Real Madrid sweeps a decaffeinated European Classic

Real Madrid sweeps a decaffeinated European Classic


Real Madrid maintained its undefeated status and leadership in the Regular Phase of the 2023-2024 Euroleague without excessive problems after winning its postponed match this Tuesday by a resounding 70-99 against the Israeli Maccabi Tel Aviv, in a decaffeinated Clásico del continental basketball where there was only one color.

The current champion easily added his tenth victory in the top continental competition at the start of his away marathon with the first of his four consecutive starts. Without the warmth of their fans, the Maccabean team did not put up any resistance in a duel dominated from the first quarter by the visiting team, which when threatened midway through the third by a good local streak, accelerated again to escape again. .

The Madrid team had a great choral performance and always had an argument to reply to their misguided rival. First it was Walter Tavares (19 points, 15 in the first quarter) and Facundo Campazzo (11 and 9 assists), then Dznan Musa (15) and finally Mario Hezonja (16, 14 in the third quarter).

The current champion came out very in tune in the unusual cold atmosphere of the Sala Pionir, helped in large part because his rival forgot to defend with a certain intensity. Tavares and Campazzo took advantage of this attitude to break the game in favor of the visitors after a threat from an even start.

The Cape Verdean center made the Macabean zone his own and led the visitors’ takeoff with 15 points in the successful start in attack, while the Argentine point guard distributed six of the eleven assists with which Real Madrid finished the first ten minutes. With two of its stars at a high level and the final appearance of another like Gaby Deck, Chus Mateo’s team escaped in an offensive festival.

A triple by ‘Chacho’ Rodríguez at the buzzer closed a first quarter with 36 points and an already wide lead (21-36) over a Maccabi where Wade Baldwin IV was erratic and only with the desire of Josh Nebo and some spark from Lorenzo Brown as good news, although his improvement prevented the match from ending at half-time.

Oded Katash decided to switch to a zone defense and his team also raised their intensity somewhat. Real Madrid, except for Dzanan Musa, author of eight points in this second period, was choked by this defensive change and only found the outside shot as a solution, although without much success (4/17 in triples).

Despite this ‘blackout’ and a certain weakness in the defensive rebound, the current champion benefited because the locals did not have much continuity either, except for Nebo who continued to fight (14 points and 6 rebounds, 5 offensive) and allowed the team Israeli went from losing by 19 (21-40) to having a chance of going below ten. The current champion resisted and although he did not improve excessively with the return to the court of Tavares and Campazzo, at half-time he was still in command with some comfort (41-52).


The passage through the locker room did not bring the return of the offensive rhythm of the leader of the Endesa League, but the thickness in attack also reigned in the Maccabean team and the scoreboard was still clearly white. A good visitor moment after good joint actions by the Tavares-Hezonja couple stretched the lead (43-60) and forced Katash to stop the match.

And there appeared Baldwin IV and Brown to tighten the match with an 8-0 run, with a triple each and two more points from the former Baskonia player, and put their team below ten (51-60) and causing Chus Mateo to call his team to order. James Webb III hit a third triple in a row to confirm the threat (54-60), but provoked the awakening of the visiting team, which led by Hezonja (14 points in this quarter) signed a devastating 2-14 to reach the final act with much path traveled (56-74).

Real Madrid quickly put up the score and did not get nervous with Maccabi’s last threat of a reply (65-79), with a chain of consecutive triples, moments of basketball ‘show’ and even time for the European debut of the young point guard Hugo González.


–RESULT: MACCABI TEL AVIV, 70 – REAL MADRID, 99 (41-52, at half-time).


MACCABI TEL AVIV: Brown (16), Baldwin IV (7), Colson (4), Cohen (2) and Nebo (14) — starting quintet– Cleveland (4), Blatt (5), Webb III (5) , Menco (-), Sorkin (5), Rivero (8) and Mayer (-).

REAL MADRID: Campazzo (11), Abalde (3), Deck (10), Hezonja (16) and Tavares (19) — the starting quintet — Musa (15), Poirier (8), S. Rodriguez (3), Rudy Fernandez (6), Llull (3), Ndiaye (3) and Hugo Gonzalez (2).

–PARTIALS: 21-36, 20-16, 15-22 and 14-25.

–REFEREES: Boltauzer, Difallah and Foufis.

–PAVILLION: Aleksandar Nikolic Hall.