Real Madrid took Buducnost off the road for the title of the first edition of the Euroleague. The first game was a victory for the Spaniards in Madrid by 28, and the second one in Podgorica by 14 points (62-76). Real Madrid will have now a week off to concentrate on its quarterfinal series against Paf Bologna.
A good beginning (4-10 in minute 4) for the team of Sergio Scariolo warned the team from Podgorica of the intentions its visitors: they were here to win the game. Buducnost could only resist for the first two quarters (19-20, 31-34) but after that, Real Madrid starting reaping the rewards of its superiority. The crowd in Podgorica gave an ovation to Sasha Djordjevic at the beginning and the end of the game and booed the American center Jerome James who, once again, had a disappointing performance. Buducnost had an awful accuracy rate in three-pointers (2-of-23), which speaks for itself.
Dejan Tomasevic An 8-0 run at the beginning of the second quarter moved the score from 19-20 to 27-20, which gave hope to the soldout crowd at Moraca Pavillion. But Buducnost was an irregular team tonight and after some brilliant minutes, its level of play began to sink down. Real's reply was a 0-6 run which obliged Bodgan Tanjevic to call a timeout. Thanks to Dejan Tomasevic, Buducnost maintained a small lead for some more minutes, but after a three by Alberto Herreros for 31-31, and a free throw by Milic for 31-32, Real Madrid gained the lead and never gave it back. The teams walked towards the locker rooms with 31-36 on the scoreboard. The third quarter was dominated by the foreign players of Real Madrid: Marko Milic scored 9 points, Djordjevic added 5 and Jiri Zidek had 5 more, including a three-pointer. Of the 23 points scored by Madrid in this period, 21 were scored by these players, and only Angulo added 2 more.
Dejan Tomasevic Tanjevic was desperately seeking the right combination to answer Real Madrid's offensive strength, but was unsuccessful. The rotations among the playmakers were constant: Rakocevic, Radonjic, Obradovic. He also wanted a shooter among the forwards, but neither Kuzmanovic, nor Vukcevic had their night. If we add the bad night of Jerome James, Buducnost's performance tonight began and ended with one man: Dejan Tomasevic. The international center fought as always despite playing with an injured ankle. He became the best man in his team, but it was another instance of how basketball is a team sport. When Tomasevic walked off court to the bench, he gained a deserved ovation from the crowd. Tonight, Real Madrid was a better team, with clearly marked roles and cold blood in the difficult moments. There's no doubt that the better team has passed through to quarter finals.
Thursday, February 8, 2001