We have three quarterfinals series tied up at 1-1 in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague, but Real Madrid has thrived and surged ahead 2-0 in their matchup against Panathinaikos Athens. The defending champions dispatched with their guests, 78-63 at the Spanish Capital.
In the other Friday night game, FC Barcelona Lassa rode the heroics of Adam Hanga, who came through with the go-ahead lay-up in the dying seconds of the game. Barcelona ended up beating Anadolu Efes on the road, 72-74.
Real Madrid has been on point in the playoffs and their undefeated status makes a strong case to keep them as the favorite for a repeat championship. They took the initiative early with a massive 21-8 lead at the end of the first quarter. Real Madrid stayed in control for most of the game, thanks mainly in part to the efforts of Facundo Campazzo, who came through for the white shirts with a well-rounded line of 13 points, seven rebounds, nine assists and five steals. Jeffrey Taylor added 11 points, while big men Anthony Randolph and Gustavo Ayon chipped in 10 points apiece. Real Madrid was far more efficient in their scoring at close range making 17-of-31 of their 2-point attempts. Randolph and Campazzo, specifically, made some key plays towards the end of the third quarter to help power a timely run.
Real Madrid knew how to get this one done. They were able to shut down Panathinaikos’ Nick Calathes, who was limited to scoring one point on 0-of-11 shooting from the field. He made up for his poor shooting night by grabbing four rebounds, dishing out seven assists and swiping four steals. Panathinaikos had trouble getting their offense going in this game with the team shooting a dismal 22-of-61 from the field, there’s no surprise that they could not keep up with Real Madrid’s up-tempo offense.
In Barcelona’s win, the key category that tipped the scales in their favor came down to rebounds. Barca hauled in a total of 34 rebounds, compared to 27 from Anadolu Efes. Adam Hanga, the game’s main protagonist for Barcelona, also set the stage in the box score with a team-high 17 points, three triples and four rebounds. Ante Tomic did his thing and delivered 13 points and seven rebounds. Tomic was one of most active Barcelona players in the low post, making 6-of-10 shots from 2-point range. This matchup will be must-watch among the remaining tied series in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague quarterfinals.