Eighth win on the bounce

MATCH REPORT. 11/05/2022. Edu Bueno. Photographer: Pedro Castillo

Real Madrid put on a show against UCAM Murcia in the penultimate Regular Season game.

The best possible preparation for the Final Four is competitive action and Real Madrid showed they are right up for it against UCAM Murcia in the penultimate league clash. Laso's boys showed superb focus to defeat opposition embroiled in a battle to make the playoffs following a tough physical game that was decided thanks to a 49-28 run between the second and third quarters. Tavares (14 points, 9 rebounds, 4 blocks and a PIR of 24) and Abalde (10 and 7 assists for 19), led the team, who made it 8 successive wins ahead of the Final Four.

It was a physical encounter from the off as UCAM Murcia started with impressive range on the triple. Six in the first quarter, three of them for Webb III, saw the visitors take the lead as Real Madrid struggled to warm up (5 turnovers) before finding their stride as the minutes ticked by (19-21, min. 10). With Llull now on court, the team looked more fluid in offense and despite lacking accuracy from 6.75 m, they were able to hit points close to the hoop thanks to good moves by Deck, Yabusele and Tavares' dominance of the offensive rebound. They began to lower their rivals numbers from the outside too and in defense the Cape Verde-born center was showing why he was recently named the league's best defender. The first two triples for Laso's boys in a row ended a 24-12 run to make it 41-34 on 19´.

Video.90-69: Eighth win on the bounce

Madrid take off
The third quarter then played host to ten sensational minutes which would completely break the balance of the clash. So far, the game had been based largely on muscle for both sides, but it was Madrid who began to make the difference on the basis of an impressive rear guard. They upped the intensity to bring the Murcia offense, the second-best in the competition, to a sudden halt, restricting them to a mere 12 points. Our boys posted 27 in the same period, led by Causeur y Abalde, who hit 8 and 7 points respectively. Laso's team hit the the biggest lead at +19 heading into the final quarter (68-49).

A team in fine fettle
The visitors' response was to be expected and Taylor and Bellas duly obliged but Madrid reacted solidly to ensure they had no chance of getting back into the game. They showed focus and a competitive edge to the end, without switching their thoughts towards the impending horizon and with impressive togetherness. Llull, Causeur, who was on almost a point per minute, Tavares, joined Randolph… Some 11 players had now got on the scoreboard and our team ran to 90 points, leaving their rival on 69, 16 less than their average, thanks to another fantastic defensive display (90-69, min. 40). Win number 24 in the league and next up are Gran Canaria on Saturday in the final Regular Season game ahead of the Final Four (20:45 h).