2008 Top 16 Profile: Real Madrid

Jan 30, 2008 by Euroleague.net Print

Real Madrid 
Regular Season:
2nd, Group C, 11-3

Team Rankings
5th Scoring
4th 3-point %
2nd Fouls received

Joan Plaza - Real Madrid  - UC Final 2007
Joan Plaza
Perhaps no other Euroleague team enters the Top 16 Draw as motivated as the reigning Spanish League and ULEB Cup champion Real Madrid, a team ready to relive its glory days in what could be a history-changing 2007-08 season. The 2008 Final Four takes place in the Spanish capital and Madrid is taking the right steps to get closer to the big event in early May. Madrid was second in Group C right behind Euroleague defending champion Panathinaikos, using an opening four-game winning streak to stay as a solid team all the way until the end of the regular season. Madrid grabbed as many as 4 road wins so far, showing it can beat anyone, anywhere. Head coach Joan Plaza keeps living up to the expectations, rotating its players as mush as possible to keep a high intensity at both ends. Alex Mumbru has stepped on court more than anyone else - but averages just 26 minutes per night. Coach Plaza has based its success on strong defense, even using fullcourt pressure after free throws made very o
Felipe Reyes - Real Madrid
Felipe Reyes
ften, as well as a diverse offense in which danger can come from any player on court. Felipe Reyes is the key piece, especially due to his extended range that allows him to play in the high post along with low post menace Lazaros Papadopoulos. Both players have helped Madrid to be one of the top Euroleague teams in offensive rebounds and fouls drawn. If Madrid is looking to open the floor, it can feature mobile forwards Blagota Sekulic and above all, Axel Hervelle, who has been deadly from downtown lately. Mumbru shares playing time at both wings with top guns Charles Smith and Louis Bullock, ready to become his team's leader in crunch time. With a recovered Raul Lopez shining at point guards and some efficient backcourt players such as Michalis Pelekanos or Kerem Tunceri, Madrid has a deep, talented roster ready to take the club as high as possible.

Real Madrid head coach Joan Plaza: "It makes no difference who you play when you reach this level, because all teams are strong. In our group we have teams like Maccabi and Olympiacos who have more recent Final Four history than us. I am not worried about who I will play against but about who I will play with, because we have two serious injuries at center and we have to try to find a replacement for Venson Hamilton and Lazaros Papadopoulos as soon as we can to overcome the first obstacles."
Real Madrid sports director Alberto Herreros: "It is a very difficult group, of course, but our only goal is to finish first and get the home court advantage in the playoffs. We have facing tough opponents but we are ready to give our best to be in the playoffs and of course in the Final Four. No team is more motivated than us, of course, as the Final Four is in Madrid. We try to keep everyone focused, as we all want to be there."