Madrid dazzle in Berlin to move top of the Euroleague

MATCH REPORT. 20/01/2022. Edu Bueno

Laso's boys beat Alba as Deck returned to the team and move into top spot with 16 wins in 19 games.

Real Madrid remained true to form against Alba Berlin, beating the German side for the twelfth time in a row, this time on home soil to move to the top of the Euroleague table, after Barça lost in Kazan. Our team have now won 16 of their 19 games (2 less defeats than the azulgranas) and continued their fine form with a solid display as 5 players recorded double digits in PIR, headed by Heurtel and Poirier. Deck got his second spell at the club underway, while Llull made his 900th Madrid appearance. The team wore black armbands in memory of Paco Gento and Lorenzo Alocén.

The game began at a frenetic pace which saw it somewhat lacking precision, as both teams looked to impose their style on proceedings. Madrid looked tight in defense, closing the rebound well and finding points near the hoop. They started better than Alba Berlin with a 0-6 run but Lo posted 8 quick points to wrest the advantage back (13-10, min.7). Our boys ploughed on though, and a Randolph triple alongside 6 points for Hanga finished the quarter with a 9-0 run to take the scores to +4 (15-19).

Madrid increase their advantage
Three sensational minutes were to follow as accuracy from the outside came flooding back. Three triples in a row for Thompkins, Llull and Heurtel sent Laso's side into orbit, and with a mobile five on court with no real number 5, they broke a ten-point lead at 18-30 with 13 minutes on the clock. Alba Berlin were struggling to match the Whites' physical prowess and relied heavily on Lo not to lose sight of the game completely. Madrid continued to dominate the rebound and their multiple offensive weapons saw them post 29 points in the second quarter to head into the break at +12 (36-48).

Video.74-89: Madrid dazzle in Berlin to move top of the Euroleague

If there's one thing that makes Alba Berlin a danger though, it's their direct style. Madrid's intensity dropped off after the restart and that breathed new life into the hosts, who had things their way for a while, with short, swift possessions and counter-attacks to bring the deficit back down to 4 points (46-50 min.24). Despite their opposition's newfound belief, our team remained just out in front thanks to selfless, cohesive team play. Poirier seemed to be everywhere at both ends, while Abalde, Heurtel and Randolph stamped their offensive authority back on the game in response to the German onslaught. Laso's men went into the final period with a 17-point lead (56-73).

Fifth win on the bounce; attentions turn to the Clásico
From here on in, Madrid were in cruise control. Laso continued to shuffle his pack to retain the intensity throughout the team. Heurtel and Thompkins showed off all their point-scoring power to take the lead to 23 points at 60-83 with five minutes left on the clock. That was enough time for Deck to find his groove and post his first basket since his return. It was another top team display, with 4 players in double digits for points and five for PIR. Williams-Goss and Causeur were rested, while Rudy and Tavares remain out with COVID-19. Next up, the postponed Clásico clash in the league on Sunday (6:30pm CET).