Real Madrid is gathering steam in Group C, and it was never more evident than on Thursday night when it easily handled a difficult visitor, Elan Bearnais Pau-Orthez, by 92-80, for its first home win of the Euroleague season. Lucio Angulo led six Madrid scorers in double figures with 16 points and was key to an all-around performance based on speed at the perimeters and power on the inside. The combination proved too much for Pau-Orthez, which got 19 points out of its own Spanish player, Roger Esteller, but could not match Madrid's inside game. Madrid improved to 3-1 in Group C while Pau-Orthez is even at 2-2. Alexandar Djordjevic and Alberto Herreros added 11 ponts each for Madrid, Jusad Vukcevic 10 and Zan Tabak 10. Dragan Tarlac picked up 9 points and 8 rebounds. Dragan Lukovski followed Roger Esteller with 16 points for Pau, while Rod Sellers and Florent Pietrus put up 10 each.
Madrid's fear before the game of the athletic abilities of the French forwards and the shooting skills of Esteller vanished with a 30-19 first quarter in which 23 of Madrid's points came on jump shots. Angulo and Herreros forced Pau's defense out of the paint and opened the holes that the big men then were able to work comfortably. Tjhe next step indeed came inside, where Tarlac and Tabak took over on both ends of the floor and keyed a 25-19 second quarter that left the hosts ahead 55-38 at the break. Just the same, Real Madrid relaxed a little bit in defense after halftime, lost some speed in the offensive plays and let Pau-Orthez, led by Esteller, cut down the lead to 68-60. Madrid had to play seriously again, and did, recovering, speeding up the pace of the game and putting out any potential fires on the way to the victory.
Thursday, November 01, 2001