Spectacular play from the Whites, led by Randolph (6 for 6 on threes) as they lead Valencia Basket in the series.
Real Madrid drew first blood in the semi-finals with an offensive and defensive exhibition, helping them dominate the game from the tip-off. There was no let up for Valencia Basket who battled the hosts well. Laso gave his players plenty of minutes, all of them scored, and Randolph was sensational on the three (6 of 6), as he netted 24 points and got a PIR of 30.
Real Madrid led from the off. Two threes from Randolph and Taylor began to add quickly to the scores, so much so that after four minutes the Whites had netted 20 points (20-7).
The defensive aggression caused the errors from Valencia Basket, who fought back through Thomas.
The hosts were tremendous thanks to Randolph (11 points, 3 of 3 on three pointers) and Taylor (8), who plagued the taronja, to help make it 26-18 at the end of Q1.
Another great night for Laso’s team as they beat the visitors again at the restart. Now Causeur led the line so well (with 9 points).
Real Madrid continued to punish from the free throw line (4 threes) to take clinch a +18 twice over, which Valencia Basket cut back to +15 (48-33) before going in for the break. Eleven Whites stars had already featured.
CAMPAZZO, 100 LEAGUE GAMES FOR REAL MADRID.
The game started up again with the same play as the first quarter: a three from Randolph (who would go on to score another 6 of 6) and a tough defense that Valencia Basket was could not break down.
Real Madrid continued to press the accelerator and build up a lead, which after a quarter of 16-0 would see them go +34 (72-38). Carroll, who had joined the game for the first time showed his class and joined in the scoring.
The WiZink Center went into a frenzy as Campazzo (in game number 100 in the league for the Whites) set up a great dunk for Randolph. The taronja started to get some points through Vives leading the way to save the team’s blushes (74-46).
No let up
The game was all but done, and Laso spread the minutes around, knowing how long the semi-final battle can be. Valencia Basket got a few points back, but the Whites did not let up.
Deck, Ayón and Llull, who broke up the visitors good play with two consecutive threes made the difference for the home side. Carroll and Thompkins, helped Real Madrid finish the night with 16 threes to round off a 94-72 win. In less than 48 hours, comes the second battle.
“We started with intensity and attitude”, said
Campazzo.Pablo Laso, Campazzo, Carroll and Llull spoke after Real Madrid got the first point in the semi-final playoff against Valencia Basket.
Laso: “All the players did well”
The coach said: “All the players did well. Defensively we did well and knew their weak points, on the interior we know they are versatile. We held them off but the playoff has just started”.
“It’s hard to expect it to be a game like that, but I was confident that if we did well, we could get a win. The score was a bit unfair, the game was tighter, but that’s down to our offensive sharpness. They scored baskets that we could have stopped if we were better on the offensive rebound. There is no perfect game and we know we can improve. Saturday’s game starts back at 0-0.”
“The team has played so well over the last two months, we could have won or lost, but the players were all fit and ready. That’s what I believe and I tell my players the very same. They are focused, working hard, and sure, they have normal physical pains at the end of the season. In terms of Randolph, I value his defensive grit, he is great on the rebound, his defense is brilliant and he got 6 of 6 threes”.
Campazzo: “We need to think about game 2”
“We didn’t expect this result but it is down to us. We know these games are dangerous and you need faith. The game is done and we need to think of the next one because they are a good team. Our objective is to start in the best way, with intensity and attitude”.
LLULL: “IT’S KEY THAT PEOPLE FILL UP THE PALACIO”.
“We need to think about the next game, in training tomorrow we will focus on our errors today. They are great on the offensive rebound and they took advantage of that, we lost a few balls in the second half. These details make the difference and against teams like Valencia it can decide a series. Our aim is to leave Madrid 2-0 up”.
Llull: “It was a great team game”
“It was a great team game. We started off strong, moving the ball around well, getting some open shots and that was crucial really, we showed them from the start that they could not win. It is vital to get the first point but we know that we have not won anything yet. I felt good, I tried to help out and let those who were on before me get some rest. It is key that people fill the Palacio. If we win all our remaining games at home we will be champions and we need our fans behind us for that”.
Carroll: “We played well today”
“We played well, netted some good points and defended well. Every player helped us get the win as a team today. We’ve been waiting for the game and we want to win the title.
The defense was really key for us today, we were solid and did well on the three. Valencia have plenty of veterans, in the second game they are going to come out swinging to try to win, things could be very different”.