Real Madrid derived the first benefit from their globe-trotting expedition, when the Turkish Airlines Euro-league champions won the 2015 Intercontinental Cup in a 2-game final against the champions of Liga de las Americas Bauru Basket at the Ginasio Ibirapuera Arena at Sao Paulo. In the first game on Friday, September 25, 2015, Real Madrid blew away a 17-point lead and lost narrowly 90-91. Two days later on Sunday, they recovered smartly and turned the tables on their opponents in the second game to win at 91-79 and the 11 point aggregate lead brought the Intercontinental Cup in their basket after 34 years. Real Madrid had won the competition four times earlier in 1976, 1977, 1978 and 1981 and Sunday’s victory made it 5 times. Real Madrid also made history by winning 5 championships in the last 365 days.
Friday’s first game was an edge-of-the-seat thriller, in which the result was decided in the last 10 seconds as the Champion of the DIRECTV Liga de las Americas, Paschoalotto/Bauru, defeated the visitors 91-90. Real Madrid looked like the winners for most part and led 49-32 in the third quarter, helped by a 12-2 streak in the first two minutes after halftime. Suddenly, Bauru raised the level of their game, taking advantage of a foul by Rudy Fernandez. Bauru dominated the third quarter and as they entered the fourth quarter, they had come to within 3 points of Real Madrid.
In the opening minutes of the last quarter, Meindl’s triple allowed Bauru to take a narrow lead for the first time in the match. However, that advantage didn’t last long as Real Madrid scored 7 straight points to come back into reckoning yet again. With a little over one minute remaining, the pace of the game became furious but Real Madrid still had a one-point lead. Then from the free throw line, Bauru captain Alex Garcia tied the score at 87 with 40 seconds remaining. With Felipe Reyes and Alex trading points on either side, the score was tied at 89-89 with 22 seconds left. With 7 seconds left, Real Madrid led 90-89. With time ticking away, Bauru’s Fischer penetrated the basket and led his team to a 91-90 victory.
In the second game on Sunday, Real Madrid needed to win by at least a 2-point margin but their point guard Sergio Rodriguez was sent out in the first half after he committed two serious faults. It was a closely fought encounter until the start of the third quarter as scores were tied at 55-55 after first 2½ minutes of play. Then a 6-0 streak took Real Madrid ahead. When the third quarter ended, Real Madrid led 66-57. In the fourth quarter, Real enhanced their lead by 12 points with 4 minutes left. A fortified defense helped the European champions counter their opponents. Thompkins scored a triple and Real led by 13 points with 2 minutes remaining. Bauru’s Fischer scored from long range but Real Madrid had the score still in their favor. Sergio Llull scored 21 points for Real Madrid. With his score of 17 points in the first game, Llull was named MVP of the 2015 Intercontinental Cup as Real Madrid won 91-79. The victory gave them an 11-point aggregate advantage as the Spanish club collected their fifth Intercontinental Cup.
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