 (61-41). The madridista rotations continued until the last without their level dropping. Panathinaikos tied their best but `the Whites made 12 steals (78-63, min. 40). The tie goes to Athens, and Real Madrid are the only team to have won their two opening playoff games.