«See you in Vitoria». Zeljko Obradovic could perfectly say to Pablo Laso in the formal final salute of the match. The two best teams of the competition closed the first phase in Istanbul and the victory went to Fenerbahçe. The Madrid did not consummate the assault to the leadership and that that entered in the last two minutes with an advantage of six points after demonstrating that it is able to adapt to any rate of match. Because Fenerbahçe was a rival as hard as expected. But Madrid was able to respond to almost every challenge. To the initial dominion of Vesely, to the inspiration of Ali, to the talentazo of Datome, but … in the last two minutes it was seen who is the main threat to the European throne. With Rudy and Campazzo as referents and an outstanding defense, Madrid culminated the comeback and even came to dominate with some authority. But it was not enough. Campazzo and Thompkins missed the last five shots and Madrid certified that there was a rival in front of him that could also be on the other side of the field back in May in the Final Four of Vitoria.
The Fenerbahçe appeared as if it were already playing everything in the Buesa Arena. It was one more match in a duel that has become the great classic of the competition in the hottest moments. The attitude of Obradovic's boys deserved Madrid in the first minutes. The defensive changes and the aids were adorned with a succession without pause of easy baskets. The first eight points of the Ottomans were three dunks and two free throws. Too simple. If the road to the local basket was undermined, the Madrid ring was unprotected. That's why Fenerbahçe took over very soon (22-12). The defense of the Turks deactivated Llull and when the white reference went to the bench and sat with his eyes lost, his team the only good thing that happened is that the horn sounded indicating the end of the first quarter.
The fangs of Fenerbahçe had hurt, but Madrid did not bleed despite a partial 13-2 that set the maximum disadvantage (24-12). When Vesely sat down, Tavares appeared and the Campazzo-Rudy connection broke in, the landscape transformed. Madrid adjusted the defense. There were no more trays, no more easy baskets were allowed and the four triples between the base and the forward put Madrid on the right track before the break (32-32).
In the third quarter the road was more tortuous. The match was locked until the appearance of Ayón. The Mexican, who had a nightmare night, scored 8 points and gave the first advantage to Madrid (41-42). To further complicate the mission came the expulsion of Llull. The base had an ominous afternoon. His most important contribution in the first quarter was an unsportsmanlike foul that proved fatal. And is that after a lack of attack when the third quarter reached the end, made a feint to throw the ball to a referee. He did not, but the technique was sung. With the previous unsportsmanlike, the way to the locker room before time was inevitable.
Without Llull, the duel became an Ali-Carroll. It ended in a draw when the last quarter started. The relief was taken by Campazzo and Rudy. The defense and the success outside built an advantage that made Madrid think that 2018 could close it as the leader of the competition, but … The 57-63 that was entered in the last two final minutes was not enough. A complicated triple of Guduric, a basket of Ali and a 2 + 1 of Datome left the triumph and the leadership in Turkey. Three mistakes by Campazzo and two by Thompkins prevented Madrid from being the first team to win on the court of the leader of the competition.
65. Fenerbahçe (22 + 10 + 16 + 17): Ali (10), Guduric (11), Datome (17), Melli (4) and Vesely (13) -quincy title-Sinan (0), Ahmet (0), Kalinic (3), Lauvergne (4), Green ( 0) and Melih (3).
63. Real Madrid (12 + 20 + 12 + 19): Llull (2), Carroll (11), Deck (0), Randolph (11) and Ayón (8) -quintet holder- Rudy (12), Causeur (2), Campazzo (7), Tavares (6), Thompkins (4) and Taylor (0).
Referees: Christodoulou (Gre), Paternico (Ita) and Nedovic (Esl). Without eliminated. Techniques to Laso and Llull. The base was sent off when receiving the technique because he had committed an unsportsmanlike before.
Incidents: 13,000 spectators at the Ulker Sports Arena. Match corresponding to the fifteenth day of the Euroleague.
15th day: Khimki, 77-Kirolbet Baskonia, 85; Darussafaka, 79-Olympiacos, 75; Maccabi, 94-Armani Milan, 92; Barcelona Lassa, 80-Anadolu Efes, 65; Fenerbahçe, 65-Real Madrid, 63; Panathinaikos-CSKA Moscow; Bayern Munich-Buducnost and Herbalife Gran Canaria-Zalgiris Kaunas.
Classification (wins / losses): 1. Fenerbahçe (14/1); 2. Real Madrid (12/3); 3. CSKA Moscow (11/3); 4. Anadolu Efes (9/6); 5. Olympiacos (9/6); 6. Barcelona Lassa (8/7); 7. Zalgiris Kaunas (7/7); 8. Bayern Munich (7/7); 9. Armani Milan (7/8); 10. Kirolbet Baskonia (7/8); 11. Panathinaikos (6/8); 12. Herbalife Gran Canaria (5/9); 13. Maccabi (5/10); 14. Khimki (5/10); 15. Buducnost (3/11); 16. Darussafaka (2/13).