By Cesare Milanti / email@example.com
MURCIA, Spain – The love between Real Madrid and the Supercopa Endesa seems more than ever a never-ending story. After winning the last five editions of the Spanish tournament in consecutive fashion, Chus Mateo’s team will have the opportunity to do it again in 2023 after beating Barcelona 90-80 in the semifinal played in Murcia.
Receiving a standing ovation from the audience in Murcia, where he played on loan from 2015 to 2017, Facundo Campazzo stole the show in his first game with Real Madrid after three years, when he moved to the NBA. The Argentinian playmaker ended with 17 points and 5 assists. His countryman Nicolas Laprovittola, instead, had 27 points with 5/9 from deep in the Catalan’s losing effort.
Other notable Real Madrid performances came from the hands of Dzanan Musa, who stepped up late to deliver 24 points in his team’s victory, and Walter Tavares, who had his first-double-double of the 2023-24 season with 13 points and 11 rebounds, also adding 3 steals and 4 blocks. Gabriel Deck also added 14 points.
“I’m very happy because I came here to play these kinds of games. He’s an unbelievable guy, he’s a very fast and smart guy. In terms of basketball I’m a scorer first, so having that kind of playmaker next to you makes it easier to play with. But credit to all the guys. This summer I worked a lot on my head, I’m prepared for everything that comes in the game”, the Bosnian player said after the victory.
On Roger Grimau’s side, the Argentinian point guard was the only one who ended the encounter in double digits except for Tomas Satoransky, who followed with 14 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists. Jabari Parker and Willy Hernangomez combined only 6 points in their ACB debut for Barcelona.
“Dario Brizuela suffered a hit on the head and he couldn’t play for us later on. Laprovittola made a great effort tonight. Tavares dominated on the glass, and we will find solutions to get better and win”, the newest Catalan head coach said in the post-game press conference. “Dzanan [Musa] did a very great job for the game, especially on defense against Kalinic. We fought and everybody gave an extraordinary effort, we managed to react after an irregular start. I’d like Dario Brizuela to have a speedy recovery”, Chus Mateo added.
Real Madrid started the game slow, shooting 0/5 from the field until 6:24 on the clock when Dzanan Musa finished with a layup. From then on, the Blancos took back the momentum of the game, producing an 8-0 run. Nicolas Laprovittola helped the Catalan side close the first quarter up 25-22, contributing 16 points already. Sergio Rodriguez ended it with a clutch buzzer beater.
Continuing on a great note to enter the second, Barcelona found the highest lead of such a closed game (32-25) after Joel Parra banked in a three-pointer from the right corner. The first downtown shot by Facundo Campazzo since rejoining his historic team brought Real Madrid back to the two-point deficit (32-30) with 5:06 minutes before halftime, while his Argentinian teammate Gabriel Deck completed the comeback to contribute to a 9-0 run. Heading to the locker room, Real Madrid led 42-40.
Nicolas Laprovittola wasted no time in the third quarter, scoring from the corner in Barcelona’s first action on the court. The balance continued in the second half as well, with Dzanan Musa stepping up and scoring 10 straight points in less than six minutes. Facundo Campazzo continued his personal show and brought Real Madrid up by seven (65-58) with 1:26 minutes left until the last quarter.
Chus Mateo’s team continued rolling with a 15-3 run between the remaining two quarters, as Walter Tavares denied Willy Hernangomez twice and Dzanan Musa brought his team up by 15 points (81-66) from deep with 6:15 on the clock. Real Madrid will face the winner of the other semifinal between Unicaja Malaga and the host UCAM Murcia tomorrow at 19:00 CET.
PHOTO CREDIT: ACB