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Defeat in the first game of the semi-finals

MATCH REPORT. 01/06/2023. Edu Bueno. Photographer: Pedro Castillo

Despite Tavares' excellent performance (38 PIR), Real Madrid were unable to stop Joventut's scoring at the WiZink Center.

Real Madrid were beaten by Joventut in the first game of the Endesa League semi-finals at the WiZink Center. Our team fought until the end but they did not get things right and after an even first half, La Penya built up a 12-point lead in the third quarter that proved to be crucial. Tavares, with a double-double (18 points, 14 rebounds and 38 PIR) and Musa (18 and 20), were the team's best players. The second round will take place in less than 48 hours (Thursday, 9pm CEST).
It was a very even start, with Real Madrid going ahead in a first quarter of exchanges of a game centred on the paint. Real Madrid got off to a better start, with a 13-3 run, controlling the rebounding and defending well against Guy, whom they limited to one point. But the downside was the five turnovers, which Penya took advantage of, especially Parra (6 points), to move closer on the scoreboard. Tavares, the team's standout player along with Hanga (7 points each), was the one who changed the balance in the first ten minutes with two baskets in a row (22-18).

Video.83-93: Defeat in the first game of the semi-finals

Battle for control
Rudy extended Madrid's lead again with five points at the start of the second quarter. However, the team entered into a period of mistakes despite creating free throws (3/17 three-pointers at half-time). Joventut had their aim more in tune, especially Busquets, and with four consecutive three-pointers they took the lead for the first time at 31-33 after 17'. From that point until half-time, it was a back-and-forth affair, with Randolph contributing for Joventut and Tomic, without the assistance of Tavares, for the visitors. A three-pointer from Guy at the buzzer brought the score to 39-42 at the end of the first half.
Madrid couldn't find a positive feeling or continuity in offence. They lacked the spark they had in other games. In contrast to Joventut, who were gaining in confidence and fluidity thanks to the contribution of the Guy-Parra-Tomic trio. Trailing by 12 points, 49-61 in the 27th minute, we didn't lose our heads. We looked to Tavares as our first option, and he came up trumps and held us together in a delicate period. Sergio Rodríguez, Musa and Hezonja took over the offensive role from the centre and with a 24-12 run over the next six minutes they tied the game at 73-73. But the Catalan team, with an inspired Guy (8 three-pointers), managed the final minutes better and opened the gap to 83-93.