Thursday, June 8, 2023

Real Madrid defeat Partizan and the pass to the ‘final four’ will be played in front of their fans

Real Madrid is a team incapable of suffering from stage fright. His mastery of extreme situations, regardless of the sport, allows him to turn the flames of hell into tailwind. The white team did it again in Belgrade, which was silent at the beginning due to the mourning for the school murder and did it again at the end, with the second consecutive victory for Chus Mateo’s men to leave the series even (2-2). The fifth and final game, which will decide the rival of FC Barcelona in the ‘final four’, will be at WiZink.

The series is being kept in the newspaper library. In each game, an argument. From the fight of the second assault to the reconciliation of the two teams under the minute of silence for the victims of the shooting that took place in the center of Belgrade. A tragedy that soaked the face of a crowded Stark Arena that started out full of white roses. The emotion of a moment that has changed the temper of an entire country, where bullets are echoes of the past that no one wants to hear again, was palpable on the faces of the players.

Scoring Duel: Hanga vs. Leday

But after the initial jump, Partizan – Real Madrid was that again: a great basketball game where Chus Mateo’s men started better despite the return of Lessort to the starting five after serving the sanction for the WiZink pitched battle. He entered the game well dzanan muse, a player for whom the series was going uphill. But everything on the track went through the health of Tavares. White’s hammering forced Obradovic to call a timeout at 7-14.

However, Partizan was stiff and in defense they were falling apart to allow direct triples by Hanga, who took 3/3 as if nothing to finish On the rival side, only Leday (14 points and 7 offensive rebounds in the first) was inspired against a Real Madrid that mutated the zone defense while in attack he took out the knife abroad. At the end of the first quarter, 15-27, which was more than a result. Possibly the best minutes in the tie.

Belgrade celebrates the personalities of Tavares

The game was rarefied in all aspects, without a clear rhythm. What there was no doubt about was the importance of Tavares, whose physical condition is a matter of state. Belgrade celebrated the personal fouls against the Cape Verdean, but his antagonist, lessort, he was not able to take advantage of the opportunities from the free throw line. The infractions conditioned those of Chus Mateo, who he saw as Randolph, the African’s alternative, was loaded with three with 32-34 on the scoreboard.

This complicated the plans of the Spanish coach, who in one of the breaks said to his best weapon: “I’ll take you before the end of the room”. When Partizan could finally get ahead on the scoreboard, Gaby Deck was activated, back after suspension, to curb the eagerness of a team that was spurred on by the stands. Psychology was going to be more important than ever.

The Serbian ‘sorpasso’ and the songs return

A mate from Leday made it 39-40 and forced Real Madrid to call a timeout. Like the first quarter, the second ended with a basket on the limit. Papapetrou’s entered, but Andjusic’s was out of time. The madridistas retained their hegemony on the scoreboard (42-45) at halftime. Beyond the numbers and the conditions, the Spanish team was more than alive. Hanga, who went up 15 points and a PIR of 17 at the interval, pointed out the margins for improvement: “You have to win rebounding duels again: especially in defense you have to improve.”

With the resumption, the songs returned to the Stark Arena, and with them, the congestion of the white game. The particular battle of Obradovic began, who asked for a ‘challenge’ to review a ball outing celebrated in the sky of Belgrade. However, the never-ending story of Partizan. Exum failed in the attempt to put the first advantage and protests for a foul claimed the technique arose that put the border back.

The responsible Tavares and the irresponsible Nunnally

In the end, Andjusic managed to make it 51-49, an ephemeral advantage thanks to a Tavares who charged the rival defense with fouls (at 3:46 they entered a bonus), stole and scored to quell the rebellion. The third from the Cape Verdean arrived. The ghost of his absence on the track was dissolved by Deck to make it 55-61 with which he reached the last quarter. Partizan’s wrists, without the Punter sniper, were shaking except for Leday.

The match was going to require a group effort and successful rotations. With ‘Chacho’ Rodríguez on the field, the ball began to run until it rose to the seven assists that kept Real Madrid ahead, where coordinated individualisms emerged. The most transcendental was that of Deck, a unique player when it comes to winning the back line. Until a foul by Leday left him out of the game at 74-78. The pain was such that it even twisted the face of a normally unbreakable Argentine.

How harmful these series are, where the teams metamorphose. The disconcerted face, the fear and the haste manifested by Real Madrid in the second game became the property of Partizan. Shooters like Nunnally and Exum fled from their responsibility while shooting percentages were collapsing. But a witchcraft play by Madar, blocking Goss to score, unexpectedly narrowed the gap to 78-80. And once again, when Partizan put its eye in the peephole, a slap from Tavares brought them back to the harsh reality of the 78-85 final that put out the entire revolution they put together in Madrid.


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