Real Madrid gets complicated Kaunas

Real Madrid gets complicated Kaunas

The Madrid team loses the ‘field factor’ against Partizán, winner 87-89 at the WiZink Center with a triple final by Punter


Real Madrid complicated their ticket to the ‘Final Four’ of the Euroleague by losing this Tuesday the ‘field factor’ in their ‘Playoff’ against Serbian Partizán, who won 87-89 at the WiZink Center, thanks to a triple almost over the buzzer from Kevin Punter.

The American guard finished off Chus Mateo’s men with his fifth triple of the match and his 26th point. The ten-time European champion, deprived of Walter Tavares for the entire second half due to some physical problem, had an irregular match, but had options until the end sustained by Gabriel Deck (24 points, with 8/8 in shots of two, and eight rebounds). The second round on Thursday, vital for the Madrid aspirations who already know that they will have to seek their luck in the ‘infernal’ Stark Arena.

Partizán began doing damage from the outside and with an unexpected weapon in the form of center Smailagic, who signed three three-pointers for the visitor’s first notice (6-14). The Serbian team had a fine wrist from the outside, but Madrid found the response from within, not with Tavares but with Deck (9 points), in charge of cracking the defense of Obradovic’s men.

Real Madrid recovered and good minutes from Yabusele between the end of the first quarter and the start of the second turned the score around after an 8-0 start in the second ten minutes. The visiting coach did not take long to stop the game to lecture his team with his usual firmness.

Partizán reacted, while Mateo’s men entered into a bad dynamic, with three consecutive fouls in attack, two of them from a misguided Musa. The WiZink Center expressed its anger over the school trio and the Balkan team made the most of that tension, which recovered its best offensive version.

And the person in charge of it was Kevin Punter, who exhibited accuracy with 13 points in this second quarter, nine of them from the triple, a success that once again gave Partizán dominance in the electronics, which he knew how to keep it until the break (44 -48).


The ten-time champion did not leave the locker room toned and the game became too hard for him after a ‘2+1’ by Leday (48-55) that forced Chus Mateo to call his team to order. The locals finally tightened in defense and an 8-0 run, coinciding with the necessary rest for Tavares, who had played practically everything, gave him control again (56-55).

However, and with the public trying to play their role, the locals could not take better advantage of these good minutes to do more damage to their rival, with everything to be decided for the final ten minutes (64-63), where Partizán he had to deal with the problems of the four fouls of Leday and Smailagic.

The Real Madrid team had left the Serb at 15 points in this period and that was the formula he needed to repeat to get the first point. Rudy Fernández, a specialist in this aspect, fueled the stands with two ‘house brand’ actions, but Partizán resisted well, while Tavares continued to watch the game from the bench, without fouls, which raised fears of some physical problem in the Cape Verdean.

Led by Deck, Real Madrid caught air (77-70) with 5:37 to go, one world, although with the good news that the visitors had already entered a bonus. The hoop spat out two very valuable triples from Williams-Goss and Rudy, and Partizan got back into the game to draw a finish as intense as the whole game.

A ‘3+1’ from Punter and a ‘2+1’ from Exum allowed the visitors to enter the final minute ahead. Deck, with another ‘2+1’, made his team take the lead (87-86) with 21 seconds to play. Obradovic gave it to Punter and Punter silenced the WiZink Center, except for the enthusiastic Serbian fans.


–RESULT: REAL MADRID, 86 – PARTIZÁN, 88 (44-48, at halftime).


Real Madrid: Williams-Goss (6), Causeur (3), Hezonja (8), Deck (24) and Tavares (12) — the starting quintet — Yabusele (14), Musa (10), Hanga (5), Rudy Fernandez (2), Sergio Rodriguez (-) and Randolph (3).

PARTIZÁN: Avramovic (8), Punter (26), Trifunovic (1), Leday (13) and Smailagic (11) –starting five–; Madar (6), Papapetrou (-), Lessort, Exum (11) and Nunnally (2).

–PARIALS: 22-22, 22-26, 20-15

–REFEREES: Lottermoser, Vilius and Mogulkoc. Leday was fouled out.

–PAVILION: WiZink Center.