Real Madrid became the first team to book their ticket to the Euroleague Final Four in London next month after they defeated Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv 69-57 in Israel, sweeping the series 3-0.
Jaycee Carroll led the winners with 16 points and he was supported by Sergio Llull’s 13 points as Madrid struggled offensively for the majority of the night but won the game due to gritty defence, in-front of the a sell out crowd at the Nokia Arena.
The series featured 120 minutes of great European basketball” said Real Madrid coach Pablo Laso. “Maccabi has a great team. They fought until the last minute. I appreciate the way they played.”
“We were solid in the first half, enough to take a three-point lead at the break. We did a good job on rebounds and defence. They attacked us in the second half but we fought back, made some good plays and won the game.”
Shawn James led Maccabi with 18 points.
Panathinaikos one game away from London (Panathinaikos lead 2-1)
Panathinaikos secured a 65-63 win over Barcelona in Athens to go 2-1 in the series, but nearly threw the game away.
The hosts enjoyed a dominant first half, where they led 20-10 after one period of play and has a relatively comfortable 38-29 advantage at the break.
Barcelona though fought back to lead 51-50 after three quarters but, cheered on by nearly 18,000 fans, Panathinaikos hit back to claim a vital win, which moves them one game away from the Final Four and send the favourites crashing out.
Michael Bramos led the Greeens with 14 points.
“We had some good offensive plays, put the ball inside and played good defence,” Bramos said afterwards. “We have to watch the tape and get prepared for Game 4 on Thursday. It would be a big mistake to start thinking on being in London. We are only thinking on the next game and if we win on Thursday, then we will be there”
Juan Carlos Navarro led Barca with 17 points.