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Madrid fall short in Euroleague final

MATCH REPORT. 21/05/2022. Edu Bueno. Photographer: Víctor Carretero (Belgrade)

Our team led for much of the game but lost it in the final seconds against Anadolu Efes.

Real Madrid were unable to get their hands on the trophy in Belgrade after coming up short against Anadolu Efes in the 2022 final at the Stark Arena. Laso's boys delivered an impressive defensive display but it just wasn't to be despite leading until the final quarter, where the Turkish side showed increased accuracy and took the trophy by a single point in a tension-filled finale. It hurts, because our team deserved more. Tavares, with 14 points, 11 rebounds and a PIR of 20 was the leading man for Laso's charges. The final got underway with tension and nerves the order of the day, leading to a low-scoring start.
 
Marvellous madridista defense
With points hard to come by for both teams in the opening quarter, the enormous Taveres was king of the paint (12 points and PIR of 17) and enjoying himself with 5 offensive rebounds. Madrid were displaying incredible discipline at the back and a defense which was constantly changing restricted Anadolu Efes to little more than their Larkin-Micic duo. Laso's team permitted their Turkish counterparts just 14 points in the opening period and the second was more of the same, with just one more on the board. Our boys' eye from the three-point line saw the maximum lead at 29-22 on 7´ following a triple for Randolph, the madridistas' best performer so far. As Madrid were enjoying their best spell of the game, Anadolu Efes again turned to their two point guards who began to monopolize the play to post 23 of the 29 points in the first half (34-29).

Video.57-58: Madrid fall short in Euroleague final

The final continued in much the same vein after the break, with defenses well on top. Early on, Madrid appeared better able to adapt, with Llull pulling the strings (the captain became the top all-time Final Four assist-maker) and Hanga stepping on the gas to put up 5 points almost in a row to take the team to an 8-point lead on 22’. At 37-29, our team slipped up on the following offensive plays, encouraging Efes to believe. Pleiss and Micic came to the fore, the latter showing why he's the competition's leading scorer, to leave the scores at 42-40 heading into the last period.
 
Just wasn't to be
The Turkish defense succeeded in disturbing Real Madrid, who were struggling with their numbers from three. Pleiss quickly posted 10 points to lead his team to a three-point lead into the final minute (55-58). The Whites refused to give in and gave it everything they had, but things just weren't going their way. Llull dragged them back into it, forcing the scores to 57-58 with 44 seconds left on the clock. Ultimately, that was to be all. Madrid made two fouls but weren't in bonus and Anadolu Efes held onto their possessions to clinch victory in the final. Llull moved level with Felipe Reyes as the madridistas' leading Euroleague appearance-maker.

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