2018-19PlayoffsGame 3
April 23, 2019 CET: 20:00

Madrid sweeps PAO to reach Final Four

Real Madrid became the first team to qualify for the 2019 Final Four by downing Panathinaikos OPAP Athens 82-89 in Game 3 of their playoff series in the Greek capital on Tuesday. Madrid swept the best-of-five series and reached its 10th Final Four since the format was adopted in 1988. Madrid, the winningest team in EuroLeague history with 10 crowns, kept its chance to win consecutive EuroLeague titles from the first time since 1968. Facu Campazzo shined with 16 points and 10 assists and Rudy Fernandez also scored 16 for the winners. Jeffery Taylor added 13 points and Anthony Randolph and Gustavo Ayon each netted 12 for Madrid. Nick Calathes paced Panathinaikos with 17 points and 7 assists, Matt Lojeski added 16 points, DeShaun Thomas 11 and Keith Langford 10. Campazzo and Fernandez shined early and an outstanding Taylor gave Madrid an 18-23 lead after 10 minutes. Trey Thompkins boosted the visitors' margin to 25-34, but Lojeski and Ioannis Papapetrou fueled a 16-2 run that gave Panathinaikos the lead, 41-36, at halftime. A three-pointer by Langford tied the game at 58-58 through 30 minutes. Lojeski gave Panathinaikos its last lead, 68-70, but an outstanding Ayon and three-pointers by Taylor, Randolph and Campazzo sealed the outcome down the stretch.

Campazzo got Madrid going with a three-pointer and an alley-oop dunk by Edy Tavares gave the guests a 2-5 lead. Fernandez bettered Calathes's floater with a bomb from downtown and Randolph followed a dunk with a jumper for a 4-12 Madrid margin. Lojeski rescued Panathinaikos with a couple of mid-range jumpers and a triple. A layup by Thomas brought the hosts within 13-14. Calathes completed Panathinaikos's comeback with a three-pointer, but Randolph and Taylor each banked in close shots to make it 16-18. Fernandez nailed a triple off a screen and a reverse layup by Taylor gave Madrid fresh air, 18-23, after 10 minutes. Taylor scored again early in the second quarter. Papapetrou struck from beyond the arc and added an acrobatic reverse layup. Langford sank a jumper to give Panathinaikos hope at 25-30. Fabien Causeur took over with a driving layup and Thompkins added a turnaround jumper to keep Madrid comfortably ahead, 25-34. Papapetrou and Lojeski stepped up for the hosts and a basket-plus-foul by Thomas brought his team within 32-34. Papapetrou scored down low in an 11-0 run that Ian Vougioukas capped with free throws for a 36-34 Panathinaikos lead. A wild four-point play by Lojeski helped his team to a 41-36 margin at halftime.

A layup by Taylor and a three-pointer by Fernandez caused Panathinaikos to call timeout at 41-41 shortly after the break. Calathes answered from downtown and fed Georgios Papagiannis for a dunk that ignited the crowd at 46-41. Fernandez and Taylor kept pushing Madrid, but James Gist and Papagiannis kept the Greens in charge. After Randolph downed a triple, Gist dunked and a jumper by Langford gave Panathinaikos a 54-49 margin. Campazzo buried a three-pointer and a jumper by Thompkins tied it at 54-54. Jaycee Carroll nailed a floater and Gustavo Ayon found his first point, but Langford tied the game again, 58-58, after 30 minutes. Vougioukas and Ayon each scored in the low post early in the fourth quarter. A jumper by Gabriel Deck put Madrid ahead 60-62. Langford and Thompkins traded jumpers and a jump hook by Vougioukas tied it again, 64-64, with 7 minutes left. Ayon took over with an up-and-under layup, but Thomas and Lojeski gave Panathinaikos a 68-66 edge. Campazzo fed Ayon for three consecutive baskets - a dunk and a couple of layups – for a 68-72 Madrid lead. Taylor bettered Vougioukas's jump hook with a triple, but a layup by Calathes gave Panathinaikos hope at 72-75. Randolph sank a critical three-pointer and Campazzo added another one from beyond the arc to seal the outcome, 74-81, and Panathinaikos never recovered.

Pivotal performer

Campazzo made magic in Athens with a double-double - 16 points and 10 assists. He hit 3 of 6 three-point shots and added 3 rebounds, a steal and 6 fouls drawn for a game-high performance index rating of 23. Campazzo rounded out a great series with a memorable game at Olympic Sports Center Athens.

Game-changing moment

Panathinaikos led 68-66 midway through the fourth quarter, but Campazzo found a connection with Ayon. Campazzo fed Ayon for a dunk and a couple of layups. Taylor and Randolph each added a three-pointer that gave Madrid a 72-78 lead with less than 2 minutes remaining.

Stellar stat

Madrid outrebounded Panathinaikos 24-39, which made the difference in the game. Madrid also hit 22 of 32 two-point shots. Its 68.8% shooting percentage inside the arc was the third-best in Madrid's playoff history; it hit 74.1% against Panathinaikos in Game 4 last season and 69.7% against Buducnost in Game 2 of the 2001 eighthfinals.

Did you notice?

Madrid has made it to the Final Four for the seventh time this decade. It has reached the competition's definitive stage in 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2019. Only CSKA Moscow - eight appearances, with a chance to make it nine – has reached the Final Four more often in the 2010s.

Facundo Campazzo - Real Madrid - EB18
Tuesday, April 23, 2019
Attendance: 18182
By Quarter1234
Panathinaikos OPAP Athens18231724
Real Madrid23132231
End of Quarter1234
Panathinaikos OPAP Athens18415882
Real Madrid23365889
Panathinaikos OPAP Athens
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
0 THOMAS, DESHAUN 30:46 11 4/5 0/2 3/3 1 3 4     2     3 2 9
5 LANGFORD, KEITH 15:47 10 3/5 1/2 1/2   1 1 2   1     5 3 6
6 PAPAGIANNIS, GEORGIOS 14:10 4 2/6     1 2 3     1     1 1 2
10 PAPAPETROU, IOANNIS 31:15 9 2/3 1/2 2/4 1 4 5   2   1   2 3 14
14 GIST, JAMES 7:28 4 2/3       1 1         1 3    
15 VOUGIOUKAS, IAN 24:52 8 3/7   2/2 2 3 5 2 1   2 1 2 6 17
19 LEKAVICIUS, LUKAS 9:17 3 0/2 1/2                 1 3 1 -3
23 KILPATRICK, SEAN 3:12     0/2   1   1               -1
24 LOJESKI, MATT 27:40 16 2/3 3/4 3/3   1 1 3         3 2 17
33 CALATHES, NICK 31:23 17 3/9 3/7 2/2   2 2 7 3 2   1 2 3 17
43 ANTETOKOUNMPO, THANASIS 2:06                   1         -1
44 MITOGLOU, KONSTANTINOS 2:04                         1   -1
Team             1 1               1
Totals 200:00 82 21/43 9/21 13/16 6 18 24 14 6 7 3 4 25 21 77
        48.8% 42.9% 81.3%
Head coach: PITINO, RICK
Min: Minutes played; Pts: Points; 2FG M-A: 2-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); 3FG M-A: 3-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); FT M-A: Free Throws (Made-Attempted); Rebounds: O (Offensive), D (Defensive), T (Total); As: Assists; St: Steals; To: Turnovers; Bl: Blocks (Fv: In Favor / Ag: Against); Fouls: Cm (Commited), Rv (Received); PIR: Performance Index Rating
Real Madrid
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
1 CAUSEUR, FABIEN 8:04 2 1/1 0/1 0/1                 1 1  
3 RANDOLPH, ANTHONY 26:06 14 3/5 2/7 2/2 2 1 3     2 1   2 3 10
5 FERNANDEZ, RUDY 23:33 16 1/1 3/8 5/6 1 2 3 1 1 1       4 18
7 CAMPAZZO, FACUNDO 31:34 16 1/1 3/6 5/6   3 3 10 1 2     3 8 29
9 REYES, FELIPE DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
14 AYON, GUSTAVO 19:06 12 5/9   2/2 1 5 6 4   1 1 1 3 3 17
20 CARROLL, JAYCEE 11:11 2 1/3 0/1         1       1 1 2  
22 TAVARES, WALTER 20:54 3 1/1   1/2 2 5 7 1   2 2   3 1 8
24 DECK, GABRIEL 13:26 2 1/1     1 1 2     1     1   2
25 PREPELIC, KLEMEN 8:26   0/1 0/2     1 1 1 1       1   -1
33 THOMPKINS, TREY 13:54 9 3/3 1/2     4 4     1     4 1 8
44 TAYLOR, JEFFERY 23:46 13 5/6 1/3 0/2 2 4 6 4   1   1 3 1 14
Team           1 3 4               4
Totals 200:00 89 22/32 10/30 15/21 10 29 39 22 3 11 4 3 22 24 109
        68.8% 33.3% 71.4%
Head coach: LASO, PABLO

Head Coaches

Panathinaikos OPAP Athens

"Two out of three games, we played our hearts out and we got beat by a better basketball team and that is what happens in the playoffs. They continually made shots with no time on the clock and they are a great shooting team. Tonight, we didn't turn the ball over, which kept us in the game, but they have it all. They have great shot blockers, size, speed, their point guard [Campazzo] had a great series... but they are just a great shooting team. They have all the answers, but I am really proud of this basketball team, because they backed us to the wall, we had little chance to make it to the playoffs, but did it. They fought hard and won four games on the road, a couple against teams that needed the win, so I am really proud of the guys. They gave great effort tonight, the crowd was awesome, and we lost to a better basketball team."

"It was a very tight game and we really had some wide open shots that didn't go down. They had some really difficult shots that did go down. I have always said this in coaching: I have had some not great teams that made Final Fours because they could shoot, and shooting kills a multitude of sins. When you have weaknesses, if you can shoot, you can erase those mistakes and tonight, on numerous occasions, they had no time on the clock and they made the shot, and they have done it the whole series."

Real Madrid

"In these kinds of games, every situation is important. I think that, at the end of the second quarter, we had some mistakes, which is normal. We missed shots, made some stupid decisions defensively and they came back. We knew how difficult it is to win here and I think our second half was unbelievably solid. Of course, with a 2-0 advantage, we were more calm and were able to look for the right situations, for the right players at the right moment offensively. And defensively, we found solutions for everything new they tried to do in this game. I am very happy for this achievement. Arriving to the Final Four is something unbelievable that we have worked for during the whole year. For me, as a coach, it is my sixth Final Four in eight years. I am very proud of my players, very proud of my team and very happy, or course."

"If you think about a playoff series against one of the best teams in Europe and you are missing a player like Llull, the whole team deserves a lot of credit. Of course, you ask today about Campazzo or Rudy [Fernandez], but for me, there are no names, just big plays. When I see Randolph fighting on the floor to get the ball with 2 minutes to go, for me, that is even bigger than a three-pointer. I think it would be stupid from my part to talk about any individual player. I think we started the year with 16 players and they were always ready to play and fight for the team and this is something that makes me very proud as a coach."


Panathinaikos OPAP Athens
"In a three-game series, when you lose 3-0, instead of looking at what we did wrong, we have to give the utmost respect to Madrid. They were the champions last year. They showed they know how to play. They are winners. We made a big comeback at the end of the season to make the playoffs from the sixth spot. We keep this positive thing in our minds, but we will always think about what if we could have won the first match in Madrid. Maybe it could have been a different series. But that's not the case. So we move on from here. We thank our fans of course for showing us support and even though we were losing at the end, they showed their support by clapping. It was very important for us."
Real Madrid
"I think we got some loose balls, some offensive rebounds and we were able to hit some big threes. Anthony [Randolph] hit a big one, put us up 6. We just were able to make some plays at the end, but Panathinaikos has a very good team and fought until the very end. It was really difficult to beat them. I think that more than anything, we will get some rest. We don't to get play in a four or five-game series, so it is nice to be able to go home and recover, be with your family and stuff like that."
Real Madrid
"It is not just me, it is the whole team. We play together, like a real team, with energy, toughness... that is the key. The key is playing together and we have to keep doing it."