Madrid goes for the first against a Khimki in full odyssey

Laso has his entire squad for the first time in weeks, but could take breaks. Whites go 0-2. The Russian team has five positives and three weight injuries.


The clear victory this Tuesday of Anadolu Efes on the Alba Berlin court (72-93 with 23 points from Tibor Pleiss) allows the Turkish team to debut this season and sends Aíto's team to last place, who take Real Madrid out of there , which is now penultimate. The whites had never started the Euroleague with a 0-2 in the locker and will look for their first win this Wednesday against a very diminished Khimki. The Moscow team have not won yet either (follow the game live on .

Laso has started the week with his entire squad available, the 16 players plus Tristan Vukcevic, who, due to the coronavirus protocol imposed by the club, only works with the first team even if it is not registered in the Euroleague. Taylor and Reyes return after overcoming a muscle injury and a sprained ankle, respectively, and it is assumed that Randolph has also improved from his discomfort, so the coach will have to make four discards. It had not happened for almost a month and he could choose to rest one of the heavyweights in view of the rival's troubles and that this week is the first with a double European day. On Friday the Armani from Messina, Sergio Rodríguez, Delaney, Hines are waiting in Milan ... "We want to continue on a growth line, as against Gran Canaria, and reduce errors, rebound well and be successful", explains Laso.

Khimki has arrived in Madrid in the draw, with seven first-team players, plus Dairis Bertans touched and three young people between 20 and 21 years old (Odinokov, Sharapov and Evstigneev). In total, only ten players in the call. The reason is that it accumulates five casualties due to the coronavirus and three due to injury. His game last week against Zalgiris was delayed to Saturday. They fell to the Lithuanians 70-82 at their track, the Arena Mytishchi, in front of 627 Moscow fans. Rimas Kurtinaitis had five players on the court, the ones who performed the most were Zaitsev, Karasev, Monia, Jerebko and Devin Booker, plus two reserves, Vialtsev and Odinokov, who accumulated 25 and 18, respectively. Bertans was entered, but did not remove his tracksuit.

The five absent for testing positive, although none new since Friday, which may reassure Madrid, are Jordan Mickey, Timma, Voronov (the first to be infected and isolated since October 4) and then Greg Monroe and Barashkov (from the Friday 9). And the three casualties due to injury are enormous and affect the direction and creation of the game: Shved, Stefan Jovic and Errick McCollum. A drama for Khimki and an obligation for Madrid: win.

The coronavirus corners the Euroleague

The coronavirus corners the Euroleague, which has the most demanding calendar and has not modified it. There are games every week and in seven, as in the current one, a double day. What makes postponements difficult. Hence, it approved regulations whereby if a team could not present eight players due to COVID-19, the match was considered lost 20-0. A tough rule, but accepted in advance by the clubs. And in that situation is Zenit, with 13 positives (including eight players and Xavi Pascual). The Russian team stayed in Saint Petersburg, when they were supposed to face Baskonia yesterday and Valencia tomorrow.

In a similar scenario is Asvel Villeurbanne, who had to play last night with Panathinaikos and the duel was suspended a couple of hours before the start. The French club announced in the morning four new cases (two players) that were added to the previous seven and expressed its desire to isolate itself, although with a couple of homegrown players it could form a squad of eight and play. In the afternoon two new players showed symptoms and the crash was called off.

Both Zenit and Asvel can lose 20-0. They are in the hands of the Euroleague disciplinary judge, who will decide in a day or two. The same one that decreed such a defeat for Olimpia Ljubljana in the Eurocup last Friday. Tournament in which Unicaja, after communicating a positive yesterday, receives Buducnost today (20:45). He will have left because the backup tests did not reveal more infections.

The problem lies with the protocol. The one of the CBA is stricter and, therefore, more effective than the European one or that of countries like France and Russia. In Spain, if a member of the team tests positive in the three days prior to the game, they all stop having contact with each other until a new test. If there are no more infections, it is played. In the Euroleague, a new test is also carried out, however, only the positive one is isolated and the rest can continue exercising, which increases the risk. This is what happened at Zenit or Villeurbanne, which on Sunday came to remove Norris Cole from the track against Cholet after a few seconds. They had known his positive before the start and, as they included him as a starter, they could not modify it and only left the field after the first break. The match ended. Something surreal and perhaps a complaint for the club and for the French league.

In addition, the Euroleague accepts that it be played with a squad of eight, although there are five positives, which are those of Khimki, today's rival of Madrid. In Spain, three positives are considered an outbreak and require suspension.

Beyond victories and defeats, falling 20-0 or a team not having its star, like Barça with Mirotic yesterday, health is at stake. A modification of the protocol is urgent.

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