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Alba Berlin-Real Madrid: Madridistas looking to cement lead in Germany

NEWS STORY. 12/01/2023. Edu Bueno

The Whites head to Germany two days after winning in Belgrade (8pm CET).

It’s Belgrade to Berlin for Real Madrid, who face their second matchup in the space of 48 hours in the EuroLeague. The Whites will go in search of their 13th victory in the competition to cement their place at the top of the standings after Tuesday’s win away at KK Crvena Zvezda. This evening’s game will also be a stern test away at Alba Berlin, who are on the up after securing three wins on the bounce.

Madrid bring to an end a double-header on the road with a demanding game against the German outfit. Chus Mateo‘s fine run of three wins by margins of 20 points or more in the Liga ACB and the EuroLeague will be put to the test (+33 against Maccabi and +20 against Gran Canaria and Crvena zvezda).  The two EuroLeague victories have placed them at the top of the competition (12-6), ahead of Monaco and Barcelona on points difference. The Whites have the same number of defeats as wins against Alba Berlin, but the Germans appear to have found their rhythm and have recently beaten Milan and Baskonia, at home, and Asvel, away.

On the surface, it will be a completely different game to the one played on Tuesday on the iconic Serbian court. Madrid are up against a very attack-minded opponent, who counterattack effectively, are powerful on the rebound and dangerous from three-point range (second in the EuroLeague in these last two areas). Our team’s inside game will again be critical with Tavares leading the line. For Berlin, Lo, Smith and Olinde pose a threat on the outside, and in the paint, the versatility of Sikma, Thiemann and the towering Koumadje will cause problems.

Defensive work

As the victories against Maccabi and Crvena zvezda illustrated, Chus Mateo‘s charges know how to win regardless of the number of points needed. Against the Israelis, it was from attack (96 points, 18 three-pointers and 29 assists); and against Crvena zvezda, from defence. The team stepped up in a closely contested game to record their ninth best defensive record in the EuroLeague by limiting the opposition to 59 points. In the first round, the Whites prevailed by 90-72 at the WiZink Center, with Poirier and Sergio Rodríguez the standout performers. The objective today is to remain unbeaten there.

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