The Turkish team, led by Micic and Pleiss, prevailed in a very intense and defensive final against the Whites, who crashed from the outside
Real Madrid will have to wait to win their eleventh European Cup. In Belgrade, where Pablo Laso’s team won their last major continental title four years ago, Madrid lost this Saturday in a very intense and defensive final against Anadolu Efes, who defended the title in their third consecutive final. The Turkish team, led by Vasilije Micic and Tibor Pleiss, who broke Real Madrid in the second half, thus lifted their second Euroleague against a Real Madrid that was alive until the last play, but the loss of a rebound captured by Chris Singleton he condemned him definitively and the whites no longer had the option of surprising.
In a tremendously even duel, Efes fulfilled the role of favorite with which they appeared in the final match and frustrated Real Madrid who, after hitting Barça in the semi-finals, dreamed of proclaiming themselves champions again, but he crashed from the outside (6 of 33 three-pointers for an 18% success rate) and did not have players with the decisive capacity of Micic or Pleiss. The former Baskonia, Barça and Valencia player who went from being a covert to becoming one of the main architects of Turkish success.
If in last year’s final Micic and Shane Larkin were Barça’s executioners, against Real Madrid the great Serbian point guard repeated and appeared to sentence Pleiss, who took advantage of the absence of Eddy Tavares from the middle of the third quarter and in almost everything the last part. After showing off Tavares in the first half (12 points and seven rebounds at halftime), the Cape Verdean center went to the bench and did not return until almost the end of the match, when the match was already tilted in favor of Efes, with Pleiss unstoppable and Lethal Micic in the long shot (four triples of seven attempts).
Abalde (2), Hanga (5), Deck (5), Yabusele (3) and Tavares (14) -initial quintet-. Causeur (3), Randolph (6), Rudy Fernández (2), Poirier (5), Llull (9) and Taylor (3).
Larkin (10), Micic (23), Anderson (-), Moerman (-) and Pleiss (19) -initial quintet-. Beaubois (-), Singleton (4), Bryant (-) and Dunston (2).
15-14, 19-15, 8-11 and 15-18.
Luigi Lamonica (Italy), Boris Ryzhyk (Ukraine) and Gytis Vilius (Lithuania). Without eliminated.
Final of the Euroleague 2021-2022, played at the Stark Arena in Belgrade. 15,000 spectators. In the box, the president of Real Madrid, Florentino Pérez.
Real Madrid had a maximum advantage of nine midway through the third quarter (40-31), but after Tavares’ personal third and the disappearance of the Madrid center, the decisive figure of Pleiss emerged, to re-launch Efes towards the continental crown. He also collaborated again in the success of Efes Larkin, one of the only four players who finished in double figures in attack and whose speed and penetrations to the basket made an excessively limited Madrid desperate. Only with Tavares it was impossible to think that it would be enough.
failed in attack
Madrid delivered in defense, but failed in attack, and the king of Europe was unable to regain the throne from Efes, which left the whites with only eight points in a third set to forget about the king of Europe. Ergin Ataman’s team began to carry out an exercise in mental resistance there, pushed back by a physical display that nullified the madridistas’ offensives and ahead by Pleiss’ points and the imbalance of Micic and Larkin, two stars who were very difficult to stop. as Laso and his players had already assumed.
Between the German center and the Serbian and American point guards, they made Tavares’ great game useless (14 points and 11 rebounds for a PIR of 20) and a factor -along with the aggressive team defense- that Real Madrid seized on to win, with absolute prominence of the Cape Verdean, in a first half in which Efes was very nervous and unwise. However, the Whites were also very hasty and imprecise in attack (0 of 8 triples in the first set).
The lousy outside shot, except at very specific moments in the second quarter, however, continued until the end, while Larkin finally woke up before the break to be decisive so that Madrid did not escape more than seven and the difference was only five at halftime (34-29). After the break, with both teams tremendously stuck, already without the points and rebounds of Tavares and after a poor percentage also in triples by Efes (4 of 17 at the break), it was Pleiss who began to hammer the madridistas inside and out . And although the champion never managed to acquire an advantage greater than three points -the first with 42-45 at the beginning of the last quarter-, it was already beginning to lull that the European Cup was going to stay in Istanbul.
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