Edy Tavares is the MVP of the Final Four. The pivot has put together an exceptional performance in the two games in Kaunas, against Barcelona and Olympiacos, and has won a well-deserved trophy that accredits him as the Most Valuable Player of the Eleventh. It is a new triumph for the whites, who rewrite history, come back from 0-2 against Partizan in the quarterfinals (no one had ever done it before) and have imposed themselves on the second and first place in the Euroleague to get a new twist. It is the success of Chus Mateo, who is claimed. Also from Sergio Rodríguez, who has finished the season in an exceptional way. From Sergio Llull, who scores a shot for posterity. From Rudy Fernández, who continues to add at 37 years of age. But, above all, it is the success of Edy Tavares, who claims to be one of the best players on the Old Continent and takes home a cup that certifies him for what he is: an MVP.
The Cape Verdean finished the final with 13 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists and a PIR of 20. He went 5 of 9 from the field and 3 of 4 from free throws. And all after dominating Barça in the semifinals: 20 goals, 15 rebounds, a PIR of 39 and a +17 with him on court. Neither Sertac Sanli nor Moustapha Fall have managed to stop the center, who has been a constant danger in an area where he feels at home, has grabbed rebounds or has allowed them for his teammates, has ensured the protection of the rim and has allowed , with constant blocks, spaces for the rest of the white players to score easy baskets. One of his screens provided enough space for Sergio Llull to carry out the suspension that has given Madrid the Eleventh. A basket that is already part of history.
Tavares (31 years old, 2.21cm) has taken a giant step this season. He has been fundamental in his matches and has multiplied in the Final Four, which Vincent Poirier, his natural replacement, has not reached. He played 33 minutes against Barça and almost 35 in the final. The mere presence of him has prevented the Olympiacos players from daring to enter the zone and from being forced to launch difficult shots from less advantageous positions. Despite Poirier’s injury and also Gabriel Deck’s, Real Madrid have managed to outperform their rivals. With that, the drive of the old guard (Rudy, Chacho, Llull) and a lot of faith, they have achieved the most improbable conquest of all, that of a Euroleague that a few weeks ago seemed impossible, unthinkable. A triumph, that of the Eleventh, that exalts a dream team. A rounded revolution with an extraordinary release. And with an imperial Edy Tavares, clear.
the hero’s words
Tavares has spoken after receiving the MVP: “My congratulations to Chus Mateo, who has suffered more than all so that we could achieve everything we have achieved. We are here for him, because he has believed in us and has had a lot of confidence in ourselves, as well as the club. Many had to apologize to them, because there has been a lot of blame. He is the boss, when you talk about Madrid, you have to talk about him. He deserves it more than anyone because he is one of the best people I have ever met and has managed everything.. What changed is that Chus has never given up, that’s why we came back from 0-2. We went step by step, believing in ourselves. Within the club we knew we could do it, we believed. I have seen the play as I have seen it a thousand times, I know that the man who has to have the ball is him, whatever happens, I knew that he was going to make the best decision. For me he is the best player in the last second, and I was there just in case he got the rebound. He cares a lot about us, he always pushes us to be better. You had to keep your head up if there was a mistake, the confidence he gives us is incredible. The physios and medical staff have helped me a lot. When I had the injury I always stayed positive, I was in pain and I thought the season might be over until they did the tests. Chus Mateo gives me confidence in attack, because I think I’m not that good in attack, but he gives me. Injuries happen, but you have to do what you can to come back and help your team win. It means a lot to be the MVP in a Final Four, for me I always think that I defend a four instead of a five, because few players play against me with big men. In the end, it went well for me in the end facing Fall, a player like me, and not having to go out to the line of three”.