EuroLeague 2018 Final: Real Madrid returns to the top three years later

por Roberto Anidos publicado en 2018 Decade 2010 EuroLeague Fenerbahce Real Madrid

Second year of the new Euroleague, with the 16 teams playing and again there was excitement until the final days. With 30 games ahead there were winners and losers, and unlike the first year in this format, the squares to the playoffs were decided to several days for the end

CSKA Moscow clearly dominated the regular league with six defeats in the entire first round, three fewer than Fenerbahce, who were also clearly second. From here on, there was total equality, with Olympiacos, Panathinaikos and Real Madrid tied, and Zalgiris, the revelation of the year, one victory. Baskonia and Khimki completed the playoff. As last season the bitterest face of the competition suffered teams of the caliber of Barcelona, Maccabi, Anadolu Efes or Armani Milan, who returned to see the playoffs on television.

1. CSKA Moscow (24-6)
2. Fenerbahce (21-9)
3. Olympiacos (19-11)
4. Panathinaikos (19-11)
5. Real Madrid (19-11)
6. Zalgiris Kaunas (18-12)
7. Baskonia (16-14)
8. Khimki Moscow (16-14)
9. Unicaja Málaga (13-17)
10. Maccabi (13-17)
11. Valencia Basket (12-18)
12. Brose Baskets (11-19)
13. Barcelona (11-19)
14. Red Star (11-19)
15. Armani Milan (10-20)
16. Anadolu Ephes (7-23)

In the playoffs the four playoffs ended (3-1) or (1-3). Two teams won with a field factor against, the Madrid who beat Panathinaikos in a playoff that began with a Greek victory, and the Zalgiris against Olympiacos, who suffered losses at the key moment and the quality and illusion of the Lithuanians. The other two did not have too many problems to beat their respective rivals, CSKA against Khimki, and Fenerbahce against Baskonia.

CSKA took the first two wins with little margin, the losses of Hines and De Colo were noticeable against a Khimki without pressure, even more when Khimki won the third, but CSKA did not lose the opportunity to sentence, even if it was a point (3-1).

(98-95); (89-84); (79-73); (88-89)

Fenerbahce proved superior to Baskonia, winning 2-0 in Turkey. The basques took advantage of the pitch to make their debut, but could not do the same in the fourth (3-1).

(82-73); (95-89); (88-83); (83-92)

Panathinaikos began winning and beating, but this far from amilanar Real Madrid spurred the whites, who were able to win three games in a row and show a remarkable improvement for the final four (1-3).

(96-67); (82-89); (81-74); (89-82)

Olympiacos came very touched to this crossroads, and everything was complicated when Zalgiris took the first game of the series in extra time. The Greeks won the second, but could not win either of the two matches in Kaunas. (1-3) for Zalgiris.

(78-87); (79-68); (80-60); (101-91)

After the playoffs we reached the final four, which this year was held in Belgrade. It is worth mentioning that three of the four teams that competed in the final four in 2017 repeated the playoffs, with the only one changing from Zalgiris to Olympiacos. The semifinals were served, CSKA MOSCOW against REAL MADRID and FENERBAHCE against ZALGIRIS KAUNAS.

In the first semifinal Fenerbahce won with authority against a Zalgiris that at times was surpassed by playing a final four, and could not deploy their usual daring. The job of the champion did the rest.

Fenerbahce 76
*Wanamaker – 9p, 3a, 1br.
*Guduric – 0p, 1a.
Kalinic – 2p, 2a, 1r.
Vesely – 8p, 3r, 2br.
Duverioglu – 4p, 5r, 1br.
Sloukas – 14p, 3a, 1br.
Dixon – 19p, 1r.
Nunnally – 0p, 1a, 1br.
Datome – 16p, 2r, 2br.
Melli – 4p, 6a, 5br.
Thompson – 0p, 2r.

Zalgiris Kaunas 67
*Pangos – 16p, 5r, 4a.
*Ulanovas – 7p, 3r.
*Toupane – 6p, 1r, 1a.
Jankunas – 4p, 4r, 1t.
Davies – 12p, 11r, 2a.
Micic – 5p, 4a, 2br.
Udrih – 2p, 1r.
Milaknis – 0p, 1a.
White – 10p, 6r, 1br.
Kavaliauskas – 5p, 2r, 1a.

The solid CSKA leader in the regular, again felt very uncomfortable to single match, even more against a Real Madrid motivated by the fact of being able to count all its troops. The white victory was unappealable, the Russians started better, but from the second quarter Madrid took over the semifinal.

Real Madrid 92
*Campazzo – 0p, 1r, 1a.
Doncic – 16p, 7r, 2a.
*Taylor – 3p, 1r.
*Kings – 5p, 2r.
*Ayon – 12p, 11r, 1t.
Llull – 16p, 5a, 1br.
Causeur – 6p, 3a, 2r.
Carroll – 9p, 3a, 2r.
Rudy – 6p, 2r, 2a.
Thompkins – 12p, 6r, 1a.
Randolph – 2p, 2r, 2a.
Tavares – 5p, 3t.

CSKA Moscow 83
*Rodriguez – 5p, 6a, 2r.
*Antonov – 0p, 1br, 1t.
*Higgins – 15p, 3a, 2r.
*Kurbanov – 7p, 1r, 1br.
*Hunter – 4p, 7r, 1br.
De Colo – 20p, 1r, 1a.
Fridzon – 0p.
Rudd – 0p.
Clyburn – 16p, 7r, 2a.
Vorontsevich – 0p, 1r, 1a.
Khryapa – 0p, 1r.
Hines – 16p, 9r, 1a.


In the «White City» (Beograd), Real Madrid won their tenth European Cup / Euroleague after beating reigning champion Fenerbahçe and «maestro» Željko Obradović (who was also competing for his tenth individual title in the top European competition). On the parquet of the impressive Štark Arena in Belgrade, Pablo Laso’s men overtook their rivals in all facets of the game – including the traditional bastion of the teams led by Obradović – and, after a match hugely even and tense, were able to manage the eight-point rent with which they started the last quarter (63-55) to win the Euroleague title at the end of a terribly troubled season for Real Madrid (with a large number of injuries and problems qualifying for the playoffs until the last day). Luka Dončič (15 points and 4 assists), in which all eyes were on his imminent march to the NBA, was named MVP of the competition and the Final Round. On this occasion, the Slovenian escort was well accompanied by a great choral game (with a dominant Edy Tavares under both boards, a suffocating pressure on all the figures of Fenerbahçe and an active participation of the twelve members of the team). On the part of the Turkish team, the stellar performance of the Italian power forward Nicolò Melli (28 points and 6 rebounds) was not enough to counteract the great match of Pablo Laso’s men.

The beginning of the match was presided by the equality, with the Turkish center Ahmet Düverioğlu and the Serbian forward Nikola Kalinić supporting Fenerbahçe in attack, against the best collective performance of Real Madrid (with protagonism even for the less expected, as Rudy Fernandez or Fabien Causeur). Pablo Laso’s men began to open the gap between the end of the first quarter and the beginning of the second (25-17, min. 12). However, the players from Obradović returned to the game thanks to 11 points from Melli (31-30, min. 16). A brilliant start at the start of the third quarter – with Causeur scoring easily and Reyes and Edy Tavares camped at ease in the paint in the absence of personal Czech power forward Jan Veselý – gave Real Madrid an advantage (63-55) which, given the match’s great equality, allowed the whites to impose their rhythm against a team that was constantly under pressure to tow.

Only Melli’s offensive inspiration and Brad Wanamaker’s awakening in the last quarter threatened the victory of a more choral Real Madrid than their anarchic rivals. Laso’s men, with the lesson well learned, knew how to get out of the defensive tangle raised by Obradović. The emotional state of the Turkish team was reflected in a play in which Veselý, after failing an easy tray, committed an unsporting foul in a play that ended in a triple of Carroll after a large circulation of ball (71-61, min. 34). With six minutes to decide the champion, Real Madrid grew in defense and handled the nerves not to suffer in a tight end. Dončič definitively took the reins of his team and Edy Tavares was doctored in Belgrade with a clinic of inner game. With 1’40» to go, two Thompkins free throws seemed to secure the white victory (78-69). However, the reigning champion was willing to die killing. Melli, Dixon and Wanamaker colluded in attack to offer a level finish against Real Madrid who speculated too much on time and fouls (81-78 with 24 seconds remaining). The next white attack ended with a foul on Causeur, who missed his two free throws, but at that moment came the providential figure of Thompkins to sentencing the final with a palm that ended to sink Fenerbahce.

Real Madrid 85
*Campazzo – 0p, 1r.
*Causeur – 17p, 2r, 2a.
*Doncic – 15p, 4a, 3r.
*Kings – 6p, 3r, 1br.
*Ayon – 4p, 2r, 1a.
Llull – 5p, 2a.
Carroll – 9p.
Rudy – 5p, 5r, 3a.
Taylor – 3p, 3r, 1a.
Thompkins – 10p, 5r, 1a.
Randolph – 3p, 1r.
Tavares – 8p, 5r, 2a.

Fenerbahce 80
*Wanamaker – 14p, 5r, 5a.
*Guduric – 0p, 2a, 1r.
*Kalinic – 7p, 3r, 1a.
*Vesely – 3p, 5r, 2a.
*Duverioglu – 8p, 1r, 1t.
Sloukas – 7p, 4a, 1r.
Dixon – 7p, 2r, 1a.
Nunnally – 0p, 1a.
Datome – 6p, 2r.
Melli – 28p, 6r, 1a.
Thompson – 0p.