‘Hell’ was in the Palace

The surroundings of the WiZink Center and the hours before the vital and final Euroleague quarterfinal game were black, the color of the shirts of the Partizán fans, who turned the terrace of the Madariz bar into their Spanish home, always escorted by a fortnight of riot gear. But not inside. There the tables turned and Madrid, which came from the hell of the Stark Arena in Belgrade, created its own hell. The white fans marked territory, showed their claws, their passion for a team that was playing all or nothing in Europe. Neither they nor their team disappointed.

The Palace vibrated in the run-up, as on great occasions, with the sea of ​​flags to the sky of the animation stands, that of the Berserkers and Ojos de Tigre, to receive their boys, those of Chus Mateo, tucked in throughout the first part constantly. The chants did not stop. Neither were the celebrations when Madrid drilled the rival ring. And there was a standing ovation for Ndiaye when he retired to the bench after a stellar first appearance in a game full of famous faces: the Hernangómez, Juancho and Willy, Dontaye Draper, Vinicius…

The Madrid fans in the match against Partizan in Belgrade.
The Madrid fans in the match against Partizan in Belgrade.JAVIER GANDULACE DAILY

Only Punter’s lashes cooled the atmosphere somewhat. It was the turn of the fans partisan (just under 50 in the upper tier of the pavilion plus the infiltrators)… and the angry and ferocious whistles at the referees. The third of Tavares was the one that created the most anger in a white fans who felt the dream of Kaunas moving away with the -16 with which the first half closed.

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And when the meringues were at their worst, with some Serbs in full swing and Tavares with a foot and a half out of the duel with four fouls, El Chacho appeared with a triple and encouraging the masses before the final period, which came preceded by a foul from Exum on Rudy in full shot of three from the Spaniard. ‘Yabusele, Yabusele, Yabusele’, sang the white stands: the Frenchman was the one who gave the Australian point guard the judo key in the second game.

With quality sparks to command the comeback. Pure Canarian magic to take his family to a shore that seemed unthinkable. An ecstasy in the stands that was mixed with ‘how can I not love you’ at the top of the lungs of the entire Palace to celebrate the comeback, in the game and in the series (something never done), to be in Kaunas. Madrid created a hell from which Partizan could not escape. And the players enjoyed it beautifully on the field after the final honk with an entire Palace standing up to pay homage to their heroes who had to go out on the track again. ‘So so so wins Madrid’. The WiZink rumbled.

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