Real Madrid remained unbeaten in Group F of the Euroleague after a third quarter masterclass saw them topple Bayern Munich in the Spanish capital 111-87 on Wednesday evening.
Trailing 24-17 after the first ten minutes of play, the Liga Endesa leaders turned it around and led 48-47 at half-time before a mammoth 41-point third quarter saw Madrid lead 89-68 and put the game beyond their German counterparts.
Six Real Madrid players reached double figures, led by Rudy Fernandez’s 24 points. Sergio Rodriguez added 19 points and 7 assists.
Despite the third quarter blowout, Madrid coach Pablo Laso praised the effort of Bayern, who are in the Top 16 for the first time.
“It was a tough game, which is what we expected,” Laso said. “It was not a surprise – Bayern deserves to be in the Top 16 and showed it tonight. They had high percentages in the first half and we needed to improve our defence. We dominated the boards in the second half and managed to improve.
“I am happy with our defence, despite allowing 87 points. Sometimes I am not happy when we allow 60 – defence is more about vibrations than numbers. I want to congratulate my players, I am very happy with this win and the 3-0 start.”
The Germans suffer their first loss in the second phase while Real motor on at 3-0.
“We played well in general, especially in the first half,” said Bayern Munich’s Malcolm Delaney, who led his team with 22 points.
“The game was broken when we were not able to keep up with our three-point accuracy and Madrid started to hit all kind of shots. It is not impossible to beat Real Madrid. Nothing is impossible in basketball.”
The visitors had a great deal of success through rebounding, holding the hosts to just three boards in ten minutes, while pulling down 16 of their own. Bayern shot the ball well also, leading 24-17 at the half before Real came back strong thanks to Felipe Reyes and Fernandez.
After a few lead changes in the last two minutes, Rodriguez hit a three-pointer to hand Real Madrid a 48-47 lead at the half.
It was then where Real decided to put on a show. They stepped it up and began to hit everything. Confidence was oozing out of them and Bayern couldn’t find any answers. A 41-21 third quarter, saw the hosts up 89-68 and suddenly cruising.
With the fourth quarter a formality, thanks to intense Real Madrid defence around the perimeter, Bayern conceded defeat for the first time in the Top 16 but still own a winning record.