Real Madrid made a winning start to this week’s EuroLeague double header (before hosting Partizan on Thursday) with a victory at La Fonteta, as the Whites recorded their fourth win on the bounce in the European competition. The madridistas overcame Valencia Basket after a sublime first quarter (19-31) and sealed the victory with a hard-fought final-quarter display. Musa was the standout performer, with 28 points and 32 in PIR, while Deck produced a decisive eight points in the closing stages of the clash.
The madridistas took the initiate early in the proceedings courtesy of a sublime inside game and an inspired Musa, who racked up seven points in the space of four minutes. The hosts fought back through Dubljevic, but they were countered by the almighty Tavares by the hoop and Cornelie’s precision from the three-point line. Madrid were full of confidence as Sergio Rodríguez and Deck also got their names of the scoreboard to seal a magnificent first quarter (19-31).
The hosts hit back
The rhythm of scoring in the first 10 minutes bore no resemblance to that of the second quarter. This enabled Valencia Basket to reduce the deficit thanks to some fine team play and quick transitions to the basket (29-39 in the 17th minute). Chus Mateo's charges managed to put a stop to the Valencian onslaught at the right time with a resolute Musa. Madrid headed into the break with a 10-point lead (31-41).
Video.73-80: Fourth EuroLeague win on the bounce
Valencia looked to push the madridistas back in the second half. They closed the gap on the scoreboard courtesy of Dubljevic's accuracy from the perimeter, but the Whites hit back hard and moved ahead on the scoreboard once again. In addition to dominating the rebounding, Deck (8 points and 4 rebounds) Musa and Llull spearheaded the visitors' drive to build a 16-point cushion. Tavares was another outstanding performer, assisting 6 times, equalling his record as a madridista in this respect. The third quarter came to an end at 46-59.
Hard-fought final quarter
Valencia Basket rediscovered their attacking edge at the start of the final quarter and pulled themselves back into the game (53-61, min. 32). Every possession became a constant battle, mainly underneath the basket. Causeur and Deck brought the lead back up to 10. But Mumbrú's men refused to give up and fought hard defensively. Five straight points from Van Rossom further sparked the contest. Los Taronjas kept going and a three-pointer from Harper and one from Van Rossom made it 71-74 (39'). Nevertheless, Deck popped up again, adding eight points in the quarter, along with Musa to settle the score with 25 seconds to go. Valencia made things difficult for the visitors, but the 73-80 scoreline ensured a sixth EuroLeague victory for Madrid.
VALENCIA BASKET-REAL MADRID STATISTICS