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Alarm in Madrid

Abalde, frenado por la defensa del Fenerbahçe.

Advance | Alarm in Madrid just over a week before the Copa del Rey. The team is physically broken, we have seen it against Fenerbahçe (66-51). These weeks playing a game almost every 48 hours after relocating the postponed ones in a schedule that is already compressed to the extreme, they have caused new casualties and stripped them of their previous good form. Heurtel, Hanga, Taylor and Deck were missing in Istanbul. And many others hardly even appeared in attack, neutralized by the strong Turkish swell, which left their rival at 51 points (close to the lowest merengue score ever in the European Cup: 43).

Only Llull tried to push the car at the beginning, not very effectively, but he tried to push in attack with what he had, especially talent. Tavares fought his own without great returns and already, at least until the final appearance of Alocén together with Juan Núñez in the quintet, fresh legs. And next to Rudy, not so fresh, although always combative, pure pride.

Fenerbahçe read well the decrease in their opponent’s strength and increased it with their activity. On a regular attacking day, he edged it back. Pierria Henry, Marko Guduric and Dyshawn Pierre led the Turkish ninth victory in ten matches, in the hunt for the playoff. For Madrid there is no good news. On Friday, Barça arrives at the Palace in the following context: 38-8 balance sheet this season and of the 8 defeats, four in the last 16 days, in 8 games, three in the ACB and this one in the Euroleague. And then, further, we could reopen the debate about the lack of groundbreaking talent in the perimeter, with the forced step forward that does not come from Williams-Goss and Abalde, but that does not explain the current slump, and more with four casualties to the same time on the outside line.

The self-sacrificing defense, a 3-2 zone with Poirier and Tavares for a good while at the same time, made up a bit of a historic first half, in which the Whites finished with 17 points, 17!, their lowest score in the history of the European Cup. The previous negative record was 21 (@DatosRMEuroliga). The never seen was not an exaggeration in this case and that in minute 4 Real won 2-8, so in the following 16 minutes until the break he added just 9 goals. And despite the grotesque first quarter in attack, Laso’s men were only down by 10 at halftime: 27-17. They had been left to zero between the aforementioned minute 4 and 12, a total of 8:14. From the second three-pointer by Llull to a basket from the captain’s board, we saw a local run of 17-0. A Fenerbahçe that flew low for a while (19-8), then experienced a hard landing, because the merengue defense choked on it. He seemed to be chewing lead and at 21-16, Randolph’s tackle gave him air. He committed a foul that could have been avoided and gave Guduric two free kicks and, in the following attack, they almost lost possession and forced Llull into a long three-pointer that ended seconds later with a Booker dunk. In the subsequent serve, Abalde lost the ball: 27-16. In those moments the white candle was consumed, there was no more wax than the one that had already burned.

The energy of Fener, the strength of the all-rounder Dyshawn Pierre, who in the first quarter had stopped Abalde’s attacks in his tracks, now punished hard near the rim, with his rebounds, against a rival with three interiors at the same time: Yabusele, Thompkins and Tavares. The son was marked by Henry (9 assists) against Llull (the only one who did not stop pushing), Williams-Goss or whoever it was, Causeur piled up errors and went to the bench early, and Guduric appeared at the end of the third period to raise the maximum at +18: 48-30. The duel had exploded into a thousand pieces, it remained to save face, and that was what Laso did with Juan Núñez and Alocén on the track, also Rudy, who for a stretch made four in a quintet of short guys. The energy of the youngsters helped them to run somewhat and add 21 points in the inconsequential last quarter, 70% of all they scored before. Fenerbahçe does not stop accelerating without De Colo or Vesely, ninth victory in ten games, thanks to a great job by Djodjevic, happy as a partridge in the post-match with “the best defense of the season”. On the hunt for the playoffs. The leadership to Madrid, yes, no one is discussing it yet.

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