The Real Madrid this Thursday he took out his ticket for a new end of Endesa League after overcoming, in an exercise of faith and with much suffering, a brave Valencia Basket that he never gave up and demanded the most of him in a very close all-out battle that was decided on small details and in which the visitors were never able to get ahead (80-77). Once again the work of an immense Usman Garuba (16 points, 14 rebounds and a PIR of 23), and the contributions of Fabien Causeur (15 points) and a Sergio Llull who forced his reappearance to add 13 points and five assists and who was able to infect his teammates with the competitive gene of a team that will fight for a new title. .
As in the first game of the series, the whites came out more connected in search of the intensity lost in La Fonteta and they achieved it thanks to the new display of a Garuba that, one more day, multiplied on both sides of the track and his usual fight added the dominance of the rebound and baskets of merit, well supported by the French guard.
Despite their initial doubts, the taronjas knew how to recover at the first blow of their opponent, who played with one more march and was similar to the one who dominated the first game on the same stage. They got to a point, until Llull, with a triple on the house brand horn, rose to the scoreboard the 22-18 with which the first ten minutes ended light local dominance.
The balance dragged on during the second act. The exchange of blows prevented the comeback and kept the whites with minimal advantages thanks to the arreones of Rudy Fernández, isolated actions of Jeffery Taylor and Vincent Poirier and their dominance of the offensive rebound, which allowed them second chances. Opposite, the Valencia Basket He drew on the quality of Serbian Nikola Kalinic and, although he accused his lack of fluidity, managed to draw for the first time in the last minute of the first half thanks to two free throws from Dubljevic. Garuba, with his second triple of the afternoon in the last action of the second quarter, kept his ahead of half time (32-29, min. 20).
An unsportsmanlike foul by Garuba himself, which resulted in five visiting points, tied the match again at the restart, but the Real Madrid He was reluctant to relinquish command and another arreón culminated, led by Causeur and Tavares, which allowed him to reach his highest income so far after a 13-5 run that forced Ponsarnau to request time-out to avoid greater evils (57-49 , min 27). His players responded immediately and a partial 0-5 at the end of the third chapter he put him back into the fight (59-55, min 30).
When the moment of truth arrived, Madrid returned to give another stretch thanks to its external effectiveness. Two triples from Llull and a third from Taylor in a minute and a half threatened to decant the semifinal in favor of the leader of the regular phase by equaling the nine points of maximum advantage. Again, the reaction of Valencia Basket was immediate. A 0-8 partial returned to balance the game five minutes from the conclusion (68-67) and that minimal difference was maintained until the last minute, when Garuba, with an action of 2 + 1, definitively knocked down a taronja team who fought to the horn but what stayed at the gates of his fourth CBA final.
80.- Real Madrid (22 + 20 + 17 + 21): Alocen (3), Causeur (15), Taylor (10), Garuba (16) and Tavares (7) -the starting quintet-, Rudy Fernández (5), Carroll (6), Poirier (4), Llull (13) and Tyus (1).
77.- Valencia Basket (18 + 21 + 16 + 22): Van Rossom (7), Sastre (8), San Emeterio (-), Williams (5) and Dubljevic (8) -five starters- Prepelic (11), Labeyrie (3), Tobey (11), Hermannsson (7), Kalinic (13) and Vives (4).
Referees: Antonio Conde, Carlos Peruga and Jordi Aliaga. They eliminated Jeffery Taylor for fouls (min 39).
Incidents: Third match of the Endesa League semifinals, played at a WiZink Center that was attended by a thousand spectators due to the covid 19 restrictions.