In the exciting Game 1 of the 2015 FIBA Euroleague Intercontinental Cup, the reigning FIBA Liga de las Americas champion Bauru of Brazil hit 16 three-pointers and edged the Turkish Airlines Euroleague champion Real Madrid 91-90 at the Ginasio Iberapuera in Sao Paolo, Brazil. Madrid seemed to take control with a strong finish to the second quarter, and its own three-point blitz by Jaycee Carroll, Sergio Llull and Rudy Fernandez to start the third. Euroleague champs overall put together a 5-27 run that opened 32-49 lead. However, Bauru hit its five consecutive three-point attempts in the third quarter, rallying behind a former Real Madrid center Rafael Hettsheimer. In a fourth quarter shoot-out, Bauru nailed seven more three-pointers, and won the game on layup by Ricardo Fischer with 4.4 seconds left. Llull paced Madrid with 19 points and 6 assists. Carroll scored 17 and Fernandez had 14 with 6 rebounds. Trey Thompkins added 12, while Gustavo Ayon and Sergio Rodriguez each scored 11 for Madrid which shot 10 of 21 from long range. Bauru’s Hettsheimer finished with 27 points on 6 of 9 from behind the arc. Leo Meindl netted 15, former Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv shooting guard Alex Garcia had 12 points, 8 assists and 7 rebounds, while Fischer also had 12 points and 8 assists in victory. Game 2 will be Sunday at 12 noon local time (17:00 CET) in the same venue.
See Game 1 STATS
Thompkins was the one to open the scoring in the Intercontinental Cup, and Ayon got Madrid going early on with six points as teams traded leads. The hosts hit three three-pointers in the first quarter, and led 14-10 behind Garcia's baskets and assists, but Llull made a three-point play and Carroll added a fastbreak basket to put Madrid ahead 14-15. Fernandez nailed a three, Madrid's first of the night, giving the Euroleague champs 19-22 after 10 minutes.
Bauru scored the first 8 points of the second quarter, including a tough triple from Fischer that helped it to 27-22. But Jonas Maciulis converted a three-point play, Andres Nocioni followed it with a triple, and a put back from Felipe Reyes during a 2-12 run gave Madrid the lead back. Madrid allowed only one field goal in the last 7:37 minutes of the quarter, and a reverse layup from Ayon in the final minute of the first half gave Real Madrid 30-37 halftime advantage.
Madrid stormed out of the gate after the break, with Carroll and Llull hitting back-to-back threes. After Carroll was fouled behind the 6,75 line, he added three free throws to the tally, before Fernandez buried another one from long range for 32-49 after only 2 minutes of play in the third quarter. Hettsheimer and Robert Day hit consecutive three-pointers to close the gap to 11, but Llull and Carroll each buried another three to restore 42-59 margin. However, Meindl sparked the run for the Americas champion, Hettsheimer hit two more triples, and Meindl capped a 16-3 spurt with a three of his own just before the third quarter buzzer, cutting it to 59-62.
Bauru went in front 67-66 early in the fourth quarter on another three-pointer from Meindl, team’s 11th of the night. But Rodriguez drove to the basket, Llull hit from long and Thompkins from close range for a quick 0-7 run and 67-73. Hettsheimer and Rodriguez traded triples, and despite Bauru hitting four more from long range – two apiece from Hettsheimer and Andrade Jefferson – Madrid kept the advantage with a three-pointer from Thompkins, baskets from Rodriguez and free throws from Carroll. However, Hettsheimer nailed another three, and Garcia split foul shots with 51 seconds left to tie it at 87-87. Madrid answered as Rodriguez fed Reyes for an easy layup, and after Garcia scored inside for another tie with 22 seconds to go, Reyes split free throws for 89-90. Fischer replied with a quick layup for 91-90, and left Madrid with 4.4 second for the final possession, but Llull’s jumper was short and Bauru celebrated Game 1 win.
Pablo Laso, Real Madrid head coach:
“We are only at half of the series. We faced a team that was difficult to defend in key moments. We lost a 17-point lead. They opted to open the court and shot threes with success. We had some mistakes in the marking on defense, and they got a streak that got them back in the game. For us it was a good experience to understand what we have to do on Sunday if we really want to win this Cup.”
Sergio Llull, Real Madrid guard:
“It was a game of streaks. Before halftime we defended well. After the break, when we started with a good rhythm, hitting open shots, we got a good lead. And then we stopped defending and we let them play their game, playing in transition and shooting threes. They had a good percentages and won the game by one. We are only at half of it, as coach said. There are 40 minutes left, we want to win, and we need to start from the first minute with maximum concentration to get the win and the Cup.”