Montepaschi Siena ended their 2010/2011 Euroleague season with a comfortable 80-62 victory over Real Madrid at the Palau Saint Jordi in Barcelona.
The 3rd/4th place game is usually a game that most fans forget about as soon as the game ends. This game was no exception, and with the tip-off time being earlier than usual, the Palau Saint Jordi was emptier than expected.
“It’s a strange feeling to play the third place game when everybody is waiting for the final, but we’re professionals so we must show up to every game like it’s the most important game,” Siena guard Rimantas Kaukenas admitted.
Siena posted an early 10-0 run in the first to lead 12-2 and dooming Real Madrid to 4th spot, and at the same time, condemning them to a second blowout on enemy territory.
With D’Or Fischer on court, Madrid got settled into the scoring charts, but by that time, the Italians were comfortable, leading 19-11 after one.
Bo McCallebb, who was appearing in his second straight Euroleague Final Four further extended the lead at the start of quarter number two. Ante Tomic and Sergio Llull were providing the fuel for Real, by keeping the scoreline ticking their end, narrowing Montepaschi’s lead to just four. But Siena continued to look in control after two, leading 36-32.
David Moss, who scored 11 points for Montepaschi extended the lead to double-digits in the third, as their Spanish counterparts began to tire. The impressive McCallebb drove to the lane with ease for successive lay-ups to extend the double-digit advantage mid-way through the third.
Despite Sergio Llull’s best efforts, his game-high 23 points were not enough. As Siena coasted past the finish line to salvage a bit of pride in Barcelona.
“Like I said, we are proud of being here and the way we played in the Final Four,” Siena coach Simone Pianigiani said. “There are great teams in the Euroleague and the competition is better.
John Hobbs for TalkBasket.net