The Eleventh will have to wait. The CSKA could with Real Madrid and will be measured in the final with Anadolu Efes. Laso's team dominated the Russians for more than three quarters, but a much stronger fourth quarter of the Muscovites will allow them to fight for their Eighth European Cup.

The first two minutes of the semifinal had not been completed and Tavares committed his first foul. It was about Hackett and the Russian bench celebrated him as if it were a goal. All standing, fists closed and screams of euphoria. I was justified. There is no bigger shadow in Europe than the Cape Verdean pivot. When Edy influences a game it is usually decisive. The CSKA tried to deactivate it, but the Itoudis plan did not work. The first two baskets of Madrid took his signature. They were both mates. What he took advantage of in the rival ring was responsible for preventing it in his. When he sat down to rest, his service record offered disturbing numbers for the Russians: 6 points, 7 rebounds and 3 blocks. The "caps", for three different players: Hunter, De Colo and Hines. Itoudis had no choice but to move the bench (11-22) to change the landscape. Chacho and Higgins appeared to unclog and it was the base that found loopholes in the defense of Madrid. Sitting Tavares also helped. With him on track, his teammates live very quiet. Without him, tranquility changed sides.

Their presence in the area beyond what the numbers say has a component of intimidation that no one escapes. Be your dance partner, be it an eave, be an escort, a base … it does not matter. It was to disappear and that the baskets arrived under the hoop, the trays, the mates … In short, the Russians lost their fear and began to move on to do things in the vicinity of the area. With one of those "short" quintets that Itoudis uses so much, CSKA took the first advantage (29-28). El Chacho, who had outstanding accounts of his poor semifinal last season, served as leader and ate his friend Llull. The game, which had had a fast pace, stopped. The thickest attacks came, the losses and the two teams stalled.

Causeur, from the bench, served as a plunger with nine points. With the return of Tavares, fear reappeared in the Russians. For that reason his second fault returned the joy to the Moscow bench. Laso felt obliged to sit him down. Madrid retained the differences, never exceeding six points, thanks to the points of their presumed substitutes. The 23 points scored in the second quarter came from players who were not in the starter quintet at the start. Causeur and Thompkins were the architects that the advantage to rest, although minimal, was for Madrid. While those of Laso had the more distributed annotation, in the CSKA Clyburn and, mainly, Sergio Rodriguez they were those that produced more.

The outlook changed in the third quarter because Tavares was loaded with his third foul very soon. Without him, Laso had to re-adjust his pieces above all else. Madrid had managed to contain De Colop and Higgins and the response to life without Tavares was superb. Starting with Campazzo. The Argentine base put on the suit he showed in the series against Panathinaikos. First deactivated Chacho. He led the defense, started scoring and the team marched after him. The excellent management of scarce advantages began to undermine Russian souls. And as the team saw that without Tavares behind it also worked, the block continued to grow until reaching a new maximum advantage (51-65, min 27). Between El Chacho and De Colo, the bloodletting was stopped. The fouls erased the Spanish base so CSKA threw itself into Frenchman's arms. Its production was constant. And what was a comfortable advantage of Madrid disappeared by three consecutive mistakes of Llull from the triple and a technique to Laso for throwing a towel to the bench. The 14 points were almost nothing with a triple of Clyburn and four minutes ahead (79-80).

The possibility of fighting for the Eleventh, Madrid, or the Eighth, the CSKA, was going to elucidate in the final section. Laso decided to sit Tavares and play with Thompkins and Randolph as big men. It did not go well. An offensive rebound from Hunter, the exmadridista was decisive in the final seconds, he squeezed everything else. And a triple from De Colo, who scored Randolph late, put the Russians ahead (87-85 to 1:19). Tavares returned only to commit his fifth foul. The reliability of De Colo, El Chacho and Higgins from the free kick left Madrid, at least this season, without Eleventh.

95. CSKA (18 + 25 + 22 + 30): Hackett (3), De Colo (20), Clyburn (18), Kurbanov (0) and Hunter (8) -quintet holder- Rodríguez (23), Hines (6), Higgins (11), Peters (3) and Bolomboy (0).

90. Real Madrid (22 + 23 + 28 + 17): Campazzo (10), Rudy (10), Taylor (3), Randolph (12) and Tavares (6) -quintet holder- Llull (9), Carroll (5), Deck ( 2), Ayón (2), Thompkins (9) and Causeur (18).

Referees: Boltauzer (Esl), Ryzhyk (Ucr) and Panther (Ucr). Eliminated Campazzo, Tavares and Rudy for five fouls. Techniques to Rudy and Laso.

Incidents: 13,199 spectators at the Buesa Arena. Second semifinal corresponding to the Final Four of the Euroleague.

(tagsToTranslate) mariano ruiz díez

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