Buducnost stuns reigning champs
Buducnost VOLI Podgorica stunned reigning EuroLeague champions Real Madrid with a deserved 73-60 home win on Friday night. Madrid, which is eyeing another top four finish, falls to 15-4, while Buducnost claimed its fifth win of the season, and two in a row for the first time. Buducnost was in front for nearly the whole game and ended with five players on double digits scoring, led by Norris Cole with 14. Two players bagged double-doubles as Coty Clarke claimed 12 points and 12 rebounds, while teenager Goga Bitadze had 13 points, 10 boards and 3 blocked shots. Edwin Jackson and Earl Clark both scored 10. Sergio Llull top scored for Madrid with 10 points.
Buducnost got off to the perfect start with a 7-0 lead, with Cole hitting a three pointer from way behind the arc to open the scoring and fire up the crowd and Jackson also scoring twice in the opening exchanges. Anthony Randolph put Real Madrid ahead for the first and last time midway through the first quarter but the home side were resilient, leading after the first quarter by 19-15 as Cole finished that period with 9 points. Clarke scored twice and Bitadze’s three extended the lead to 9 late in the second quarter, and it briefly became a double digit game before Llull’s three-pointer pulled it back to 36-28 at the half. The home side kept pulling away and led by as many as 14 to start the third quarter as Cole and Clark landed three-pointers, before Madrid came to life with long-range strikes from Llull and Campazzo, cutting the lead to 8. But Buducnost dug deep in the final quarter and protected a safe margin with another trio of close-range baskets from Bitadze, and Madrid never seriously threatened again.
Buducnost defense dominant
The outstanding effort of Buducnost’s intense defense did a fantastic job in shackling Madrid’s scoring opportunities. At the end, this was not only Madrid’s biggest defeat of the season but also the Spanish side’s lowest points tally since a 54-58 victory over Panathinaikos in January 2013.
Bitadze making waves
In just his fifth game in the competition, Goga Bitadze’s star continues to rise as he traded blows with Real Madrid’s big men and finished with 13 points, 10 rebounds and 3 blocked shots. He has now recorded as performance index rating of at least 15 in every game so far, averages 20.2 in PIR, 14.4 points, 7.4 rebounds and 3.2 blocked shots.
There were no less than 12 blocked shots in the game. 7 of them came from Budocnost, with Bitadze’s 3 complemented by 2 for Earl Clark and 1 each for Coty Clarke and James Bell. Madrid blocked 5, inevitably led by Walter Tavares with 3. Gustavo Ayon and Jeffrey Taylor had the other 2.
Buducnost will travel to Herbalife Gran Canaria as they look to make it three wins on the trot next week. Madrid will welcome Anadolu Efes Istanbul to the Spanish capital as they seek an immediate return to winning ways.
Friday, January 18, 2019