05/04/2021 at 8:35 PM CEST
Real Madrid said goodbye this Tuesday in Istanbul to its illusions of accessing the Final Four of the Euroliga after falling 88-83 in an intense game that was decided in the final seconds with former Blue Chris Singleton as the big star with 26 points (3/3 from 3-point range), eight rebounds and a PIR of 38 in 37 minutes.
On the way out and as Pablo Laso had advanced in the previous one, the white box found the double good news that both Walter Tavares as Trey Thompkins could be from the game despite the physical problems that drag in recent days.
Anadolu Efes imposed their rhythm in the first minutes thanks to the shiny paper by ex-blue Chris Singleton hitting the low post (nine points in the first quarter) and took a four-point lead just after a 3-pointer by Vasilije Micic (10-6 after three minutes).
However, an excellent Carlos Alocén balanced that good local start and the entrance of Tavares in the final stretch of the first quarteror allowed the Whites to close the first quarter to three points (18-21) despite the triple that Laprovittola missed on the last possession.
In the second quarter the story was written by Tavares, who martyred the Ottomans in both hoops with five rebounds (three of them offensive). What’s more, Shane Larkin flaunted his fame as a bipolar gamer and went to the locker room with zero points after missing his three triple attempts.
Ataman did not find his way in the first part
Six points in a row from Thompkins (a triple and a ‘2 + 1’) turned the score around (31-33 at 4:47 of the break) and gave way to the best minutes of Real Madrid in the first four previous parts. Thus, a triple by the newly incorporated Sergio Llull and a ‘2 + 1’ by ‘Lapro placed a very disturbing 33-39 for Anadolu Efes at 3:03 from an intermission that was reached with 36-41.
The third quarter was a perfect reflection of both Madrid games. The team led by Ergin Ataman found its game without Larkin thanks to an exceptional Vasilije Micic and, with a run of 15-3 in three minutes, not only turned the scoreboard but also took a large income (51-44).
Singleton was still ‘on fire’ and took advantage of Garuba’s unsportsmanlike child to stretch the ‘gum’ to 55-44… but there Pablo Laso took the same 2-3 zone out of the hat again with adjustments that drove the Turks crazy in the third and fourth games.
With two three-pointers from a very inspired Thompkins, Real Madrid reacted and then the free kicks by Llull and Tavares faced the last 10 minutes with only three points and with the ‘miracle’ of the Final Four relatively close (60-57).
A triple by Laprovittola and a matazo by Garuba tied the game (62-62) and Rudy advanced the whites from beyond 6.75 meters (68-69) to give way to several minutes marked by nerves, by the fouls not indicated for both teams and by nerves.
With 71-72 for Madrid, Tavares committed his fourth foul and Larkin’s emergence with five points in a row put Anadolu ahead again (80-78), although ‘Edy’ tied for an ‘alley-oop’ (80-80) . There Simon’s incredible 3-pointer was key to the Ottoman victory 88-83.