By Eurohoops team / firstname.lastname@example.org
Real Madrid‘s Argentinian duo of Gabriel Deck (17 points, 11 rebounds, six assists, career-high 31 PIR) and Facu Campazzo (18 points, six assists) put their signature all over the 97 – 81 win of their team over CSKA Moscow at home. It was the fifth straight win and seventh overall for the “Blancos” this season.
Meanwhile, CSKA Moscow was defeated for the second game in a row to drop to 6-4 and below the Top Four of the standings.
Johannes Voigtmann dropped 20 points on 4/5 triples and Mike James posted 14 points and five assists for CSKA. James also made the four-point play with a triple and a foul won, which cut his team deficit to 81 – 75 with 6:19 remaining in a comeback attempt from down 13 in the third period.
That was as close as the reigning champions got since they scored just three points in the next five minutes while their opponents responded with 13 of their own to go ahead 94 – 78 with one minute left. Campazzo then put the icing with a 3-pointer.
As Real Madrid coach Pablo Laso said: “I think this is a game that we approached really well. Only in the second quarter, in which both teams tied, trading baskets all the way, very fun-to-watch, but it is possible that [CSKA coach Dimitris] Itoudis didn’t like it – and I didn’t. They found an advantage with Voigtmann stretching the floor and that took us out of our defensive routines. The defensive job in all the other three quarters was very good. We controlled that situation in the second half and other than in the second quarter, CSKA scored less than 20 points in all other quarters. That was key. By playing defense, we got the control of the game, moving the ball”.
Real was up 52 – 48 at the break behind an electric offensive performance led by Sergio Llull who scored 10 out of his 15 points in the first half.
The champs fell short
While defending EuroLeague champions Dimitris Itoudis was happy with the effort of his team, he couldn’t but accept that Madrid was better: “I would like to congratulate Madrid for this win. We had a different mentality and a different mindset in the game today, compared to the last one we played against Baskonia. Unfortunately, that was not enough against such a good team that played together in the last years. They haven’t changed much in their roster. Their two additions – actually, one of them didn’t even check in the game and the other played 20 minutes. I want to say that they had their runs and this cost us a lot. Their 9-0 run in both the first and the third quarters, which is 18-0, cost us a lot down the stretch. We were chasing them and had a very good part in the game, definitely, that second quarter in which we took the lead. They made some tough shots like we also made some tough shots, but overall, the game could have had a different end regarding the margin. I am not talking about the outcome but the margin was six points with three minutes left”.
The bottom line for CSKA is that the team needs to improve: “For this trip in Spain so far, we have a lot of things to work on regarding the runs that our opponents had, because Baskonia also had a 9-0 run and a 13-0 run, and the turnovers. These are definitely the two things we have to talk about.”
Photo: EuroLeague Basketball