NEWS STORY. 25/05/2022. Edu Bueno
Tonight sees Real Madrid begin the business end of the Endesa League season with a quarter-final playoff match-up against Baxi Manresa. The Whites welcome the division’s surprise package to the WiZink Center for the first in a three-game series and the hosts will be keen to gain an advantage ahead of Saturday’s road trip to Nou Congost. This contest pits the competition’s two most valued sides against each other.
Following an extremely demanding EuroLeague Final Four campaign, in which our boys came mighty close to securing the title, it’s back to league action returns with a very tough series against the Manresa-based team. Physical and mental recovery will be key for a team that had racked up 10 straight wins (six in the Regular Season by an average of more than 11 points) prior to Saturday. Baxi Manresa is set for a first taste of playoff action in three years. The guests have enjoyed a fine season, although they struggled to seal a top-eight finish at the tail end of the season after being downed in four of its last five match-ups.
Video.Real Madrid v Baxi Manresa: league quarter-finals get underway
The statistics suggests that this will be quite some showdown. The two teams are the highest valued in the competition (96.6 for Real Madrid and 94.2 for Baxi Manresa) and claim the most rebounds (37). Pablo Laso’s lot will be looking to capitalise on their fine defensive form as they lock horns with the division’s best offense (88 points). Our team allows an average of 75 points, which is 10 fewer than tonight’s opponents. That is also one of the keys to this match-up. Moneke, Bako and Thomasson lead the way for a very physical team that plays with great energy. Williams-Goss is set to miss out for our team.
Upper hand in head-to-head
The head-to-head record reads a win apiece this season. Our boys ran out 87-92 winners at the Nou Congost, whilst Baxi Manresa prevailed in a 75-86 triumph in Madrid, which was their only win in the teams’ last 10 meetings. This will be the fourth time that the teams have faced off in the league quarter-finals. On the three previous occasions, Madrid has come out on top (2-1 in 1994; 3-0 in 1997; and 2-0 in 2019). Tonight would be the ideal time to record a first win in this playoff series.