Real Madrid took until the final minutes to shake off the challenge of Mad-Croc Fuenlabrada, emerging the victors by 75-66.
Fuenlabrada started brightly and led by one point at the end of the first quarter, 16-15. Kirk Penney dropped 10 points in an efficient first half from the perimeter, and Sergio Sanchez pulled out a filthy crossover to dance his way to the rim.
Going into halftime, Fuenlabrada had the vast majority of the crowd excited, as everyone but the Madridistas united to cheer on the underdogs. After halftime, more of the same, as Fuenla only trailed by two going into the final period, as they weathered a three point barrage from Llull, Carroll and Mirotic.
The final period was still close, as Leo Mainoldi rimmed out a three that could have sent Fuenla into the lead. Madrid owed a great deal to Novica Velickovic as the often-overlooked Serbian gave a taste of the talent that enticed Madrid to sign him from Partizan Belgrade. 13 points in 16 minutes, to go with Felipe Reyes’ 17 to lead the team saw Madrid home.
Mike Hall started brightly but faded, and in the end Madrid’s depth paid off. Fuenla gave them a scare though, and their fans did not leave disappointed. Madrid will have step up a gear when they played Banca Civica Sevilla tomorrow in the semi final, and certainly if they hope to finally win the Copa trophy again.