REPORT | 16/10/2020 | Edu BuenoThe Whites were better in the first half but could not maintain the same level of play after the break.
- Matchday 4
- Fri, 16 Oct
Real Madrid got off to a brilliant start at the Mediolanum Forum with one of the most complete first quarters of the season. Laso introduced a very young quintet, with Alocén, Abalde and Garuba accompanying Deck and Tavares, and they responded with extra energy and serenity. Between the point guard (2 points and 2 assists) and the forward (3 three-pointers without missing) they scored the 11 points from the start (4-11). Not even the stoppage of more than five minutes that occurred due to an incidence in the rim disrupted the visitors' dynamics, as they controlled Olimpia Milan with dominance on the rebound, a great defence and three-point shot precision - with 5 scored (10-19 ).
Continuity in the second quarter
The Whites maintained this level of play throughout the first half. The Milanese team improved in offence with the entry of Sergio Rodríguez and Tarczewski, but Real Madrid never allowed their lead to go below 10 points during the quarter (they reached 14 at 24-38). This was largely because of the visitors' defence on the three-point line, frustrating the second best team in the EuroLeague of late to 16% in three-point shots, and the contribution of the substitutes in attack with a great movement of the ball to always find the best options: Llull, who reached 3,000 points in the EuroLeague with five consecutive points, Taylor, Laprovittola and an outstanding Thompkins. The American offered a repertoire of baskets to add 10 points in just 13 minutes (31-42, 20th min.).
The hosts were more aggressive after the break and Real Madrid was not as fluid as it was in the first half. The Whites found it difficult to score and were less solid in defence. This allowed Olimpia Milan to grow in confidence, also thanks to the support from the home fans. The hosts gradually took control of the game and finally turned the match around with the score at 50-49 in the 29th minute after eight straight points from Sergio Rodríguez. Abalde - who later had to go off due to injury in this period - dragged the visitors back into the lead with two final three-point shots to go to the final quarter one up (54-55, 30th min).
The fight to the end
The match then got more complicated for Real Madrid. Several refereeing decisions knocked back the Madridistas, including a technical foul for Laso. Shields and Datome inflicted more pain on the visitors and put their team 66-57 up in the 34th minute. Real Madrid fought with pride and with a 0-8 run led by Thompkins got the score back to 68-67 with two minutes remaining. However, the hosts responded with two three-pointers. Llull produced another but it was not enough to draw level with Olimpia Milan, who took claimed the victory (78-70, 40th min.).