By Eurohoops team/ email@example.com
Real Madrid is the winner of the 40th Copa Del Rey! The 26th title in the competition for the Madridistas, which arrived after a fierce battle (81 – 85) against a quite tenacious Gran Canaria.
No other than Gustavo Ayon was named MVP of the tournament, being also the best player of Real Madrid, in the Final. The Mexican center was everywhere for his team on offense, finishing the match with 15 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals.
For the team from Las Palmas, veteran Albert Oliver led his team’s efforts with 16 points and great leadership. Not enough to match Real Madrid’s strength, though.
With the flair of the favorite, guiding each and every move on court, Real Madrid players utilized their tactics good enough to build a lead of 9 points, 4 – 13, 5 minutes into the game and preserving it until the end of the quarter. DJ Seeley’σ and Sasu Salin’s entrance made Gran Canaria dangerous enough to get closer and make the 38 – 40 with which the first half ended.
The halftime break didn’t drop the temperature in the hands of the players of Gran Canaria, whο returned from the locker room with a 5 – 0 run to get their first lead in the match. It took some time for Real to react but when this happened, Pablo Laso’s players found themselves in front of the score again.
Real moved the ball almost mathematically correct and that provided opportunities for good, wide open shots that made it 50 – 56 for the Madridistas. Although their opponents made some unforced mistakes, Kevin Pangos’ basket from downtown at the end of the third quarter, showed that Gran Canaria meant business.
Sergio Rodriguez took the baton and conducted his team’s rhythm in the beginning of the fourth quarter, creating buckets for himself and his teammates brilliantly. With 5 minutes to go for the end of the game, K.C. Rivers made it 62 – 71 for Real Madrid. Gran Canaria needed someone to hold the flag of resistance, and DJ Seeley raised his hands, scoring 5 points in a row and making it obvious, again, that his team would not give up. But, Real Madrid was too strong and made it a double digit game again.
By making a crucial block on Xavi Rabaseda, K.C. Rivers almost declared that “this Cup is ours” for him and his teammates. With the score 70 – 82 and less than 2 minutes to go, other teams would have crumbled in front of Real Madrid, but Gran Canaria was too proud to go down without a last stand.
Two three-point shots in a row by Oliver and Rabaseda breathed some life in their team again, and then the latter also banged the shot that completed an outstanding 8-1 partial score for his team. But that was just the swansong for Gran Canaria, as with the score 81 – 83, one free throw was enough for Real Madrid to give them the victory.