2012-13Final FourSemifinal
May 10, 2013 CET: 21:00
Local time: 20:00 O2 ARENA

Team Stats

Ave.   Ave.
77.9 Points 79.3
35.2 Rebounds 36.8
9.1 O. Rebounds 12.4
26.1 D. Rebounds 24.4
16.1 Assists 15.1
5.7 Steals 6.7
3.1 Blocks 3.7
12.8 Turnovers 11.5
56.1 % 2PT 51.8 %
36.2 % 3PT 33.1 %
75.9 % FT 75.2 %
90.1 Index 87.9

Player Stats

Ave.   Ave.
13.2 / Navarro Points 13.6 / Fernandez
6.3 / Tomic Rebounds 5.5 / Mirotic
1.8 / Jawai OR 1.9 / Reyes
4.8 / Tomic DR 3.7 / Mirotic
3.4 / Huertas Assists 3.7 / Rodriguez
1.1 / Mickeal Steals 1.4 / Fernandez
1.1 / Tomic Blocks 0.9 / Mirotic
1.6 / Navarro Turnovers 1.7 / Llull
80.0 % / Rabaseda 2PT 63.3 % / Slaughter
46.2 % / Lorbek 3PT 43.1 % / Carroll
97.1 % / Huertas FT 87.8 % / Carroll
16.3 / Tomic Index 16.3 / Fernandez


Ave.   Ave.
0-0 Final Four 0-0
3-2 Playoffs 3-0
13-1 Top 16 10-4
9-1 Regular Season 7-3
25-4 Overall 20-7


Crew Chief

The Take

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Historic matchups vs. Real Madrid
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Real Madrid, Links

Historic matchups vs. Barcelona Regal
VIDEOS: Pre-game Interview, Erazem Lorbek, Pre-game Interview, Felipe Reyes

Two archrivals are set go to against each other in the top stage of European basketball for the first time since 1996 when Real Madrid takes on archrival FC Barcelona Regal in the second Turkish Airlines Euroleague semifinal at The O2 in London, England, on Friday. Madrid and Barcelona have faced each other more than 200 times over more than seven decades, but this will be just their second matchup in a Final Four environment. Barcelona faces severe injury problems, with Pete Mickeal out for the season, Nate Jawai having only a small chance to take the court and C.J. Wallace questionable after being sidelined for two weeks. Expect a thrilling showdown between two great sporting rivals fighting for a spot in the Euroleague title game.

Madrid relies on scoring aces Rudy Fernandez and Jaycee Carroll to make the difference at the wings. Fernandez, an All-Euroleague First team Selection, offers athleticism, defense, experience and quickness, while Carroll is instant offense off Los Blancos' bench. With Marty Pocius sidelined, starting small forward Carlos Suarez and combo guard Sergio Llull will see extended playing time at the wings. Carroll can test his shooting skills against Juan Carlos Navarro, in one of the key matchups in this game. Navarro, a former Euroleague MVP in his seventh Final Four, must use his experience and legendary one-on-one skills to lead his team in a really tough game. Fernandez will not have it easy against Joe Ingles, and athletic youngsters Xavi Rabaseda and Alex Abrines will probably also see playing time against him, too. Llull can use his aggressiveness and explosiveness against four-time Euroleague champion Sarunas Jasikevicius, who arrives to his sixth Final Four ready to do what he does best – win games. The point guard battle will be equally interesting, as Marcelinho Huertas and Victor Sada must try to control the game tempo, thus allowing Barcelona to display its five-on-five offense. On the other hand, Llull, Sergio Rodriguez and Dontaye Draper must try to speed up the game tempo so Madrid can display its run-and-gun style. Controlling the boards will arguably be the biggest key to this game, as Madrid can only run if it locks the defensive rebound. Madrid needs Mirza Begic, Marcus Slaughter, Rafael Hettsheimeir and especially Felipe Reyes, born from big game like this, to box out and allow Madrid to run the floor as much as possible. Nikola Mirotic – one of the three former Euroleague Rising Star award winners in this game and an All-Euroleague Second Team selection this season – brings size, versatility, deep shooting range and simply outstanding talent. If Jawai remains sidelined and Wallace sees limited playing time, Ante Tomic and Erazem Lorbek will see most of the playing time around the baskets. Tomic, a former Madrid player chosen to the All-Euroleague First Team this season, provides post moves, mid-range jumpers and much-needed defensive rebounds. Lorbek can open the floor with his outside shots, score in many ways and use his experience to take care of small details. Marko Todorovic, one of the best per-minute shot blockers in the competition, may see more playing time off the bench, too.

Controlling the boards is critical for both teams in this game. Madrid needs to run to get Llull, Fernandez and Carroll involved on offense, Barcelona can use offensive rebounds to slow down the game tempo. Barcelona has more Final Four experience, especially due to Navarro, Jasikevicius and Lorbek, but both teams know each other very well and there will be few surprises. Get ready for an outstanding game at the O2!
Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Game Notes

FC Barcelona Regal

FC Barcelona Regal leads the Euroleague in defense with 66.8 points allowed and 61.2 performance index rating allowed per game.

Marcelinho Huertas is the Euroleague leader in free-throw shooting this season at 97.06%. Huertas has made 19 straight free throws in Euroleague action and 33 of 34 attempts this season.

Juan Carlos Navarro has scored in double figures in seven straight and 12 of his last 13 Euroleague games.

Navarro was the playoffs scoring leader with 16.6 points per game.

Navarro is tied for fourth place on the all-time list of three-pointers made at the Euroleague Final Four with 19. He shares the fourth spot with Doron Jamchi of Maccabi Tel Aviv fame, Panagiotis Giannakis, who played for both Aris and Panathinaikos and Fragiskos Alvertis of Panathinaikos. Teammate Sarunar Jasikevicius is third with 22 triples.

Navarro is 4 assists away from reaching the all-time top 10 in Euroleague Final Four games. Navarro has dished 20 assists in Final Four games; Nikola Vujcic is 10th with 24.

Alex Abrines has made 14 consecutive free throws in Euroleague games dating back to last season, when he played for Unicaja Malaga.

Sarunas Jasikevicius needs 4 more three-pointers to become the seventh player in competition history to sink 300 career three-pointers.

Jasikevicius has made 10 consecutive free throws in Euroleague action. He is the competition’s career leader in free throw accuracy at 92.97%.

Jasikevicius needs 5 more points to tie former teammate Anthony Parker for 10th place on the list of all-time top scorers at Final Four games. To date Saras has scored 135 points in nine Final Four games.

Jasikevicius is third on the all-time list of three-pointers made at the Euroleague Final Four with 22. Trajan Langdon of CSKA Moscow fame is second with 23 made. Another retired CSKA star, J.R. Holden, is the career leader with 30.

Real Madrid

Real Madrid leads the Euroleague in rebounding with 36.8 per game and in offensive rebounding with 12.4 per game. Felipe Reyes needs 4 more offensive rebounds to tie Mirsad Turkcan as the competition’s all-time leader in that category. Reyes has 381 offensive rebounds in his career.

Rudy Fernandez has made at least 1 three-pointer in eight straight and 15 of his last 16 Euroleague games. Mirza Begic is seventh place on the all-time shots blocked list with 118 career blocks. Marcus Goree is sixth with 120 career rejections.

Begic has blocked at least 1 shot in six straight games.

Sergio Llull needs 17 more points to reach the 1,000-point milestone for his Euroleague career.

Jaycee Carroll has made 10 consecutive free throws in Euroleague action.
Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Quotes Head Coaches

FC Barcelona Regal
"It is very difficult for there to be tactical surprises, we have obviously faced each other many times. We know each other very well and have prepared the games. Both teams will look for their own way to win the game. More than surprises, I expect a great show for all basketball fans. A Clasico in a Final Four environment is something truly special and that is the way we will experience it. We will try to make sure everyone that can watch the game enjoys it."
Real Madrid
"I hope that we will be able to beat Barcelona, knowing that we face a great team and that the four best teams in Europe will compete against each this weekend. Other than the well-known injury to Marty Pocius, we will be ready to face the best FC Barcelona Regal possible. I don't understand that Barcelona does not put out a great team – all of their players are with their national teams and play great games. If are we win tomorrow, we will have to play really, really well."


FC Barcelona Regal
"It is always very nice to get here. It is exciting, but still a little bit on the loose side. I am sure that the nerves will kick in tomorrow. There is no other way around. We will see, we have to go and fight. We have to concentrate on a lot of details and take them out of their sweet spots, so to speak. We defended their offense pretty decently lately. We got punished a lot on one-on-ones and offensive rebounds, giving them a lot of points that we were not able to make up later on in the game; that's the reason why we lost to them last game. All those points, I consider them cheap and you have to eliminate as many cheap points as possible."
FC Barcelona Regal
“We really have to be concentrated and do what we have to do and things will come to us. We have to play defense and get the rebounds and pass the ball to get open shots. If we can do that we will win. We know each other so much. We’ve played against them four times this season, but I think that’s good that we play against a team that we know really good.”
FC Barcelona Regal
"I feel good. So far we achieved the goal to reach another Final Four. We all wanted to be here from the beginning of the season and the time has come to play here. It is crunch time and the team is excited about it. I believe that we have to be ourselves, play our game no matter which game plan they have. We cannot think about us being short-handed. We played a lot of games without important players this season and were able to win them. We have to be positive."
FC Barcelona Regal
“It’s great to be back. We were here last year and obviously we didn’t get the result that we wanted to get. The guys who were here last year and went through that loss really wanted to get back here this year and do it again. We had that motivation all year. The Panathinaikos series was tough, but we’re glad to come out on top of that and be back for another run. It’s getting to be not a classic. We’re playing them a bit too often. The secrets are pretty much gone. We know each other. We know the players. We know their offenses, they know all our plays. It’s really down to a 40-minute game of who can execute, who can play defense and not make mistakes. Every mistake in this kind of game is pretty crucial. We have to take care of the ball and play our style of game. We’re not going to get away from that and hopefully it’s enough to get past them and reach the final.”
FC Barcelona Regal
"I feel really good and am looking forward to starting the game tomorrow. I have the experience of knowing how to play this kind of game. You have to control the game rhythm and be positive. I can't wait to play. We have to do a lot of good things if we want to beat Real Madrid. If we want to make it to the final, we need to play really well. There will be tough moments in which we may trail, with problems on offense or a big run against us, but we have to be mentally strong. Both teams know each other's weak points, so we have to attack them and try to limit their outside shooting and fast break points."
Real Madrid
“We’re very excited. Since the beginning of the year, this is the ultimate goal to be in this tournament and at the Final Four, to have a chance to win, to have the chance to compete. And finally it’s here. Knowing them so well makes it easy to talk about because there’s nothing new. We know who they are. We know their personnel, their strengths and weaknesses. It also makes things very complicated because we do know each other so well. Both teams want to win so bad. The small things will decide the game. Barcelona is very good at taking advantage of mistakes that teams make. The fewer mistakes we can make, the better it will be for us. For us, a huge factor will be our defense. If we can defend really well as we did in the Maccabi series and make things difficult on them, we have a much better chance of winning. Now with Navarro back, everything pretty much goes through him. So if we can limit his touches, make his catches difficult, make his drives difficult, make his passing lanes difficult, we have a much better chance. We can’t stop him. We just have to make things harder for him.”
Real Madrid
“It’s a good feeling to accomplish something, to be here and finally make it. It will definitely be a close game. Details, concentration, focus are things going into this kind of game that you must concentrate on. I think the key would be rebounding. The team that has rebounded better in the past has won. I don’t think there’s any particular match-up that will affect the game most. There are the two stars, Rudy and Navarro, but without the team playing its best it really doesn’t matter. Whether you know the team or not, you have to go out there and play. I don’t see it as an advantage or a disadvantage.”
Real Madrid
"It is great to be back to the Final Four. It means that we are working in that right direction. I believe that this Final Four will be very different from the one we played two years ago. The team arrives in a much better moment. We hope to enjoy and do something big; this is why we are here. Being honest, we were not prepared in 2011. That has to be taken as experience. When you get to the Final Four it is because you did well, but being here is not enough; you have to be really focused and play very good defense. We know Barcelona very well and our only option is to give our best and try to win this game."
Real Madrid
"We are very happy to be back to the Final Four. It was our initial goal and that is already achieved, to be in our second Final Four in three years. We are very happy, excited and ready to give everything we have. I believe that in this kind of game, what is most important is playing really strong defense and controlling the small details. Trying to lock the defensive board so that we can run the floor. They have a lot of talented players in all positions. I am sure it will be a balanced game in which there is not a clear favorite. We will try to offer our best version and win the game."
Real Madrid
"We know what's at stake and how difficult it is. Nobody is relaxed; Barcelona is a great team. We know that everybody will play and give 100%. This is a Euroleague game and nothing will be easy. There are no favorites in a game like this, not at all. Both teams arrive in a good moment. I am sure that they are not felling as bad as they say. Like I said, it will be a really tough game which I hope it will be our way. Still, I believe it will be really tough."

Madrid rallies to take classic, reaches first final since 1995

Real Madrid is one win away from what could be its first Euroleague championship in nearly two decades after holding off archrival FC Barcelona Regal 67-74 in an exciting second semifinal in the 2013 Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four at The O2 in London on Friday night. Los Blancos advanced to Sunday’s final, where they will meet reigning champion Olympiacos Piraeus, the same club Madrid defeated for its last crown in 1995. Felipe Reyes scored 11 points during a 2-17 fourth-quarter rally as Madrid took control of what had been a tight back-and-forth contest till that point. Reyes finished with 17 points in 19 minutes. Sergio Llull, who scored 11 second-quarter points after Madrid fell behind early, finished with 13. Sergio Rodriguez tallied 13 points and 9 assists – he was 1 assist away from a Final Four semifinals record! Marcelinho Huertas paced Barcelona with 19 points and Ante Tomic tallied 18 points and 12 rebounds in defeat.

First quarter: Tomic helps Barcelona to early lead

Tomic scored 4 of 4 free throws, the only points on either end of the floor in the opening three minutes of the game, before Nikola Mirotic sank a three-pointer from the right corner for Madrid. With a jumper from Huertas and a triple from Navarro, Barcelona went up 9-3. Carlos Suarez answered with a three-pointer of his own, but Huertas made a runner and Tomic a layup for 13-6. On the other end, Mirotic made a basket-plus-free throw, but Navarro topped that on the ensuing possession with a triple-plus-free throw as the margin reached 16-9. A fastbreak layup from Rudy Fernandez marked the only points Barcelona allowed in more than three minutes to end the quarter, and a pair of free throws from C.J. Wallace gave it an 18-11 advantage after 10 minutes.

Second quarter: Llull sparks Madrid comeback

Llull opened the second quarter with a triple, and Marko Todorovic made an easy layup for Barcelona. Madrid came within 20-19 with a Reyes layup after a behind-the-back pass from Rodriguez, and with another triple by Llull. The game picked up pace as Navarro answered right back with his third triple, and Llull countered with his third shot from downtown in as many minutes to make it 23-22. Sarunas Jasikevcius and Rodriguez traded close-range baskets, before Rodriguez added a triple to his tally, giving Madrid its first advantage, 26-27. Tomic made a basket-plus-foul on the other end to start his string of 7 consecutive points for Barcelona, but layups from Marcus Slaughter and Fernandez, with a jumper from Reyes in between, put Madrid up 29-33. Rodriguez nailed a jumper, and Llull made a driving layup to extend the margin to 6. In the last 20 seconds of the quarter, Tomic hit a mid-range shot before Reyes rounded out the scoring with a put-back, giving his team a 33-39 halftime lead.

Third quarter: Tomic, Marcelinho boost Barca

A dunk from Mirza Begic started the scoring in the third quarter to give Madrid a 33-41 lead, but Barcelona answered with a 7-0 run during which Erazem Lorbek got a favorable bounce on his mid-range jumper, and Huertas nailed a three-pointer. A dunk from Tomic assisted by Navarro tied the game at 42-42, but Suarez sank a three-pointer to put Madrid back in front. Tomic added another easy close-range bucket, bringing his personal tally to 18 points midway through the third quarter. Fernandez kept Madrid in front with a driving layup, 44-48, but Barcelona did not allow another basket for the last three and a half minutes of the quarter. Meanwhile, Lorbek made a put-back, before Huertas nailed a three-pointer and then hit a runner off the glass to make it 51-48 after three quarters.

Fourth quarter: Reyes stars in 2-17 Madrid run

Huertas continued his run of points in the fourth quarter, making a tough three-pointer off the glass, and Jasikevicius made a stop-and-go drive to the hoop for 56-48. After a timeout, Slaughter made a dunk and a layup, but Jasikevicius hit a jumper and Joe Ingles nailed another for the largest lead of the night for any team, 61-52. However, Madrid quickly halved that lead with Reyes scoring 5 points, including a layup-plus-foul on a fastbreak. Lorbek ended Barcelona’s drought with a put-back, but Reyes answered with a reverse layup before Rodriguez stole the ball and raced for an uncontested layup, 63-63. After Jaycee Carroll’s put-back, Reyes made a layup to cap a 2-17 run and give Madrid a 63-69 lead. Huertas snapped the run with a pair of free throws, but Madrid did not allow any more than that. Rodriguez split free throws in the final 30 seconds, and Fernandez stole a long pass to seal the deal.

Felipe Reyes celebrates - Real Madrid - Final Four London 2013
Friday, May 10, 2013
Attendance: 13193
By Quarter1234
FC Barcelona Regal18151816
Real Madrid1128926
End of Quarter1234
FC Barcelona Regal18335167
Real Madrid11394874
FC Barcelona Regal
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
8 SADA, VICTOR 7:27     0/1   1 1 2 2         1   2
9 HUERTAS, MARCELINHO 30:24 19 4/8 3/7 2/2   6 6 2 1 2   1 2 1 16
10 ABRINES, ALEX 4:01   0/1                     1   -2
11 NAVARRO, JUAN CARLOS 32:55 9 1/5 2/4 1/1 1   1 2   3   1 4 4 2
13 JASIKEVICIUS, SARUNAS 11:36 6 3/4 0/1             2       1 3
14 TODOROVIC, MARKO 2:19 2 1/1                     1   1
18 WALLACE, C.J. 14:26 2   0/3 2/2   2 2 3         4 2 2
20 INGLES, JOE 33:19 5 0/1 1/3 2/2   5 5 2   1 1   2 4 11
22 RABASEDA, XAVI 0:17                              
25 LORBEK, ERAZEM 25:35 6 3/7 0/3   2 3 5     2   1 4 1 -2
32 JAWAI, NATE 1:51                   1     2   -3
44 TOMIC, ANTE 35:50 18 6/7   6/7 3 9 12 1 1 1 1   2 6 34
Team             3 3     1         2
Totals 200:00 67 18/34 6/22 13/14 7 29 36 12 2 13 2 3 23 19 66
        52.9% 27.3% 92.9%
Head coach: PASCUAL, XAVI
Min: Minutes played; Pts: Points; 2FG M-A: 2-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); 3FG M-A: 3-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); FT M-A: Free Throws (Made-Attempted); Rebounds: O (Offensive), D (Defensive), T (Total); As: Assists; St: Steals; To: Turnovers; Bl: Blocks (Fv: In Favor / Ag: Against); Fouls: Cm (Commited), Rv (Received); PIR: Performance Index Rating
Real Madrid
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 DRAPER, DONTAYE 0:28                              
5 FERNANDEZ, RUDY 30:54 8 3/8 0/2 2/2 2 3 5 4 4 3     3 3 11
8 SUAREZ, CARLOS 11:47 6 0/3 2/2   1 1 2     1     1   3
9 REYES, FELIPE 18:53 17 7/12   3/4 4 1 5 1 1       1 6 23
12 MIROTIC, NIKOLA 24:15 6 1/5 1/3 1/1   3 3     2 1   1 2 3
13 RODRIGUEZ, SERGIO 22:04 12 3/8 1/4 3/4   1 1 9 1     1 1 4 16
15 HETTSHEIMEIR, RAFAEL DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
16 BEGIC, MIRZA 12:34 4 1/3   2/4 1 2 3 1     1   3 3 5
20 CARROLL, JAYCEE 22:13 2 1/5 0/1   1 5 6 1       1 2   1
23 LLULL, SERGIO 32:32 13 1/3 3/6 2/2 1 3 4     2 1   3 2 10
44 SLAUGHTER, MARCUS 24:20 6 3/3     1 2 3     1     4 3 7
Team           5 3 8     1         7
Totals 200:00 74 20/50 7/18 13/17 16 24 40 16 6 10 3 2 19 23 86
        40% 38.9% 76.5%
Head coach: LASO, PABLO

Head Coaches

FC Barcelona Regal
"Congratulations to Real Madrid on the victory in a game that we played very well until the final seven minutes. We built a 9-point lead and then we did a lot of things poorly. We failed in a lot of things. Madrid had a very good game. In the end, we were nervous and lost our chances. It is a real shame for us. We came up a bit short. We played well for 33 minutes and then we threw it overboard. This leaves a bad taste in our mouths."
"When you lose, there are no excuses possible. We talked about our situation enough. We had a lot of negative elements against us. Felipe Reyes really hurt us badly inside. We knew rebounds would be key. We were punished by rebounds. In the last stretch of the game we were missing mental strength and endurance. And in the end we had seven bad minutes that sent us home."
"These are very painful moments. But we have some time to recover from a game like this. We had a chance to win and we have to see that positively. But when you get there and it slips through your fingers, it gives you a great deal of pain."
Real Madrid
"What an exciting game, which we knew it was going to be. Probably all around Europe, people now know what Barcelona vs Real Madrid means in basketball. Both teams had good moments and bad moments. The good thing about my team is that from the first moment of the season they knew they could always come back. When we were down the most, we changed the defense and made some stops and were able to make a run and that is basketball."
"When you have a team and you want it to be a team, then you have to make everyone important. Sergio [Rodriguez] and Felipe [Reyes], if you look at the stats, shined. But the defensive work on Navarro by Sergio was tremendous as well. I can speak highly of all of the players."
"I am really happy to be here. This is recognition of all the hard work all year. But we will be facing the Euroleague champions and I know it will be a very difficult match-up. I watched some of the other semi-final, Olympiacos was totally dominating the game from the beginning, playing the way that they have been playing the whole season – smart, moving the ball, tough defense, and playing with a lot of players. We are playing the champion. They deserve it. They have so much depth and so many great players it’s going to be such a tough game."


FC Barcelona Regal
"We played a really bad second quarter. We managed to get the lead in the first quarter but stopped playing defense. Madrid got a good lead which allowed them to win the game. The detail that decided the game is that we were not focused in the key moments. We stopped playing defense when we were up by 9 and Madrid took off. And against a team like this, if that happens, that's it."
FC Barcelona Regal
"I think we had everything ready to round out a great season - reaching a Euroleague final with the chance to win the title. We had the game in our hands and were not able to win it. We allowed six layups in the fourth quarter, under the basket. That affected as a lot. We put a big effort out there with all the injuries we had. It is tough not to have the prize of winning this game, which I think the team deserved."
FC Barcelona Regal
"We were leading with four or five minutes to go and to lose that lead so quickly is really bad. Our defense was pretty bad in the last couple of minutes and you cannot do that against a good team. When we had a 9-point lead, we had to be smart and take care of the ball, get good shots, but we did everything wrong."
FC Barcelona Regal
"It is a shame, especially the way the game went. We saw we could have won the game, but they played better than us in the final minutes. We had a couple of key turnovers when we were up by 7-8 points, which led to easy baskets. We were in the foul penalty and couldn't foul to stop their fast break points. A layup-plus-foul by Reyes and so many offensive rebounds allowed finished us down the stretch."
Real Madrid
"Even when Barcelona got an 8-point lead, we didn't fall apart. The players that came off the bench and let our starters rest stepped on court with more energy. With the help of everyone – in this case, I had the chance to offer many things on offense, but always with the help of my teammates. It is very important, it means a lot for us to put Madrid back on top. I hope that we can do it on Sunday. We face a strong opponent that has proved to be a powerful team, especially on defense. It will not be easy. This is an important win but we haven't done anything yet, as the big game is on Sunday."
Real Madrid
"Barcelona put up a big fight, but we got the win eventually, and that's what matters right now. What made the difference for me was the second half. We played a lot of zone defense and that's how we came back to the game. Our intensity helped too. We had to find energy to come back like that in the closing quarter. It's the first title game for Real for many years, and I'm very happy I returned to the Euroleague and this is what I experience already in the first season. We have less experience than Olympiacos because they won the title last season and managed to keep a lot of players on the roster, but we still have very good players who can step up and win the game. We want our fans to celebrate on Sunday night. The whole season is on the line."
Real Madrid
"Very important win for us today. It was anything but easy, but we got it and now we need to get one more. We have a long rivalry with Barcelona, but already this season we faced them several times and we had some open accounts to close. This win is very important for us and our fans. It's great that we made it after a very tough game. We had some ups and downs during the game, but it's natural. We have Olympiacos now in two days. We'll rest tonight and from tomorrow morning we're all focused on how to beat them. They are a very good team, and everybody know that. They play like a unit but we do that too. It's 40 more minutes of basketball for the title. It's always an exciting experience. We'll go out there to win it."
Real Madrid
"We are happy. Both teams knew each other. They played good, but we played better. Our team wants to do big things, so we play with a heart. In the key last quarter, we made some important baskets, improved on defense and we also controlled the rebounds. We want to win on Sunday, but we need to improve because we know Olympiacos has really good and experienced players."
Real Madrid
"It was a very tough game, like every game we play against Barcelona. The key to this game was that we stuck together for all 40 minutes, even when things were not going good for us."
Real Madrid
"I expected us to come out and be good from the get-go, but it took us some time to get some of the anxiousness out. The fourth quarter comeback was big. We have been in that situation a couple of times earlier this season, we have confidence we can always get a couple of quick baskets. We were able to lock up on defense, get some turnovers and start to score. That put the pressure back on them to try to score, and we took advantage of it."
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