Real Madrid bounced back from its first loss in Group C by downing Chorale Roanne 104-73 in the Spanish capital on Thursday. Madrid improved to 5-1 in the Group B standings, right behind the undefeated leader Panathinaikos, first at 6-0. Both teams face each other in Athens in a direct fight for the top spot in this group. Meanwhile, Roanne dropped to 1-5 and joins a three-way tie for the sixth place with Lottomatica Roma and Brose Baskets. Charles Smith led the winners with 22 points. Blagota Sekulic added 14 on 7-for-8 two-pointers, Michalis Pelekanos had 10 while Felipe Reyes, Lazaros Papadopoulos and Louis Bullock each got 10 for Madrid. Brion Rush led Roanne with 27 points on 5-for-9 three-pointers. Marc Salyers added 18 while Pape Badiane had 11 for Chorale, that led 8-11 late in the first quarter. Reyes and Smith fueled a 13-0 run that Kerem Tunceri capped with a triple to make Madrid get a 24-15 lead after 10 minutes. Roanne got within 31-27 midway through the second quarter, but Madrid restores a double-digit lead, 50-40 at halftime, while an outstanding Bullock boosted the hosts' margin to 74-56 after 30 minutes to seal the outcome long before the final buzzer.
Madrid focused on Salyers in the early going, making him face two-on-one situations, while a reverse by Sekulic got the hosts going. Rush answered from downtown for a 2-3 Roanne edge. Sekulic shined with a big basket in the low post while Michalis Pelekanos added a fast break layup to put Madrid back ahead, 6-3. Rush kept pacing Roanne with a driving layup, as Madrid now had troubles to score. Badiane tied the game with a free throw, 6-6, but Sekulic quickly answered with a jump hook. Salyers found his first points on a seven-meter triple while Badiane dunked it for a 8-11 Roanne edge. The guests entered the foul bonus, however, and Madrid opted to play more physical to go to the foul line often. Pelekanos made free throws while Bullock fed Reyes for a fast break dunk. Reyes finished a third-chance Madrid offense with a layup-plus-foul while Smith added a tip-in to boost the hosts' lead to 18-11. Tunceri capped a 13-0 Madrid run with a big triple from the top of the key, making Roanne called timeout at 21-11. Rush shined with a driving layup and then matched Smith's jumper with a power basket that got Roanne within 24-15 after 10 minutes.
Rush kept pacing Roanne with free throws early in the second quarter while Laurent Cazalon added a baseline jumper to get Roanne back in the game, 24-19. Smith stepped up with a corner three-pointer but Pierric Poupet answered from downtown to keep Roanne close, 27-22. Axel Hervelle joined the three-point shootout but Roanne immediately improved its defense, with a dominant Badiane in the middle. Meanwhile, Salyers banked in a close shot while Pellin fired in a triple from the right wing to get Chorale even closer, 31-27. Smith found space for an open three-pointer but Rush answered from downtown. Papadopoulos found his first points on a third-chance layup while Reyes scored in the low post to give Madrid some fresk air, 38-30. Salyers took over with a power layup but Madrid had started to dominate the boards. Smith hit another corter triple, exactly from the same spot and even when Badiane dunked it, Pelekanos hit another triple to break the game open, 47-34. Reyes and Badiane traded free throws while Sekulic added a fast break layup for a 50-36 Madrid lead. Badiane scored again while Salyers had a huge dunk off a steal to get Roanne within 50-40 at halftime.
Salyers opened the second half with a wild alleyoop dunk, as Madrid struggled to score in the opening 2 minutes of the third quarter. Sekulic stepped up with a fast break layup, as Madrid was now outstanding in defense, with great aggressivity and forcing Roanne to use long possessions. Badiane shined with a second-chance basket that Felipe erased with an uncontested layup. Salyers took over with a power layup but Tunceri beat the shot lock buzzer with a big triple and Pelekanos added a layup off a midcourt steal to restore a 13-point Madrid lead, 59-46. Bullock capped an 8-0 run with a triple but Rush immediately answered from downtown. Bullock fired in another jumper that Adam Hess erased with a layup, but Roanne only managed to trade baskets now. Hervelle scored in penetration, igniting a 7-0 run in which Bullock - who else? - buried a three-pointer while Pelekanos provided a highlight with a huge dunk in traffic. Rush hit another triple and Hess dunked it but Hervelle nailed another one from beyond the arc, good for a 74-56 Madrid margin at the end of the third quarter.
Smith buried his fourth three-pointer right at the start of the fourth quarter and soon added an incredible alleyoop dunk, as Roanne kept trying off-balanced shots without much success. Hess found space for an easy layup but the guests needed much more than that. Bullock took over with a floating layup that Salyers bettered with a three-point play, but it only got Roanne within 83-61. Papadopoulos scored in the low post and soon added an hook shot, good for a 87-64 Madrid lead. The outcome was clear and Madrid tried to provide some showtime, as Smith pleased the crowd with a high-flying dunk. Meanwhile, Chorale gave Ron Hale his first Euroleague minutes, as he joined the team for this game. Salyers did not give up, but Papadopoulos and Sekulic combined for all points in a 7-0 run that gave Madrid a 27-point edge, 96-69. Everything was said and done up to that point, especially when Pablo Aguilar hit free throws to make Madrid break the 100-point barrier, 100-73.
Thursday, November 29, 2007