Into Copa del Rey semi-finals

MATCH REPORT. 17/02/2022. Photographer: Víctor Carretero

Real Madrid got the better of Río Breogán in the quarter-finals and will now take on Lenovo Tenerife for a place in the final.

Real Madrid will face Lenovo Tenerife this Saturday in their ninth consecutive Copa del Rey semi-final (6:30pm CET) after coming out on top against Río Breogán in the quarters. Laso's team were dominant for long periods of the game, with an impeccable defensive display throughout the 40 minutes making sure they held onto the lead they built in a superb opening quarter, despite a late revival from the opposition. Double-doubles for Tavares (11 points, 11 rebounds and a PIR of 22) and Heurtel (12, 10 assists and 18), who were the standout performers, alongside Yabusele (17 and PIR 21).

Alocén's fighting spirit, present in the t-shirts of support worn by the Real Madrid players in the warm-up, ran through the team from the off. Our boys made their Copa debut in focused fashion, allowing Río Breogán no room at all as Causeur shackled Bell-Haynes and Abalde did the same to Musa. They were also scoring freely from inside (83% success) and out (4 triples) as well as asserting their dominance on the rebound. Yabusele was decisive with 11 points and a PIR of 15 in the first quarter, as Laso's charges raced to an 11-points lead (27-16). 

Madrid remain solid at the back
The madridistas were looking in fine fettle, particularly in defense. The team was fired up and dealing superbly with Río Breogán's offensive talents. They refused to let Musa play comfortably and Kalinoski and Mahalbasic had to come to the fore to ensure the game didn't completely slip away. In attack, Madrid lost the clinical edge of the first quarter but found solutions thanks to the efforts of Hanga, Abalde and the Heurtel-Tavares connection (41-31, min.30).

Video.73-67: Into Copa del Rey semifinals

Madrid continued to control the game off the back of an indomitable defense, maintaining a high physical outlay thanks to constant rotations. They responded to each and every Río Breogán basket with patience in offense. Heurtel showed off his sublime vision (10 assists) and Abalde and Yabusele made sure any potential reaction came to nothing. A Llull basket brought up the largest deficit with 28 on the clock at 56-41. Then, just as the game appeared all but over, the opposition seemed to spring into life. A 1-14 run in their favour towards the end of quarter 3 and into 4 brought hope flooding back (57-55, min.32).

Madrid's swift response came in the form of a 5-0 run that was crucial in the development of the game, although it wasn't all over just yet. They managed to stifle the opposition onslaught at just the right time to recover to a seven-point lead which they could defend in the closing stretch. The Galicians refused to lie down and fought hard but the madridistas were determined to hang on. At 64-62 with 37 on the clock, Laso's team stood firm to build what would be the decisive run from defense. A 7-0 in the next two minutes led by Heurtel (4 points) saw the game into the final minute at 71-62 to make sure of a semi-final spot. It's the first of three steps on the road to being crowned champions. Step 2 comes in less than 48 hours' time against Lenovo Tenerife, who got the better of Joventut 64-62 in the other quarter-final.