EuroLeague Final 1975: Real Madrid can’t beat Varese’s tyranny

por Roberto Anidos publicado en 1975 Decade 70 EuroLeague Real Madrid Varese

The competition starts with 24 teams, there were two qualifying rounds from which REAL MADRID, VARESE, AS BASKET, ZADAR and CSKA MOSCOW were exempted

In the previous round
Alvik eliminated the Wisla
Maes Pils eliminated the Hagen
Maccabi eliminated Panathinaikos
Balkan eliminated Partizani
The Transol took out Ankara
Prague eliminated Al-Zamalek
Wien eliminated Reykjavik

After the two previous rounds, 12 teams played the regular league. They were divided into two groups of six teams, with the top two from each group going straight into the semi-finals. The competition system played everyone against everyone else in a round-robin game and the winner by points scored a victory.

VARESE (5-0)
ZADAR (4-1)
WIEN (2-3)
BALKAN (1-4)
PRAGA (0-5)

ALVIK (0-4)

* CSKA didn’t play for politics

Once the regular league was over, the semi-finals were played in a round-robin format between REAL MADRID and ZADAR and VARESE against French AS BASKET.

REAL MADRID eliminated ZADAR (109-82); (117-130)
VARESE eliminated AS BASKET (85-86); (98-79)

This year the final was held in the Dutch city of Antwerp and despite not being able to count on their star Dino Meneghin, who broke his right hand a week before the final, the Ignis were once again European champions in a match in which Real Madrid started as clear favourites for the title. The Italians, without a single outstanding performance, were clearly superior to an unknown Real Madrid, who began to lose the match through the uneven Morse-Luyk duel.

From the opening whistle, the strong defense of Varese – with an elastic scheme of zone 1-3-1 designed by Sandro Gamba – knew how to handle the best weapon of Madrid: the counterattack. Only Corbalán and Brabender offered their habitual level of game, since the rest of their companions were shipwrecked on the track, as much in defense as in attack. In this way, Ignis, with a strong defense, patient attacks and good selection of shot, had no major difficulties to control the game and got a maximum advantage of eight points (28-20, min. 14). However, it took just four minutes – from Sandro Gamba sitting Yelverton with four personnel until half-time – for Real Madrid to overcome an adverse 29-25 and leave the score at a favourable 35-38 at the end of the first half. If the Real Madrid players dominated the scoreboard, what could not be expected in the second half if they improved their level?

But if the first half of Real Madrid was bad, the second was even worse, especially in the first minutes, when the Whites were run over by an Ignis who knew how to play strong in defence, even though this cost him the elimination of Yelverton in the 26th minute. The exit to the court of Cabrera in substitution of Corbalán was negative for the Whites, as the Canarian point guard (the hero of the 1974 final) was not the revulsive of his team on this occasion and was overcome first by Rusconi and then by Ossola. In addition, Yelverton’s replacement, young Rizzi, hit five consecutive baskets from outside the area that ended up sinking the Whites. When Ferrándiz stopped the game to call a time-out, his team was already down by eleven points (62-51). The match looked very bad for Real Madrid, with no capacity to propose solutions to the Ignis game due to the low reaction power of its players and the bad shooting percentages. The attacking scheme of the Italian team was as simple as effective: to move patiently the game towards the vertices and sides of the Madrid field to find comfortable shooting positions. Although Ferrándiz tried several defensive tactics to stop the rival attacks, Ignis hardly made any mistakes when it came to getting the ball up and exhausting his possessions. The desperate pressure of the Madrid players (with two bases on the pitch to try and steal the ball) was useless against an Italian team that knew how to manage their advantage wisely.

*Ossola – 4p, 2br.
*Zanatta – 9p.
*Yelverton – 10p, 2r.
*Morse – 29p, 14r.
*Bisson – 14p, 15r.
Rusconi – 0p, 1r.
Rizzi – 13p, 1r.
Salvaneschi – 0p, 3r.

*Corbalán – 11p, 5r.
*Brabender – 21p, 6r.
*Sczcerbiak – 16p, 9r.
*Luyk – 4p, 5r.
*Rullán – 12p, 10r.
Cabrera – 2p, 1br.