Real Madrid won a very important victory, which brings them closer to their goal of having home-court advantage in the playoffs. Our team beat Virtus Bologna thanks to a perfect first half, in which Yabusele shone with a three-pointer from downtown. The French power forward was the star with 24 points, 6 rebounds and 30 index rating points. In the second half, when the Italians were pressing the most, Hezonja made a stellar performance in the last quarter (six three-pointers). Chus Mateo's team won their 21st victory in the competition and continue their fight for the lead.
The Whites came into the game very well. Serious on both sides of the court, they closed the rebounding and took advantage of almost all their attacking moves. Yabusele, with eight points, led a Madrid team that was able to score a 0-7 run in less than two minutes. Chus Mateo's team did not stop there and improved their offensive performance even further to take a +12 lead. The dominance was evident and the first quarter ended 12-26 after a great job in rebounding (5 for the Italians compared to 16 for our team).
Great first half
Chus Mateo's team, with continuous rotations, conceded part of their advantage after two consecutive three-pointers by Belinelli (23-32). Madrid's response was resounding and carried the Hezonja stamp, he scored two three-pointers to return the +15 difference. However, the Italian shooting guard kept his team in the fight with his 15 points (29-38; min. 17). With Musa at the helm and the offensive contribution of Rudy and Deck, our team put the brakes on Virtus' momentum and regained their composure with regard to the scoreboard. A three-pointer from Yabusele (13 points and 15 index rating) from downtown put the icing on the cake to close a perfect first half (33-50).
Video.79-96: Big win in Bologna
The Italians looked much better after the break. They managed a 10-2 run in three minutes to pull themselves back into the game thanks to Belinelli's three-pointer shooting. The game tightened up in the third quarter. Virtus neutralised the visitors' offence and managed to get within nine points thanks to a very focused Shengelia under the hoop. From then on, our team managed to get back on level terms thanks to Yabusele and Tavares (58-68).
Madrid came out with a vengeance in the final quarter thanks to five consecutive three-pointers from Hezonja (20 points) to make it 66-83 in the 35th minute. The Croatian, who broke his scoring record with Real Madrid, put on a spectacular display from 6.75 metres at the Virtus Segafredo Arena with 15 straight points and was the driving force behind our team's comfortable lead. Rudy picked up the baton on the outside shooting to make the difference +20. Hezonja, with another three-pointer, went on to score 18 points in the same quarter. The Italians narrowed the gap with a final 8-0 run in a game in which Madrid sealed their 21st win of the Euroleague regular season in a very tough outing.
BOLONIA-REAL MADRID STATISTICS