Real Madrid won the FIBA Euroleague Intercontinental Cup for the fifth time in club history on Sunday by beating 2015 FIBA Liga de las Americas champion Bauru of Brazil 91-79 on Sunday at Ginasio Iberapuera in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The Turkish Airlines Euroleague champs took the two-game, total-points series after losing the first game on Friday 91-90. Jaycee Carroll scored 17 of his 22 points in the first half to carry Los Blancos. Sergio Lull posted 21 points and 6 assists, while Trey Thompkins sored all of his 17 points in the second half and Gustavo Ayon dominated the glass with 15 rebounds. The victory marked the first time Madrid lifted the Intercontinental Cup since 1981. Ricardo Fischer starred for Bauru with 26 points and 6 assists, former Madrid center Rafael Hettsheimer added 17 points and Alex Garcia scored 14 in defeat.
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Carroll scored the game’s first 5 points and Llull added a pair of baskets as Madrid raced to a 12-0 start. More than five minutes passed before Garcia, who one played in the Euroleague with Maccabi Tel Aviv, split free throws to get Bauru on the scoreboard. Fischer rallied the Brazilian side back to within 15-11, but 2015 Euroleague Final Four MVP Andres Nocioni came off the bench to score twice and Carroll buried another three-pointer to help Madrid remain in control. After a three-point play by Hettsheimer, Nocioni banked in a three on the buzzer to end the first quarter at 24-15.
Baskets by Fischer and Leonardo Meindl got the local fans involved. A triple by Meindl and a steal and layup by Rafael Mineiro tied the game at 29-29. Madrid limbed back in front on Sergio Rodriguez free throws, but the 2014 Euroleague MVP was soon ejected for 2 technical fouls. Madrid held onto a slim advantage despite a Fisher triple, before Llull and Carroll heated up late and pushed the difference to 45-38. Llull’s layup in the final minute gave Madrid a 49-40 halftime edge and an 8-point aggregate lead.
The Bauru defense kept Los Blancos to just a single point over the first four minutes of the second half, but Madrid held onto a slim lead. A Carroll jumped ended the drought and made it 52-46. However Bauru continued to stifle Madrid. Hettsheimer scored 4 straight points tie even the game at 53-53 and give the South American champs a 1-point aggregate lead. Rookie Luka Donic had a pair of steals in a 6-0 spurt as Madrid went back on top through baskets by Thompkins and Ayon. Thompkins buried a three-pointer from the corner that boosted Madrid’s lead to 66-57 through three quarters.
Garcia scored three times to keep Bauru in the hunt. His three-pointer made it 69-64. Thompkins fueled the Madrid attack with a jumper and a three, but Bauru kept the pressure on. Llull’s off-balance triple made it 77-68 midway through the fourth quarter. Less than a minute later, another Llull triple made it a 12-point game. A trio of offensive rebounds by Ayon allowed Madrid to kill a minute of game time. Jonas Maciulis added a block before Thompkins all but iced the game with a three that made it 83-70 with two minutes to go.
Pablo Laso, Real Madrid head coach:
"We're happy, speaking personally and for the players. I had some players playing a few nights after they were in the final of EuroBasket, others who recently played the FIBA Americas tournament, like Gustavo and Andres. We knew how difficult it was going to be to compete against Bauru on its court under these circumstances and playing what is an 80-minute game. So I would underline our character and the importance we have given from the first minute to these two games. We didn't show perfect basketball. I am sure that some of us think we could have played better. But I believe that all the fans have enjoyed a great final. I repeat: I am very proud of the work of my guys. We value this title a lot. And we are overjoyed to be able to take it back to Madrid."
Sergio Llull, Real Madrid guard:
"As Pablo said, the team is very happy. We knew it wouldn't be easy, that Bauru is a complicated team that shoots a lot of three-pointers, as we saw in the first game. Today we were able to handle that better, their three-point shooting. We defended better, kept them below 80 points and on offense we came back and had a good day. We showed our character and heart when we had to. The push we had in the fourth quarter that took us 10 points ahead let us control the game the rest of the way."