Copa ACB finalists Real Madrid became the first team to escape Sinan Erdem with a win, easily beating Efes Pilsen 60-77.
With his Turkey NT teammate Semih Erden watching from the stands, Kerem Gonlum scored the opening basket of the night. Then it was time for Real Madrid to shine and with a quick run made the score 2-9. After going five minutes scoreless Efes players converted some shots and made the score 7-11. Both teams had difficulties scoring, hence first quarter score was 12-13.
In the beginning of second quarter Begic scored his first Euroleague points for Real Madrid. With help from Rodriguez and Tucker the score became 16-22. Without injured Rakocevic Efes looked at Vujcic for leadership and he didn’t fail, and with some points in offense and good defenses brought the hosting team close, 22-24. At that point the Turkish team started collapsing, and although their defensive performance was not bad, allowing just 35 points at half time, they just couldn’t put the ball in the opponent’s net. Half time score was a disappointing, for the home team fans, 22-35.
The Turkish finalists might have been the first to score in the second half, but it were the visitors who kept adding points to their difference, 25-40. Llull gave his team a nineteen points leads after a time out and later on Real Madrid established their biggest lead of the game, +20 at 32-52. Nothing much changed in the remaining second and after thirty minutes the score stood at 37-56.
Efes Pilsen tried a bit in the fourth quarter, lowering the points margin down to sixteen points, but Real Madrid was just too dominant for them especially in the defensive end. Final score of the game was 60-77.
With this win Real Madrid became the first team (Barcelona and Maccabi Tel Aviv joined them later in the night) to make it to the play-offs stage of Euroleague.
Efes Pilsen: Wisniewski 3, Roberts 2, Tunceri 14, Thornton 10, Gonlum 8, Arslan 3, Raduljica 3, Vujcic 7, Nachbar 6, Murray 2, Guler 2
Real Madrid: Tomic 16, Prigioni 4, Suarez 5, Reyes 10, Mirotic 2, Rodriguez 8, Velickovic 1, Begic 5, Vidal 3, Fischer 2, Llull 17, Tucker 4