Real Madrid remained one of two unbeaten teams in Group C, of just three in the whole Euroleague, after downing visiting Ulker 70-58 in Group C on Thursday. Real Madrid continues sharing the top spot in Group C with Panathinaikos, both with a perfect 4-0 records, two wins ahead everyone else in this group. Meanwhile, Ulker dropped to 1-3 and ties for the sixth place in the standings. Marko Tomas led the winners with 18 points on 4 of 5 three-pointers. Louis Bullock added 15 points and 5 assists, Mickael Gelabale had 14 points and 8 rebounds while Axel Hervelle scored 10 points for Real Madrid. Mirsad Turkcan and Marcus Haislip scored 10 points apiece for Ulker. Jeff Trepganier led Ulker on a 2-10 opening run, but the guests only managed to keep a 20-21 edge after 10 minutes on a buzzer-beating jumper by Haislip. Bullock and Gelabale shined in the second quarter to put Real Madrid in charge, 39-35, at halftime. Tomas took over in the third quarter, nailing 3 triples in a 20-5 run which sealed the outcome as Madrid's excellent zone defense maintained full control of the game.
Cuneyt Erden opened fire with a quick three from the top for the key for Ulker, but Bullock immediately answered with a long two-jumper. Trepagnier gave Ulker the momentum with a five-meter jumper and a big three, to which he added a basket off a steal for a 2-10 lead. Hervelle came to the rescue for Madrid and Gelabale added a dunk, as the hosts improved its defense. Reyes brought Madrid even closer with a put-back basket, but Onan came to the rescue with a three-point play. Hervelle hit from downtown for Madrid, but Haislip followed a big basket-plus-foul with a two-handed slam to give Ulker a 13-19 lead. It didn't last long, as Madrid found a go-to guy in Gelabale, who scored 5 points in a 7-0 run which gave Real Madrid a 7-0 run before Haislip scored at the buzzer for a 20-21 Ulker edge after 10 minutes.
Both teams struggled to score early in the second, as only Vrbica Stefanov added a driving layup in the opening 2 minutes of the second. Real Madrid controlled the defensive board, while Bullock hit one from downtown to tie the game at 23-23. A very active Stefanov matched that in the other end, but Bullock - who else? - nailed another three which he followed with a fast break layup for a 29-26 Madrid edge. Haislip stepped up with a put-back basket but Tomas answered from three-point range to keep Madrid in charge. Turkcan nailed a five-meter jumper before Haislip picked up his third foul, leaving Ulker without its main offensive weapon. Venson Hamilton stepped up with a jumper to give Madrid ahead, 34-30, after 17 minutes. Turkcan took over with a big triple, but Tomas run the break for a layup while Gelabale followed a big block on Oguz Savas. Stefanov made a floating layup but a red hot Gelabale sank a triple for a 39-35 Madrid lead at halftime.
Ibrahim Kutluay nailed his trademark five-meter jumper right after the break, but Real Madrid carried on dominating the boards early in the third quarter. Bullock added another basket, but Kutluay fired in a triple to make it a one-point game, 41-40. It didn't last long, as Venson Hamilton's four-meter jumper ignited a 6-0 run which Tomas capped with a corner three for a 47-40 Real Madrid margin. Stefanov appeared again with a fast break layup, but Gelabale followed an outstanding dunk with a big block which allowed Hervelle to score in the paint. Ulker struggled against the hosts' strong zone defense, while a third-chance basket by Reyes boosted his team's margin to double digits, 53-42, after 27 minutes. Erden fired in his second triple but Tomas copied him in the other end and added another one from the top of the key, good for a 59-45 Madrid lead. Hamilton capped a mamooth 20-5 run for a 16-point Real Madrid margin after 30 minutes.
Ulker needed a quick comeback to get back into the game, but Real Madrid kept the momentum due to its outstanding defense. Ulker could only add a jump hook by Drago Pasalic in the opening 2 minutes of the fourth quarter. Real Madrid used twin playmakers with Mous Sonko and Oscar Gonzalez, who nailed a five-meter jumper for a 63-47 margin. The guetss could not find the way to the basket and despite several turnovers, Tomas scored in the paint to make it a 18-point game, 65-47, with 5 minutes to go. The fight now was for the points differential, as the outcome was clear. Tomas provided one of the highlights of the night with a tough left-handed layup, but nothing changed in the remaining minutes, as all fans in Madrid could celebrate Real's win long before the final buzzer.
Thursday, November 24, 2005