Having your head in one place, in Belgrade, in the Final Four, for example, limits because body and soul do not go hand in hand, although Madrid’s physical presence and what was left of spirit here served to meet the requirement competitive (90-69), to beat UCAM and that Gran Canaria, which is playing for the last playoff place with the Murcian team, did not claim their performance from a distance. If it was a matter of physical presence, that of Tavares (14 points, 9 rebounds, 4 blocks in 20:37 on the court) had a lot of weight after an unprecedented first quarter, and not because of the result (19-21), but because Real he did not give any assistance and, above all, he did not throw any triples. He finished with 14 passes and 17 attempts (7 goals).
The Cape Verdean played with intensity, he closed his hoop in the second half (two blocks were aimed at him in that stretch, but between grazed balls and shots changed there could be seven or eight intimidating actions), he closed all the rebounds and had the nerve to add near the hoop despite the harassment of Lima, Cate and company. And well Deck next to him.
The UCAM pursued a major challenge: to win for the first time in its history on the white track. Sito Alonso said in the preview that it was a unique moment, “now or never”, it will continue to be never, at least until the next occasion. One less bullet to reach the playoff, but the magazine still hasn’t been emptied. UCAM puts itself in the hands of its executioner this Wednesday, because if the whites close the regular phase with victory in Gran Canaria and they beat Zaragoza, they will finish eighth, tied at 17 wins but with the average on their side. There is another option, the third way, neither for Granca nor for UCAM… and yes for Surne Bilbao. Those of Mumbrú would need to impose themselves on a Betis already saved and two defeats of their rivals in the race for the knockout rounds. There is a tomato to dye an entire wall red.
After the break, Madrid maximized their game, a third period that ended with a definitive run: 27-12 to +19 (68-49). Great minutes from Abalde, who did everything well, and from Causeur with Williams-Goss at the helm. But it had been Tavares who gave the push that changed the inertia of the duel, the one that cut off UCAM’s wings, which ended with 39% of two and 10 of 34 of three, completely insufficient to embrace the feat he was pursuing. The last chance will come on a crazy Saturday. Meanwhile, Real looks to the Final Four as it continues to win, eighth win in a row.