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Madrid continue their march at the top

MATCH REPORT. 12/03/2023. Edu Bueno. Photographer: Víctor Carretero

It was a nineteenth league win for Chus Mateo's boys, who swept easily past Surne Bilbao Basket at the WiZink Center. 

Real Madrid close out the week with another league win, their eighth on the bounce, and nineteenth in total, to remain top of the table with 22 games played. Our team got the better of Surne Bilbao Basket at the WiZink Center following an impressive spell over the second and third quarters and a decisive 53-26 run. Ndiaye delivered his best madridista display with a stunning 14 points and 15 PIR in 19:48 minutes). Abalde (14 and 20), Causeur (16 and 13) and Sergio Rodríguez (8 and 12) were also top performers in a second win inside 72 hours.
It took the team a while to work their way into the game with poor accuracy near the hoop and the Bilbao outfit made the most of seven madridista turnovers in the first quarter to take the initiative and surprise the home side at 9-15 with nine minutes gone. Madrid did gradually begin to build up a rhythm thanks to their superiority on the rebound. Without Tavares, a late absentee, nor Yabusele, Poirier and Cornelie made up the inside duo. Both performed brilliantly in the first period despite a poor run near the basket (11-15, min. 10).
Abalde and Ndiaye come to the rescue 
The two players took to the court and played a crucial rule in turning things around as the team upped the intensity. They stepped things up at the back and began to purr in offense. The forward really took the game to the opposition with eight points almost in a row, including two triples,  just at the start of the second quarter to open a huge run. The academy graduate picked up where his teammate left off and filled in ably for Tavares, smashing an amazing seven minutes: 10 points without a miss, two rebounds, four fouls received and a PIR of 15. His stunning display, his best in our colours, saw the team extend their streak to 27-13 in the quarter and go into the break 10 up (38-28, min. 30).

Video.86-65: Madrid continue their march at the top

Madrid had done the hard work now - but this was the third game at the WiZink Center in less than seven days and the legs could have gone. Chus Mateo's team refused to let fatigue get the better of them, maintaining their defensive levels with total dominance on the rebound, forcing error after error from the opposition as they failed to keep up. Up top, Causeur and Sergio Rodríguez delivered an offensive exhibition. The first hit 12 points, the second, 8. In total, 20 of Madrid's 26 in the quarter, as Hezonja made the play of the game with a reverse slam. Chus Mateo's team rounded off the third quarter with a 26-13 run to make all but certain of the result (64-41).
Ndiaye leads the way
It was a real team performance, with six players in double digits for PIR, but the real standout performer was the 18-year-old. Ndiaye was simply sublime, posting 14 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 recovery and 4 fouls received for a PIR of 15 in almost 20 minutes on court. The key, added quality in the paint. Abalde finished as the top-rated player (20) as the team clinched a 21-point victory while giving a rest to other big names like Deck and Musa ahead of another three-game week (86-65, min.40).