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Madrid top at the end of the first half of the season

MATCH REPORT. 22/01/2023. Edu Bueno. Photographer: Víctor Carretero

Tavares, Musa and Yabusele guide Chus Mateo's side to their fourteenth league win in the match against Río Breogán.

Real Madrid closed the first half of the league season on top of the standings after beating Río Breogán at the WiZink Center in round 17 to record their fourteenth win of the campaign. Chus Mateo's men maintained their first-place position thanks to a solid game, which they settled with two great quarters: the first (24-11) and the third (28-9), giving them a +32 lead, something that proved impossible to overcome for the team from Lugo. Tavares (15 points, 7 rebounds and 31 PIR), Musa (21, 6 and 24) and Yabusele (15, 5 and 18)  were the team's standout performers.

The team was back in action at the WiZink Center following four consecutive away games looking to maintain their position on top of the table at the halfway point of the campaign. To do that, the only thing they needed to do was to get a win following Barça's victory this morning. From the start, they played at a very high offensive tempo, hitting the Lugo defence on the three-pointers and on the counter-attack led by Yabusele, who was the key player from the start. The Frenchman gave a masterclass in the 9:15 minutes he was on the court: 12 points, 4 rebounds, 1 block and 17 PIR, helping our team to end the first quarter 24-11.

Containing efforts
Madrid kept up their success from the outside and three-pointers from Causeur and Hezonja increased the difference to +18 in the 14th minute (39-21). Río Breogán, however, kept their nerve in the match and opened up in attack to take the second quarter in a continuous exchange of baskets. They managed to narrow the gap to seven points thanks to the offensive rebounding and the contribution of the Happ-Nenadic pairing (23 points between them). Rudy, with two more three-pointers making a total of eight for the team in this first half, halted the visitors' surge before the break (46-37).

Video.91-73: El Madrid, líder al final de la primera vuelta

The start Madrid made in the second half proved to be crucial. They stepped up their defensive game and remained dangerous in attack. A deadly combination that put a very competitive Rio Breogán to the sword. A stunning 14-0 run broke the third quarter open with Tavares, Musa and Hanga driving the offensive charge. The score went from 46-37 to 62-37 in just four minutes. A lead that Madrid continued to extend with their rotations and which would eventually reach 30 points in a devastating third quarter: 28-9 (74-46, min. 30).

Musa sets the tone
With the game in the bag, the visitors seized the initiative in the final quarter. Their hopes of reaching the Copa del Rey prompted a reaction that saw them pull within 12 points in the 36th minute, but Madrid regained control of the game through their defence. Deck and especially Musa, scoring 9 of his 21 points in the final stretch, shut down the visitors to secure a comfortable 18-point victory (91-73), the fourteenth in the league, on what was a great day for our youth ranks as the junior team qualified for the Euroleague finals in their age group.