2017-18PlayoffsGame 4
April 27, 2018 CET: 21:00
Local time: 21:00 WIZINK CENTER

Madrid survives Panathinaikos rally to reach Final Four

Real Madrid survived a big comeback from Panathinaikos Superfoods Athens to advance into the Final Four with a tense 89-82 victory, sealing a 3-1 series triumph. After a closely contested start Los Blancos produced an offensive explosion in the second quarter, with Sergio Llull coming off the bench to spark a run of 30 points in just over 8 minutes. Long-range shooting from Luka Doncic took the lead past 20 in the third quarter, but Panathinaikos showed terrific resilience to fight back and it was 85-82 with a minute remaining, when Doncic sank an outrageous three-pointer to seal the win. Doncic led Madrid with 17 points including four triples, while Llull had 11 points and 7 assists. Big men Gustavo Ayon and Felipe Reyes scored 12 apiece, and Jaycee Carroll added 10. Chris Singleton paced Panathinaikos with 21 points on 5-of-6 three-point shooting. Nick Calathes and Mike James both scored 18 points, and Matt Lojeski added 10.

The early stages were closely fought with multiple lead changes. Calathes opened the scoring with a lay-up, before Trey Thompkins responded. Singleton drove to score, Jeffrey Taylor levelled, but James sent Panathinaikos ahead and Calathes added a fastbreak lay-up. Madrid tied it from the foul line before Singleton made the game’s first triple. Then Ayon took over, scoring two baskets and a pair of free throws to send Madrid ahead. Lojeski and Doncic traded baskets but Ayon added a floater to make it 19-14 after the first quarter. Taylor extended the lead from close range before James went coast to coast, then Anthony Randolph netted a mid-range jumper and Ayon added a highlight reel slam for 25-16. Lojeski reduced the deficit with a triple, and although Randolph netted again that was followed by baskets for James and Lojeski to bring it back to 27-23. But Llull finally hit Madrid’s first triple and then added another, before two-pointers from Carroll and Reyes gave the home team a 37-24 edge. Carroll soon added another three-pointer and Reyes netted again as the advantage continued to grow, before Payne and Tavares traded fierce dunks. A three-point play from Reyes kept Madrid moving, and after Calathes netted from long-range Rudy Fernandez did the same to make it 51-35 at half-time.

Doncic opened the second half with a step-back triple and soon added another to take the lead past 20 points, and although Singleton responded from downtown it didn’t take long for Doncic to strike from deep again. Then it was the turn of Lojeski, James and Pappas to net from distance as the game became a three-point shoot-out, with Panathinaikos pulling it back to 67-52. A triple from Thompkins slowed down the visiting team’s charge, and Llull sparked a celebratory atmosphere with a trademark triple for a 78-60 lead at the end of the third quarter. But Panathinaikos gained fresh hope as the final quarter opened with a lay-up from Calathes and a third triple for Singleton. Another long-range strike from Singleton and a fastbreak score for Calathes reduced the deficit to single digits, as Madrid was held without a field goal for more than six minutes. Singleton’s fifth triple made it 80-75, and although Reyes finally stopped the rot from close range, a tip-in by Thanasis Antetokounmpo kept it close. Reyes split free throws and Calathes scored a lay-up for 83-79 with two minutes remaining. Llull fed Reyes for another basket but Calathes answered from deep to make it a one-possession game, until Doncic struck an incredible buzzer-beating triple to restore a cushion. Madrid’s defense held firm the rest of the way, allowing the home fans to celebrate a return to the Final Four.

Luka Doncic celebrates - Real Madrid - EB17
Friday, April 27, 2018
Attendance: 12557
By Quarter1234
Real Madrid19322711
Panathinaikos Superfoods Athens14212522
End of Quarter1234
Real Madrid19517889
Panathinaikos Superfoods Athens14356082
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 6:07 1   0/1 1/2           2     1 1 -3
2 RANDLE, CHASSON DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
3 RANDOLPH, ANTHONY 16:52 4 2/5 0/1     2 2           2 1 1
5 FERNANDEZ, RUDY 25:03 5 0/1 1/4 2/2 1 1 2 2 1 2     1 3 6
7 DONCIC, LUKA 28:57 17 1/1 4/8 3/4   4 4 5   1     3 7 24
9 REYES, FELIPE 10:41 12 5/5   2/3 1 1 2             3 16
14 AYON, GUSTAVO 29:11 12 5/6   2/2 2 4 6 4 3 3 2   2 2 23
20 CARROLL, JAYCEE 20:43 10 2/2 1/3 3/3 1 1 2 1 1 1 1   2 2 12
22 TAVARES, WALTER 7:18 2 1/1       1 1     1         2
23 LLULL, SERGIO 18:17 11 0/2 3/7 2/4   1 1 7 1 1   1 3 4 11
33 THOMPKINS, TREY 14:49 9 2/2 1/1 2/2   2 2           2 1 10
44 TAYLOR, JEFFERY 22:02 6 2/2 0/5 2/2   1 1     1 1   3 1  
Team           2 7 9               9
Totals 200:00 89 20/27 10/30 19/24 7 25 32 19 6 12 4 1 19 25 111
        74.1% 33.3% 79.2%
Head coach: LASO, PABLO
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
Panathinaikos Superfoods Athens
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
0 SINGLETON, CHRIS 38:13 21 2/4 5/6 2/3 2 1 3 2 1 2     4 5 22
3 RIVERS, KC 8:06     0/1     1 1             1 1
5 JAMES, MIKE 24:02 18 6/12 1/5 3/4 2 3 5 6         3 5 20
6 PAYNE, ADREIAN 3:53 4 2/2     1   1           1   4
11 PAPPAS, NIKOS 16:55 6 1/4 1/3 1/1   2 2   1 2   1 5 1 -3
12 DENMON, MARCUS 7:14     0/1   1   1   1           1
14 GIST, JAMES 20:34 2 1/2 0/1     4 4         1 2 2 3
15 VOUGIOUKAS, IAN 5:33 1     1/2   2 2     1     2 1  
22 GABRIEL, KENNY 15:40   0/1 0/2   2 4 6 1 1 1 1       5
24 LOJESKI, MATT 17:53 10 2/2 2/4           1 1     2   6
33 CALATHES, NICK 27:06 18 5/10 2/6 2/4   3 3 4 2 2   2 3 4 13
43 ANTETOKOUNMPO, THANASIS 14:51 2 1/2     2   2     1     3   -1
Team           1 3 4               4
Totals 200:00 82 20/39 11/29 9/14 11 23 34 13 7 10 1 4 25 19 75
        51.3% 37.9% 64.3%
Head coach: PASCUAL, XAVI

Head Coaches

Real Madrid

“I’m very happy in a special year, with all the difficulties we had. I’m very proud of my players, they kept fighting from the day that Llull fell in the summer. We never gave up, we stayed focussed, we knew it would be hard but I feel very happy for my team, for everybody who works here – the assistants and people who work every day to achieve goals like this. It’s a great day for us. I think these kinds of games are like finals. We played great for 25-26 minutes, got a big lead, but sometimes when you get a big lead against a team with that kind of heart it’s difficult to maintain your concentration. They had some important threes, they opened the floor, they have great one on one players, and it was difficult. You see the victory so close you stop a little bit, but we kept our composure and were able to close the game at the end.”

“It’s been a very tough year and we have suffered for many reasons. Nobody remembers that Radoncic was a starter against Milan at the age of 18. Yusta started for three or four games in a row. Those players might be less valued, but for me they are all the same. During the whole season we’ve kept on working, no matter what was going on. We’ve heard this sentence many times: what else can happen to us? And always something did. For instance, one of the best players in EuroLeague, Facundo Campazzo, couldn’t play in the playoffs. If there’s one day I’m proud of all my team, it’s today. We’re going to play a Final Four with the best teams in Europe, and that should not be taken for granted. We never lost our will to win and I am very happy to reach this Final Four in a very tough EuroLeague. It’s a day to congratulate many people.”

Panathinaikos Superfoods Athens
“First of all I’d like to congratulate Real Madrid and I wish them the best of luck in the Final Four. We tried to be competitive but we had a lot of difficulties and made a few mistakes we didn’t in the previous games, mainly during the first 30 minutes. The pressure was very high and we may have been frustrated after losing the previous games, we couldn’t be fully focussed because we were too excited which is why Real Madrid found easy ways to score. In the last quarter we came back and had a chance, but that Doncic three killed us. Congratulations to my team, we fought a lot to get here, we deserved to get to the playoffs and we lost three games by a small number of points. We defended well until the last second of the game but with the Doncic shot, Madrid was a little bit lucky. But they deserve to go to the Final Four.”


Real Madrid
“The end the game got difficult, but we did a lot of things very well in the earlier minutes to get a lead and win the game. In the first 30 minutes, we knew exactly how to play, but they came back and fought hard. They were playing for their season. Playing a Final Four is a great reward for a very difficult season, but we know that a lot more work is still to come. Sergio Llull has given us good minutes and some good plays, and now we have a few weeks to him to get fully fit. We could have given up after the first game in Athens, but in the second game we went out with a different attitude and showed a lot of courage.”
Real Madrid
“It feels amazing, it was really tough to get here and Panathinaikos didn’t give up at any time so we did a great job and it feels amazing. We had a lot of injuries but we play like a team and I’m proud of my team. The semi-final is going to be really hard, CSKA is an amazing team. We need to fight to the end, we’ll have 40 minutes where we have to fight.”
Panathinaikos Superfoods Athens
"It didn't go our way. Some plays didn't go our way. Doncic made a backcourt three-pointer when we were down three. Pap loses the ball, which never happens. On defense we switched and miscommunicated and they got a layup. But they beat us, no excuses. I think our team is better than what we showed in this series, we deserve to be in the Final Four, but in this whole series they made shots late in the shot clock. They scored 40 points in the last 5 seconds of the shot clock, when we played good defense for 19 seconds. We're capable and we were confident, but at the end of the day it's on the court and we didn't get things done."