FC Barcelona and Real Madrid Win Series Openers in Their First Rounds of Euro-League Basketball Playoffs

Euro-League Basketball PlayoffsIn the best-of-five playoffs series, Spanish giants FC Barcelona and Real Madrid won their opening games against their opponents on Wednesday April 15, 2015. In games were played on their home turfs, Barcelona downed Olympiacos Piraeus 73-57 while Real Madrid staved off a strong challenge by Anadolu Efes Istanbul to win with a 80-71 score. In Barcelona, the home team scored their ninth straight Euro-league win and eighth consecutive against Olympiacos. Juan Carlos Navarro and Bostjan Nachbar each scored 10 to spearhead FCB’s attack. At Madrid, Real fought hard against Anadolu Efes Istanbul in their opening game and came through after two big performances from players, who generally serve as a supporting cast. KC Rivers led the scoring with a career-high 21 points on 6-of-7 three-point shooting and Gustavo Ayon posted his first career double-double for Madrid and helped Real Madrid recover from an 11-point second-quarter deficit.

In the first quarter at Barcelona, the home team was initially pushed as Printezis and Bryant Dunston gave a 4-1 lead to Olympiacos. FCB then tightened their defense and checked the visitors. With Carlos Navarro and Ante Tomic taking over soon, FCB took the 7-6 lead and continued from there. Navarro hit a step-back jumper and Ante Tomic dunked before DeShaun Thomas mounted the assault for Barcelona with a big slam and added a jump hook as FCB led by 5 points. For nearly 6 minutes, Olympiacos could not find the way to the basket and in the meanwhile, a three-pointer from Satoransky capped an 11-0 Barcelona run for a 14-6 lead. For Olympiacos, Agravanis scored from a layup but FCB continued to dominate and ended the quarter with a 20-8 lead. In the second quarter, Olympiacos made a strong comeback despite Brad Oleson trying to push scoring for Barcelona. Sloukas scored from free throws and Vangelis Mantzaris and Brent Petway scored to give Olympiacos hope at 25-15. But FCB were relentless and Nachbar and Tibor Pleiss blunted the visitors’ attack. Despite all resistance that FCB offered, they could not prevent Olympiacos from taking the second quarter at 18-15. However, FCB still led 35-26 at halftime.

As the third quarter began, Navarro found the basket from far away and FCB held the visitors score-less for a few minutes. Then Tomas Satoransky scored from three-pointers to boost FCB’s lead to 41-26. Olympiacos fought again through Tremmell Darden and Lojeski, who only managed to reduce the deficit somewhat. But yet again Navarro and Satoransky scored for FCB and their lead swelled to 46-31. At the end of third quarter, FCB led 50-38. Despite Olympiacos trying a quick comeback, FCB continued their dominance in the fourth. Lafayette and Sloukas combined to close the gap and a step-back jumper by Papapetrou made the score 52-42. With just eight minutes remaining in the match, it became difficult for Olympiacos to make any meaningful difference. Ante Tomic and Nachbar continued scoring as FC Barcelona emerged 73-57 winners in the end.

In the second match, Real Madrid faced a huge resistance from Anadolu Efes Istanbul in first two quarters. Efes opened with Dontaye Draper quickly nailing a three-pointer before Felipe Reyes scored first points for Real. For Efes, Stratos Perperoglou scored from a short jumper before Rivers sank 2 free throws and scored a three to tie the game 7-7. Real went into lead with Ayon scoring from his second-chance but Efes leveled the score by drawing a fould from Felipe Reyes. Good play from Rivers, Reyes and Llull restored Madrid’s lead to 18-13. Efes closed the gap once again from a basket by Osman, free throws by Saric and a great pass from Thomas Heurtel that helped Stephane Lasme in a layup. Real’s Ayon netted free throws and the same was done by Efes’ Saric to tie the game for the sixth time in first quarter. In dying seconds, Andres Nocioni scored to finish the quarter 22-20 in Real’s favor. In the second quarter, Osman began by attacking the rim and through some charged-up play Heurtel took his team ahead before Jonas Maciulis tied the game again at 23-23. Though Jaycee Carroll and Sergio Rodriguez helped the hosts for another lead, Efes’ Draper, Lasme and Osman worked laboriously to take them ahead 30-27. Real were pushed back further by the combo of Saric, Osman, Lasme and Heurtel to finish halftime with a 43-35 advantage.

In third quarter, Rudy scored a tough basket and Reyes added free throws. However, Janning’s jumper kept the lead for Efes intact. In a quick surge, Llull scored from a floater, Rudy knocked down a triple and Ayon’s steal and slam took Real in the lead yet again at 46-45. Efes opened up the lead again, when Birkan Batuk hit back with a triple but once again Reyes not only tied the game but helped Madrid go in front, 50-48. Both sides played well towards the end of the third quarter but it was Real who held a 61-53 advantage at close. Beginning with an 8-point advantage, Real Madrid dominated the last quarter with Nocioni making a nice layup for a 10-point lead. Though Efes maintained the scoring when possible, Reyes, Ayon Rivers and Rudy ensured that Real continued to keep their lead. Although Batuk and Bjelica narrowed the gap in final minutes, Real Madrid finished as winners at 80-71.

In the best-of-five playoffs series, Spanish giants FC Barcelona and Real Madrid won their opening games against their opponents on Wednesday April 15, 2015. In games were played on their home turfs, Barcelona downed Olympiacos Piraeus 73-57 while Real Madrid staved off a strong challenge by Anadolu Efes Istanbul to win with a 80-71 score. In Barcelona, the home team scored their ninth straight Euro-league win and eighth consecutive against Olympiacos. Juan Carlos Navarro and Bostjan Nachbar each scored 10 to spearhead FCB’s attack. At Madrid, Real fought hard against Anadolu Efes Istanbul in their opening game and came through after two big performances from players, who generally serve as a supporting cast. KC Rivers led the scoring with a career-high 21 points on 6-of-7 three-point shooting and Gustavo Ayon posted his first career double-double for Madrid and helped Real Madrid recover from an 11-point second-quarter deficit.

In the first quarter at Barcelona, the home team was initially pushed as Printezis and Bryant Dunston gave a 4-1 lead to Olympiacos. FCB then tightened their defense and checked the visitors. With Carlos Navarro and Ante Tomic taking over soon, FCB took the 7-6 lead and continued from there. Navarro hit a step-back jumper and Ante Tomic dunked before DeShaun Thomas mounted the assault for Barcelona with a big slam and added a jump hook as FCB led by 5 points. For nearly 6 minutes, Olympiacos could not find the way to the basket and in the meanwhile, a three-pointer from Satoransky capped an 11-0 Barcelona run for a 14-6 lead. For Olympiacos, Agravanis scored from a layup but FCB continued to dominate and ended the quarter with a 20-8 lead. In the second quarter, Olympiacos made a strong comeback despite Brad Oleson trying to push scoring for Barcelona. Sloukas scored from free throws and Vangelis Mantzaris and Brent Petway scored to give Olympiacos hope at 25-15. But FCB were relentless and Nachbar and Tibor Pleiss blunted the visitors’ attack. Despite all resistance that FCB offered, they could not prevent Olympiacos from taking the second quarter at 18-15. However, FCB still led 35-26 at halftime.

As the third quarter began, Navarro found the basket from far away and FCB held the visitors score-less for a few minutes. Then Tomas Satoransky scored from three-pointers to boost FCB’s lead to 41-26. Olympiacos fought again through Tremmell Darden and Lojeski, who only managed to reduce the deficit somewhat. But yet again Navarro and Satoransky scored for FCB and their lead swelled to 46-31. At the end of third quarter, FCB led 50-38. Despite Olympiacos trying a quick comeback, FCB continued their dominance in the fourth. Lafayette and Sloukas combined to close the gap and a step-back jumper by Papapetrou made the score 52-42. With just eight minutes remaining in the match, it became difficult for Olympiacos to make any meaningful difference. Ante Tomic and Nachbar continued scoring as FC Barcelona emerged 73-57 winners in the end.

In the second match, Real Madrid faced a huge resistance from Anadolu Efes Istanbul in first two quarters. Efes opened with Dontaye Draper quickly nailing a three-pointer before Felipe Reyes scored first points for Real. For Efes, Stratos Perperoglou scored from a short jumper before Rivers sank 2 free throws and scored a three to tie the game 7-7. Real went into lead with Ayon scoring from his second-chance but Efes leveled the score by drawing a fould from Felipe Reyes. Good play from Rivers, Reyes and Llull restored Madrid’s lead to 18-13. Efes closed the gap once again from a basket by Osman, free throws by Saric and a great pass from Thomas Heurtel that helped Stephane Lasme in a layup. Real’s Ayon netted free throws and the same was done by Efes’ Saric to tie the game for the sixth time in first quarter. In dying seconds, Andres Nocioni scored to finish the quarter 22-20 in Real’s favor. In the second quarter, Osman began by attacking the rim and through some charged-up play Heurtel took his team ahead before Jonas Maciulis tied the game again at 23-23. Though Jaycee Carroll and Sergio Rodriguez helped the hosts for another lead, Efes’ Draper, Lasme and Osman worked laboriously to take them ahead 30-27. Real were pushed back further by the combo of Saric, Osman, Lasme and Heurtel to finish halftime with a 43-35 advantage.

In third quarter, Rudy scored a tough basket and Reyes added free throws. However, Janning’s jumper kept the lead for Efes intact. In a quick surge, Llull scored from a floater, Rudy knocked down a triple and Ayon’s steal and slam took Real in the lead yet again at 46-45. Efes opened up the lead again, when Birkan Batuk hit back with a triple but once again Reyes not only tied the game but helped Madrid go in front, 50-48. Both sides played well towards the end of the third quarter but it was Real who held a 61-53 advantage at close. Beginning with an 8-point advantage, Real Madrid dominated the last quarter with Nocioni making a nice layup for a 10-point lead. Though Efes maintained the scoring when possible, Reyes, Ayon Rivers and Rudy ensured that Real continued to keep their lead. Although Batuk and Bjelica narrowed the gap in final minutes, Real Madrid finished as winners at 80-71.

R K Gupta

R K Gupta

Mr. RK Gupta has been a prolific Kridangan writer on major international sport-events for last two years. Basically a Mechanical Engineer and Administrative Management Post Graduate, Mr. Gupta took to blog-writing as a hobby after his retirement in 2011. He graduated to full-time sports-writing after joining Kridangan.com in 2013. Most of Mr. Gupta’s posts are topical and analytical in nature; completely distinct from usual media reports. His narration on popular sports-events lends uniqueness to the reporting and makes it enjoyable for global sports readership.
R K Gupta

R K Gupta

Mr. RK Gupta has been a prolific Kridangan writer on major international sport-events for last two years. Basically a Mechanical Engineer and Administrative Management Post Graduate, Mr. Gupta took to blog-writing as a hobby after his retirement in 2011. He graduated to full-time sports-writing after joining Kridangan.com in 2013. Most of Mr. Gupta’s posts are topical and analytical in nature; completely distinct from usual media reports. His narration on popular sports-events lends uniqueness to the reporting and makes it enjoyable for global sports readership.

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