This is how Madrid comes: the best defense and the best rebound

The targets meet CSKA in the semifinal star of the Final Four. A hard duel of uncertain prognosis between two of the three potentates of the Euroleague.


After 14 consecutive seasons without qualifying for the Final Four (1997-2010), Madrid lives in the current decade a new golden age of its basketball. Vitoria faces its seventh final phase in nine years, the sixth in the last seven and the third in a row. He is a current champion and one of the three potentates of the competition, together with CSKA and Fenerbahçe. They are the last three winners, the only ones who have reached the last three Final Four and the three who started at the beginning of the season in all the pools and have not disappointed.

The duel with CSKA in the semifinals (Friday 17th, 21:00 ) is presented with a maximum equality and, unlike in the other tie, with the two teams in full.

Real Madrid: to repeat title for the first time in 51 years

In the third season with the format of all against all, the Madrid has had a quieter course than the previous one, although a year ago it recovered its players in time and ended up champion. His squad then accumulated 256 games of injury. So far in the campaign, it already adds 99 absences. There are not few, but the difference is great and it has allowed him to sail in calmer waters and to tie soon the pass to the playoff, also the advantage of court in quarters (the first four ) .

And now CSKA Moscow awaits, in the replay of last year's semi-final. Despite the outcome of Belgrade, the Russian champion is the ogre of the whites in Europe, the team that has won more times: 30 in the 61-year history of the European Cup.

Laso's come to the big event of the year in good time, after offering his highest peak of the season against Panathinaikos in the quarterfinals. Madrid is the best defense of the competition (, only 0.93 points for possession against the 0.97 of the CSKA, which is seventh) and the effectiveness in attack is fifth (1.03 points for possession, same as the CSKA), only clearly behind Fenerbahçe and Efes. El Real is also the best in the rebound of the four candidates (traps 52.2% of the rejects in each of their games), although the Itoudis are almost at par (52.1%) .

They show the competitive solidity of Madrid, that pursues the Eleventh and its second consecutive trophy, something so difficult that it does not succeed since it lifted the Third and Fourth in 1967 and 68, respectively, 51 years ago. With the format of Final Four only three teams have repeated success: Jugoplastika (1989, 90 and 91), Maccabi (2004 and 2005) and Olympiacos (2012 and 2013) .

The star: Sergio Llull

Base - 31 years - 1,90

In recent weeks, the most important player of Madrid on track has been Facundo Campazzo. Determinant in the whole field and key in fourth against Calathes and Panathinaikos. And for its impact back, Edy Tavares, named best defender of the Euroleague. But until a new order, the leader of Real Madrid is and will be Sergio Llull. Thirteen months ago he returned from the serious knee injury and now is when he would have to be approaching the star level he showed before being operated. However, he has chained a succession of discomforts and muscular problems that have broken the rhythm. Two weeks now he has had to try to recover sensations for the appointment of Vitoria: "I am well, I have recovered and I will help" .



Photos from as.com

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