Real Madrid got the better of Baxi Manresa on the road on matchday 18 in the league to close out January with a third win of the week following last Sunday's victory over Río Breogán and Thursday's success against Barça in the Euroleague Clásico. Chus Mateo's team remain top of the table at the start of the second half of the season, having put the tie firmly in their favour with a stunning first half which saw them post 57 points and head into the break 21 up. The points were evenly spread around, with nine players between 7 and 12, led by Musa (22 PIR) and Tavares (20 PIR).
The madridistas flew out the blocks in decisive fashion at a jam-packed Nou Congost. With no trace of fatigue following the monumental effort in the Clásico just three days ago, they injected impressive pace into their offensive movements, matched by incredible accuracy to net their first eight baskets without a miss and hit 90% of their two-point shots in the opening quarter. All nine players used by Chus Mateo got on the score sheet, with Musa (9) and Sergio Rodríguez (5) spearheading a charge to 32 points in 10 minutes. The first seven saw Baxi Manresa hang in their thanks to Harding's streak (11), but as soon as our boys tightened up in defense (Tavares, 3 blocks), the lead increased rapidly (22-32).
Video.69-94: Third win inside a week
Stepping it up in defense
The team continued with their lethal accuracy in offense (80% two-pointers), with all 11 players who set foot on court in the first half chipping in, Cornelie (7 points), and Deck (5) being the standout names. With 12 minutes gone, our team already had 42 points and would go on to reach 57 within the opening 20. It was a point-scoring exhibition few teams could have coped with. The subsequent dominance on the rebound restricted Baxi Manresa to 14 points and took the advantage to over 20 points at the end of quarter two (36-57, min. 20).
With the game sitting very much in their favour, Madrid focused most of their efforts on defense in order to manage their lead, which would extend to +27 by the end of the third period (49-76, min. 30) having allowed Baxi Manresa a mere 13 points. The league leaders stormed to the match-high 61-91 in the closing stages thanks to some majestic offensive play with everyone posting points except Ndiaye, who came on for the final minutes (69-94, min. 40). It's a 15th win in the league for the madridistas, who extend their fine run in Manresa, where they are unbeaten since 1998.