Madrid reach Copa del Rey final

MATCH REPORT. 19/02/2022. Edu Bueno. Photographer: Víctor Carretero (Granada)

Real Madrid emphatically defeated Lenovo Tenerife to book a place in the final against the winners of the Barça-UCAM Murcia clash.

Real Madrid booked their place in the Copa del Rey final for the ninth consecutive season, as Pablo Laso´s charges defeated Lenovo Tenerife in the semi-finals, in a repeat game of last year’s tie in the island’s city. Madrid will now face the winners of the Barcelona-UCAM Murcia clash.  The Whites produced one of their most complete displays of the campaign, whilst keeping the opposition at bay and attacking with great fluidity, with five players in double-digit scoring, led by Tavares (15), Poirier, Taylor, Heurtel (12) and Thompkins (11).

The team showed real focus from the tip-off and soon began to dominate the early proceedings, throwing everything at the opposition to rack up as impressive 50 points in the first half of play. Taylor and Tavares spearheaded the Whites early on, with both players on fire at both ends of the court in the first quarter. The small forward keep Huertas quiet while scoring three out of his side’s six three-pointers. The center edged out Shermadini on the rebound and frustrated Lenovo Tenerife in the paint, as the islanders couldn’t find a way past the Madrid defence. By the 7th minute, Laso’s side had already opened up an 11-point lead (21-10).  The introduction of Sastre and Guerra led to a change in fortune for Tenerife, who managed to reduce the deficit to 26-20 at the end of the first quarter.

Madrid set the pace
The rotations made by Laso helped to bolster Madrid in attack, as the team raised its game in the second quarter. Now it was time for Thompkins and Rudy to steer the ship, with both players racking up eight points each to put Madrid ahead by 42-28 in the 17th minute. The madridistas were now firing on all cylinders in offence and when they’re in this kind of form not many sides can contain them. Tenerife responded through Huertas, but Madrid bit back with 11 of the team’s 12 players scoring their first points in a first half in which they were in complete control, recording 50 points to the opposition’s 38.

Video.94-74: Madrid reach Copa del Rey final

Madrid produced another onslaught at the start of the third quarter that saw them take an 18-point lead courtesy of some brilliant attacking play, scoring from all positions. Tavares was practically unopposed, while on the outside Abalde and Taylor, with his fourth three-pointer, made it 60-42 in the 25th minute. The Whites improved in defence in each quarter and gradually nullified Lenovo Tenerife in the process (73-55, min. 30).

A basketball exhibition
Laso’s charges were now in total control of the clash, as Lenovo Tenerife struggled to find a way through Madrid’s defence. Poirier and Heurtel joined the party in attack and, along with Tavares, Taylor and Thompkins, racked up more than ten points, as the team recorded 53% in three-point plays and 69% in two-point plays, opening up a 22-point lead during the fourth quarter (94-74, min.40).  The Whites will now play in their ninth consecutive Copa del Rey final, having won the trophy in six of them, as the 29th cup triumph is firmly in their sight (Sunday, 18:30pm CET).