BASKETBALL | 2015 EUROLEAGUE | PLAY OFFS
Madrid advance to the Final Four, Barça bow out
Pablo Laso’s team make the Final Four for the third year running; a Printezis 3-pointer on the buzzer saw Olympiacos join them.
Real Madrid’s basketball secured their place in next month’s Euroleague Final 4 after beating Anadolu Efes in the fourth of their quarter final Play Offs in Istanbul on Thursday. Efes took the tie to a fourth game after beating last year’s runners-up at the Abdi Ipechi to make in 2-1 in the series earlier this week and the Turkish side controlled tonight’s game up until the third quarter. Pablo Laso’s side mounted a spirited comeback after the interval with Rudy Fernández and Sergio Llull the key protagonists ending on 17 and 14 points respectively – and both sharing a PIR of 17.
Pablo Laso becomes the first Madrid coach to guide the team to the Last 4 for the third consecutive year since Lolo Sainz.
But there was deception for Xavi Pascual’s Barcelona side who were fighting to draw their Play Off in Athens. Just four seconds were left on the clock, with hosts Olympiacos with possession and the score tied at 68-68. Georgios Printezis fired in from the field to beat the buzzer and put the Greeks through to the Final Four and eliminate Barça. Ante Tomic was the top performer on the night for Barça with 13 points, seven rebounds and an index rating of 11.
Madrid will meet Fenerbahçe in the semi-finals which this year take place in the Spanish capital from 15 – 17 May. Olympiacos contest the other semi-final against CSKA Moscow.