On Sunday in Fernando Buesa Arena in Vitoria-Gasteiz, we will have the last year`s final, Real Madrid vs Fenerbahce in the battle for the third place. It will be an interesting match-up, and it`s the last chance for both teams to finish the Euroleague season in a positive vibe. Let`s see what they have done in the Semifinals.
Real Madrid lost the game against CSKA in an unpleasant way. At the beginning of the fourth quarter, they led with 8 points, 73-65. Also, they had a big lead of 14 points in the middle of the third quarter. In the last quarter, CSKA outscored 30-17 Real Madrid, especially due to the several poor decisions by the referees and also by the stubbornness of Sergio Llull who forced several shots from the 3-Point line. As a result, Llull finished the game with 1 out of 10 three-point attempts made. Due to those misses, CSKA got the advantage of their chances and had a run of 11-2 and came back to even the score at 80-80. Pablo Laso was very angry with all the decisions and also received a technical foul in the last 2 minutes. The foul trouble chased Real Madrid all the game and in the end, they finished with Tavares, Campazzo and Rudy Fernandez being fouled out.
Fenerbahce Istanbul suffered a heavy loss against their arch-rivals from Turkey, Anadolu Efes, 73-92. That match was without any history, only in the first quarter, Fenerbahce managed to keep up with Anadolu`s pace. Anadolu had a huge game from the 3 point line, scoring 14 out 32 attempts to only 6 from Fenerbahce. Also in the rebounds category, Anadolu smashed Fenerbahce with 43 to 25.
The battle for the third place of this Euroleague season will put face to face two wounded teams. However, in my opinion, Real Madrid will have the edge in this one. They are on Spanish soil and Pablo Laso is from Vitoria so the crowd will support Real Madrid from the first minute. The absences of Datome and Lauvergne proved too much for Fenerbahce in the semis against Anadolu and I expect the same outcome in this battle.
Bogdan Vasile Tirc, firstname.lastname@example.org