Real Madrid made their debut this Thursday in the Euroleague with a valuable away win against Panathinaikos after a battle from start to finish in which they made up for their lack of fluency in attack with a good defensive attitude, their dominance in rebounding and their greater success in the key moments, which allowed him to deactivate the Greek team and add his fifth consecutive victory of the course (68-71).
The staging of the Greeks and Spaniards was very similar, alternating inaccuracies in one area and another and making typical mistakes at the start of the season. Real Madrid came out without a pure point guard and without success in their first approaches to the rival rim, although the revamped Panathinaikos wasn’t doing well either and Guerschon Yabusele’s points and Walter Tavares’ rebounds gave the visitors the first advantages of the afternoon.
After several minutes exchanging blows, the departure of Mario Hezonja altered the script of the clash. Eight points from the Croatian with the only two three-pointers his team made in the first twenty minutes put the Whites on the scoreboard and forced Dejan Radonjic to stop the game as he found himself eight down. The measure had an immediate effect, and a 9-2 run in the last two minutes of the quarter restored the balance to an intense match played at cruising speed (22-23, min 10).
The attack by Chus Mateo’s men continued to be heavy after the restart. In defense they complied, but the suffering came when it came to generating play and looking for the Hellenic ring. The coach, who was making his debut in the Euroleague, did not find the necessary inspiration on his bench to unclog his team, who at least kept their rival at bay and, with a couple of sparks from Gabriel Deck and two consecutive baskets from Vincent Poirier, they took command again midway through the second act.
Mateusz Ponitzka and Derrick Williams responded from the perimeter with three three-pointers that set the OAKA stands on fire, although the madridistas managed not to lose face of the game despite the fact that they were still not fine from the goal. The domain was alternate, with up to fourteen changes of command on the scoreboard in the first half, the end of which was reached with Real Madrid one up and everything to decide in the second half (37-38, min 20).
The points continued to arrive with a dropper and the offensive fluidity continued to shine with his absence at Real Madrid after passing through the locker room. Derick Williams kept the Greeks hopeful and, many minutes later, put his team ahead three minutes from the end of the third act and forced Chus Mateos to stop the game to reorganize his team.
Causeur, with the fourth white triple of the afternoon and a semi-hook, and Tavares, who continued to close the rim and contribute in attack, understood the message and allowed Real Madrid to reach the last ten minutes with a three-point lead (51- 54, min 30).
The Frenchman in attack and the Cape Verdean in defence, well supported by a Deck that finished with thirteen rebounds, continued to keep their team up after the break and Sergio Llull joined the party with a triple that gave air to the current continental runner-up in the best moment (55-62, min 34).
The Hellenes woke up again after a timeout, who chained an 8-0 run with two triples by Paris Lee that left everything to be decided in the last four minutes. Each attack was a suffering in one area and another. Then came the time for Dzanan Musa, who put the team on his back and linked three consecutive baskets when he burned the ball the most.
A three-pointer by Llull against the board, a trademark of the house with 46 seconds to go, was definitive. that’s where the forces of Panathinaikos arrived, who were unable to counter Tavares’ dominance (14 points, six rebounds, four blocks and a PIR of 22) and ended up kneeling after clearly losing the battle for the rebound, in which the thirteen catches by Gabriel Deck were definitive (34-49)
68 – Panathinaikos (22+15+14+14): Paris Lee (9), Georgios Kalaitzakis (2), Marius Grigonis (5), Derrick Williams (15) and Georgios Papagiannis (6) -starting quintet-, Panagiotis Kalaitzakis (-), Eleftherios Bochoridis (5), Andrew Andrews (8 ), Mateusz Ponitka (5) and Arturas Gudaitis (10).
71 – Real Madrid (23 + 15 + 16 + 17): Fabien Causeur (8), Dzanan Musa (13), Gabriel Deck (9), Guerschon Yabusele (6) and Walter Tavares (14) -five starters-, Mario Hezonja (8), Sergio Rodríguez (2), Petr Cornelie (2 ), Vincent Poirier (3) and Sergio Llull (6).
referees: Matej Boltauzer, Carmelo Paternico and Emin Mogulkoc. without eliminated
Incidents: First game of the regular phase of the Euroleague played at the OAKA in Athens.